Ottawa, ON – John Barlow, Conservative Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Agri-Food and Food Security, Dave Epp, Conservative Deputy Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Agri-Food and Food Security, and Richard Lehoux, Conservative Deputy Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Agri-Food and Food Security, released the following statement on the Liberals’ continued inaction to end their political P.E.I. potato ban:

“Over a month ago, Minister Bibeau stated she was ‘optimistic’ the Liberal’s self-imposed potato export ban on P.E.I. potatoes could be lifted ‘in a couple of weeks’ after the US finished a risk analysis. Now, P.E.I. farmers have run out of time for the Liberal’s ‘optimism’ for a resolution to this 300-million-pound crisis.

“Today, hundreds of thousands of P.E.I. potatoes are being destroyed as we’ve reached the deadline to receive federal aid for unsold potatoes. Potatoes should be on kitchen tables, not ground up into fertilizer. This is disappointing in so many ways.

“It is disappointing there is even a deadline for the aid to end, as this continues to be an open-ended issue. It is disappointing potatoes deemed safe for Puerto Rico weeks ago are still banned from the US mainland. Clearly, this is not about science, it is about politics. It is most disappointing Minister Bibeau continues to fail to represent the P.E.I. potato industry’s interests abroad. Her government’s decisions have led us to this entirely avoidable crisis.

“The Conservative Party is calling on the Liberal government to expend some political capital with the US Administration, keep their promise and lift their potato sanction immediately, so island farmers have the confidence to make planting decisions for this year. Justin Trudeau and his Minister continue to fail on trade disputes with our most important partner and P.E.I. potatoes are no exception.”