Oct. 21, 2008
HALIFAX, N.S. (CNB) - Atlantic agriculture ministers met on Oct. 20 - 21 to further explore opportunities for regional co-operation, and to hear from industry stakeholders, on the common challenges they face in the agriculture sector in their respective provinces.
"This was an excellent opportunity to discuss challenges and opportunities facing the agricultural sector in Atlantic Canada, and to identify ways to work together as provinces and industry," said Minister of Agriculture and Aquaculture Ronald Ouellette.
Brooke Taylor, Nova Scotia agriculture minister, hosted the meeting. He was joined by Ouellette; Neil LeClair, Prince Edward Island minister of agriculture; and Kathy Dunderdale, Newfoundland and Labrador minister of natural resources and minister responsible for the forestry and agrifoods agency.
"This meeting provided a forum for our regional agriculture stakeholders to meet for the first time face-to-face with the four ministers all together," said Taylor. "We need to work collaboratively with the Atlantic agriculture industry to ensure its future growth and sustainability."
The ministers met with presidents of the Atlantic federations of agriculture and the chairpersons of the Maritime cattle producers and the Maritime pork producers, as well as other industry stakeholders.
"These meetings have allowed us to have a more in-depth discussion on regional issues facing the agricultural industry," said LeClair. "I look forward to continued collaboration and dialogue with my counterparts to address these issues."
The ministers agreed that holding discussion forums helps to better understand the issues of the Atlantic agriculture industry.
"As Atlantic provinces, we can share our ideas and work collaboratively to advance our respective industries," said Dunderdale. "The position of Newfoundland and Labrador and the message I brought to the table is that to treat each province fairly, we must not necessarily treat them the same. Establishing this principle is crucial to our government and to discussions with the federal government and others."
MEDIA CONTACTS: Paul Harpelle, communications, Department of Agriculture and Aquaculture, 506-457-3549, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Susan Mader Zinck, Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture, 902-424-8963, e-mail: email@example.com; Wayne MacKinnon, Prince Edward Island Department of Agriculture, 902-368-4888, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tracy Barron, Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Natural Resources, 709-72905282, e-mail: email@example.com.