When I got into the local pig selling business, the Summerside (Prince Edward Island) abattoir crew was the biggest reason I could make it all work. My business has grown a lot in the past 20 years, largely hinged on access to their skills and that plant. Now the local farmers are largely gone. The plant cannot work on a much-reduced level. That plant has to close. These things happen.
The local farmers using that plant, such as myself circulate a lot of money on the local economy. It would surprise you how much. We don't get to keep any, mind you; it all goes to pay bills.
If I was the provincial minister of agriculture, I would step up and build a new micro abattoir somewhere in the Summerside area. East Prince is a rich agricultural area and a user pay abattoir would accommodate the local farmers greatly. I have worked hard to build a business and a lot of people have worked hard in this area for the buy local movement. What point is there in the liberal Agriculture minister talking about the importance of agriculture if they won't maintain basic infrastructure?
Why should I have to build my own killing plant to be in the local economy? I'm milking cows, raising free-range pigs and raising a family. I have enough to do.
Robert Ghiz has pledged 5 million dollars for the 2014 confederation legacy project. Party money. Real smart planning there. I want a micro abattoir for the Summerside area. Call it the confederation abattoir or whatever, Robert.