In Case You Missed It

A new free counseling service is now available for fishers and their families facing difficult circumstances in their daily lives.

The Fisher Assistance Program is available to members of the Prince Edward Island Fishermen’s Association and the Prince Edward Island Aquaculture Alliance. Financial support for the service is provided by the Department of Fisheries and Communities. 

“We are pleased to support this invaluable service to help individuals and families facing difficult times,” Jamie Fox, minister of fisheries and communities, said. “The health and well-being of those who work in the fishing and aquaculture industries is of prime importance to us.”

Services are offered for a wide range of problem areas including stress and anxiety, alcohol and drug issues, bereavement, depression, marital and family conflicts, and financial difficulties. Trained professional counselors can provide individual and family assessment and can make referrals if necessary. The service is confidential.

Those seeking assistance can contact the Fishermen’s Association or the Aquaculture Alliance.

In openings and closings: Pizza Pizza has temporarily closed its doors in Charlottetown, after less than a year of operation. Namaste PEI has also closed up its catering business after five years. In Summerside, Farmed Market and Craft Butchery closed its doors in mid-July. Also in Summerside, new owners took over Lobster House at The Shipyard, reopening as The Sunset Room at The Shipyard.

The federal and provincial governments announced financial support for Island potato growers under the AgriRecovery Framework. The 2018 Canada-PEI Fall Harvest Recovery Initiative will provide up to $15.6 million to assist affected producers with the extraordinary costs related to excess moisture and cold temperatures during the 2018 fall harvest. Through the initiative, financial assistance will be provided to producers for costs relating to harvest recovery, additional field work, and storage and recovery, including costs associated with cleaning and disinfecting storage facilities. Additional information about the initiative will be available through the PEI Department of Agriculture and Land, and will enable producers to mitigate impacts from the extreme weather and effectively continue their operations.

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, announced 83 new appointments to the Order of Canada and local chef Michael Smith is on the list. He has been awarded as a Member of the Order of Canada. The honour is for his contributions as a chef, entrepreneur, and champion of local foods, as well as for his efforts to develop regional tourism.

Chef Michael Smith, recipient of the Order of Canada
Photo credit: Cheryl Young/Salty

Smith originally came to the Island from New York, but has made PEI his home. Smith has long been an advocate for PEI’s food industries, its farms, and fisheries. In recent years his restaurant, Fireworks at The Inn at Bay Fortune, has become a successful study in farm-to-table dining, with most of their ingredients being farmed or raised on-site at the Inn, or sourced within a short distance.

A major expansion at Charlottetown Metal Products (CMP) will result in new jobs, increases in production, research and development capabilities, and more exports. 

The $7.5 million project will see the construction of a fifty-thousand square foot addition to CMP’s facility in Milton, which manufactures stainless steel food processing equipment and turnkey solutions–the vast majority of which are exported. The provincial government will support the project with a repayable loan worth $4,542,750 from the PEI Century Fund.

“It is vital that the province supports projects that will create new jobs, increase exports, and result in a positive impact on the provincial economy,” economic growth, tourism and culture minister Matthew MacKay said. “This is an excellent example of a local company expanding to better meet the current and future needs of customers, while putting a sharp focus on improving their already quality products.” 

The project is expected to get underway later this year. “This expansion will not only allow us to grow our workforce by about 55 positions, but it will also give us an opportunity to increase and expand our manufacturing, research and development capabilities, as well as our fabrication and installation services in order to increase our level of service to our clients,” CMP president Trevor Spinney said. “The support we are receiving from the provincial government is critical to this project’s success and we are very pleased they see the value in this expansion.”

Congratulations to Island Honey Wine for winning Platinum for their Nectar Sweet Mead and Bronze for their Wildflower Mead at the WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada. The country’s largest competition of Canadian wines is held annually in June. This year 21 judges, made up of Canada’s leading wine writers, trade buyers, and sommeliers, met in Ontario’s wine country to evaluate the current crop of 100 percent Canadian-grown and-made wines and ciders. There were 1815 entries from 259 different wineries from six different provinces.
Island Honey Wine opened their business in Wheatley River in 2017, and currently make five meads. You can pick up a bottle or two at PEILCCs or at the meadery.

Charles and Laura Lipnicki of Island Honey Wine  //Photo Credit: Hanna Hameline

TNT Tuna recently announced that their processing facility in North Lake, PEI has become Canada’s first and only federally certified bluefin tuna processing facility. Fish handled at their plant now qualify for health certificates, allowing them to deliver wild Canadian Bluefin tuna to any country around the world. The PEI Bluefin tuna season opened on July 15.

The Province’s pilot grassland bird conservation efforts will benefit from additional funding over the next two years. Federal funding of $48,000 from Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Species at Risk Partnerships on Agricultural Lands (SARPAL) program will be directed to the Island Nature Trust, who will monitor long term hay fields enrolled for delayed hay cutting through the PEI’s Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) program. 

The monitoring work will examine the reproductive success of bobolink on PEI, resulting in a better understanding of their life history, including nesting site preferences and fledging dates of juvenile birds. 

“We are proud to partner with Environment and Climate Change Canada, ALUS Canada as well as the Island Nature Trust to come up with creative solutions that work for both agriculture and at-risk wildlife species,” minister of environment, water and climate change Brad Trivers said. “We want to give farmers another tool in their toolbox to help manage species-at-risk on their farms.”

The bobolink is a medium-sized songbird found in grasslands and hayfields. It has experienced an 88 percent decline over the last 40 years. In 2017, the bobolink was listed as threatened under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). Early mowing has been shown to destroy nests of bobolink and other bird species that nest in long-term hayfields in PEI; however, delaying the first cut of hay can have a financial implication for farmers, as later hay has a reduced protein level. 

The Province is currently piloting a delayed-haying initiative through PEI’s ALUS program to protect the bobolink and other grassland bird species, including the Savannah sparrow, Nelson’s sharp-tailed sparrow, and various grassland-nesting waterfowl. Participating farmers delay their first cut of hay in long-term hay fields until July 16, after these birds have fledged the nest. 

Minister of agriculture and land, Bloyce Thompson, acknowledges the importance of working with Island agriculture to address on-farm conservation issues. 

“Nobody intends to harm wildlife species through their day-to-day farming activities. We see PEI farmers’ creating value for PEI, not only by producing high quality food, by also by providing services for the environment and public good,” Thompson said.

A recent announcement of an increase in funding will improve access to mental health support for farmers, their families and employees facing challenges. The Farmer Assistance Program (FAP) provides confidential, professional counselling services to farmers who need it during difficult times. Funding for this program has increased to $32,000 for more access to services in collaboration with the Federation of Agriculture, Amalgamated Dairies Limited, Farm Credit Canada, PEI Dairy Trust Fund, National Farmers Union (NFU) and the Government of Prince Edward Island.

The program is free for PEI Federation of Agriculture and NFU Members and is accessible 24 hours a day. The FAP counsellors have experience in a wide variety of areas including stress and anxiety, trauma/critical incidents, alcohol and drug misuse, bereavement, couples and marital counselling, depression, family, and parenting concerns. For more information call 902-626-9787 or find the Farmer Assistance Program online at peifa.ca

Congratulations to Marie Kenny on being elected Chair of the United Nations Committee for the Associated Country Women of the World. She was voted into her new position during the ACWW Triennial Assembly in Melbourne, Australia this spring. She was recently honoured by a celebratory Tea at Government House, the home of Lieutenant Governor Antoinette Perry, which was hosted by Brackley Women’s Institute.

A life member from the Brackley WI, Kenny is the first Islander to hold this international position with this organization. She has been the local, provincial, and national president of the Women’s Institute organization in Canada.

Congratulations to Rebecca Sly, who was recently announced as Executive Chef to Her Honour, the Honourable Antoinette Perry, Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island. Sly will replace chef Gillain Gaudet who has had the role for 12 years. Sly is a recent graduate of the Culinary Arts program at the Culinary Institute of Canada program and came to Canada from Cheshire, England in 2017. She returned to school as a mature student, after 20 years in the culinary industry in the UK. 

She said in her personal Facebook announcement, “I could have only dreamt that when I grew up I would have been given the opportunity to serve a representative of the crown, doing something that I truly love.”

About Salty Staff

A diverse group of people, the Salty team works hard each month to bring you great stories about PEI's food and farming community.

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