May Celebrates Decision to Keep Plant Health Centre Open

On Tuesday, October 30th, 2012 in Press Releases

Elizabeth May, MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands and Leader of the Green Party of Canada, is today celebrating the Conservatives’ reversal of their decision to close the Centre for Plant Health on the Saanich Peninsula.

“I am grateful to Minister Ritz for listening to our concerns and for re-thinking the earlier decision to move its quarantine and virus testing functions to Summerland, which is the heart of British Columbia’s fruit and wine region,” said May. “This is a victory for our community, and for all those elsewhere who fought to protect the excellent science done here for 100 years”.

Residents from Saanich-Gulf Islands and from across BC signed petitions, asking that the Centre remain open, including the following petition that was presented by Elizabeth May yesterday, October 29th, 2012, in the House of Commons:

“Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to present a petition from constituents in my riding, from Salt Spring Island, Galiano and throughout Saanich. The petition calls upon the Minister of Agriculture, with whom I have had several personal conversations on the matter, to reconsider the closing of the plant health centre, which for 100 years has served the interests of science in understanding viruses. Since 1960, it has been the national centre for the quarantine of plant viruses. It is simply not feasible to pursue the current plan to move these facilities to the Okanagan. Therefore, I table this petition, which is calling for the plant health centre to remain open, on behalf of my constituents.”

The Centre for Plant Health is a crucial site for the quarantine and virus-testing of new plant stock, and has been strategically located across the Salish Sea from the province’s mainland in order to prevent the transfer of viruses or pests to British Columbia’s primary agricultural regions. And while 6 positions are being moved to Agriculture Canada’s facility in Summerland, 23 full time positions are being saved, and the Plant Health Centre will remain open.

“This is a wonderful 100th birthday present to the Plant Health Centre”, said May, “and proof that a group of determined and engaged citizens can have a real impact. Thank you to all those residents of Saanich-Gulf Islands who took part in this campaign.”

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  • Irene Johansen

    Brava Elizabeth, and Bravi to all who took the opportunity to speak up for what you believe to be right.

  • Maggie O’Scalleigh

    Thank you Elizabeth and your dedicated constituents for for your inspiring hard work! Now if we can only get the Conservatives to hear us with regard to Chinese – Canadian trade treaties, oil tankers and pipelines!

  • Fran Christie

    Thanks Elizabeth and your constituents . Now can you work on why they are closing the PFRA tree nursery . It is more insanity and needs to be stopped too . Thanks sincerely Fran Christie

  • #shafto3

    great news for all, this is one of the many things that we need to keep forward in our quest for true government ideas that protect the Canadian populas.

  • oakland57

    Love your dedication and the great work you do.
    I thought I was aware of most issues affecting the environment. Is anyone aware that aluminum and barium particles are being sprayed into the atmosphere, globally, to cool the planet? These dangerous toxins eventually fall back to earth, affecting the people, land, water, and air.

  • George Atkinson

    Thanks Elizabeth, I am encouraged that people are finally catching on to this guy and his Milton Freedman “Disaster Economics” Harold Atkinson

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