April 18, 2018
(SIDNEY, B.C.) — Elizabeth May (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands) is applauding the announcement by Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay that the federal government will spend $80 million to replace the Centre for Plant Health in Sidney, B.C.
“In the days of Stephen Harper, we almost lost it; his government threatened to close the Canadian Food Inspection Agency facility in Saanich, which meant the disappearance of up to 80 full-time and part-time jobs,” said Ms. May. “Such cuts were not only unacceptable economically, but for reasons of science and the environment.
“The Harper proposed move to the Okanagan was imprudent. It put Okanagan ecosystems at risk because potentially plant viruses could escape. In time, I was able to prove that the reason the Plant Health Centre had been made a key quarantine centre was that it is on an island and, even if the worst happened and a dangerous virus escaped, it would remain limited to Vancouver Island.”
“I am grateful to Minister MacAulay for listening to our concerns and preserving this world-class plant health research facility,” said Ms. May. “It is a vital part of the Saanich Peninsula economy, the scientific culture of its communities and its partners across the country. This is a victory for our community, and for all those elsewhere who fought to protect the excellent science done here for over 100 years.”
The Green Party of Canada strongly supports this important investment in science and in protecting Canada’s food, animal and plant resources.