The May 30 vote in Nova Scotia resulted in the re-election of a Liberal government including Keith Colwell, minister of agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture (Preston-Dartmouth). Formerly from a New Brunswick farm which dates back to the 1700s, Colwell has been highly respected by the agricultural community.
“The horticultural industry has been well supported in the last few years and we’d like to see this continue,” says Blake Sarsfield, president of the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers’ Association. “The five-year replanting program has gone well.”
With labour as the number one issue for growers, Sarsfield encourages the continued support of the provincial government for the Seasonal Agricultural Workers’ Program. About 1,500 workers come to Nova Scotia under this arrangement every year.
If there’s one issue that needs more attention, it’s the upkeep of roads to allow the transport of high-value produce. To put the issue into perspective, the Nova Scotia apple industry exports a percentage of the crop to the U.S. – a trip that takes seven to eight hours from the Annapolis Valley to St. Stephen, New Brunswick. The small town is situated on the east bank of the St. Croix River. It’s this river that forms a natural border between Calais, Maine and St. Stephen.