Charlottetown, PEI, Wednesday, April 27. 2022 – The Prince Edward Island potato industry was relieved to learn yesterday that the original not guilty verdict issued to Skye View Farms in 2019 will stand, and that federal prosecutors have finally chosen to stop appealing this decision.
Most recently, three judges heard the appeal and the majority ruled again in Skye View Farms’ favour. The federal prosecutors have appealed this decision twice, with the last remaining appeal option being the Supreme Court of Canada. The timeframe for launching that appeal ended Monday, therefore the NOT GUILTY verdict remains for the family and their farm. This saga has taken almost six years to get to this point, and the mental and financial toll that this has caused a family farm is beyond imaginable.
“No farm or farmer ever intends to cause any damage, and when Acts of God occur, it is out of everyone’s control. The federal government spent countless resources from taxpayer’s dollars over six years, forcing a family farm to do the same, for the exact same outcome to be upheld. It was a colossal waste. We are relieved as an industry, to see this finally come to an end.” Says John Visser, chair of the PEI Potato Board.
The Prince Edward Island potato industry firmly believes that the charges never should have been laid in the first place, given the widespread damage done via the incredible, once-in-700 year rainfall event that occurred in July 2016. The verdict from this case will likely result in changes in some of the approaches investigators taken in the future. We congratulate Skye View Farms, the Docherty family and legal team on their win in this very long battle.
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The Prince Edward Island Potato Board represents Island potato growers, working together to ensure the long-term profit-ability and sustainability through marketing, advocacy, negotiations, and activities to support quality potato production. Prince Edward Island potato farms grow one-quarter of Canada’s potatoes, injects more than 1.3 billion dollars into the Island economy, and employs approximately eight percent of the Island’s workforce. For more information about the Board and its members, visit: www.peipotato.org
For more information, please contact:
Kendra Mills, Prince Edward Island Potato Board