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He strode in and out of the meeting room with an air of utmost confidence. There was more than that, a haughtiness that sent us the message “I don’t really have to be here to get what I want.”

I had never seen Robert Irving in person before. Actually I have never before seen anyone with wealth and power almost visibly oozing from that kind of persona. The minute this man strode into the room where legislators were holding public presentations about the Deep Well Moratorium I didn’t need to be told: here was wealth and power in the flesh.

He deigned not to speak, just let his CEO do the talking.

A couple MLAs rather lamely asked a few questions, mostly playing to us, the audience.

Then Robert strode out, the CEO a few meek steps behind.

The potato producers, bound to the Irvings by contracts pled for a lifting of the moratorium so they could grow the large potatoes Irvings wanted to meet a demand in the french fry market and of course the Irving Corporation profit line. One could almost smell the fear sweating off their shirts.

Some dozen years hence and an end run has been quietly put in place: deep and wide holding ponds.

These of course will do as much damage to our water source as deep wells.

Indeed Robert Irving need never meet with Islanders or our MLAs ever again. He has the power because he is rich and can do whatever he wants. Also watch the Irvings, after checking their bank accounts in off-shore tax havens, pull the plug on their fries processing plant in PEI. Watch them cancel most or all of the contracts with the growers. Deep wells and holding ponds be damned.

So what if PEI loses its fresh water source, the non replaceable aqua fir. Irvings don’t care. They who have the money call the shots.

Cranky in Millview,

Edith Perry

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