NEWS
10/29/2011 04:51 EDT | Updated 12/29/2011 05:12 EST

Rally To Support Jailed N.B. Farmer

CP

Two federal politicians will join friends and family of imprisoned potato farmer Henk Tepper at a rally Sunday in Grand Falls, New Brunswick.

Liberal MP for Beausejour Dominic LeBlanc and Senator Pierrette Ringuette will both speak at the gathering.

The 44-year-old Tepper has been held in a Beirut prison since March under an international arrest warrant over allegations that potatoes he exported to Algeria in 2007 were rotten.

Supporters are hoping to pressure Ottawa to help the Drummond, N.B., farmer.

Harmien Dionne, Tepper's sister, said the government has given the family almost no information about his situation.

"Once in a blue moon I get an email from my contact up in Ottawa, and they're just kind of saying, 'Henk is doing fine, Henk is healthy, oh, we have no updates at all.' So that's all we're getting from the government."

On Friday, a New Brunswick judge extended creditor protection on Tepper's farm until Nov. 28.

Bob Creamer, Tepper's lawyer, is seeking time to repay more than $8 million owed by Tobique Farms.

Creamer said the companies continue to work closely with the creditors and a court-appointed monitor, and he said he's hopeful a plan will be in place by the court appearance next month.

He said the plan would reorganize the companies so they can continue in the potato business.

In the meantime, the companies continue to operate under court protection.