This has been a very busy and active month in the Green Party of PEI, and we would like to share some highlights with you today!
The by-election in District 10 is in full swing, and our candidate, Chris van Ouwerkerk, has fantastic momentum! Chris has been to hundreds of doors and has been supported by many amazing volunteers in the campaign office at 154 Belvedere, at sign waves, on the phones, and even at a "Tour de D10" bike rally last Saturday!
On Tuesday night, Chris represented himself and the Green Party in a way that we can all be proud of at the CBC Candidates Roundtable - check out this hour-long roundtable <[link removed]=AZUPjRs2OW56x5FlctaxGoOOemtVpSiS8pkmi1qy-dpUztWNw9UoteX9yF1N5FS627MRHVXoAiVPBknx0H7Fhi1oc1xkq0N1npPDYZ72M9zT8GnGgxN71_N-2OnJO6lG94Mln7ukki8oZauJaq6ja_VPYBy9A9WEjPsqM-obRhgDQO4VNrnLFdsSyGUTI9NSFi65WNfKz9R0_uqMn44tCCF4YaW0J4hvDfxzibO-sd-BP4Oa5ZTh6AIbwtUmE36rqdQ&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R> and please share it, especially with your friends who live in District 10, which includes the neighbourhoods of Winsloe as well as parts of West Royalty and Sherwood.
Learn more about Chris at www.chrisvano.ca <[link removed]>, or on his Facebook page <[link removed]>.
The D10 by-election is entering the final stretch, with advance voting beginning this Saturday, and Election Day coming up on November 2nd.
Here's how you can help:
Join us for upcoming SIGN WAVES TODAY at at 4:30 pm, at University Ave and Capital Drive ("Peter Pan corner"), or SATURDAY at 9:30 am at Queens Arms corner - click here for more info and to sign up <[link removed]>. We'll also be organizing more sign waves next week and on Election Day, November 2, so let us know if you'd like to be sent details on things like that!
Come by the office today, Friday or Saturday to help deliver postcards to a District 10 neighbourhood. Sign up here! <[link removed]>
Help make phone calls, enter data on advance voting days (Saturday, Monday and Friday) - contact volunteer coordinator Sally MacDonald at [email protected] if you're interested and for more information.
Follow Chris van Ouwerkerk and the Green Party on Facebook, <[link removed]>Instagram <[link removed]> and Twitter <[link removed]>, and share our posts to reach more people!
Make a tax receipt-eligible contribution to Chris' campaign at www.greenparty.pe.ca/d10donate <[link removed]>
Greens are here to engage with the important issues of the day. Here's just some of what we've been talking about recently:
On Tuesday, government announced its intention to achieve net zero energy consumption by 2030, and net zero emissions by 2040. This is a good thing - the Greens have been pushing for this for a long time, and overcame hesitation and opposition from both PCs and Liberals last year to strengthen our 2030 reduction targets.
However, the King government's track record on action is not nearly as good as its track record for talk, writes Green Official Opposition leader PeterBevan-Baker - just look at its record on mental health, the Water Act or land protection, for example. It is concerning that the government's announcement yesterday does not come with a coherent and concrete action plan to achieve these responsibly ambitious targets.
"Talk is not action. History has proven good ideas die a slow death when we decide to just talk, and talk, and talk. We would hate to see this good idea get stalled in conversation. If it does, we will all pay a price we cannot afford." Read more <[link removed]>
In the early days of the pandemic, the Unit 9 psychiatric ward at QEH was emptied so it could house Islanders who may need to be hospitalized as a result of COVID-19.
Thankfully, PEI did not require hospitalization for any of its positive COVID cases. Unfortunately, patients of Unit 9 who required hospitalization were not given the care they needed.
Unit 9 remains closed to psychiatric patients to this day, months later. Trish Altass, the Green Opposition Critic for Health and Wellness, has been asking the Minister of Health about plans to re-open the ward since April, and despite pledges to start re-opening the ward this fall, it remains closed in spite of the fact there there has not been a single hospitalization for COVID-19 on PEI.
"I am calling on Minister Aylward to finally take this issue seriously and give it the attention that it so desperately needs. Islanders and their families are paying a high price for government’s continuing delay and lack of concern," says Altass. Read more <[link removed]>
Mi'kmaq fishing rights
<[link removed]>The violence and racism faced by Mi’kmaq in Nova Scotia is deeply concerning. Numerous Islanders have been reaching out to the Office of the Official Opposition to also express concern.
Over the last couple of weeks Peter Bevan-Baker, Leader of the Official Opposition, has been sharing his concern over the violence and showing his support of the Mi’kmaq fishers’ right to a moderate livelihood. (September 21, 2020 – Statement of support <[link removed]>; October 1 – Reconciliation and Treaty Day <[link removed]>; October 17 – Tweet on violence against Mi’kmaq <[link removed]>)
In an attempt to get answers from the Premier on his government’s position, the Official Opposition has reopened the PEI Virtual QP with a question directed to the Premier <>.
Support for Community Non-profits
In the spring sitting of the Legislature, the Official Opposition sought a significant funding commitment from the government to help non-profit community organizations <[link removed]> who work with, and for, Islanders across the province. More than ever, government relies on the nonprofit community sector to do the heavy lifting of providing programs and services to many of the Island’s most vulnerable people.
The government commited one million dollars for core operating funds to this sector in its budget presented June of this year. However, it is now October and that money still has not gone out the government’s door.
MLA Hannah Bell writes: "Government’s promise made for a great statement in the House, but it seems that’s all it was – talk. It is well past time for government to take action, honour its commitments and pay its bills. If not, we will watch many in our communities fall through the gaps left when these organizations begin to fail. By then it will be too late to wonder why someone didn’t do something sooner." Read more <[link removed]>
Green Party Acting President Susan Hartley took issue with a recent opinion piece <[link removed]> by Paul MacNeill, which simultaneously called for greater diversity in the legislature while belittling our five strong women MLAs, and that called the Green nomination process a "cumbersome oddity" while also decrying the PC nomination process as having "little to do with democracy, ideas or ability and everything to do with a sprint to sign up party members, whether they support the party or not".
MacNeill's piece was a missed opportunity to seriously discuss democracy and inclusivity, writes Hartley, adding that if someone wants to have an opinion on the Green Party's nomination process, the least they can do is inform themselves about how it really works - Greens are an open bunch and are happy to discuss our democratic processes with anyone.
You can read Susan Hartley's letter to the editor, currently published in the Guardian, here <[link removed]>.