This is where members of the Green Party of PEI elected caucus share their thoughts about contemporary issues on Prince Edward Island.

Thought big money was out of PEI politics? Not yet it isn't.

This Fall Sitting, Green Party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker is introducing a bill entitled An Act to Amend the Elections Expenses Act

The overall aim of the changes we are proposing is to:

  • improve how political parties raise money;
  • make political financing more transparent to Islanders, and;
  • limit the influence of big money on elections.

Current situation

Under the current Election Expenses Act:

  • loans to political parties are not regulated at all;
  • annual financial reporting is limited to an unaudited report of donations;
  • small anonymous donations are completely prohibited; and
  • the spending limit for political parties is extremely high.

These problems lead to a variety of issues that are problematic and are of concern to Islanders.

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LYNNE LUND: Non-disclosure agreements should never silence a victim of abuse

This was originally published as an opinion piece on Saltwire.com on October 7, 2021

What offences should be legal to cover up? When I first learned about the issue of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), this was a central question to the discussion. There are many valid and important reasons, like protecting trade secrets and intellectual property, to have confidentiality guaranteed. But in cases of sexual assault, discrimination, or harassment, all of which are illegal activities, how is it possible that in 2021 it’s still legal for someone to hide an offence? There are several serious impacts when NDAs are misused.

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HANNAH BELL: Feeling the Pinch

You may have recently seen stories about Canada’s annual inflation rate reaching an 18 year high at 4.1%. You may, however, have missed the part that PEI’s inflation rate year over year increase is the highest in Canada. Our rate is 6.3%. Some of this drastic increase in the pace of inflation can be attributed to COVID flattening prices a year earlier, but the numbers are still shocking.

Most Islanders are probably not talking about inflation rates, but they are talking about the rising cost of just about everything – from houses to gasoline to groceries – and that’s what inflation looks like in the real world.

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TRISH ALTASS: Doctors are leaving Summerside and Islanders need answers from government

The following was originally published as an opinion piece on Saltwire on September 21, 2021.

This summer I spent time knocking on doors and engaging with constituents at events and over the phone. By far the No. 1 concern I hear is about health care. Islanders want to know why so many doctors and other health-care professionals are choosing to leave Summerside’s hospital and clinics.

Prince County Hospital in particular has struggled in recent years to retain staff at all levels. For example, in the last sitting of the legislature it was confirmed that two general surgeons were leaving Prince County Hospital. Since then, three family doctors in the Summerside area have also given notice to their patients that they are leaving, as well as at least one specialist.

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Provincial Dental Care Program a win for Seniors and low-income Islanders

Provincial Dental Care Program a win for Seniors and low-income Dental_Care.jpg
Program created in response to Green caucus budget request

Charlottetown, PE – The provincial government has launched a dental care program for low-income Islanders and seniors in response to a request put forward by the Official Opposition Green caucus.

“I am absolutely thrilled with the rollout of the provincial dental program,” said Peter Bevan-Baker, Leader of the Official Opposition. “As a long time dentist, I am acutely aware of the importance of good dental care on overall well-being. I also know the financial barriers that exist for many Islanders who desperately need access to necessary dental care.”

 

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MICHELE BEATON: This is no time to abandon sound hiring practices for health workers

I was completely taken aback to hear the Minister on Friday contemplate abandoning the practice of conducting interviews for healthcare jobs. I do not and cannot support this in any way, shape, or form.

Even though we are in a health crisis, it does not mean the Minister should just abandon sound hiring practices. That is unfair to the worker you just hired, the team that is struggling on the frontlines, and it is absolutely unfair to Islanders who are depending on government to meet their healthcare needs through diligent planning. This is another example of the Minister making decisions in silos without consultation with key stakeholders.

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PETER BEVAN-BAKER: Where is the promised dental program for seniors and low-income Islanders?

As a long time dentist, I am acutely aware of the importance of good dental care on overall well-being. There are numerous studies that show poor dental health has been linked to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, as well as the effect the appearance of your teeth has, for better or worse, on your mental health. I also know the financial barriers that exist for many Islanders who desperately need access to necessary dental care.

In 2020, the Official Opposition asked government in its budget submission to provide an additional $2.5M for dental coverage for seniors and low income Islanders. At that time, the King government promised to provide that funding.

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OLE HAMMARLUND: Local wood is the most sustainable option

While my motion urging government to allow unstamped wood to be used for single family homes was defeated by PC and Liberal MLAs during the spring sitting of the legislature, there are still options available for people who own a wood lot and want to use their own wood to build.

If you qualify as a farm or forestry operation you can build workshops, storage buildings, and other non-residential buildings from your own unstamped wood. If you want to build something to live in, you will of course need stamped wood.

Here you have a couple of options that you could consider.

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MICHELE BEATON: Hemlibra must urgently be added to the provincial formulary

Vial.jpgHemophilia A is a serious inherited bleeding disorder. It is characterized by frequent, painful, and debilitating internal bleeding. It often happens with no apparent cause. When the bleeding happens in joints and muscles, it can lead to serious joint damage and crippled limbs.

When we have the ability to change peoples lives for the better, we must do what we can to make that happen. This is why the Official Opposition requested additional funding to the PEI Drug Formulary in its most recent budget submission. We want to make sure more life changing treatments are available to Islanders.

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KARLA BERNARD: Why won't the King government enforce its own laws on short-term rentals?

PEI is in a housing crisis. This crisis has only grown in the last number of years and the King government has done almost nothing to address it. In fact, the King government seems unable or unwilling to fulfill its duties as a responsible government that makes the hard decisions.

Not only does this mean we are in a dire housing crisis where renters can no longer find affordable apartments and prospective home buyers are being priced out of the market, it also means this inaction from government is having a negative effect on our tourism industry.

As my colleague, Hannah Bell, pointed out: The King government is responsible for all Islanders – not only the ones that can afford to invest in stocks and properties. This leaves Islanders with the question, why is Premier King reluctant to enforce legislation his own government has put in place?

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