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.Read more
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.Read more
Provincial Dental Care Program a win for Seniors and low-income
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.”
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
Hemophilia 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.Read more
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?Read more
The King government loves to talk about our strong economy and growth, and how their policies are keeping the good times going. So how is it possible that PEI has the highest inflation rate in the country this month? And, what does this mean to everyday Islanders?
When the rate of inflation is high, the cost of living increases. Islanders already know this - they see the cost of food, housing, and gas increases every day. Increased inflation also reduces economic growth as people’s purchasing power decreases, and those who can afford to do so invest their money to protect it.
Islanders are paying a higher percentage per month every month for their housing, leaving less disposable income in their pocket. And, surprising no one, the rise in inflation is tied to one of the wicked problems this government has been absolutely reluctant to tackle - short term rentals and their effect on the PEI housing market.Read more
It is becoming increasingly clear that Premier King has abandoned Islanders hoping for and needing a family doctor. In fact, last spring the Premier said in the House that it was unrealistic for Islanders to expect to have access to a family doctor. We are now seeing the effects of this terrible plan of the King government.
Last fall a family doctor in Charlottetown retired. He had over 3600 patients. When Health PEI learned of the retirement, they put in a temporary band-aid solution to cover the patients with nurse practitioners and locums. The contract has since finished and nothing else has been offered in its place.
Patients are now discovering that they will not be assigned a family doctor as there is no family doctor available. They have to join the over 17000 other Islanders already waiting for years for a family doctor. In fact, we were told by the Health department that they themselves had just learned of the situation late last week. Our healthcare system is deeply fractured.