CHARLOTTETOWN - The Green Party of Prince Edward Island completed the second and final installment of its 2021 Annual General Meeting on Saturday, May 8th.
The online meeting began with an afternoon session on April 24th, which included regular AGM business including the Annual Report, Financial Report, Leader’s Address and Provincial Council elections, and at which discussion of the first of seven member-submitted policy resolutions was begun. The second session on May 8th was devoted to the continued discussion of the policy motions as well as four motions to amend the party’s constitution & bylaws.
“Saturday marked the culmination of more than two years of hard work by volunteers to develop robust processes by which Green Party members can develop and submit policy motions for consideration and adoption at a General Meeting,” said Green Party of PEI President Susan Hartley. “As a party which holds Grassroots Democracy as one of our core values, this has been an important priority for us. I am thrilled to see the ideas of our members being discussed, strengthened and supported by large majorities, and becoming our first official member-approved party policies.”
Policy resolutions are still subject to a membership-wide ratification vote to be held within 60 days of the General Meeting, before they are officially adopted as party policy.
The following policy resolutions were passed by members at the AGM on April 24th and May 8th:
- PEI Commission on a Sustainable Future for Farming (Sponsored by Pauline Howard): This resolution calls for a government-sponsored, inclusive, non-partisan Commission to be established to examine the future of farming on PEI. The Commission is to be comprised of representatives of farmers, processors, First Nations, and the civil society, including rural and urban communities, as well as subject matter experts. The Commission’s mandate will be to develop and consult on a ten- year plan on how PEI can transition to a model of agriculture that is sustainable ecologically, economically, and socially, with consideration to all connected issues, and what role governments, industries, and citizens can play in fostering this transition.
- Protection of Pollinators on Prince Edward Island Including Protection of Honeybees and Bumblebees from Infestation by Small Hive Beetle (Sponsored by Stan Sandler): This resolution states Green Party of PEI promotes strong, evidence-based policies to protect the health of pollinators on PEI including: reducing the use of pesticides, protecting honey bees, native bees and other pollinators from the introduction of exotic pests by establishing import conditions that are science-based, and conserving and expanding the amount of healthy pollinator habitat and forage available on PEI.
- Championing Citizens’ Assemblies for deliberative democracy & building civic capacity, especially on the issue of Electoral Reform (Sponsored by Anna Keenan): This resolution supports the use of Citizens’ Assemblies to consider and develop nuanced proposals for solutions to challenges where progress has been impeded by the limitations of our system of electoral representation, particularly partisanship, and where non-partisan citizen deliberation could make progress. In particular, it considers electoral reform as among the highest-priority challenges which could be considered by a PEI Citizens’ Assembly.
- Include bicycles and e-bikes (pedal assist bikes) in zero-emission vehicle rebates and financial incentive programs (Sponsored by Omair Imtiaz): This resolution calls for bicycles and e-bikes to be included in incentive programs offered for other types of zero-emission transportation options.
- Provincial Tax Credit for Renters of Long-Term Residential Housing (Sponsored by Stratford Greens Regional Association): This resolution calls for a financial feasibility study to assess the creation of a Renter’s Tax Credit program in Prince Edward Island. Renter’s Tax Credit programs currently exist in Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba.
- Review of Junior High School Projection Numbers in Catchment East of Charlottetown (Sponsored by Stratford Greens Regional Association): This resolution seeks that the government address the issue of junior high classroom numbers through a study, which uses the most recent statistics and data produced locally with the intention of addressing the question of constructing a new junior high school in Stratford. The study methodology would then be adopted by the department of education, for evaluation of school capacity needs across the province.
- Climate Change Investment Fund (Sponsored by Phil Ferraro): This resolution states that the Green Party of PEI seeks that a government-sponsored climate change investment fund (CCIF) be established to support and encourage investment in enterprises that can bring forth a reduction in fossil fuel consumption in Prince Edward Island. This CCIF would facilitate the reduction in fossil fuel usage through a program whereby the Provincial government would offer tax credits for those investing in enterprises that provide goods, services and technologies that reduce fossil fuel usage, as well as businesses that practice regenerative agriculture and forestry by sequestering carbon in the soil. The program could be modeled on the Nova Scotia Community Economic-Development Investment Fund or other similar initiatives.
Members also passed a series of amendments to the party Constitution & Bylaws, most significantly including a constitutional amendment which proposes a restructuring of the party’s Provincial Council by replacing most role-specific positions with at-large positions, and giving Provincial Council greater flexibility to define Council roles, priorities and working methods. As a Constitutional amendment, this proposal, too, must be ratified by a two-thirds majority of members within 60 days before taking effect.
On April 24th, the Green Party of PEI concluded its annual Provincial Council and Ombuds Committee elections, with the following members elected or re-elected:
- President: Susan Hartley;
- Vice President: Patrick Lévêque;
- Secretary-Treasurer: Chrismarlon Perera;
- Fundraising Chair: Maria Rodriguez;
- Membership & Volunteer Chair: Ryan Cooke;
- Central Representative: Aaron Brown;
- Eastern Representative: Omair Imtiaz;
- Male Ombudsperson: Greg Bradley.
Learn more about Provincial Councillors at www.peigreens.ca/council.