Entrepreneur, mother, and forward-looking Islander, Lynne Lund (née Gallant) is the Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Prince Edward Island, working closely with leader Peter Bevan-Baker. Lynne is passionate about shaping a bright future for PEI through politics that is honest, collaborative, takes the long view and gets to the roots of the challenges we face together. She was instrumental in developing the Green Party of PEI’s 2015 platform focussed on good governance, education, economic renewal, and social and environmental responsibility, and played a key role in Bevan-Baker’s 2015 election victory. Lynne currently chairs the Green Party’s Shadow Cabinet and serves as Critic for Economic Development and Tourism.
In October 2016, Lynne Lund ran in a provincial by-election in the riding of Summerside-Wilmot, where her message of "Politics done differently" found resonance with voters. Following a campaign characterized by extensive door-knocking, Lynne's campaign grew the Green vote by nearly 80% over 2015 results, and finished with 22% of the final vote - including 27% of all votes cast on election day.
Lynne Lund was born and lived almost her entire life in Summerside, where her family has been part of the business community for three generations. She currently lives with her husband and two boys on a small homestead near Clinton, and continues to participate in the community and commercial life of Summerside, where most of her family resides.
Combining her desire to leave a better world to her children with her entrepreneurial spirit, Lund successfully operated a cloth diapering business servicing Summerside and surrounding areas for 5 years. She is well known for her work both at the forefront and behind the scenes of numerous social and environmental causes, and is a sought-after speaker and thought leader.
"Using GDP (Gross Domestic Product) alone misses the mark on measuring economic success. Dollars and cents tell only part of the story. Factoring things like rates of poverty and childhood food insecurity, access to affordable housing and wages into our assessments shows how well we're really converting economic activity into quality of life improvements. GDP grows, but Islanders don't see their lives improving with it. It's time to shift focus from growth alone to economic development, and build an economy that increases quality of life and fosters the sort of vibrant rural and urban communities that Islanders want to live in and people from around the world want to visit."
To be honest with you, I like Airbnbs. They can make traveling more affordable, offer unique stays in unlikely places and give homeowners a little additional income; what’s not to like? It’s only been the last couple of weeks that I’m starting to reconsider my answer to that question, and the journey started in an unlikely place.
We were delighted to read the province’s recent announcement of one-time financial support for 16 non-government organizations (NGOs). Discretionary funds are invaluable for these non-profit community organizations to move forward on projects and activities, and we applaud this move.
Supporting the NGO sector is a good investment for so many reasons; the very nature of NGOs means that in addition to creating meaningful jobs, they also are tackling social, environmental or financial injustices. Many provinces have taken steps to recognize and value the contribution of this sector, and rightly so. This announcement, however, did leave us with a few questions.
In a recent op-ed piece, Economic Development and Tourism Minister Chris Palmer rightly stated ‘If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it.’ I wholly accept this logic and thank him for opening the dialogue around this.
I, too, learned this while running my first business. I expect all business owners quickly learn the need to associate a value to things that go beyond the goods or services they have for sale. We learn to measure the cost of time, both time spent and time lost; the cost of mistakes; the value of relationships with our suppliers and the connection to our clients; the worth of a reputation. We quantify things that we’ll never need to report on our tax returns, but that we will use as filters to inform countless decisions we make all the time. After all, if we don’t measure it, we can’t manage it.
Cabinet shuffles bring with them the potential to breathe new life into a portfolio. Every department has room for more vision, and economic development in particular (one of the newly shuffled portfolios) is an area with seemingly limitless room to dive deep. The potential benefits go far beyond a possible increase in the GDP.
Closing schools is an easy fix: it’s quick, decisive and demonstrates action on a file. The flip side of course is that it’s also unimaginative and shortsighted. I’ve been pondering school closures and hub schools through an economic lens, and I wonder if the Minister of Education will sit down for coffee with the Minister responsible for economic development.
Rural PEI has been neglected and overlooked, the Bell Aliant contract serving as a powerful example of this. Our current approach to job creation tends to focus on incentivizing industry to set up shop, creating a measurable amount of new positions in one shot. It looks good on paper, and a government can state with confidence a set number of jobs created during their mandate. Whether the jobs stay or go is secondary.