April Green News

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Ever a trendsetter, Green Party leader Peter Bevan-Baker may just have sparked a Sanders-esque mitten fashion craze as he was supporting the Cows Ice Cream #MooLetsTalk Mental Health campaign last month!

Happy Easter and Passover, friends! We hope that you are well and able to enjoy a few of your favourite traditions this year.

It's incredible how much can happen in a couple of weeks in the Legislature, even with this past week being a short one due to the Easter break. In this newsletter, you'll find a digest of what our Green MLAs have been up to.

Have a wonderful weekend, and happy reading!

Jordan Bober
Executive Director

In this newsletter:

 

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Greens working for you in the Legislature - March 14 Update

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With the Legislature now taking a one-week pause following Friday's tabling of the 2021/22 Budget, we wanted to bring you an update highlighting some of the work our Green MLAs have been doing for all of us.

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The government tabled its 2021 Operating Budget on Friday. While the budget includes some good things, it also reflects the same lack of overall vision (and the same vagueness) that we saw with the Throne Speech, and crucially, it leaves out relief for many of those hit hardest by the pandemic: low-income Islanders, essential and frontline workers, seniors, and students.

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Official Opposition reacts to smoke and mirrors budget

Charlottetown, PE - With a soaring narrative filled with exaggerated words of hope and self-praise, the King government released its budget for the upcoming year. Projecting a deficit of at least $112 M, the Minister of Finance rose and gave a story of boutique promises that amounted to crisis management by a thousand bandages.

“To listen to the King government speak today, you would think things are shiny and bright. You would be led to believe it always holds the needs and concerns of Islanders at the centre of every decision and commitment they make,” said Peter Bevan-Baker, Leader of the Official Opposition. “Unfortunately, there is no evidence for these claims.”

In our budget submission on January 6, 2021 the Official Opposition gave government a list of twenty specific requests representing what Islanders have been asking for. In the budget, the government spoke to only twelve of these asks. Sadly, many of the commitments they made in the budget are partial, vague, and lacking any actionable plan.

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In like a Lion - March Green News

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On Pink Shirt Day (Feb 24), the Green Caucus joined other Islanders in taking a stand against bullying, saying "Wherever we are, whatever we do, let's do our best everyday to create a more inclusive, safe space where we lift each other up."

First of all, we hope you are well and want to thank the incredible 11,000 Islanders who went and got COVID tests over just three days last week. Wow! While the sudden emergence of COVID clusters and the B.1.1.7. variant on PEI served as a reminder that we are not out of the woods yet and vigilance is always required, the fact that 7% of our entire population, including thousands of youth, heeded the call to get tested (often waiting long hours to do so) was also a reminder of what makes PEI such a special place to live, and the lengths we are prepared to go to protect this place and each other.

In the backdrop to this, our MLAs were back at work in the Legislature. The Winter/Spring sitting began with a Speech from the Throne outlining the government's new agenda, one that Opposition Leader Peter Bevan-Baker calls "timid and tepid". I was so impressed by Peter and our other Green MLAs' articulate responses to the throne speech - and have highlighted several of them in this newsletter. I HIGHLY recommend listening to or reading them - they will surely get you thinking!

The incredible work of our MLAs reminds all of us how important the work of the Green Party is to find, encourage and support these people, and to do all we can to ensure that the Legislature is filled with intelligent, passionate, articulate and hard-working MLAs guided by Green values. In this newsletter, we remind you of some of the many ways that our Members can get involved in this important work. Not yet a member? It's never too late to join and get involved!

Please enjoy today's newsletter, and have a great weekend!

Jordan Bober
Executive Director

In this newsletter:

  • Greens in the Legislature - responses to the Speech from the Throne
  • April 24 AGM and Provincial Council elections
  • Call for Motions
  • Committees and Working Groups want you!
  • March 17 St Patrick's Day Green Drinks cancelled
  • In loving memory of Daryl Guignion

 

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About-face by Liberals on all-party agreement to postpone Legislature during COVID lockdown "incomprehensible"

Statement by Honourable Peter Bevan-Baker, Leader of the Official Opposition, on agreement by all party leaders regarding COVID safety measures and the PEI Legislative Assembly


Yesterday I met by teleconference with Premier King and the Leader of the Third Party, Sonny Gallant, to discuss the Legislative sitting during the modified red restrictions that are in effect until Wednesday, February 3rd at 11:59 pm. 

After initial discussions, a second call was scheduled with the Speaker and the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly. In this call, it was decided and agreed by all three party leaders to adjourn the Legislature until Thursday at 1:00 pm. It was agreed by all present that the best thing to do was suspend the House so government could carry on the immediate and necessary work to assist Islanders through this difficult time. It was suggested at that time by the Leader of the Third Party that the Speaker would draft a letter for all Leaders to sign and return to the Speaker, and then a joint announcement would be made. 

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Government must provide guaranteed sick leave benefits and immediate financial support for Islanders who are unable to work regardless of employment status

Statement by Honourable Peter Bevan-Baker, Leader of the Official Opposition, on need for government to provide guaranteed sick leave benefits and immediate financial support for Islanders who are unable to work regardless of employment status


During the emergency COVID update yesterday, Premier King made a comment calling on Islanders to not be ‘pandemic heroes’ and stay home during this most recent lockdown. On the surface, this seems like solid advice. However, it fails to acknowledge the almost impossible position it puts many Islanders in.

A large number of Islanders work in service or low-income jobs. For many, there are no paid sick leave benefits. This means when their work is closed due to a public health emergency or they turn down a shift out of an abundance of caution and communal responsibility to limit potential spread, they have no income. This places great pressure on Islanders who are trying to keep a roof over their heads, or to keep the heat and lights on, or to provide food for their family.

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Official Opposition responds to timid, tepid vision for PEI offered by King government in Throne Speech

Charlottetown, PE - After asking for a reset, the King government outlined its priorities and vision for Prince Edward Island in its Speech from the Throne yesterday. Today, Peter Bevan-Baker, Leader of the Official Opposition, voiced concerns over the government’s lack of vision and Premier King’s satisfaction with the status quo.

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Official Opposition releases its Throne Speech submission and list of priorities for Winter-Spring 2021 sitting of the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island

Charlottetown, PE – The Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island is set to resume Thursday, February 25, 2021 with a new Speech from the Throne. After nearly two years in power, the King government is resetting its agenda.

“Islanders have seen decisive action when it comes to our COVID response, largely guided by Dr. Morrison, so it is deeply troubling that we see such a complete absence of decisive action from Premier King on a number of other critical matters,” said Peter Bevan-Baker, Leader of the Official Opposition. “PEI has some serious and complex issues that were affecting Islanders long before COVID arrived, and will be there after the pandemic passes: mental health, housing, agriculture and land, and implementing a just and clean economic recovery. Government must come forward with a vision and execute a coherent plan to tackle these wicked problems.”

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February Green News

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District 21 MLA Lynne Lund reading with her children on Family Literacy Day, January 27th. What is your family reading?

I hope 2021 has been good to you so far! I know that I am constantly counting my blessings to live here on Prince Edward Island.

All of us at the Green Party have been very active during the first few weeks of the year, none more so than our MLAs who are preparing no fewer than eight bills for the spring sitting of the Legislature, which begins on February 25th. The "spring" sitting will open with a throne speech, which is the government's way of pressing the "reset" button and creating a new agenda. We also saw the Premier shuffle several members of his cabinet last Thursday. Our Green MLAs will be pressing for a throne speech that puts the needs of people and a sustainable future first and foremost.

If you'd like to learn more and provide your feedback on the bills our MLAs are proposing, please check out our Outside the Rails series (see below). These have been really interesting and useful discussions, and you can view recordings of any you've missed and sign up to participate in the ones coming up this week and next.

If you support the great work Green MLAs are doing and want to keep building on that, why not join the Green Party of PEI as a member? Right now, we are inviting members to help create our new strategic plan, join our Provincial Council or Election Readiness Committee, or to participate in the development of new Green policies. If you want to learn more about politics and make a positive impact on PEI's present and future, please join us!

Jordan Bober
Executive Director

In this newsletter:

  • Upcoming Events
  • Green MLA updates
  • In loving memory of Bernadette Mulligan
  • Statistics Canada hiring 2021 Census workers

 

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Official Opposition responds to King shuffle of cabinet

Charlottetown, PE - Premier King has signalled his priorities today with a shuffling of his cabinet. A number of portfolios have been suffering due to lack of attention, direction, and investment. Primarily, these have been the Health and Wellness portfolio, and Social Development and Housing.

“Islanders’ patience has been stretched to the limit in these areas. Unfortunately, many families are suffering the consequences of leadership that is either unconcerned or unable to meet these wicked problems,” said Peter Bevan-Baker, Leader of the Official Opposition. “It is a little concerning that the Premier is choosing to appoint Minister Hudson to Health and Wellness - which is arguably one of the most demanding and critical portfolios - when his work in social development and housing has been so insufficient.”

 

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