Fair taxation

Charlottetown - It’s not easy to develop budgets to pay for the necessary programs and services Islanders need and depend upon. An important responsibility of government is how it spends tax dollars. If it spends wisely, Islanders benefit. If it does not, Islanders suffer needlessly by not having their needs met and having to pay more than their fair share.

“Last week I asked the Minister of Finance about how government is making decisions regarding the funding of programs and services Islanders depend on,” said Michele Beaton, Official Opposition Finance Critic. “Islanders are concerned government is choosing to find an easy way out of fulfilling its responsibility to spend Islanders’ tax dollars in a fair and ethical way.”

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May Green News - Legislative updates and Events

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Green MLA and Environment Critic Lynne Lund scored some good laughs with her analogy comparing the fight against climate change with a game of hockey on Earth Day. Click on the image above to watch it!

A lot's been happening in the Legislature lately - our Green caucus has had some significant successes as well as a few defeats (such as the Voting Age Act.) This newsletter will give you a chance to catch up on some of the highlights.

Have an amazing May, and we'll be in touch again soon!

Jordan Bober
Executive Director

In this newsletter:

 

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Increased transparency and accountability in healthcare decision making with passing of Official Opposition Bill

Charlottetown, PE - After a fulsome debate in the Legislature, amendments to the Health Services Act introduced by the Official Opposition were passed today. These changes return authority back to health experts to implement our provincial wellness plans.

“I am pleased to see government recognize the need for increased transparency in the decision making process for health care,” said Trish Altass, Official Opposition Critic for Health and Wellness. “The changes I put forward for the Health Services Act give more power and authority to the Health PEI board to implement our provincial wellness plans. This change greatly reduces the possibility of political interference.”

 

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King Government denies Island Youth a voice in decisions impacting their futures

Charlottetown, PE - The Official Opposition legislation to lower the voting age to 16 was defeated by the King government today.

“It appears the slogan ‘it’s about people’ is nothing more than a politically convenient tagline. Today the King government decided to exercise its majority privilege to deny Island youth an opportunity to engage in the democratic process,” said Karla Bernard, Official Opposition Critic for Education and Lifelong Learning and bill sponsor.

“As MLAs we are elected to represent Islanders, regardless of their ability to vote,” said Bernard. “What government seems to not understand is, by denying franchise to our youth, they are refusing to empower a valuable, important sector of our society and are denying them a voice in decisions impacting their futures.”

Youth are already showing leadership by advising government through such bodies as the Premier’s Youth Council and the PEI Children and Youth Table. In fact, the Child and Youth Advisory Committee of the PEI Office of the Child and Youth Advocate has written to all parties recommending a voting age of 16.

“Youth are absolutely engaged as far as they are permitted to be,” said Bernard. “Our youth are educated, passionate, and in many ways leading in areas of community and social responsibility. We have invited them to such things as the Premier’s Youth Council. We allow them to vote on the leadership of a political party at age 14.”

The United Nations, through the Convention on the Rights of the Child, has called on legislative bodies to ensure the best interests of the child are a primary consideration in all actions. UNICEF Canada has also written in support of lowering the voting age to 16.

“Today we learned that the King government is not really progressive at all. We have also learned the big Liberal tent actually does not have enough room for everyone. These old school attitudes and exclusionary policies are tiresome, outdated, and out of touch.”

“I would ask my colleagues in the House: ‘how did your vote today advance the best interests of the child?’”

 

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Member & Caucus Updates - April 17, 2021

This week, Green Party of PEI members are preparing for our Annual General Meeting next Saturday, April 24th, while our MLAs are preparing for another week in the Legislature.

Read on for important updates for members, as well as some highlights from the Green Caucus since our last newsletter!

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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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