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The King government must address the crises in health, housing, and climate if it is serious about the wellbeing of Islanders

The Prince Edward Island Greens firmly believe the success of our province is rooted in the wellbeing of its people. In the upcoming fall sitting of the Legislature, the Official Opposition Green caucus will be holding the King government accountable for its handling of the triple threat Islanders are facing – health, housing, and climate.

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LYNNE LUND: Non-disclosure agreements should never silence a victim of abuse

This was originally published as an opinion piece on Saltwire.com on October 7, 2021

What offences should be legal to cover up? When I first learned about the issue of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), this was a central question to the discussion. There are many valid and important reasons, like protecting trade secrets and intellectual property, to have confidentiality guaranteed. But in cases of sexual assault, discrimination, or harassment, all of which are illegal activities, how is it possible that in 2021 it’s still legal for someone to hide an offence? There are several serious impacts when NDAs are misused.

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OLE HAMMARLUND: New rural bus routes need fewer barriers

A good service helps people. A great service helps all people. The rural bus service announcement is good. It will help people in rural areas to travel to places of employment, school, and appointments at affordable rates.

However, the service as presented isn’t great. Already our office is getting calls from Islanders who are being left behind.

Islanders needing mobility assistance will not be able to use this new bus system unless they book travel at least 72 hours in advance. This means if they need to attend a walk-in clinic, or make a last minute appointment with a specialist, or go run an unexpected errand, or attend a job interview, or need to help family in another community, they will be unable to go.

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LYNNE LUND: Government needs to provide support for Islanders accessing the Vax Pass

The PEI Vax Pass came into effect today. Islanders understand the importance of this measure designed to safeguard every person on PEI. They are keen to ensure their neighbours and families are able to safely engage in community activities. However, some are experiencing challenges in obtaining a PEI Vax Pass.

“Not all Islanders have access to the tools necessary to access their COVID vaccination records,” said Lynne Lund, Official Opposition Critic for Justice and Public Safety.

The PEI Vax Pass requires Islanders to produce a printed or electronic copy of their vaccine record and a valid government issued ID. This is making things difficult for some Islanders.

 

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Todd MacLean nominated as Green Party of PEI Candidate for District 16 By-election


CORNWALL
- At an online nomination meeting Monday evening broadcast from Cornwall, Green Party of PEI members officially nominated
Todd MacLean as their candidate for the upcoming by-election in District 16 Cornwall-Meadowbank.

MacLean ran uncontested for nomination, however as per Green Party of PEI nomination rules, members had the option of voting for “none of the above”. All of the ballots cast electronically by meeting participants endorsed MacLean to be the Green candidate for District 16.

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KARLA BERNARD: Concerned about the new " basic income guarantee"

Last week, some new increases to social assistance allowances came into effect, including increases to optical, funeral, and pregnancy food allowances and the expansion of some shelter supports for people with disabilities. The Official Opposition Green caucus has been a consistent and vocal advocate for ensuring our social programs take care of the most vulnerable. We are pleased to see these limited increases.

 

However, I am concerned by what the Minister is framing as a targeted basic income guarantee.

 

A basic income guarantee is unconditional and would be available to every Islander not having a basic level of income to meet their fundamental human needs. Simple top-ups to existing allowances based on complicated eligibility rules and policies do not constitute a basic income guarantee. In fact, the $2.3M budget investment to extend the secure income pilot program falls short of investments in tourism or tax cuts for businesses. (see:
https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/sites/default/files/publications/web_dpc-1689_budget_backgrounders_final_march_11.pdf)

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Green News - October 2021

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Rain or shine!
Greens were out spreading the word in Cornwall recently, emerging a bit soggy but with smiles bigger than ever :-)

Happy October! Don't you just love this time of year - the crisp air, trees preparing for winter in a blaze of glory, the Earth's abundance in full evidence all around us?

This is also the time that political life gets into full swing. Today, we are:

 

Read on for all this and more in this edition of Green News!

Jordan Bober
Executive Director

In this newsletter:

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MICHELE BEATON: We need more leadership in restorative care

I am happy to hear that the residents at the Sherwood Care Home are getting a much needed upgrade to their living quarters. The Sherwood Care Home has deteriorated to a point that it no longer meets building code standards.

To make this move, it means the Prince Edward Home has lost 12 restorative care beds. These beds were refurbished to become long-term care beds to house Sherwood Home residents. Health PEI was forced to remove restorative care beds because this government has refused to invest in public long-term care infrastructure. This is of grave concern to me. I have spoken to so many seniors regarding the lack of care beds already, and it appears that things are only going to get worse.

Why does this matter? What importance do restorative care beds play in our healthcare system? Restorative care beds house patients who no longer need hospital services, but are not quite ready to return home. These patients are also known as Alternate Level of Care (ALC) patients.

For example, restorative care beds are used after a surgery or a fall when a patient still needs to heal and receive therapy but doesn’t need the acute services that a hospital bed provides. When restorative care beds are not available, those patients end up staying in hospital.

Financially, it costs significantly more to operate a hospital bed than a restorative care bed. Living in a hospital for months on end is also not a good quality of life for ALC patients. We are, unfortunately, the number one province in Canada when it comes to keeping patients in hospitals when they would be better served in community or long-term care settings. This is not a title we should be proud of.

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TRISH ALTASS: Women should not be invisible members of society when it comes to our provincial economic recovery!

The COVID-19 pandemic has had disproportionate impacts on women in the workforce. They are more likely to work in sectors of the economy most impacted, they are more likely to have lost their employment, and they continue to face challenges returning to work. Yet, there has been no specialized response or strategy to ensure a just and fair economic recovery for women.

While I’m appreciative of government’s commitment to conduct regular gender and diversity analyses of its programs and policies, I’m worried about the serious absence of key women-focused actions to support their economic conditions. The absence of recommendations specific to women in the long-awaited report from the Premier’s council for recovery and growth, is stark.

Affordable and accessible child care is key to women’s labour force participation. In recent months there have been cursory references to increasing investment in early childhood education and child care, and we are cautiously hopeful for the new Federal-Provincial child care agreement.

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PETER BEVAN-BAKER : We need a clear and compelling vision that will prepare our province for the post-pandemic world.

The Green caucus, for months and months, has pushed the King Conservatives for its economic recovery plan. The report from the Premier’s Economic Council, finally released yesterday, clearly expresses the vast difference between the Conservative idea for PEI’s future and the Green vision.

The Green caucus firmly believes that any economic recovery plan must be framed in how we can work together to achieve a fairer and more equitable society on PEI. Our province works better when it works for all of us. Unfortunately, this is not the approach advocated by the Premier.

Unsurprisingly, the Conservative idea for the future of our province is extremely pro-business. The pandemic has had an enormous impact on workers, yet there are only vague mentions in the report of changes to improve the working conditions of Islanders. In fact, the report makes no concrete commitment to legislated paid sick days or raising the minimum wage to a living wage.

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