Statement by Hannah Bell, Official Opposition Critic for Social Development and Housing, on lack of information around government’s plan to replace the Residential Tenancy Act
The existing Rental of Residential Property Act will be replaced by a new Residential Tenancy Act. The Office of the Official Opposition provided initial input into the first draft of the legislation in November 2019, which resulted in key additions including right of first refusal for tenants; ending rental agreements due to family violence or abuse; and increased protection from eviction for families with school-age children.
In February 2020, government asked the public, including tenants and landlords, to comment on a consultative draft of the legislation. At that time, it also released a background document explaining what the new Act would do.
We are expecting the new Act to be updated with any amendments arising from the comments government received through its consultations. However, we do not know if it has been updated, or if it will be on the legislative agenda this fall or even next spring in 2021. In fact, no updates on the status of the proposed Act have been provided to the public or the Legislature.
What more will it take for the King government to keep its promise and finally close the loopholes in the Lands Protection Act?
Charlottetown, PE - It seems Minister Bloyce Thompson finally received the IRAC report on the long awaited investigation of the Brendel-Red Fox land sale that the Official Opposition first brought to his attention in July of 2019.
“While we are happy to hear the Minister has a report that demonstrates the parties involved did contravene the Lands Protection Act, it is not something we are celebrating,” said Michele Beaton, Official Opposition Critic for Agriculture and Lands. “In fact, it is clearer than ever that the system is broken when it comes to protecting our land.”Read more
Statement by Trish Altass, Official Opposition Critic for Health and Wellness, regarding the ongoing closure of Unit 9
During the early days of this pandemic, government had to make decisions to keep Islanders safe using what little information they had about COVID-19. In an effort to prepare our healthcare system to respond to this virus, government chose to discharge all patients from the Unit 9 psychiatric ward. This unit was emptied so it could house Islanders who may need to be hospitalized as a result of COVID-19.
Thankfully, PEI did not require hospitalization for any of its positive COVID cases. Unfortunately, patients of Unit 9 who required hospitalization were not given the care they needed.Read more
Chris van Ouwerkerk, the Green Party of PEI candidate in the District 10 Charlottetown-Winsloe byelection, is calling for greater openness and transparency on zoning decisions.
“When I speak to members of the community, I keep hearing that they are worried and confused by decisions on new developments,” said van Ouwerkerk. “We are all aware of the need for increased housing in the Greater Charlottetown Area, and nobody is opposed to new development. This is a great place to live. But it often feels like the communities in Sherwood and Winsloe are not given the same opportunity for public input that the older areas of the city receive.”Read more
CHARLOTTETOWN - The Green Party of Prince Edward Island announced the first nomination contestant to be approved to seek the Green Party of PEI nomination for the upcoming by-election in District 10, Chris van Ouwerkerk.
Charlottetown, PE - Today is Treaty Day on PEI. It is 295 years since the first Peace and Friendship Treaty was signed between the Mi’kmaq and British Settlers. There were a series of Treaties signed that guaranteed Mi’kmaq the right to hunt, fish, gather and earn a reasonable living. These Treaties are also protected and affirmed by the Canadian Constitution.
The Official Opposition encourages Islanders to engage in the work of reconciliation and learn about the Peace and Friendship Treaties.
“We often talk about reconciliation and what it looks like, but little has been done to advance it,” said Peter Bevan-Baker, Leader of the Official Opposition. “To begin the important journey of reconciliation together, we must start from a place of understanding. I encourage all Islanders to learn more about the Treaties we have with the Mi’kmaq and to engage in meaningful and intentional ways.”
Official Opposition MLAs celebrate Gender Equality Week by recognizing contributions of Island Women
Charlottetown, PE - To mark Gender Equality Week, Opposition MLAs have been highlighting the contributions of Island women in creating a more diverse, inclusive, and equal PEI on social media using the hashtag #becauseofyou.
“I am proud of the work of individuals like Marie Burge, Erica Rutherford, Kirsten Lund, Chief Darlene Bernard, Sweta Daboo, Amber Jadis, and so many more Island women,” said Karla Bernard, Official Opposition Critic for the Status of Women. “While much has been done to advance equality on the Island, there is still so much work left to do.”Read more
Statement from Honourable Peter Bevan-Baker calling for respect of Mi’kmaq right to moderate livelihood
For far too long Aboriginal Peoples have had to fight for recognition of their rights as the first inhabitants of the land now known as Canada. They have been oppressed and dismissed for expecting Canada to honour and respect the treaties and agreements made with them.
In recent years we have talked about reconciliation and what it looks like, but done little to advance it. The time for talking has passed. Now the time has come to put words into action and to do the hard work of reconciliation.Read more
Statement by Lynne Lund, Official Opposition Critic for Environment, Water, and Climate Change on concerns regarding stewardship of our natural resources
Like many Islanders, I was concerned to learn government issued a permit to withdraw water from the Dunk River despite the river already being well below normal levels. We know this has been an extremely difficult summer for farmers. But much of these difficulties are a direct result of climate change. Drier summers are expected to be our new normal, and that’s why it’s critical we find solutions that protect all of our resources, land and water, so farming can survive, and thrive, as well.
What we need is a sustainable vision for our Island that balances the very real needs of our industries with the very real threat of climate change.Read more
I am concerned about the delay over the promised increases to Early Childhood Educator (ECE) wages.
Our ECEs are on the frontlines of supporting families as they navigate our new COVID reality. I have already outlined ongoing concerns from our ECEs and the families who depend on their support in a number of questions in the House, on public statements, interviews, and in numerous blogs on the Official Opposition website.