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Taking care of our water and soil, part 2

My last blog was about the problems associated with current agricultural practices on PEI, and because I never like to criticize or complain without offering a positive alternative, I promised to write my next blog on how farming might be done differently on PEI.

I’d like to start by outlining the principles from which I think the future of Island farming should be drawn.

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Green Party names Lynne Lund as candidate for Summerside-Wilmot by-election

Image1.jpgIt’s off to the races. Green Party is first out the gate with the announcement of candidate Lynne Lund in the upcoming Summerside-Wilmot by-election.

SUMMERSIDE: As Charlottetown hosts this Saturday’s Gold Cup and Saucer Race, another race is soon to be called for the P.E.I. riding of Summerside-Wilmot. A by-election date hasn’t been set but one candidate is officially in the running.

The Green Party of P.E.I. was the first to announce its candidate for the by-election this morning. Deputy Leader of the Green Party of P.E.I., Lynne Lund, says she will be running a full campaign in hopes of securing a second seat for the party.

 

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Taking care of our water and soil, part 1

My generation has done a terrible job of living on this planet.

Collectively, we have created no end of enormous problems – social, environmental and economic. It was this that caused me to get involved in politics, and the consequences to future generations of our mismanagement remains my political inspiration today.

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Angus MacLean and hanging up the drills

Today I threw in the towel. It was clear that I couldn’t carry on indefinitely trying to juggle all these balls simultaneously. So I ran up the white flag: cashed in my chips: laid down my arms: packed it in: gave up the ghost: took the count: ate humble pie.

I have been a dentist for over 30 years, and it’s a job I love: I’ve even become quite good at it, if I do say so myself. But despite my best efforts to maintain my office in Hampton, and carry out my duties as MLA for district 17 and leader of the Island Green Party, I have decided to hang up my drills. On Thursday I sold my dental clinic.

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Response to the Speech from the Throne

PBB_in_Leg.jpgPeter’s speech below is a response to the  of 5 April 2016.

Orders of the Day (Government), 7 April 2016
Source: , pp. 108-117.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Monsieur le Président, je suis convaincu que cette session de l’Assemblée législative sera constructive dans l’intérêt de notre province et aussi de notre population et je suis certain que votre dévouement et votre bienveillance sauront nous guider tout au long de cette session parlementaire.

Mr. Speaker, I am confident that this legislative session will be constructive for both our province and for all Islanders, and I am sure that your dedication and your wisdom and kindness will guide us through this parliamentary session.

 

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Politics is interesting

Politics is interesting. It has so many facets and you never quite know how each day will be shaped, and some days are a bit of a blur. However, one aspect of the job that I have found to be consistently positive is standing committee meetings. We have 8 standing committees and one special committee on democratic renewal. I have the privilege of sitting on them all, and it is where I, and all MLAs have an opportunity to further our knowledge on a wide variety of issues. Some of the most useful work we do as MLAs gets done in standing committees. Outside the politically charged environment of the Legislative Assembly, there is a certain freedom and collegiality which almost always makes for constructive discussion. In the last week we have had meetings on topics as varied as the Auditor General’s report, renewable energy, help for grandparents, and strategies for mental health.

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To oppose, or merely to pose?

This week I had the distinct pleasure of speaking with a class of political science majors at UPEI. The discussion centered around democratic reform, but it also branched off in many interesting and provocative directions. Following an answer I gave on how different voting systems affect the behaviour of elected representatives – with some tending to promote antagonism and hostility, while others tend to collaboration and compromise – I was asked what the purpose of the opposition is in a parliament. Surely, the individual insisted, the opposition is there to oppose government and hold them to account?

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Municipal restructuring as a good marriage

Valentine’s Day has got me in a soppy, romantic mood, and it is in this spirit that I offer these thoughts.

I got married almost 30 years ago. I’m a lucky man: I chose the kindest person I’ve ever met to be my wife, and though none of us can predict the future, it looks like we’ll be good for at least a few more years. If Ann were writing this blog, I hope she would say something similar. The years of courtship were special, and the energy and naivety of youth propelled us towards a memorable wedding in St. John’s where the Scottish and Newfoundland families met (and sang, danced, ate and drank together) for the first time. The whole episode from our first encounter (in a dental chair – hold the romance – “do you floss?”…. “I do”) to the wedding (in a spectacular Newfoundland church – bring on the romance - “do you take this woman”……”I do”) was a rollicking delight.

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Getting the best result from electoral reform

With the second round of democratic renewal public consultations about to get under way, I thought it might be a good time to talk about the unique opportunity that PEI has to shape national affairs.

Since its birth, Canada has used the “First-Past-The-Post” system to elect governments at the federal and provincial levels. Prime Minister Trudeau has stated that from now on that won’t be the case federally. The next federal election will use something different to elect our House of Commons.

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The great shuffle kerfuffle

Only Premier MacLauchlan knows what motivated his somewhat unexpected cabinet shuffle yesterday. Was it to initiate the much-talked-about rejuvenation of his government? Was it done out of necessity to shore up a floundering ministry and minister? Was it to appease a disgruntled and fractious backbencher? Whatever it was, I think on balance the new cabinet is better, more diverse and more suited to our needs.

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