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Statement by Trish Altass, Official Opposition Critic for Health and Wellness, on organizational changes at Health PEI

The health crisis on PEI demands real and immediate action. The past two Premiers have made grand  promises to fix the Island's health system. Sadly, when it came to actual action to improve services, they have failed Islanders time and time again.

These new organizational changes announced yesterday are interesting. They have the potential to be good improvements to a broken system. I am cautiously optimistic and hopeful. The first words I am hearing from the new Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Gardam, are promising. It seems he understands there are deeply rooted issues that are negatively affecting our healthcare on PEI.

Yet, I am also skeptical. While the changes are promising, many Islanders are wondering if this is just a government rearranging the deck chairs on a sinking ship. Advocates, and those who have seen similar changes to our healthcare system over the years, are skeptical this will make any real improvements on the frontline.

 

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Official Opposition asking Islanders and Island Businesses for feedback on legislation to Modernize Electricity on PEI

Charlottetown, PE - Recent government announcements have committed PEI to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2040. These goals are reconfirmed in the Net-Zero Carbon Act, legislation that was introduced by the Official Opposition last fall. This became law after all parties and MLAs agreed unanimously to pass it.

A major part of the transition to Net-Zero will require modernizing our electricity system. This system is primarily regulated by the Electric Power Act and the Renewable Energy Act.

Stephen Howard, MLA Summerside-South Drive and Official Opposition Critic for Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy is planning to introduce two bills in the PEI Legislature to amend these Acts. The House will resume again on February 23, 2020. In advance of this, the Official Opposition is asking the public for feedback on the proposed changes.

 

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Critical Transportation Services Need Support: Peter Bevan-Baker

Statement by Honourable Peter Bevan-Baker, Leader of the Official Opposition, calling on government to support critical transportation services


COVID has had a devastating effect on communities and economies around the world. It has impacted things as diverse as human relationships, food and supply chains, employment, and all parts of the economy. One of the sectors most impacted is transportation. We are seeing that impact on critical transportation services right here on Prince Edward Island and throughout the Atlantic region.

News today tells us that air transportation, already significantly reduced in the region, is being curtailed in some airports entirely, and here on PEI, only a single daily flight to Montreal remains. This means for Islanders who need to travel via air to appointments or work commitments, the only option they have is to fly via Montreal. 

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With Deacon House closure, government shows incoherent policy on shelters

Statement by Hannah Bell, Official Opposition Critic for Social Development and Housing, on government misinformation and inadequate shelter services on PEI


We have learned that Deacon House, an emergency shelter for men struggling with substance abuse, was closed on December 10 – despite recent assurances from the Minister of Health that the rumours of the closure were unfounded. With the closure of Deacon House, there are now only three shelters on Prince Edward Island that have been given the responsibility of meeting the diverse, critical needs of Islanders without secure housing. Two of these shelters are managed by two different government departments that do not share a common mandate or policy regarding Islanders without a home.

The piecemeal, inconsistent approach to giving Islanders a safe place to live is jeopardizing their safety, well-being, and health. It is burdening a system that is already unable to provide the level of care that is necessary to give people the minimal support they need to survive.

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Fall 2020 Legislative Wrap-up

On the final day of the Legislature, the government's $195 million capital budget - the largest in PEI's history - was passed. By focussing more on investments in pavement than on much-needed investment in people (mental health, addictions, and affordable housing, for instance), this was a difficult budget four our Green Caucus to support. Making matters worse, the government also provided much less detail to the Opposition parties on the line items in this budget than it had been for past budgets - perhaps a reflection of the fact that it now has a slim majority of seats in the Legislature.

 

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On the unanimous passing of Motion 97 “In support of the free and safe exercise of treaty rights”

On November 24, 2020 I was pleased to see the motion supporting Mi’kmaq who wish to exercise their treaty right for a moderate livelihood fishery receive the full support of all MLAs from all parties, including the Minister of Fisheries and Communities.

My colleagues and I have been speaking to a number of people who have questions and concerns about how we can respect and support the legal, treaty right of Mi’kmaq fishers to enjoy a moderate livelihood fishery.

The foremost concern that we have been hearing from all fishers, Mi’kmaq and commercial, is a desire to protect and preserve our fishery. The Official Opposition supports and encourages all fishers to have respectful, meaningful, good faith discussions on how to best ensure our fish stocks remain healthy and accessible to all fishers.

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Government places priority on pavement over people in capital budget

Charlottetown, PE - Today the King government released its capital budget outlining its priorities over the next five years. It is clear to the Official Opposition that the government values pavement over people.

“This is definitely not a Green budget. When we were asked in September to provide our priorities to government, we made a submission outlining the areas Islanders have been telling us need immediate and long term attention,” said Michele Beaton, Official Opposition Critic for Finance. “Despite asking for investment in areas like mental health, housing, schools, and the environment that will improve the lives of Islanders, government is stubbornly committed to putting down blacktop.”

 

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November 2020 Green News - Back to the Leg

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Green Party Candidate Chris van Ouwerkerk and more than 50 volunteers ran a fabulous by-election campaign in District 10, adapting to the constraints of COVID-19 to place a strong second place with over 27% of the vote.

This has been and will continue to be a very eventful Fall! Many Green Party members were actively volunteering in the District 10 By-election campaign with Green candidate Chris van Ouwerkerk (more on this below), and as of this past Thursday, our MLAs have shifted from Campaign Mode to Legislature Mode, with a very full agenda planned. Meanwhile, Greens are getting active at the local level following a few months of COVID-induced quiet.

Read all about it in the newsletter below!

Jordan Bober
Executive Director 

In this newsletter:

  • District 10 by-election
  • Green Caucus to do list for the Fall 2020 Sitting
  • Green District Association activities
  • D21+23 "Mask Que Rade" Dinner Dec 2
  • In loving memory of Glen Beaton 
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Official Opposition Priorities for the Fall 2020 Sitting

To-Do-List-Fall-2020-legal-size.pngCharlottetown, PE - The Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island is set to resume today, November 12, 2020 at 2 pm. The Official Opposition Green MLAs are looking forward to returning to the House to continue their effective work of both improving government policies and holding it accountable.

“This has been a summer like no other in recent memory,” said Honourable Peter Bevan-Baker, Leader of the Official Opposition. “Islanders have all pulled together to do their utmost to protect themselves, their families, and their neighbours. We should all feel extremely proud of our Island home and how, together, we have responded to COVID-19.

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Where's the new Residential Tenancy Act?

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.

 

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