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Statement on the passing of Nancy Guptill

It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of a groundbreaking leader in our province. Nancy Guptill served her community as a municipal councillor in Summerside, as an MLA, as a Minister, and as a Speaker in the provincial Legislative Assembly. It was in this role that she joined a history-making group of women leaders known as the ‘Famous Five’ – the only time in PEI political history that women have held the most influential and powerful positions in the province.

 

Leader of the Opposition Peter Bevan-Baker: “I was so pleased to be present in the house for the events recognizing the 25th anniversary of the ‘Famous Five’, which Nancy attended with her family. She will be greatly missed.”

 

Status of Women Critic Karla Bernard shares: “Trailblazers like Nancy are a critical part of the story that helps more women see themselves in politics. We still have so much to do - there are only seven women in the current PEI legislature which is not much change from over 25 years ago when Nancy was a pioneer for women in politics in PEI.”

 

The caucus and staff of the Office of the Official Opposition extend their heartfelt condolences to the family of Nancy Guptill.

 

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Statement on "Return to School September 2020" plan released by Minister Trivers

Statement from Karla Bernard, Official Opposition Critic for Education and Lifelong Learning, regarding Public Schools Branch Guidelines for Return to School September 2020


 

First, I want to thank Minister Trivers for producing this document. Despite the build up and anticipation created by government around this plan over the past number of weeks, the details provided are a significant let down.

For weeks I have highlighted the necessity for a mental health lens to be applied to any planning. I am not seeing evidence of this represented in the plan. During the pandemic, students with complex needs fell through the cracks. There is no acknowledgement or provision for these students going forward. This is a glaring oversight.

The plan also places a significant expectation on an already overburdened school system. How will administrators, teachers, bus drivers, EAs, and support staff meet the extra requirements being placed on them?

 

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Official Opposition Education Critic releases ‘Return to School Framework’

Charlottetown, PE – In the absence of a meaningful guide for schools, students, and parents preparing for a return to class this coming fall, Official Opposition Education Critic, Karla Bernard, has tabled a ‘Return to School Framework’ document.

“I am hearing from a lot of anxious people – school staff, students, and parents – who have been asking questions about what the new school year will look like and what preparations need to be made,” explained Bernard, “Eight weeks is a very short time for schools and parents to make the necessary plans for a successful return to school. It is imperative for this information to be made available now.”

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July Green News

Did you know that you can receive our newsletters straight to your inbox? Never miss a thing by signing up to our mailing list here!

 

Just the girls in the Leg - Gotta love this behind-the-scenes pic from the Office of the Official Opposition, depicting a historically very usually scene on PEI - five women MLAs debriefing after kicking butt in the Legislature!

We hope you've had a good first week of July so far!

Even as many of us start heading to the beach, our MLAs continue heading to work at the Legislature, working every day (and often until late into the evening). I find myself with so much admiration for their stamina these days, which as you can read in this newsletter, is resulting in a Legislature that is everything it should be: a place for accountability, oversight, advocacy and bold, new thinking. In this newsletter, we attempt to provide you with at least some highlights of our MLAs' activities in since our last update two weeks ago.

And if you have any thoughts or ideas on any of the ideas being discussed in the Legislature, we love to hear from you! Our Facebook page has been a forum for lively discussion lately, but we also invite you to get in touch via email as well! You can reach us at [email protected], or feel free to write directly to any of our MLAs as well - you can find their contact information at https://www.greenparty.pe.ca/caucus.

Until next time,

Jordan Bober
Executive Director (interim)

In this newsletter:

  • Recent highlights from your Green Caucus
  • District 12 EDA grows its team!
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Official Opposition invites the public to review and provide feedback on its proposed legislation designed to provide greater accountability, transparency, and public input on the issue of sexual misconduct in Island schools

Charlottetown, PE - Children are one of our province’s most vulnerable populations. With 19,000 children in our Island schools we have an obligation to ensure their safety and protection. Recent events have shown us more should, and can, be done to address misconduct in our schools.

It’s important for all sexual misconduct policies of Island schools to be updated regularly. It is also important that the public - family members, friends, and concerned Islanders - have the ability to provide their valuable input into the policy creation and review process.

Karla Bernard, MLA for Charlottetown-Victoria Park and Official Opposition Critic for Education and Lifelong Learning, is proposing legislation to amend the Education Act. These amendments are designed to provide greater accountability, transparency, and public input on the issue of sexual misconduct in Island schools.

 

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Public feedback sought for proposed Official Opposition legislation on non-consensual distribution of intimate images

Charlottetown, PE – Intimacy is an important aspect of healthy relationships. Privacy and the expectation of privacy of individuals involved in a consensual, intimate relationship should be protected. When this privacy is violated, there can be far-reaching repercussions that are lasting and damaging in many different ways. For those harmed, there must be a remedy.

Since the non-consensual distribution of intimate images became a criminal offence in 2015, Prince Edward Island has reported more incidents per 100,000 people than the national average. In 2018, the province had the highest incident rate in the Atlantic region. It is clear the sharing of intimate images without consent is a growing problem in our communities.

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June Green News

Did you know that you can receive our newsletters straight to your inbox? Never miss a thing by signing up to our mailing list here!

 

Congratulations to District 5 MLA Michele Beaton on the passage of her first bill, giving more teeth to the Auditor General by granting them the authority to audit the use of taxpayer funds by third party organizations. 

What a time the last little while has been on PEI; following months of isolation and shutdown, the past couple of weeks have brought some sense of normalcy as more businesses open up, small social gatherings take advantage of the nice weather, and the PEI Legislature finally began sitting again after a long hiatus, bringing much needed accountability and transparency back to the governance of PEI. 

However, in one of the first and biggest signs that Islanders and others around the world are not willing to accept a return to all aspects of the "old normal", thousands took to the streets of Charlottetown on Friday, as in other cities throughout Canada and the U.S., demanding an end to all forms of racism and discrimination.

As Peter Bevan-Baker said in the Legislature on June 2nd, "The legacy of slavery, racism and oppression continues to take new, ever-changing forms in our society. Like those who fought it in the past, we must confront it whenever and wherever it appears and not let it take root."

The Green Party is ready to take on the work of ensuring that our party is part of the solution when it comes to ending the discrimination, violence and underrepresentation that continues to oppress black, Indigenous and people of colour in our society. Please see further below how you can join us in that work!

Jordan Bober
Executive Director (interim)

In this newsletter:

  • "Emergency" Legislative Sitting Recap
  • From the Desks of Green MLAs
  • Call for Volunteers
  • Energy consultation - have your say!

 

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Peter Bevan-Baker on the importance of acting against racial discrimination

I’d like to give gratitude to the Premier for his remarks and also many other members of this Legislature who spoke eloquently on this issue already today.

History teaches us that human society lurches forward, not in a smooth, straight line, but evenly and often violently. Personally, I don’t remember a time when I’ve been more aware of the uneasiness that I sense all around me. The layering of a health emergency, on top of an economic convulsion and now acute societal restlessness is making us all feel deeply anxious. When things are moving so fast, it’s tempting to look for quick fixes. But more often than not, those impulses not only don’t work, but they may contribute to the problem. There are no easy or fast solutions to problems that have their roots reaching back decades and even centuries and are embedded in systemic exploitation, injustice and inequality. That is true for a number of issues: climate change, poverty, racism, all of these are created and perpetuated, at least in part, by systemic exploitation, injustice and inequality.

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Statement from the Official Opposition caucus on protests across North America

Over the past week, protests throughout North America over the deaths of Afro-Americans and Afro-Canadians at the hands of the police have brought attention to the tragic systemic racism that permeates our lives. 

We have seen video footage of peaceful protestors met with paramilitary force; journalists targeted and arrested; and citizens fired on with tear gas and plastic bullets. But the devaluing of Black lives is not just seen in the street, it is seen in almost every aspect of our society from the criminal justice system to public health policy.

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Official Opposition introducing legislation to empower Auditor General to audit government funds provided to third-party organizations

Charlottetown, PE – Premier Dennis King recently announced he asked the Auditor General of PEI to conduct a special audit to review the millions of dollars being spent in COVID-19 relief. However, the current Audit Act does not provide the Auditor General all of the powers necessary to fully complete this audit.

“It is clear that under the current Audit Act the Auditor General does not have sufficient authority to conduct an audit that will determine whether or not funds provided to third-party organizations are being used efficiently and for their intended purpose,” said Michele Beaton, Official Opposition Critic for Finance. “To correct this issue, I will be introducing amendments to the Act in the legislature next week.”

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