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Statement on Tragedy in Nova Scotia

This past weekend has shaken the Atlantic region with the impact felt throughout the country. Many Islanders are closely connected with individuals who have either lost their lives, or someone they love in the senseless acts of violence in Nova Scotia.

There are no words adequate enough to convey how I feel. I cannot begin to imagine the depth of sorrow and grief being felt by friends, neighbours, and family members. The enormity of the tragedy is still being revealed.

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Statement by Peter Bevan-Baker on the importance of accountability and transparency through public oversight during this pandemic

As the Official Opposition, we have a responsibility to help provide oversight of government policy, initiatives, programs, and services. From this oversight, we hold government accountable for its actions, seek to improve policy, and help provide transparency to the public.

This duty of oversight is especially important during times of crisis. In response to COVID19, government has been given an exceptional license to spend outside their regular budget, not to mention new powers under the Emergency Measures Act. In this situation there is a greater need for public transparency and accountability.

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Statement from Michele Beaton on unnecessary restrictions placed on “ferment-on-premise” businesses

Restrictions in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 are important and necessary to contain the threat. These restrictions change our day-to-day life. It is equally important for government to review provincial regulations to ensure businesses can responsibly operate as close to normal as possible under the circumstances.

Residents on Prince Edward Island enjoy the option to brew their own alcohol through “ferment-on-premise” facilities located across the province. However, with physical distancing and gathering restrictions in place, it is no longer feasible for customers to brew or bottle their own alcohol. This means Islanders are being denied a source of product the province has determined to be essential, and small businesses are unnecessarily prevented from continuing to earn an income. 

Under the Liquor Control Act Regulations, customers are required to be central to the brewing process, and it prevents a “ferment-on-premise” operator from bottling or delivering the product to the customer.

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April Green News | Resources for life under COVID-19

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Congratulations to Districts 5 and 6 on forming the Stratford Green Party Regional Association on March 9th! R to L: Darlene Doiron, Jordan Bober, Mary-Ellen MacMillan, Robert Hughes, Jana Mutch and MLA Michele Beaton.

It is impossible to begin this greeting without acknowledging the way in which our world has been turned upside down in the past few weeks, and that just days after the photo to the right was taken at the Stratford Regional Association founding meeting, standing in such close proximity to each other would become taboo.

Islanders can be proud of how we have adapted, pulled together, adhered to the advice of Dr Heather Morrison, and become inventive in such a short time. We will need to do much more of all of those things before this is over. This crisis is revealing things about both the strengths and weaknesses of our society, institutions and systems that cannot be un-revealed; let us work together to make our Island even more compassionate and more resilient not only now, but once things start returning to "normal", too.

In this newsletter, you will find a link to a new collection of COVID-19 resources that we are curating on our website - one of the small ways we would like to help our community during this time. The list is amazingly long, although there are still gaps in supports that will hopefully be added soon.

Take good care of yourself and your family and neighbours! To echo Peter Bevan-Baker, "I believe we're going to emerge from this into a better and a healthier and a more caring world".

Jordan Bober
Executive Director (interim)

In this newsletter:

  • COVID-19 resources
  • Online Annual General Meeting report-back
  • Our Green Caucus
  • The Green Virtual Gathering

 

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Statement from Hannah Bell on provincial Temporary Rental Assistance Benefit

appreciate government is dealing with immense challenges during this time of great uncertainty. Governing can be difficult in the best of times. It is made even more so when it has to be done in the face of a global public health emergency. During this time of significant health risk, it is critical for implemented programs and services to safeguard as many Islanders as possible.

The announcement of the $1M Temporary Rental Assistance Benefit, while important and critical, does not go far enough to adequately safeguard vulnerable Islanders.

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Official Opposition calls for moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent

Charlottetown, PE – These are times of deep anxiety, particularly for Islanders who find themselves suddenly without financial means for reasons beyond their control. With many Islanders unable to meet their rent obligations, the Official Opposition is calling on the government to bring about an immediate halt to evictions for non-payment of rent, and a freeze on rental rate increases. Additionally, the government should consider extending the existing rental supplement program to support Islanders in financial distress as a result of COVID-19.

“Many Islanders have abruptly become unemployed due to the necessary measures taken to respond to the threat of COVID-19,” said Honourable Peter Bevan-Baker, Leader of the Official Opposition. “As a result, they are facing the very real possibility of being evicted due to non-payment of rent. This is a concern that I have repeatedly brought forward at the government COVID-19 response situation table that I sit on. Despite presenting policy options to the government, there is still no clear plan to safeguard people who are at risk of losing their safe havens.”

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Statement by Hon. Peter Bevan-Baker on release of Auditor General's report

At this time, our focus remains with helping Islanders as our province responds to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, I want to take a moment to acknowledge the release of the Auditor General’s report.

Since 2013 Jane MacAdam has been serving Islanders as our province’s Auditor General. In her role as AG, she has successfully held government to account for how it has managed public funds and resources. Her keen attention has highlighted areas where accountability, transparency, and management can and should be improved. Her work as been invaluable.

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Statement from Hannah Bell on impacts of STRs on local communities

For years, the Official Opposition and members of the public have sounded the alarm on the negative impacts of short-term rentals (STRs) on housing in local communities. New research solicited by the City of Charlottetown shows that those concerns were well founded.

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Government’s failure to plan early childhood programming to meet actual needs is jeopardizing Island children

Charlottetown, PE - During the 2019 election, the PCs announced they would introduce a pre-kindergarten program if they formed government. Now it seems they are about to try and push forward a program without proper planning.

“I am shocked government seems intent on rolling out a program that offers no details or assurances to parents and early childhood educators,” said Karla Bernard, Official Opposition Critic for Education and Lifelong Learning. “Despite warnings from the industry, concern from parents, and questions from me as the critic for education and lifelong learning, government is ignoring our concerns and deciding to build on shaky and unstable ground. Why is this government bound and determined to take such a blind and dangerous gamble with our children’s education?”

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March Green News

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Help the Official Opposition MLAs tackle Period Poverty by participating in the PEI Women's Institute Taking Care of Women's Business. Period. campaign. Visit their Facebook page for details or donate at any local Murphy's Pharmacies or Pharmasave Souris.

It's March - and I'm remembering how at this time last year I and many others were working feverishly to prepare for an election we knew was just on the horizon. The 26th of this month will mark the anniversary of the day the inevitable call came, and we embarked on the most intense four weeks of our lives which results, today, in getting to see our eight MLAs together making a difference, like in the photo at right. Read on to see some of the other things our MLAs have been working on this month.

If March a year ago was all about the election, this year it is all about grassroots Green democracy! Not only will we host our first-ever policy convention at the end of this month (which I urge you to register for before March 12 so that we can guarantee you lunch!), but Monday will see the founding of the Stratford Green Regional Association. This morning, I'm off to Hunter River for a District Association Learning Event with volunteers from across the province looking to make a difference by forming grassroots teams in their communities. Please get in touch with us if you'd like to get involved in or help start a Green team in your district! 

Have a great weekend, and don't forget to "Spring Forward" your clocks tonight (and check that your smoke detectors are charged up while you're at it)!

Jordan Bober
Executive Director (interim)

In this newsletter:

  • Spring Convention March 27 & 28
  • Official Opposition realigns caucus to address climate commitments
  • From the desks of Green MLAs
  • Upcoming events
  • Stratford Regional Association
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