Media Releases

Wed, Nov 26th, 2014 at 5:48 pm

Green Party calls for new approach to agricultural prosperity

The Green Party, along with the vast majority of Islanders, wishes to see a thriving agricultural sector on PEI. They also understand that in order to achieve that goal, profound changes are required.

When agriculture minister, George Webster tells The Potato Board "I believe we can carefully expand the current level of irrigation, and I will be promoting that position,” it is clear that he, the department he heads and the Liberal government itself are mired in an old model which is uneconomic for farmers, unsafe for the citizens of our province, and unhealthy for the environment.

“Spending money on high capacity wells is throwing good money after bad.  This industry is already too big, too damaging and is starting to fail.  Instead of allowing more access to our shared water and more opportunity to devastate our shared environment, we need to work with the Potato Industry to phase out production of this destructive monoculture and move to a more diverse, robust agricultural system,” said Green Party of PEI leader, Peter Bevan-Baker.

The minister said the government will proceed with public discussions leading to the development of a water act with one goal being the opportunity for some farmers to access deep-water wells for irrigation purposes.

“The Green Party believes that we do not need to protect water for industrial agriculture, we need to protect water from industrial agriculture,” continued Bevan-Baker.

There is such a great opportunity for PEI to use what has previously been viewed as our disadvantages – our small size and relative isolation – to vault us into a new, better era. Instead of continuing to try and fail to compete in a global market place, we could, if we wished, create an island with the most progressive environmental laws in North America. This would differentiate ourselves from other jurisdictions and add value to everything we do.

The Green Party believes that PEI needs to make a choice: do we continue down the road of corporate monoculture or do we try something different? We must improve, not diminish the organic content of our soils; protect our precious water rather than pollute and degrade it; produce safe, nutritious food and provide a good living for farmers; preserve our rural communities by providing thousands of good jobs.

“Just imagine how many jobs, how much economic activity, how much cleaner our air, water and soils would be, and how much more prosperous and sustainable our island agricultural sector would be if we make the shift now towards an organic island,” concluded Bevan-Baker. 

Tue, Oct 28th, 2014 at 9:35 pm

What we're doing

Preparing for 2015 and beyond

On the Big Green Weekend we intend to nominate our four Candidates for MP.  On Friday, we'll meet Bruce Hyer, Deputy Leader of the Green Party and hear from our Charlottetown Candidate for MP.  We'll travel across the Island for the other three nomination meetings and we'll hear from David Coon, Leader GP-NB about his experience winning a seat in NB. We're also looking to identify Candidates for our Provincial Election, which is also not far off.

You can help


Everything is possible with time and money

We are calling on our Members, Provincial and Federal to come together and use our time, our talents and our money to help PEI and Canada move forward in a smart, strong, sustainable, democratic Green way.  Greens spend less to do more and we are the only party that does not take donations from Corporations. Why? Because corporations don't vote!



What will change?

 

Everything must change.

Elizabeth May has been so effective in Ottawa the Conservatives are trying to change the rules to slow her down.  David Coon brings Green Vision to the NB Legislature as Andrew Weaver does in BC.  In Canada, 32 Greens have been elected to Municipal, Provincial and Federal Office and we all expect that these two upcoming elections will add to that list.

Our mailing address is:
Green Party of PEI

101 Kent Street, Suite 104Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2Canada
 

 

Tue, Oct 21st, 2014 at 5:27 pm

Green Party exasperated at Liberal non-position on abortion access on PEI.


On PEI it is 2014, just like everywhere else, but the mentality of our politicians is locked into the mid-1950s.

“Shamefully, PEI is the only province where women cannot access safe legal abortions. Even when legal scholars come from all corners of the world and state frankly, “you’re making a mess of this file,” the PEI government does nothing, avoids commenting and hides. They say that “PEI pays for abortion in other provinces” but this totally overlooks the fact that there is a massive medico-religious-bureaucratic gate-keeping system erected unnecessarily to make it difficult - not to mention expensive - to access this simple medical procedure,” said Peter Bevan-Baker, leader of the Green Party of PEI.

A recently exposed report shows that some bureaucrats had recommended setting up access to reproductive services on PEI which would not only bring PEI into line with the Canada Health Act, but would save the province tens of thousands of dollars. The recommendation was quashed by Doug Currie, minister of Health and Wellness, in a decision supported by other government departments right up to the Premier's office.
 

"We all know why this is the case on PEI. The truth is: our administration hasn’t the guts to draft and enforce logical public policy; scared of the political fallout of adopting such a position. The status quo of the PEI government is a non-position justified by political spin in order to protect votes; it’s a simple and shameful as that,” added Bevan-Baker.

Darcie Lanthier, Deputy Leader of the Green Party went on to say "The status-quo is patently unfair because it restricts access to a time-sensitive medical service. At times this delay is so long that women are forced to travel to Montreal instead of Halifax. A woman with transportation, the flexibility to travel, money for the trip, timely access to a pro-choice Doctor, a person to travel with, time off for blood tests and an ultrasound might not have an enormous challenge getting an abortion, however, many women are not in this situation. In the past five years over 600 women have left Prince Edward Island to have an abortion, the current policy does not prevent abortion it just needlessly burdens Island women.”

The Liberals keep defending their non-position on abortion by saying that they do fund it, and that it equates some other procedures like heart surgery that must be done off-Island for cost reasons. But this financial argument makes no sense in light of the fact that providing the service here on PEI is the cheaper option. The Green Party, if elected, would ensure that women on PEI would have easy and timely access to all reproductive services on the Island.

 

Wed, Sep 24th, 2014 at 6:44 pm

Green Party of PEI inspired by New Brunswick success.

Following New Brunswick Green Party leader David Coon’s victory last night, the Island Green Party is hoping to take a page out of their neighbour’s book and elect their first MLAs in the next PEI provincial election.

“David’s success was no accident. He has been working extremely hard ever since he became leader two years ago, and his victory came as a result of combining his undeniable charm, decades of activism and knowledge with a great campaign team and a smart platform,” said Island Green Party leader Peter Bevan-Baker. “Yesterday’s result is great for the Party, but also it’s a victory for the people of Fredericton South and New Brunswick in general who now have a voice in the legislature promoting social justice, sustainable economic prosperity and ecological wisdom.”

Coon becomes the second Green Party candidate elected to a provincial legislature, following Andrew Weaver’s victory last year in British Columbia. The Green Party also has two sitting members in the federal House of Commons, leader Elizabeth May and deputy leader, Bruce Hyer.

“The Greens are a Party on the move, and David’s historic win is a breakthrough for the Party in Atlantic Canada. All emerging parties go through many years of maturation before they have the structure and people in place to be serious political contenders,” continued Bevan-Baker. But as the Party has grown and changed, some things have remained constant, and he remains devoted to the Party’s policies and values. “The issues I was talking about when I first ran for the Greens over 20 years ago are as relevant today as they ever have been. The Green Party platform in New Brunswick is compatible with the one here on PEI and our national policies. That’s one of the lovely things about our Party – the consistency and timelessness of the message.”

“The ping-pong politics of PEI, where the legislature gets batted back and forth between the Conservatives and Liberals, is going to come to an end. Like New Brunswick, where the red and blue teams have held court for decades, Prince Edward Island is ready to move on to something less divisive, and more progressive and hopeful. I’m extremely optimistic about our chances of having Greens elected in the next provincial election,” concluded Bevan-Baker.

Wed, Sep 24th, 2014 at 6:41 pm

Island Greens participate in successful national convention.

Several Island Green Party delegates celebrated a productive weekend of rebuilding Canadian democracy at the Party’s national convention in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Hundreds of Green delegates gathered from July 18 to 20 for policy debates, workshops, discussion panels and speeches from special guests including former Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page and world-renowned climate scientist Tom Duck.

"This was a great weekend for grassroots democracy," said Green Party leader Elizabeth May. "The ideas that we discussed and the policy resolutions that were passed will be crucial in guiding our party toward the next election."

Green delegates voted strongly in favour of policy proposals calling for responsible economic growth, expanding environmental protection, and strengthening Canadian democracy. Delegates rejected a motion to weaken the party’s anti-GMO stance, and reaffirmed the party’s support for dairy supply management. The party also formally adopted a prohibition of whipped votes for Green MPs.

Island delegates to the convention included provincial leader Peter Bevan-Baker and deputy leader Darcie Lanthier as well as other Island Greens. The Green Party of Canada honoured Darcie Lanthier with the 2014 Community Involvement Award for her active participation in many community groups; Pesticide Free PEI, Voluntary Resource Council, Coalition for the Protection of PEI Water, Home & School Association, Women's Institute, Citizen's Alliance, PEI Food Exchange, Legacy Garden, Green Drinks Charlottetown in addition to serving at both the federal and provincial levels of the Green Party. 

“The energy and optimism at the convention was inspiring,” said Lanthier, “it was a great opportunity to network with other Greens from across Canada. PEI has fallen behind the rest of the country in so many key areas; energy, education, finance, agriculture, health and of course environmental protection.  The issue of cosmetic pesticide use was discussed, and it was both helpful and frustrating to speak with people from other provinces where bans already exist."  

Bevan-Baker, who has been a Party member for over 20 years was delighted at the spirit of the convention. “I have seen this Party grow and mature to a place where we are now poised to be a significant force in Canadian politics. Building a political party takes care and time, and I believe we are about to see the fruits of decades of smart policy development and true grassroots democracy,” concluded Bevan-Baker.

Wed, Sep 24th, 2014 at 6:36 pm

Green Party calls for less blaming and more smart policies.

The Green Party shares Islander’s shame and anger at the latest massive fish kill, and sees the immediate need for a new vision for agriculture on Prince Edward Island.

“Rather than singling out the farmers as the problem here, we need to look at a system of food production which demands amongst other things, the continuous use of poisons to stay viable. We need to make a choice on PEI: do we want to continue on with a model which causes this sort of annual devastation, or are we ready to try something better?” said Green Party leader, Peter Bevan-Baker.

The Green Party questions the attitude that we don’t have a choice but to put up with such events if we want agriculture to remain as our province’s economic driver. Indeed the Irvings wasted no time in threatening us with an ultimatum on deep water wells.  As devastating as these events have been, let us not exacerbate it with a knee-jerk reaction to the Irving intimidation. The consequences could be irreversible and disastrous. Our water resources are too precious to risk.

“In one week we have seen a massive fish kill, an employer having to close its doors in the face of the economic realities of their industry and yet another employer threatening to leave unless we agree to jeopardize our future ground water supplies. It is clearer than ever that a new vision and approach are essential to our future. The public has had enough of a system that does not work for the farmers, the consumers, the economy of PEI, and the health of our soil and water. Fish kills like this are intolerable and shameful. We need new leadership with a clear vision of how we can build an agricultural model on PEI that is sustainable, safe and prosperous,” concluded Bevan-Baker.

Wed, Sep 24th, 2014 at 6:33 pm

Green Party saddened but not surprised by McCain closure.

The Green Party of PEI is deeply saddened for the workers, families and communities which will be adversely affected by the closure of the McCain factory in Borden Carleton. But the news of closure was entirely predictable given the economic factors at play.

“Our thoughts are with all those people who will lose their employment, and the ripple effects such losses will have throughout families, businesses and communities in the area,” said Peter Bevan-Baker, leader of the Green Party of Prince Edward Island. “Any time such a large number of jobs is lost on our Island, it will have a devastating impact on some households and a measurable effect on the entire provincial economy.”

The Green Party believes that this closure is just the latest casualty of an economic approach in which PEI attempts to compete in a global market place despite some significant and insurmountable disadvantages. Being far from markets, having a shorter growing season and inferior soils, and growing for a market where the advantages of scale provide benefits to ever-larger growers create substantial handicaps for PEI producers.

“As long as PEI continues to pursue this model and places its economic future in the hands of corporations competing globally, we will be vulnerable to such closures. It is critical that we develop a new approach to our Provincial economic future where development is suited to our situation,” continued Bevan-Baker. “I believe that an approach committed to high quality, specialised, predominantly organic production is the path that agriculture has to take if we are to thrive into the future. Our opportunities lie in taking advantage of our strengths – the fact that we are a distinct island jurisdiction, the existing infrastructure which would support many small-scale, mixed farms, and the growing demand for food that is local, healthy and uncontaminated.”

The Green Party believes that a government commitment to such an economic development policy will provide thousands of jobs, revive rural communities and protect our environment.

Sat, Jun 7th, 2014 at 7:53 pm

VIDEO: THE HISTORY OF INTERNATIONAL CLIMATE CHANGE NEGOTIATIONS IN 83 SECONDS

Sometimes a simple visual makes everything so clear, like this quick cartoon outlining the history of climate change negotiations.

Basic story: everybody agrees that carbon emissions should be cut, but no one wants to make painful cuts by themselves, and the problem gets shuffled around.


http://iacknowledge.net/video-the-history-of-international-climate-change-negotiations-in-83-seconds/

Although this video was released on YouTube a year ago by the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo, the latest round of climate negotiations have proved just as fruitless as the previous attempts.

The Warsaw negotiations were an embarrassing step backwards in some ways, with countries backing away from making “commitments” to cutting their carbon emissions (which might necessitate serious action) to agreeing to make “contributions” to international efforts to cut emissions.

It’s currently unclear whether those contributions will be more or less stringent than the cuts previous deals required. But the wording change is significant as it blurs a “20-year-old distinction between the obligations of rich and poor nations”, as Reuters notes.

The announcement that a deal had been reached was met with cheers in the conference hall, climate news website, RTCC, reports. The BBC says the compromise has allowed countries to save face. It says the US and EU can insist everyone is on the same page, while China and India can claim they are doing something different from the richer countries.

Wed, May 28th, 2014 at 9:46 pm

Sign the petition for:

Robert Ghiz' Provincial Liberal Government of PEI, Canada: Ban GMOs and Roundup, phase out pesticides, promote Organic

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Robert_Ghiz_and_the_Provincial_Liberal_Government_of_PEI_Canada_Ban_Roundup_phase_out_all_pesticides_promote_Organic_Far/?dOnRpdb&pv=0

Prince Edward Island, Canada. The images that come to mind may be that of picturesque landscapes and Anne of Green Gables, but what you may not see is the pesticide contamination. Every year, as tourists from near and far flock to our province, a chemical assault begins. Whether or not a sprayer is visible, you are being exposed to unsafe levels of pesticides. Environment Canada air monitoring tests revealed high levels of carcinogenic pesticides in our air, even in locations away from potato fields. As Canada's most densely populated province, it's not uncommon for homes and villages to be completely surrounded by sprayed fields, and most schools have potato fields in close proximity.

Our once pristine landscape has been polluted by the potato industry and neither government nor industry has shown remorse. On the contrary, government has consistently disregarded the concerns of the people and sponsored "expert" speakers to tell us pesticides are safe. And yet, about 80% of these sprays are known to be carcinogenic and about 70% are known endocrine disruptors. The average PEI potato that will end up on the table has been exposed to as many as 20 applications of spray.


Tourist accommodations, children outside playing and hospitals all receive the toxic by-product of this unsustainable and unsafe farming. As cancer rates continue to creep up (both rare cancers and cancers in children) the potato industry, sheltered by a government traditionally dominated by farmers, has shown no motivation to make changes. Latest CCS report: PEI has prostate cancer rate 35% higher than Can. average; breast +28%, skin +50%!

We need your help. There are a growing number of organic farms popping up on Prince Edward Island. Many citizens are seeing the error of this mono crop culture and are making sustainable changes that better the lives of our population and the Earth!

It’s time to ban glyphosate and other pesticides. It’s time to ban GMO’s. It’s time to bring our government back in line with the will of the people and promote organic farms. 

Sat, May 24th, 2014 at 9:20 pm

The Green Party of Prince Edward Island is saddened to hear of the passing today of Island icon, Jack MacAndrew.

“Jack was a larger-than-life character who lived a full and wonderful life,” said Green Party leader, Peter Bevan-Baker. “He advocated passionately for all sorts of worthy causes, from the well-being of the CBC, to quality live Canadian theatre, to environmental causes. Jack taught me so much about politics, writing and life, and he will be sadly missed by many, many Islanders and people all across this country he loved so much.”

Jack was a long-time personal friend of Elizabeth May, federal Green Party leader, and they worked on many issues together over the years both on PEI and beyond.

“Jack was a deep thinker with a huge heart and wicked sense of humour. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who was so committed to the idea of being Canadian. He was a true patriot, but not in the chest-beating, tribal sense: more so as a champion for a place he loved deeply and for which he had such high hopes," concluded Bevan-Baker.

Wed, May 14th, 2014 at 5:21 pm

WHERE: Charlottetown Rodd Hotel
WHEN: Thursday May 29th at 7pm

Maureen Kerr wrote:

We have reserved a room at the Charlottetown Rodd Hotel for Thursday May 29th at 7pm for a forum on cosmetic pesticides. I'll have more details to provide but we hope to get a good turn out and rattle the cages a bit more as we have gotten NO RESPONSE from our repeated follow-ups with the chief public health office since our meeting in January.
We are very disappointed in this and feel like we have come to a fork in the road. Joan Diamond wrote the following letter and we are hoping to release a letter writing campaign and wondered if you could help by writing one as well. If you would consider doing so, perhaps you could let myself and/or Joan know so that we can coordinate the dates so as to provide a steady stream to the newspapers and government officials?

No pesticides

Joan's email address is: Jjoandiamond4@gmail.com

Her letter:

As a Prince Edward Islander I am increasingly concerned about the pesticides we are being bombarded with every summer. It is difficult to know how to get the attention of the government, but it is important we find ways to raise our concerns about farming practices here on our beautiful Island.

I believe if we can gather up enough concerned Islanders, we can organize a letter writing blitz and in doing so, start an awareness campaign. With a provincial election not so far off, the timing may be right to make this a central issue next time around. If you will agree to write one letter, I will send you an assigned date on which you should send your letter, along with the email addresses to send it to. By assigning dates, we will ensure our local papers are sure to get at least 5 letters weekly pertaining to pesticide use.

As far as topics, I am sure each of us has our own ideas, but it will be important to keep an eye on your local papers in order to follow up on commentaries which have already been published. Will you agree to take part in this important initiative? If so, please respond and you will receive your assigned date.

Thu, Apr 10th, 2014 at 6:42 pm

Today's statement by The Federal Green Party on the Passing of Jim Flaherty.

OTTAWA - On behalf of the Green Party, our members, staff and volunteers, we wish to extend deepest condolences to the family of Jim Flaherty.

He was a rare partisan, able to extend a mischievous twinkle to a rejoinder in Question Period. He was a dedicated public servant and a genuinely kind man. He will be missed.