Media Releases

Sat, Jan 24th, 2015 at 12:12 pm

Green Party leader questions distorted claims of outgoing ministers.

Green Party of Prince Edward Island leader, Peter Bevan-Baker is questioning the self-serving claims of outgoing ministers Sheridan and Webster as they announced their retirement from politics.

“For Wes Sheridan and George Webster to offer Islanders their slanted self-assessment, and to speak proudly of their accomplishments while holding the financial and agricultural portfolios does not bear up to scrutiny,” said Bevan-Baker.

“Minister Sheridan leaves his post having made a string of bad investments, some highly questionable decisions and run up eight consecutive deficits and piling up debt to the tune of $2.7 billion. It’s nice for him to award himself such a great review of his work in office, but I have yet to hear the same from the public. No one is saying ‘great job on the economy’ except for Wes himself. What does it say about the accountability of this Liberal MLA that despite all these failures, he does not see that he did not succeed in office? What does it say that he is the only one patting himself on the back?

“The status for farmers and the overall picture for agriculture has also worsened. For agriculture Minister Webster to say that he is ‘pleased to have made substantial improvements’ is absurd. Are those improvements in farmer’s income and financial security? I don’t think so. Are those improvements in creating a more diverse and robust agricultural industry on PEI? I don’t think so. Are those improvements to the water, soil and air of our province? Again, I don’t think so. I have no idea what he is referring to.”

It is customary to thank outgoing politicians for their years of public service; and indeed the willingness to put your name forward to be an elected representative carries with it an enormous commitment. But the measure of a politician must be not only in their readiness to come forward, but also in an evaluation of how they performed in whatever position they held.  The Green Party finds it odd that they assess themselves, and seem to be blind to the fact that they were not successful and let down the general public.

“By any objective measure, this Liberal administration, whether we are talking fiscally, socially or environmentally, has provided Prince Edward Island with poor governance. We need proper performance measures to determine how our government and its individual Ministers are carrying out their duties, not the self-serving and distorted assessments of the Ministers themselves. Accountability and performance are central to good business practices, and should be fundamental to good governance also. The Green Party is dedicated to serving Islanders’ best interests, and to responsible and transparent government” concluded Bevan-Baker. 

Fri, Jan 16th, 2015 at 4:44 pm

Green Party sees a need for a Provincial museum, but not in Fanningbank.

The Green Party of PEI believes that PEI needs a provincial museum, and that a carefully administered government could afford to create one whilst taking care of other critical needs.

“It is regretful that successive Liberal and Tory administrations have failed to build a provincial museum. Instead of putting public funds towards something which would archive, protect and celebrate our precious heritage, and create a tangible legacy for generations to come, they have squandered millions of dollars on other projects which have left Islanders with nothing more than a massive debt and a bad taste in their mouths,” said Peter Bevan-Baker, leader of the Green Party of PEI.

The Green Party believes that recent suggestions to house a provincial museum in Fanningbank have not been carefully thought through. A museum’s needs are very particular, and the costs associated with renovating an existing space –if it were even possible - may be prohibitive.

It seems to me that this idea is more about disregard for our governing institutions than saving money,” continued Bevan-Baker. “The costs associated with the Lieutenant Governor amount to about $3 per Islander every year. There are so many other places where our provincial government could make far more significant savings. To put this in perspective, a saving of less than 0.1% of the health care budget would pay for the position. I’m no blind traditionalist, but I respect the institutions on which our government is founded, and feel that we just can’t simply deconstruct them thoughtlessly.”

Prince Edward Island needs a purpose-built provincial museum, and it is something that deserves a higher priority than current and previous administrations have given it. A Green government would live within our means, legislating for balanced budgets and making sure that every tax dollar collected from Islanders is spent carefully.

Thu, Jan 1st, 2015 at 6:00 pm

Greens call for political change in New Year's resolution.

In a year-end interview, Premier Ghiz has called the introduction of fixed election dates the greatest blunder of his tenure as Premier.  "Bah, humbug!!" says Peter Bevan-Baker, Leader of the Island Green Party.

In his own year-end statement, Bevan-Baker goes on to say that our democratic institutions – flawed though they are – are at their essence a series of rules and conventions designed to ensure that the will of the people is reflected in the legislature they elect.

“The Westminster style of democracy we adopted here in Canada came from a desire to take power away from an unopposed monarch and pass it to the people. Over centuries we have arrived at the electoral system we now use where every adult citizen has an opportunity every four years or so to elect the people they prefer to make our collective decisions. The painful irony of our current situation on PEI is that by political sleight of hand, Liberals, in crowning King Wade, are effectively restoring the unrestricted regal power our democracy sought to eliminate,” said Bevan-Baker.

 As Thomas Connor recently pointed out in his excellent letter of December 27th, Alberta - which has an almost identical situation - has seen no need to return to the polls to allow their new premier Jim Prentice to rule with legitimacy.

“The PEI Liberal attempts to explain the “need for an election” are all bogus nonsense, and have no basis in democratic principles. I only wish that more Islanders would recognise it for what it is: naked political opportunism,” continued Bevan-Baker.

To a large extent it appears that people have lost trust and faith in their politicians. And who can blame them? The consistently bad behaviour of some elected officials – whether it is abuse of our money or of their power - is never far from the front page. Dr. Connor points out absolutely correctly that the arrival of a new Island premier brought about by Mr Ghiz’s unexpected resignation in no way whatsoever necessitates an immediate election. A few Liberals – Wes Sheridan, Doug Currie and George Webster chief among them – have twisted themselves into festive wreaths trying to justify such a thing. What they are doing, in a tradition perfected by the old parties, is to defend an entirely self-serving and antidemocratic series of choices by claiming they are the necessary, even noble path to take.

For Premier Ghiz to call fixed election dates his “biggest mistake” in the context of PNP, Plan B and the Geosweep debacle, is baffling to say the least. Fixed election dates are a definite improvement to our democracy; evening the playing field, removing the political opportunism available to governing parties in the past, allowing all parties to prepare financially and otherwise, and encouraging a wider array of potential candidates to come forward. Far from his biggest mistake, it could be looked upon as one small glimmer of good governance in an otherwise fairly dismal two terms in office.

“How about a New Year’s resolution for all Islanders to give up once and for all a really bad habit; one that we have developed over many elections and passed from one generation to the next. Let’s quit voting for people and parties who, above all, look after themselves, and have consistently let us down. It’s time to elect parliamentarians who will carry out their roles as they were originally designed – to represent their constituents first and foremost, and abandon mindless slavery to their party,” concluded Bevan-Baker.  

Sat, Dec 13th, 2014 at 8:51 am
http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/roads-bridges-washed-out-in-p-e-i-after-powerful-nor-easter-brings-flooding-1.2144766

Prince Edward Island needs comprehensive energy policy, says Green Party.

On the same day that the storm clouds gathered over Prince Edward Island to herald an unprecedented rain storm that will end up costing the Province millions of dollars, Wes Sheridan was joyfully celebrating the prospect of increased fossil fuel use on PEI.

“This situation is just one more revealing example of the backward attitudes of this government,” said Green Party leader Peter Bevan-Baker. “There is near unanimity from scientists all over the world that climate change is real and is caused by humanity’s burning of fossil fuels. And models show that direct results will include weather events like the torrential downpour the Maritimes experienced this week. It is hard to imagine any elected official, never mind an energy minister, making such a thoughtless statement.”

But the Green Party is not surprised that a minister of this Liberal administration appears to be so out of touch with reality. One of the pieces of legislation that died when the most recent sitting of the legislature was prematurely abandoned was a plan to gut the Renewable Energy Act. A comprehensive energy policy would include efficiency upgrades, an end to subsidies on fossil fuels, further investment in renewables and a move towards energy self-sufficiency. 

“A comprehensive Residential Energy strategy would look at the built infrastructure (80% of which will still be occupied in 2050), start with a formula that would consider the least efficient homes and the income of the occupants and work from there up.  A pool of money invested in owner occupied homes would be a long term investment in poverty reduction as well as energy efficiency,” added deputy leader Darcie Lanthier.

Prince Edward Island would benefit enormously from some thoughtful governance including a comprehensive energy policy, where the needs of Islanders, the environment and the economy could be improved with good public policy rather than harmed by the mishmash scattershot of programs currently favoured by the Liberals. 

Wed, Dec 10th, 2014 at 6:42 pm
Becka Viau Federal GPC Candidate Charlottetown

What an incredible weekend! It was wonderful to spend time with the Island's Green Party supporters, Peter Bevan Baker Leader of the Green Party of PEI and the Green Party of Canada's Deputy Leader - Bruce Hyer, MP.

There is a reason why this province has been called the "green isle," Islanders do care very much about the environment, the state of our democracy and our communities. 

I am thrilled to be the federal candidate in the Charlottetown riding. Being selected and announced with plenty of time before the set election date in October lets the Island community know that the Greens are a force of fiscally conservative, socially minded and environmentally focused people. Truly an honour to be running alongside Lynne Lund the candidate for Malpeque and I look forward to meeting everyone.

Sincerely,
Becka Viau

Thu, Dec 4th, 2014 at 7:31 pm

Bites Cafe, 19566 Trans Canada Hwy, Hampton

Meet Bruce Hyer, Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Canada - Parti vert du Canada. Peter Bevan-Baker, Leader of the PEI Greens will host. Greet the nomination contestants for the Federal ridings of Charlottetown and Malpeque.

Admission is $20 and that will include two glasses of locally sourced wine and some delicious Artisan Bread & Cheese. There will also be a pay-as-you-go Oyster Bar and Vegetarian Sushi. Then we dance! Music provided by Jon Rehder and company.

Sun, Nov 30th, 2014 at 11:47 am

Green Party wishes Wade MacLauchlan well in his leadership bid.

“If betting on political races were a regulated activity on PEI, I’d feel pretty confident laying down a large fistful of cash that Wade MacLauchlan will be our new Premier come next March,” said Peter Bevan-Baker, leader of the Green Party. "But whether he'll be able to bring about transformational change is a horse of a different colour." 

Despite Mr. MacLauchlan’s lack of official political pedigree, the pictures from the opening scenes of his apparent coronation, as he was piped in to stand surrounded by Party faithful, suggest that although MacLauchlan may be new, the Liberal Party machine which he aspires to inherit hasn’t changed.

“The reason I got involved in politics is because I have a deep belief that things need to change profoundly if Prince Edward Island is ever reach its full potential,” continued Bevan-Baker. “I liked a lot of what Mr. MacLauchlan said in his speech – the need to face our challenges head on, to put our best foot forward and to call on our better selves when engaging politically.  Just perhaps with new leadership in the "old-line" parties comes the possibility of fresh ideas and change, and that we could indeed be entering an interesting period in Island political history. If this is the case, Wade will have to present a compelling and coherent vision of an Island which has moved beyond the cronyism and petty partisanship of the past. We need to deal quickly with our fiscal situation, to improve social and economic justice for all Islanders, to repair and protect our environment and to reimagine our democratic system."

Mr. Bevan-Baker concluded: "It remains to be seen if such a sea change in attitude and policy can occur from inside the traditionally suffocating confines of the Liberal Party of Prince Edward Island.”

The Green Party believes that Islanders truly want a breath of fresh air injected into their stagnant political atmosphere, and offers its insights and support for such a recovery. The Party also expects that its innovative platform of a long-term vision for a healthy, just and prosperous Island will resonate with voters.

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.