Media Releases

Wed, Sep 24th, 2014 at 7:44 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 7:41 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 7:36 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 7:33 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 8:53 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 10:46 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 10:20 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 6:21 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 7:42 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.

Wed, Apr 9th, 2014 at 9:12 pm
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Bold new approach needed to achieve financial health on PEI, says Green Party. It is customary on budget day for opposition parties to spew bluster at the governing party for their incompetence, massaging of the numbers and general lack of economic responsibility. It is also traditional for the governing party to pat themselves on the back for the wonderful job they are doing in running the economy of PEI. The Green Party on this day prefers to take a step back and look at the broader picture of the PEI economy and where it is headed.
 
"When I look at the bumpy economic road that lies ahead for PEI, Wes Sheridan is, like work crews all over the Island right now, just filling pot holes," said Peter Bevan-Baker, leader of the Green Party. "We need a better plan; a more comprehensive plan: one with bolder leadership that has a clear vision of how to build a new and different economy here on PEI; an economy that is resilient, diverse and will provide prosperity long into the future."
 
The Green Party feels that the current administration has geared its economic plan not for the benefit of ordinary Islanders, but in order to try and secure re-election in 2016, with a projected surplus in that fiscal year of $100,000. Such a wafer-thin surplus is nothing more than crafty politics and there will be no real turn-around in the PEI economy until some structural problems are addressed.
 
"When Minister Sheridan tells us that the public service pension problem is "fixed", I have to disagree. Until we have a civil service on PEI whose size is in proper proportion to our population, the problem is not "fixed".  Until we have a more robust and sustainable economy which is less reliant on federal dollars, our vulnerability will remain. Until we have an administration that has a clear vision of a new kind of Island economy, one which will put an end to our brightest and best leaving to become economic exiles in other provinces, we will never be fiscally stable," continued Bevan-Baker. The Green Party has a long term plan to reduce our economy's reliance on the public purse and to build an Island economy that will take advantage of PEI's inherent advantages. We need economic activity which flows from our uniqueness and relative isolation: we must create an island “brand” that shouts purity and excellence. This is something we can choose to do if we encourage producers – farmers, fishers, artisans, entrepreneurs – who take advantage of the distinctive qualities that make PEI such a special place. "This budget shows ineffectual leadership and a fear to make the necessary changes to lead PEI into prosperity. Only when Islanders can stay on PEI working at real jobs that flow from our unique strengths will we be able to say that the economic future of PEI is secure and rosy," concluded Bevan-Baker. 

Mon, Apr 7th, 2014 at 5:16 pm
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Green Party calls for Royal Commission on Water Resources.

With the release of the standing committee’s report on high-capacity wells on Friday, there was a deep sense of relief felt by the vast majority of Islanders who had expressed concerns about the potential lifting of the moratorium.

“A great number of people and organisations had spent hundreds of hours compiling submissions to the standing committee telling them that we have insufficient information to make a decision with potentially profound and irreversible outcomes,” said Peter Bevan-Baker, leader of the Green Party of Prince Edward Island. “I am relieved and pleased that the committee has recommended to maintain the moratorium at this time. The wording of the report, however suggests that when the submissions which were postponed by the recent storms are heard, a different recommendation could be made.”

A less ambiguous recommendation from the committee was that the government develop a Water Act for Prince Edward Island. The Green Party and some other groups specifically called for this in their presentations to the committee, and are delighted that this has been recommended so forcefully in the report.

“An obvious first step towards this end would be a Public Commission of Inquiry, to assess research already done, consult with Islanders in their communities from tip to tip, call expert witnesses and perhaps advocate for more research to be done,” continued Bevan-Baker. “We have had Royal Commissions on land ownership and use but never a comparable one on water resources. Its findings would be used to inform the Water Act, which would include a water policy for the Island. Such a process would provide invaluable information not only for a fully informed decision on such issues as high-capacity wells, but to guide us in how to protect the quality and quantity of this precious and irreplaceable resource into the future.”

Bevan-Baker suggests that Nova Scotia’s “Water for Life” act could be a useful template from which PEI could start the work to develop our own Water Act, which would be unique and tailored to our particular geological and hydrological situation.

Mon, Mar 31st, 2014 at 5:58 pm
Green Party leader Peter Bevan-Baker on the streets of Charlottetown

To honour the anniversary of the arrival of HST, here's a video that Green Party leader Peter Bevan-Baker made to highlight our provincial finance minister's poor track record. The HST, as predicted, has hurt ordinary Islanders - the increase in energy costs on PEI was FIVE TIMES the national average since the HST was brought in.

And we are edging ever closer to that fiscal place of no return. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yG_83K7gbsM