Media Releases

Tue, Feb 10th, 2015 at 10:32 pm

Governing is complicated and involves difficult decisions every day on such things as spending priorities. Meeting unlimited needs with limited resources requires that hard choices be made, but the recent revelations regarding $5 million left unspent by the department of community services and seniors at a time when one in five Island children is food insecure, is inexplicably shameful.

"This situation reveals many distasteful things about our current administration," said Peter Bevan-Baker, leader of the Green Party of PEI. "It shows how uncoordinated and dysfunctional intergovernmental communication is, it demonstrates a very warped sense of priorities of the government as a whole, and it reveals just how ineffective Valerie Docherty has been in managing of her portfolio.”

“Not only does this unspent money mean that the neediest and most vulnerable Islanders - many of them children - will have suffered needlessly, it will have had a long-term negative impact on things like health and well-being, causing further government expenditures in the future."

The Green Party notes that a similar amount of money is at jeopardy due to the Minister of finance's decision to invest in gambling businesses.

"If we needed a clear example of how the Liberals have lost their way, it is right here. They have quite literally gambled the welfare of PEI's poorest children away. PEI must adopt a co-ordinated approach to alleviate poverty, and make this of utmost importance for the good of the Islanders involved and also for the long-term economic and social well-being of the entire province," continued Bevan-Baker.

The Green Party observes that there seems to be an all out assault on the poor; HST applied to the basic necessities; clothing, boots, electricity; a Basic Personal exemption that is the lowest in Canada and hasn't increased since the Liberals have been in power, and a Minister who seems unable to stand up for her department.

"Every volunteer on the Island who has donated, collected or harvested food to try and help Island parents feed their children, every person who has knit or purchased hats, mitts and socks to warm the homeless, everyone who has cleaned and donated coats to keep out the cold or been to a benefit or a fundraiser should be just furious with this Minister,” concluded Bevan-Baker.

 

 

Wed, Feb 4th, 2015 at 6:44 pm

Wes Sheridan is once more claiming to be steering our province’s finances to a safe and secure place. He cites the recent audited financial statements, where the annual deficit is estimated to be $45.8 million as good news for PEI. This is apparently $13 million less than he had anticipated, and therefore, we should all be celebrating the province’s “march” (more like a stumble or lurch) towards fiscal balance.

“We need to look behind the numbers to understand what has really happened on PEI over the last fiscal year,” said Peter Bevan-Baker, leader of the Green Party of Prince Edward Island. “Revenues are up for two reasons – HST, in the form of $32 million in new taxes paid by Islanders, and a one-time $25 million transfer from the federal government as part of the deal for bringing in the HST last year. The other windfall into provincial coffers is due to increased collections from income tax. The most likely reason for this is the number of Islanders working out West who are earning high incomes and paying income tax in their home province of PEI.”

Without the income from HST, the deficit would have ballooned to over $100 million. The primary role of any government is to improve the welfare of all its citizens, and the HST as introduced by the Liberals last year placed a disproportionate burden on low and middle income Islanders. And the social impacts of so many Island families being fractured by the necessity of one or more of them leaving home to find work out of province are profound.

“An economy isn’t just measured by adding up numbers; it has to be assessed by how it impacts the quality of life of all Islanders. I believe that Prince Edward Island is significantly worse off, not only in strictly fiscal terms, but also socially as a result of this administration’s policies,” continued Bevan-Baker. “A Green government legislates for balanced budgets and shapes an economy where small businesses create real jobs, increasing the tax base and revitalizing rural communities. We are the Party which is offering Islanders something other than the ping-pong politics of the past, and I can’t wait to introduce our platform to Islanders over the coming weeks. I think a lot of Islanders will realize, when they hear what we have to say, that they are more Green than they think.” 

Wed, Feb 4th, 2015 at 6:37 pm

The Green Party of Prince Edward Island wonders why it has taken over seven years for Doug Currie and the department of Health and Wellness to come up with their three year wellness strategy.

With disease, you have acute and chronic problems; an acute problem like a heart attack requires immediate attention, a chronic illness needs a different approach.

 In health care delivery, there are also acute and chronic problems. The most pressing acute problem in health care delivery on PEI is access to timely care. Thousands of Islanders have no family doctor, and wait times whether it’s in the E.R., or for diagnostic testing, or for some treatment itself are unacceptable. “It is clear that more resources need to be channelled to front line health care providers,” said Peter Bevan-Baker, leader of the Green Party of PEI “And that has to happen immediately.”

A chronic problem with health care delivery on PEI is this government’s limited understanding that social, environmental and economic factors are significant contributors to health problems, and therefore play a critical role in improving health outcomes. As an example, social services Minister Valerie Docherty left $2.3 million unspent last year in social assistance – a clear indication that this present administration is not capable of joining up the dots when it comes to health and wellness.

True wellness can only be attained if we create the environment in which people can become and remain healthy. That means doing such things as eliminating poverty and food insecurity, and removing known toxins from our food and environment.

"We need to reinvent the way that health care is delivered on PEI, and to get away from the reactive, treatment based method to a more pro-active, wellness and prevention approach. We must develop a co-ordinated system in which all the government departments which impact health and wellness work together collaboratively. Only then will we create a system that is sustainable economically, helps Islanders stay healthier for longer, and increases their quality of life. ” concluded Bevan Baker.

Fri, Jan 30th, 2015 at 1:31 pm

For executive director of the Federation of Agriculture John Jamieson to conclude, as he did in comments today, that the Green Party agricultural policy is being forged in a vacuum, is arrogance of the highest order. It suggests that the Federation of Agriculture represents the one and only source of information on agricultural policy on PEI, and without it, one is working blind.

“Since I became leader two years ago, I have had one-on-one meetings with international food supply expert Mark Lapping, who advised president Clinton, bureaucrats here on PEI, Island farmers from tip to tip, both conventional and others such as organic producers, mixed farmers, micro-winery producers, micro-brewers and cheese makers,” stated Peter Bevan-Baker, leader of the Green Party of Prince Edward Island. “These producers are farmers and are also part of what a sustainable, vibrant and robust future agricultural industry will look like on PEI. The Federation of Agriculture represents one approach to farming, but it is not the only vision of what agriculture might look like into the future on PEI.”

The Green Party will be releasing its full platform within weeks, and like all policies, whether they be economic development and job creation, education, health care, energy, governance or any other issue, the agricultural plan has been developed in consultation with, and to best serve Islanders.

“I think that some Islanders will be surprised at the depth and breadth of our platform, and at how much of it will speak to their concerns,” continued Bevan-Baker. “We are the Party which is offering Islanders something other than the ping-pong politics of the past, and I can’t wait to introduce our platform to Islanders over the coming months. I think a lot of Islanders will realise, when they hear what we have to say, that they are more Green than they think.”

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

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

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