The Green Party of Prince Edward Island has come out in strong opposition to Senator Duffy’s recent suggestion of Maritime Union, referring to the idea as “jurisdictional suicide.” Prince Edward Island can boast of a long democratic tradition, beginning with Representative Government (the convening of our first Legislative Assembly) in 1773 and Responsible Government in 1851. Last year, the Island celebrated the 160th anniversary of Responsible Government.
“One of PEI’s more precious assets is its status as a province, and the idea that we should consider surrendering this for the possibility of some cost-savings is completely misguided,” said Peter Bevan-Baker, Green Party leader. “Our gift of jurisdiction gives us the capacity to develop creative policies to help us excel, economically, socially and culturally.”
The Green Party recognises the potential of cost savings by entering into purchase agreements with the other Maritime Provinces, but suggests that this would not require political union.
“Instead of Senator Duffy floating such nonsensical ideas, why is he not fighting to save the estimated 500 federal jobs that our province is slated to lose in the next year and which will have a devastating impact on the island economy?” continued Bevan-Baker. “It is astonishing for me to hear a born and bred islander talking of voluntarily surrendering our provincial privileges for something so mundane.”
The Green Party believes that PEI should be taking advantage of its jurisdictional independence and growing parts of its economy that reflect our uniqueness, and opportunities that flow from our ability to develop distinct, quality island brands.
In contrast, the Green Party expresses its sadness at the passing of Gilbert Clements, a politician who was widely respected and could be aptly described as PEI’s first green politician. “Much of the innovative legislation which was passed during his term as environment minister could never be enacted if we were to lose our provincial status. The enormous benefits that come from having the autonomy of a province is something we should not give up lightly,” concluded Bevan-Baker.
The Green Party is also shocked at Senator Duffy’s statements that seniors returning to PEI are a burden on our provincial treasury when in fact they have and will continue to make valuable contributions to our economy and our Island as a whole. Greens would welcome back all islanders, and indeed any retirees who would like to move here.