Three Rivers Mayoral Candidate debate at the King's Playhouse, Wednesday, Oct 24

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I’ve been pretty anxious for the weather to turn much nicer. When it does, I’ll spend as much time as I can in my ‘happy place’, which in my case, is our upper back deck. I love it out there. I’ve been known to spend hours with a beverage and perhaps the odd cigar, taking in what Mother Natu…

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Years ago I heard a funny story about a farmer whose name was Jacob. He had a mule named Caesar that fell into an abandoned well 50 feet deep. Jacob really loved this old mule. But when he surveyed the situation, he realized there was no way to rescue old Caesar.

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Ross Young never seemed in a rush. There was always time to enjoy a story, talk politics, or brag about the kids who crossed his path in sport. There was always time to share a laugh. If your phone displayed his number you were committing to a 20-minute chat before picking up. The former Lib…

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There are things in life that make sense, things that make no sense, and things you can only shake your head at and wonder what were they thinking. Here’s a few.

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When the Psychiatric Urgent Care Clinic in Charlottetown was shuttered, forcing mental health treatment back to the unfriendly confines of QEH emergency room, Health PEI blamed breaking its promise to keep the unit open on staffing shortages.

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After a year of angst, loss and resilience we finally see the first tangible signs of turning the COVID corner. It happened for me last week with a photo of my youngest daughter, masked and wearing an AC/DC t-shirt (a style she did not inherit from her father), receiving the AstraZeneca vacc…

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It is breathtaking political hypocrisy. One day Dennis King solemnly urges all MLAs to ratchet back politics from mental health and addiction discussion; the very next he invokes the worst kind of political decision-making to catapult the fundamentally flawed mobile mental health unit out of…

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Even by Island standards, it was a week of eyebrow raising oddity. The legislature heard analogies pertaining to The Simpsons and two frogs churning their way to safety in a vat of milk. The Third Party was rightfully hammered for waffling on temporarily shutting the house during a three day…

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While partisan jabs led debate on the Speech from the Throne, a legislative committee unanimously subpoenaed an unredacted copy of the Brendel Farms report, asserting its authority over privacy legislation now routinely used as the easiest way to circumvent transparency and public oversight.

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The only thing missing were the chirps of outrage that marked the Liberals misguided and failed eGaming scandal. News of Finance Minister Darlene Compton’s plan to launch a provincial online casino through Atlantic Lottery Corporation was met with little scorn, beyond the predictable. Tories…

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A cabinet shuffle is the art of making one domino fall gently onto another. And while Premier Dennis King’s shuffling of chairs was billed as a tweak it turned into much more, with half of cabinet finding new roles.

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Common sense is often lost in the siloed, bureaucratic halls of Health PEI, like its inexplicable decision to use health care dollars to fund armed, non-uniformed police to attend every mobile mental health call across the Island. On every level - fiscal, need, policy direction, evidence and…

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Ya sorta knew when the Irving family pulled an end run around the Lands Protection Act that Islanders would be the last to know full details. And thanks to two plodding government-funded silos playing an unacceptable game of slow motion ping-pong that is exactly what will happen. 

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It’s a funny thing, politics. American angst over the last four years became our angst. We lived the Trump era almost as if a border did not exist. Maybe it’s the 24-hour news cycle, social media and the spread of misinformation too often built on anger that flows freely onto our televisions…

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There will be no knocking COVID from its perch as the most influential political variable anytime soon. This does not mean MLAs are standing with their hands in their pocket waiting for the virus to dictate the public agenda. The reality is there is a COVID stream of action and an everything…

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Shed a crocodile tear for Michelle Rempel, if it were not for 'vulturous' media she could cross the US border to be with her husband and sick mother-in-law instead of stuck in Calgary, a victim of political optics. 

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The Queen was right, just 28 years early. Oh sure, 1992 may have been a bad one for the monarch, but a few tawdry scandals pale in comparison to what history will show 2020 as - the undisputed heavyweight annus horribilis champ.

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The year 2020 is unlike any before. We’re not travelling. We’re not gathering. We focus on the little things in life, perhaps more than ever. COVID has changed just about everything, but it can’t stop our annual tossing of political presents to politicians on the naughty and nice list.

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Thousands of times I’ve crossed Hillsborough Bridge, turned left onto Water Street, toward the trendy coffee shops, bars and restaurants of downtown Charlottetown, and thousands of times I’ve missed it - blissfully ignorant to the cement tunnel strewn with the discarded bits of lives lived o…

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The fall session ended oddly, with four members of the Opposition Greens abstaining from voting on the capital budget. Rather than an exclamation mark to a strong session, Greens limped out of the provincial legislature attempting to justify why they could neither vote for or against the roa…

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It’s been a good fall sitting of the legislature for Opposition Greens as they push government on issues ranging from public housing, mental health and perceived misplaced priorities. Like every session, some attacks hit the mark better than others, but many Tory ministers are on their heels. 

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As other areas of Canada struggle to contain COVID’s relentless spread, Atlantic Canadians could always rely on the Atlantic Bubble to deliver a sense of normalcy. Our collective effort was rewarded. We travelled. We visited. We shared company with family and friends. We lived. 

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In the dying days of the 2019 election, the King government made the purely political promise of ‘immediate’ replacement of Hillsborough Hospital. An anecdote used that day 18 months ago was of a mental health patient forced to wait in the QEH emergency room for treatment. The PCs hammered t…

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With its lacklustre third place finish in a long-held stronghold, provincial Liberals can no longer assume to be PEI’s natural governing party. Without smart, pragmatic leadership, it’s conceivable the Grits could follow pre-Dennis King Tories into a decade-long spiral of infighting and poli…

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On Friday, October 23rd at 4:01 pm the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission hand-delivered its long delayed report into the purchase of 2,200-acre Brendel Farms by an Irving-related corporation using a process that sidestepped mandatory government approval.

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The federal government’s attempt to protect the constitutional right of Mi’kmaq to earn a ‘moderate livelihood’ in the lobster fishery, while hearing concerns of commercial fishers fearful for the health of the stock and future of their small business, is exactly the tripe you expect of a po…

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If PEI federal Conservatives are good at one thing, it’s losing. Gail Shea is the only Tory MP elected here since 1988, a record of futility directly tied to the Conservative Party’s veer to the right and promotion of policies viewed as extreme by a majority of Islanders.

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During the emergency spring session of the legislature - that went on and on and on - MLAs spent a good chunk of time debating the non-emergency topic of whether to drop evening sittings of the house.

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As the world learned dramatically via an early morning White House tweet, COVID can strike anyone, anywhere, anytime as President Trump and the First Lady both tested positive two days after a raucous, unprecedented, angry debate that pushed our southern neighbour one step closer to full blo…

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When Robert Mitchell suddenly quit the provincial legislature, the Green Party jumped out of the gate as the first party to respond ... sort of. Three weeks later (as of this writing) the Official Opposition still has no announced candidate in a riding that should be fertile ground given the…

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Some will paint Three River’s decision to deny a building permit for a Buddhist residence as a defiant demand for increased provincial land control regulation.Some will see it as not so subtle institutional racism.

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Robert Mitchell exited provincial politics in the same manner he practiced it - quietly, with little fanfare.The Charlottetown-Winsloe MLA used a simple two sentence tweet to announce his resignation after 13 years in the provincial legislature.

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It started with 100 people gathering for a beach party on a cool, moonlit, early fall night. There was beer, guitars and revelry at a summer enjoyed. Social distancing and masks were definitely not mandatory. In fact, no one seemed to think twice about it. Martha was a designated driver. She…

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The pressure to return Island children to the classroom is summed up in two words sprinkled liberally throughout reopening plans for each of PEI’s 56 English language schools. ‘When possible’ is the phrase government uses to bridge political and education rhetoric, knowing the goal is built …

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Here’s the big issue with PEI’s still vague back to school plan - it contradicts six months of messaging on the best way to avoid COVID-19 while missing an opportunity for transformational system change, still stuck in a ‘this is how we’ve always done it’ mentality.

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Returning to normal, whatever that is, will not be a straight line from the depths of March and April to mingling freely at work and play. It’s a game of public health and political connect-the-dots to avoid a COVID reboot. We don’t want to duplicate the virus rebound in other parts of the world.

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Justin Trudeau was on COVID cruise control until allowing yet another inexplicable ethical lapse to remind many Canadians why they view him as spoiled, arrogant and out of touch.

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While there were stumbles from the Official Opposition during the 28 day ‘emergency’ sitting of the provincial legislature, it did succeed in its core responsibility of holding government accountable, particularly when focussed on education, health care and protection of democratic principles.

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On May 26, PEI MLAs unanimously agreed to name Darren Noonan the Island’s next auditor general. In moving the appointment, Finance Minister Darlene Compton said “I’m confident that he will ensure our government continues to be financially transparent and accountable in our management of taxp…

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It didn’t take long for reality to prick the Atlantic Bubble. Just one day after opening our borders to Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, three Islanders were announced to have COVID; a pointed reminder that while we enjoy renewed freedom, the virus is far from defeated. A day lat…

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“Insanity,” Einstein said, “is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” The famed physicist wasn’t talking about PEI’s continued failure to deliver effective rural internet, but he could have been.

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The Clerk of the Provincial Legislature is defending the controversial hiring to a 10- year term of PEI’s new auditor general, as the most qualified candidate.

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The ‘we’re in this together’ mantra that defined the opening days of the COVID pandemic is gone, replaced by a rumour mill where facts are replaced by fear. It’s an ugly turn for a province that fancies itself civil and welcoming.

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During much of our provincial lockdown, Gord McNeilly used online classes to do what he is professionally trained to do – encourage, prod, motivate Islanders to get up and exercise. Last week through two member statements, the first black MLA in Island history established himself as a leadin…

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As much as the King government’s COVID response is admired by Islanders, hearing pointed, fair, questions directed toward the premier and cabinet on the floor of the provincial legislature is an important step forward, both for democracy and our return to some semblance of normal.

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The goodwill shown the King government during the COVID crisis took a decidedly nasty turn following its surprise announcement that out of province cottage owners will be allowed to spend their summer on PEI beginning June 1st.

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Oil is dead. Or so says Green leader Elizabeth May. Federal Conservatives are split on punishing one of their own for gaslighting Canada’s chief public health officer; the motivating factor being crass political opportunism, not integrity.

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Only two Island high schools offer International Baccalaureate programming, with its intensive focus on academic excellence and personal development. It’s a reality that creates an unlevel playing field between schools and students with, and schools and students without.

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Growing up, when an old-fashioned blizzard pummelled the Island, regardless of the amount of snow, lack of visibility or how deep the car was stuck, the Lobster Shanty would be packed to the rafters with folk willing to risk life and limb rather than go stir crazy, trapped at home.

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As our annual rites of summer fall victim to an unseen and devastating virus, we may look back on this unprecedented time and realize this initial outbreak was the easy part.