The Green Party has committed to implementing meaningful accountability measures. “I keep hearing from Islanders that they no longer trust their elected officials and it is essential that we reestablish trust in government,” said Leader Peter Bevan-Baker. “Islanders feel betrayed. They are exhausted by the PNP and e-gaming scandals, and they want to know that in the future elected officials and senior political appointees will face serious consequences when they put their personal interests ahead of the public interest.”
The Green Party devoted an entire section in their 2019 Election Platform to reestablishing trust in government, with most of their commitments related to establishing new independent oversight bodies and strengthening the ones that currently exist. They will establish an independent Ombudsperson office so individuals can make complaints about the administration of government programs and services.
They would also establish an independent Child Advocate Office. “Government recently announced the appointment of an advocate, but this person reports to the Premier. She cannot be expected to hold government to account when her job depends on keeping the Premier happy,” said Bevan-Baker.
A Green government would also bring in long overdue amendments to the Conflict of Interest Act and the Elections Act. “Both the Conflict of Interest Commissioner and the Chief Electoral Officer made recommendations to government in 2015. The MacLauchlan Government has ignored these recommendations, in spite of the Green caucus introducing Private Member’s Bills on both issues. This shows a shameful disrespect for the independent officers of the Legislative Assembly,” said Bevan-Baker.
The Green platform also promises to lower the voting age to 16. “We want to engage young people in the political process. They are the ones who will have to live the longest with the decisions we make,” said Bevan-Baker. “If we can trust 16 year olds to operate a motor vehicle, then surely we can trust them to have an informed opinion about their own futures.”
Green Party commitments on good governance include:
- Honour the results of the current referendum on electoral reform
- Provide additional resources to the Office of the Auditor General to expand its capacity to ensure public funds are being spent responsibly.
- Establish a pilot initiative for performance measurement that reports on the well being of Islanders in addition to how well government is delivering its programs and services
- Work with other parties to make the legislature and legislative committees more inclusive, collaborative, and effective.
Set up an independent commission to explore the possibility of separating the role of Minister of Justice from the Attorney General
- Improve access to French Language services
- Introduce a Well-being Measurement Act that will require government to gather data on the well-being of Islanders
- Reintroduce the Government Advertising Standards Act that will prohibit government from spending public money on partisan advertising
- Review the Expropriations Act to ensure all Islanders are treated fairly when government seeks to purchase their land
- Adhere to the fixed date election provisions in the Election Act.
- Review and begin implementation of recommendations made by the PEI Coalition for Women in Government’s 2009 report “Whose Job is it Anyway: The Life and Work of an MLA”