CHARLOTTETOWN - The Green Party of Prince Edward Island is celebrating a historic milestone with the adoption of the party’s first-ever set of member-created, member-approved policy resolutions.
The seven policy resolutions were discussed and voted on during two separate sessions of the party’s online Annual General Meeting on April 24th and May 8th, 2021. After having been passed by majorities of those present at the AGM, the party’s constitution required that they also receive a majority of support during a confirmation vote to be held within 60 days of the AGM before being adopted as official party policy.
The seven resolutions enjoyed high levels of support among Green Party of PEI members, obtaining more than 80% support in all cases and even near-unanimous support in several cases. The confirmation vote ended at midnight on July 7th.
“This is a day we have worked towards and looked forward to for many years,” said party president Susan Hartley. “Grassroots democracy is a core value of the Green Party of PEI, so it was important to us that we create a robust process to empower, encourage and support our members to directly contribute to party policy.”
“I am thrilled that the hard work and dedication of the dozens of volunteers who contributed to this process for the past several years has paid off - from members working on our committees to design, oversee and support this process, to those who took the time to draft, research and workshop their motions, and finally to all the members who took part in discussions of the motions both prior to and during the AGM,” said Green Party of PEI leader Peter Bevan-Baker. “Our elected caucus has always looked to party members for input and ideas, and our grassroots policy development process really helps to strengthen and formalize our commitment to walking the walk of our Green Values.”
The seven policy resolutions that have now been adopted are the following:
PEI Commission on a Sustainable Future for Farming: This resolution calls for a government-sponsored, inclusive, non-partisan Commission to be established to examine the future of farming on PEI. The Commission is to be comprised of representatives of farmers, processors, First Nations, and the civil society, including rural and urban communities, as well as subject matter experts. The Commission’s mandate will be to develop and consult on a ten- year plan on how PEI can transition to a model of agriculture that is sustainable ecologically, economically, and socially, with consideration to all connected issues, and what role governments, industries, and citizens can play in fostering this transition.
Protection of Pollinators on Prince Edward Island Including Protection of Honeybees and Bumblebees from Infestation by Small Hive Beetle: This resolution states that the Green Party of PEI promotes strong, evidence-based policies to protect the health of pollinators on PEI including: reducing the use of pesticides, protecting honey bees, native bees and other pollinators from the introduction of exotic pests by establishing import conditions that are science-based, and conserving and expanding the amount of healthy pollinator habitat and forage available on PEI.
Championing Citizens’ Assemblies for deliberative democracy & building civic capacity, especially on the issue of Electoral Reform: This resolution supports the use of Citizens’ Assemblies to consider and develop nuanced proposals for solutions to challenges where progress has been impeded by the limitations of our system of electoral representation, particularly partisanship, and where non-partisan citizen deliberation could make progress. In particular, it considers electoral reform as among the highest-priority challenges which could be considered by a PEI Citizens’ Assembly.
Include bicycles and e-bikes (pedal assist bikes) in zero-emission vehicle rebates and financial incentive programs: This resolution calls for bicycles and e-bikes to be included in incentive programs offered for other types of zero-emission transportation options.
Provincial Tax Credit for Renters of Long-Term Residential Housing: This resolution calls for a financial feasibility study to assess the creation of a Renter’s Tax Credit program in Prince Edward Island. Renter’s Tax Credit programs currently exist in Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba.
Review of Junior High School Projection Numbers in Catchment East of Charlottetown: This resolution seeks that the government address the issue of junior high classroom numbers through a study, which uses the most recent statistics and data produced locally with the intention of addressing the question of constructing a new junior high school in Stratford. The study methodology would then be adopted by the department of education, for evaluation of school capacity needs across the province.
- Climate Change Investment Fund: This resolution states that the Green Party of PEI seeks that a government-sponsored climate change investment fund (CCIF) be established to support and encourage investment in enterprises that can bring forth a reduction in fossil fuel consumption in Prince Edward Island. This CCIF would facilitate the reduction in fossil fuel usage through a program whereby the Provincial government would offer tax credits for those investing in enterprises that provide goods, services and technologies that reduce fossil fuel usage, as well as businesses that practice regenerative agriculture and forestry by sequestering carbon in the soil. The program could be modelled on the Nova Scotia Community Economic-Development Investment Fund or other similar initiatives.
The Green Party of PEI’s grassroots policy development process is an ongoing process open to all party members. The next opportunity for members to vote on policy motions is expected to take place this October.