|Greens including MLA Lynne Lund (foreground), Central Representative Matt MacFarlane (far left), MLA Trish Altass (second from left behind Lynne), and Young Greens of PEI Chair Kali Ross (third from the right) were among those out enjoying the New Year's Levees on January 1st.|
Happy New Year! We hope you all had a delightful and refreshing holiday and are ready to hit 2020 with renewed energy!
Do you make New Year's resolutions? How about New Decade resolutions?
People are already calling the 2020s "the Decisive Decade", seeing this as a make-or-break decade for some pretty serious global issues - climate change foremost among them. It should never have come down to hinging on one decade and the people living during this time to be responsible for solving such enormous challenges. But just as we all struggle to keep our own New Year's resolutions, so too have our governments.
I first joined the Green Party over a decade ago in a resolution to be part of the change I want to see in the world. I haven't looked back - that resolution has brought me a rich sense of community on a local, national and global level, and the opportunity to be part of history in the making. And in the face of everything there is to make one pessimistic about the fate of our world, it has helped keep me optimistic.
Whether you resolve to get more involved in the Green Party, to get involved in PEI's energy transition, or to do something within your personal power to lighten your footprint and live by example, PEI and the world needs you more than ever in the years ahead!
Executive Director (interim)
In this newsletter:
- Our Green Caucus
- District Association updates
- Call for Motions and Nominations
|MLA Lynne Lund (at far right) joined fellow MLAs Sidney MacEwan (far left), Robert Henderson (third from right) and Stephen Myers (second from right) on a study visit to Germany and the Danish island of Samsø to learn about how communities there are transitioning to renewable energy.|
The Art and Science of Transition
In October, MLA Lynne Lund (Summerside-Wilmot) received an invitation to be part of a government exploration to check out examples of energy transitions in Germany and Samsø. She recently wrote a blog to reflect on this experience.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about transitions. Having followed the science on why this is necessary for years, and now having the opportunity to contribute to that discussion, the various elements are of great interest to me. Increasingly, we hear about why we must move to a zero-carbon society, but too often we fail to talk about all the benefits that come with it. A well-planned transition can lower the cost of living, increase food security, improve health, create good-paying jobs, make homes more affordable to live in, foster community, address poverty, and improve countless other aspects of life for people. Yes, we must do it, but even if that weren’t true, the benefits of a well thought-out transition would still make it a smart endeavor anyway. And whether it’s because we don’t tell that part of the story very well, or because the top-down efforts we’ve seen tend to miss the point somehow, I’ve come to believe that successful transitions are as much art as they are science.
Social assistance rates increasing across the Island
On December 23rd, the government and Official Opposition, represented by Hannah Bell, made a joint announcement of significant increases to social assistance rates. Since the spring, government has been working collaboratively with the Official Opposition to identify opportunities to improve supports for vulnerable Islanders.
“I was thrilled when the Premier asked me to help work on this initiative. These new rates are about protecting and advancing the dignity and security for Islanders who are currently being left behind due to old rate structures,” said Opposition Critic for Social Development and Housing Hannah Bell. “This critical first step in improving and creating better long-term supports means many more Islanders will have access to the necessary supports to create a better future for them and their families.”
The increased social assistance benefits take immediate effect starting this month.
Standing with the people of Tyne Valley
People across PEI - especially anyone for whom the local skating rink has ever been a fixture of winter recreational life - are feeling the pain of the people of Tyne Valley who lost their local skating arena to fire on December 30th.
MLA Trish Altass, who represents Tyne Valley-Sherbrooke, writes that she stands with the community and will support, in any way she can, the building of a new facility that will be environmentally and economically sustainable for future generations.
"A local rink is so much more than a building and a sheet of ice. It is a place people gather to learn new skills and connect with others. It is a hub of year-round activity nurturing shared experiences across generations. Nowhere is this truer than in Tyne Valley. The rink inspires community engagement and physical activity throughout the winter. In the summer, it hosts the world class, and wildly successful, Tyne Valley Oyster Festival drawing visitors from across Canada and beyond to West Prince. "
The Politics of Happiness
Before (and even after) getting into politics, Peter Bevan-Baker was known as "the Happy Dentist", and he frequently gave talks to fellow dentists across the country about how to lead happy lives and practices even while practicing a demanding profession not usually associated with gaiety. Now, Peter has been asked to speak at the College of Sustainability at Dalhousie University as part of a lecture series called "The Environment, Sustainability and Society lecture Series". They specifically wanted him to talk about the political climate here on PEI and the unique opportunities that a collaborative minority government provides.
Peter has titled his talk, appropriately enough, "The politics of Happiness: creating well-being in a worried world". He will be speaking at Dalhousie University on January 23rd - hopefully we'll be able to share a video recording of his talk in a future newsletter!
New Caucus website
Have you seen the new official website of the PEI Green Official Opposition Caucus? The website, at peigreencaucus.ca, is your go-to source for non-partisan information about the work of our Green caucus in the Legislature, including:
- News & Blogs by MLAs
- Videos of our MLAs at work in the Legislature (Question Period, Member's Statements, etc)
- Information about Green bills and motions
- Events and other opportunities to engage
- Information about MLAs, and how to contact them
- & more!
The Green Caucus has been hard at work to improve the lives of Islanders. If you haven't already, be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And check out their new website at www.peigreencaucus.ca for blogs, videos and more!
There's lots on the agenda at the District level as 2020 dawns!
Green Drinks is back in Summerside!
The District 22 (Summerside-South Drive) Electoral District Association and District 21 (Summerside-Wilmot) & District 23 (Tyne Valley-Sherbrooke) Regional Association are hosting Green Drinks on Wednesday January 15th at Dooley’s in Summerside from 7.00 P.M. – 9 P.M. They would love to have you join them!
Green St Patrick's is coming back for its third year!
If you've attended any of the last two annual Green St Patrick's Concerts in Summerside (or missed out on them and are suffering from serious FOMO), you'll be happy to know that the District Associations for District 21, 22 & 23 in Summerside are planning on bring the concert back for its third year! More details will be coming out soon.
Carolling at Andrews Lodge and Christmas Fun Day at Generation XX
Summerside Greens sure know how to have fun! On December 12th, Green members together with MLAs Lynne Lund and Trish Altass went Christmas carolling at Andrews Lodge on Pope Road.
Days later, the District 22 EDA (Summerside-South Drive) held its 1st Annual Christmas Family Fun Day on December 15th,, at Generation XX in Summerside, with great success!
Reports D22 EDA Chair Glenna Lohnes: "This event was free to everyone of all ages and it included a variety of fun-filled events for all family members to enjoy: cookie decorating, face painting, skateboarding, photo booth, pool table, foosball and lots of treats. This was a great way to reach out and get to know many of the families in our district and the surrounding area. We were able to gather a few (that were left at the end of the day) for a group photo.
We will definitely host a 2nd annual next Christmas!"
The Regional Association for Districts 21 & 23 is currently selling raffle tickets on a beautiful queen size quilt, made and donated by Debbie Graham. Tickets are only $5.00 and are available from District 21 & 23 RA Members.
Mark your calendar - the Green Party of PEI's Spring Convention will take place on March 27th & 28th, 2020! The location and other details will be announced soon.
This year's Convention, which will take place on a Friday evening and a Saturday, will be a much larger affair than our more typical evening AGMs. It will encompass all of the usual business of an Annual General Meeting including Council elections, the constitutionally required leadership review, and plenty of room to debate motions and convene discussions that will help shape the future of the Party. We're really excited for it!
Please note: You must be a member in good standing of the Green Party of PEI to submit motions or nominate yourself for an elected position, and you must have been a member for at least 30 days by the date of the Convention in order to vote.
You can check your membership status by clicking here: www.greenparty.pe.ca/your_information
There are three types of motions that may be voted on at the Convention: policy motions, governance motions (to amend the Constitution or Bylaws), and directives.
This year, with the work of our Policy Development Process Committee advancing, we have adopted a formal process for policy motions, and produced a Members' Guide to Policy Motions to help guide the drafting of good, Green policy motions.
The deadline for the submission of motions to be considered at the Spring Convention is February 1st, 2020. Please click here for more information about motions and how to submit them.
Call for nominations to Provincial Council and the Ombuds & Appeals Committee
This year we have a total of 10 positions up for election - eight on Provincial Council, and two on the Ombuds & Appeals Committee:
- Vice President (two-year term)
- Secretary-Treasurer (two-year term)
- Membership & Volunteer Chair (two-year term)
- Charlottetown Rep (two-year term)
- Western Rep (two-year term)
- Eastern Rep (one-year term)
- Central Rep (one-year term)
- Fundraising Chair (one-year term)
- Female Ombudsperson (two-year term)
- Male Ombudsperson (one-year term)
The deadline for nominations is February 21, 2020. Click here for more information.
Provincial Council is the elected governing body of the Green Party of PEI. The Ombuds & Appeals Committee is an independent committee, accountable directly to the Party membership, that helps investigate and resolve complaints by members, and may undertake reviews of party processes and governance issues.
With the Green Party of PEI playing a key role in Island politics and lots to do in 2020, from launching a full-fledged grassroots policy development process to encouraging the formation of District Associations throughout the Island, this is an exciting time to get more involved, and we hope you'll put your name forward for one of these positions!
Click here for more information about the roles that are up for election, and how to submit your nomination.
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