In his guest opinion in the Guardian on Aug 15 2018, Minister Gallant states that numbers tell the story, highlighting that “In the last two years, 4,200 new full-time jobs have been created.” While this is certainly a good news story, it’s only a part of it. It doesn’t tell us how many of these jobs are permanent full year positions, how many are minimum wage, or how many jobs have been lost, particularly in rural areas. Employment increases in bioscience and aerospace will do little for the 40 people in O’Leary who recently lost their jobs at the Cavendish plant- a loss that will no doubt have significant impacts for the local community.Read more
As I sat in the overflow room listening to the representatives of Northern Pulp defend themselves against the many questions of the MLAs from the Agriculture and Fisheries Standing Committee on Feb 16th, I watched the faces of the fishers sitting around me and felt their helpless frustration at the plans to pipe effluent from the mill out into the Northumberland Strait.Read more
I find it interesting how many portfolios prioritize 'growing the economy' in their mandate. Designing an economy is certainly a worthy goal, but it seems the primary focus for the Minister of Workforce and Advanced Learning should be the Island’s workers, rather than a sort of second Economic Development Minister. Too often, the rights and needs of our workforce are overlooked, conceived of only in terms of unemployment rates and GDP growth. These measures reveal very little about the quality and conditions of jobs, if workers are making enough money to meet basic needs, or if workers are able to achieve work-life balance and maintain healthy lifestyles.Read more
In a recent op-ed piece, Economic Development and Tourism Minister Chris Palmer rightly stated ‘If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it.’ I wholly accept this logic and thank him for opening the dialogue around this.
I, too, learned this while running my first business. I expect all business owners quickly learn the need to associate a value to things that go beyond the goods or services they have for sale. We learn to measure the cost of time, both time spent and time lost; the cost of mistakes; the value of relationships with our suppliers and the connection to our clients; the worth of a reputation. We quantify things that we’ll never need to report on our tax returns, but that we will use as filters to inform countless decisions we make all the time. After all, if we don’t measure it, we can’t manage it.Read more
It was with much curiosity that I read Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Allan MacIsaac’s Report on Agriculture in PEI for 2016 with the headline, “Banner Year for Agriculture on PEI”. Curiosity because the top headline in the same paper indicated that blueberry producers were struggling with overproduction issues. Having previously heard of these overproduction issues at a regional level and from individual growers and associated bee keepers, I was surprised to note a great hurrah-for-blueberries arising in the midst of Minister MacIsaac’s speech, for the not insignificant increase in yields that Island producers have seen recently.Read more