What PEI can learn from Brexit

Article by Paul MacNeill for PEICanada.com, published June 29, 2016.

“In the lead up to Britain’s referendum on whether or not to leave the European Union, a poll showed that a majority had very little knowledge about the union or their country’s role in it. Still 52 per cent, 17 million plus strong, voted to leave.

It is a result that will likely trigger a stampede of nationalistic rhetoric elsewhere and with it an equal amount of instability. Scotland voted overwhelmingly to stay in the EU, England and Wales strongly for leaving. The United Kingdom may not be so united for long.

All because Prime Minister David Cameron decided it more important to risk the country in a referendum simply to appease members of his Conservative Party. There was no legal requirement to hold last week’s vote, it has much to do with silencing political foes as it did gauging the desires of Britons.

But it backfired. Spectacularly.

And that is what happens when politicians use plebiscites or referendums as an out clause.”

Read the story here.

Preserving Community Identity

Letter to the Editor from FPEIM President Bruce MacDougall – published in The Guardian on April 19, 2016

The need to restructure our rural communities has become increasingly evident in recent years.  What this change will look like is still to be determined.  As conversations take place, a number of very real issues need to be addressed.

It isn’t surprising that people have voiced concern around the loss of community identify as discussions about creating larger municipalities gain momentum.  There are examples of municipal restructuring, in Canada, where names of the original communities have disappeared except in the hearts and minds of residents.  It can and should be done differently in PEI.

See the full letter.

Amalgamation on P.E.I. complicated but necessary

Article from The Guardian, published March 4, 2016.

“Trying to amalgamate P.E.I.’s rural communities will be a tough sell, says Diane Griffin.

The Stratford town councillor was a part of a recent Institute of Island Studies symposium that took place at UPEI on Feb. 25 and looked at local governance on P.E.I. and the way this province is falling behind when it comes to how it is governed both provincially and municipally.”

Read the complete story here.

Municipal restructuring as a good marriage

Blog post from Peter Bevan-Baker, MLA Kelly’s Cross-Cumberland, Leader of the Third Party, published February 19, 2016.

 “Valentine’s Day has got me in a soppy, romantic mood, and it is in this spirit that I offer these thoughts.I got married almost 30 years ago.

I’m a lucky man: I chose the kindest person I’ve ever met to be my wife, and though none of us can predict the future, it looks like we’ll be good for at least a few more years. If Ann were writing this blog, I hope she would say something similar. The years of courtship were special, and the energy and naivety of youth propelled us towards a memorable wedding in St. John’s where the Scottish and Newfoundland families met (and sang, danced, ate and drank together) for the first time. The whole episode from our first encounter (in a dental chair – hold the romance – “do you floss?”…. “I do”) to the wedding (in a spectacular Newfoundland church – bring on the romance – “do you take this woman”……”I do”) was a rollicking delight. We were lucky: we became partners slowly, checking each other out carefully, and really getting to understand each other’s needs before we made the momentous decision to spend the rest of our lives (or at least until February 20th 2016) together. In our culture it is traditional for young (and not-so-young) people to choose their partners, while in others, arranged marriages are more the norm. I can’t imagine what it feels like to have someone else find your partner and dictate the timing, terms and nature of your betrothal, and although I know some cultures manage very nicely with such traditions, let me just say that I’m glad I got to choose.

I’d like to imagine that the process by which Prince Edward Island is going to restructure local government will be more one of mutual courtship, less arranged marriage.”

See Peter Bevan-Baker’s blog post.

Amalgamation Tool Kit in the Works for Municipalities

Article from CBC published January 20, 2016.

“We decided that you know we are going to go out and pull a tool kit together so that municipalities, when they are talking with their neighbours, that at least they’ll be able to have sort of a blueprint of what they need to do, what they need to ask for and that type of thing.”

Read the full article HERE.