© Guardian photo by Heather Taweel
Prime Minister Stephen Harper chats with Lindsay Oehike, a Parks Canada interpretation officer, as they tour Province House in Charlottetown Thursday.
Harper breezes into capital to help celebrate 150th anniversary of Charlottetown Conference
Little did we know in advance, but it was great to see Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Charlottetown on Thursday to help recognize the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference. Our 2014 party wouldn’t be complete without at least one visit from the PM and he touched all the right bases during his stopover.
He toured Province House for the first time and seemed genuinely impressed to sit around the actual table and on the same chairs as the Fathers of Confederation did in 1864 when plans were set in motion that led to the birth of the Dominion of Canada three years later.
Having the PM in Province House should help seal the importance of fully and properly completely repairs and renovations to the national historic site. Mr. Harper noted that more than $10 million has been designated by Parks Canada for the repairs, and also pointed out the significant federal support for our sesquicentennial celebrations.
The PM joined Federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea on a visit to Lobster on the Wharf restaurant where they inspected doomed crustaceans in a holding tank. There was no word on whether the two sat down for a seafood dinner. Let’s hope Ms. Shea briefed the PM on the continuing struggle by Island lobster fishermen for better prices and markets.
The PM is not one to let an opportunity pass without meeting with party faithful as he chatted with Island Tories at a private event. They needed a pep talk heading towards a provincial leadership convention. All in all, it was a successful, incident-free visit for the PM, a master at controlling crowds and message.
Earlier this week in Ottawa, the Senate fiddled over a private member’s bill, much to the satisfaction of P.E.I. Sen. Libby Hubley. An Act Respecting National Fiddling Day passed third reading on Thursday and will now go to the House of Commons. It would designate the third Saturday in May as National Fiddling Day. The clincher came Wednesday during a unique committee hearing featuring some of Canada’s finest fiddlers, including Ivan Hicks from Moncton. Sen. Hubley said National Fiddling Day would “give Canada an opportunity to celebrate the fiddle as an instrument and fiddling itself…”
The weather is forecast to finally turn warmer over the weekend. It took the official start of summer to convince Mother Nature to finally bring an end to this prolonged stretch of cool and wet weather. The summer solstice falls on June 21 at 7:51 a.m. ADT and the beautiful weather will allow a special visitor to P.E.I. to enjoy the beach and other outdoor points of interest. Brooklyn Mavis arrived here with her family mid-week from B.C. for a holiday. She is the student teen left behind because of concerns over her autism and epilepsy while her classmates travelled to P.E.I. on an exchange trip in May. Brooklyn said she’d rather have come here with 49 classmates, but quickly expressed her appreciation to four local groups for making this visit possible.
Ever wonder why purple is the dominant colour in the battle for lupine supremacy along P.E.I. roadways and fields from North Cape to East Point? The puzzle has consumed Islanders for years. Thankfully, a UPEI research project may soon provide the answer. Researchers need photos of P.E.I. lupines as our iconic flower bursts into blooms of pink, purple and white this month. Snap a photo and send it, along with some information, to Dr. Karen Samis, assistant professor of biology at upei.ca/lupine. She is using photos to help answer questions about genetic diversity and distribution, and why purple flowers are more abundant than white or pink. The province awaits an answer.