Cheers to Malpeque MP Wayne Easter for tabling a Private Members Bill last week entitled, “An Act to Recognize Charlottetown as the Birthplace of Confederation.” The purpose of the legislation is to place in statute the recognition of Charlottetown as the birthplace of Confederation as we approach the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017. Easter acknowledged the work done on the bill by Charlottetown MP Sean Casey. It’s a timely bill, which all members of the House of Commons should support.
Cheers to 5th year forward Samantha Sweet of the UPEI women’s hockey team, one of 11 nominees by Atlantic University Sport for the 2016 James Bayer Memorial Scholarship Award. The prestigious scholarship is awarded annually to an outstanding AUS student-athlete for excellence in academics, athletics, leadership, sportsmanship and citizenship. Each of the nominees receives a $500 scholarship award, while the award recipient receives $1,000. Team captain Sweet, of O’Leary, is completing her masters in chemistry, and is on pace to earning CIS academic all-Canadian for a fifth consecutive year.
Jeers to a security guard at the Confederation Court Mall for throwing a bucket of water on an 18-year-old panhandler. The young man said he was sitting outside a mall door when the incident happened. As a letter to the editor noted last week, panhandlers are - at worst - a minor annoyance and they don’t deserve to be treated this way. Letter writers asked why an 18-year-old is panhandling but this isn’t the issue here. No one deserves to have water thrown on him or her. Charlottetown police confirm they are investigating the incident.
Cheers to P.E.I. teams which open play today at the 2016 Canadian Senior Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships in Digby, N.S. The men’s team includes skip Rod MacDonald of Summerside and from Charlottetown third Kevin Champion, second Mark O’Rourke and lead Mark Butler. The women’s team from Charlottetown includes skip Kim Dolan, third Susan McInnis, second Sandy Matheson and lead Julie Scales. The winners represent Canada at the 2017 Worlds in Lethbridge, Alta.
Cheers to the federal budget, which confirmed the return of OAS eligibility age to 65, welcome news for many Islanders who were facing having to wait two extra years for their old age benefit. Many seniors live under the poverty line and the budget does provide better income supports to reduce critical expenses like home care and drug costs. There is an increase in the guaranteed income supplement for single seniors beginning July 2016. Single seniors face far greater rates of poverty compared to their counterparts in couples.
Jeers to the growing number of sport and other activities which are now scheduled on Good Friday. Each year, less and less emphasis is placed on this solemn religious day leading up to Easter. You won’t find such events scheduled for Christmas Eve or Remembrance Day so why is Good Friday losing such importance? We see lists of businesses which are opening on Good Friday now instead of lists of stores which are closed.