CHEERS: To the legacy of Errol Nicholson, a true gentleman and one of the true unsung icons of P.E.I. golf, who died last week. Nicholson was the pro at Green Gables in Cavendish for more than 40 years, from 1959 to 2000. For many years, the Labour Day Open at Green Gables was a major stop on the local and regional golf circuit, an event which Nicholson took great pride in organizing and hosting. A key builder for the sport across the province, he served on the P.E.I. Golf Association and had a special interest in junior golf. He was also an ardent supporter of the UPEI men’s hockey Panthers, and still attended games until about two years ago, even while in a wheelchair after suffering a stroke.
JEERS: To the mindless delinquent(s) who sprayed graffiti all over the exterior of Our Lady of Assumption Church in Stratford. Homophobic slurs were spray-painted on doors, walls and windows. The incident also drew condemnation on Twitter from Premier Wade MacLauchlan. Unbelievable as it may seem, the premier even drew criticism on social media for his comments. Some people can’t let any opportunity go by without grabbing the opportunity to lower the conversation.
CHEERS: (with bias) to The Guardian’s Frosty Night, a new addition to the annual Jack Frost Winterfest held in Charlottetown over the weekend. The Jack Frost, sponsored by Island Coastal, was a success with thousands of children from across P.E.I. and around the Maritimes on hand for events and attractions at the outdoor events grounds, and inside the Trade Centre and Murphy’s Community Centre. The Frosty Night – for both adults and kids - brought the popular Love Junkies band to a Victoria Row stage along with fireworks for the first time since 2012. Buskers and ice sculpting were also on the schedule. The event drew a big crowd out on a chilly but calm Saturday night who filled Victoria Row and overflowed onto Queen Street. David MacKenzie, regional president-P.E.I. for the Saltwire Network, owners of The Guardian, said the newspaper and its staff were thrilled to be a part of the free community event. It seemed like everyone had a good time.
JEERS: To over-zealous provincial inspectors who stalked a Tracadie area child care facility for possible breaches of regulations. In the past year, the operator had surprise visits by Early Learning and Child Care representatives on three occasions investigating whether she was looking after too many children. The operator takes care of four children throughout the day, while five school-aged children wait at her house for about 15 minutes before and after their bus ride. McInnis said she was told those five kids put her over the limit and three would have to find alternate care. She was told she could not increase the limit even if another adult is in the home. Inspectors were seen sneaking around her home trying to uncover breaches in rules. Have they nothing better to do?
CHEERS: To Billy Bridges, a native of Summerside, for being named to Team Canada’s para ice hockey team for the combined 11th Paralympic Games coming up shortly in PyeongChang, South Korea, March 9-18. The popular Bridges will lead Team Canada in search of its first Olympic gold since 2006 in ice sledge hockey.
CHEERS: To Kerri Wynne MacLeod who overcame a malfunctioning microphone while singing O Canada at the start of the UPEI – St. Mary’s men’s hockey playoff Friday night. The mic kept cutting in and out, and only every second word was audible until the last 10 seconds of the anthem. It’s long past time for a new sound system at MacLauchan Arena.
CHEERS: To former senator, premier and business leader Catherine Callbeck of Central Bedeque who was named UPEI’s ninth chancellor last week for a four-year term. An installation ceremony will be held this spring. The chancellor is a volunteer, titular role that presides over convocations and confers degrees, diplomas, and certificates. Callbeck was named a member of the Order of Canada in 2015 and Order of P.E.I. in 2017 and holds honourary doctor of laws degree from UPEI (2015). Callbeck replaces Don McDougall, who was installed in 2014 and whose extended term concludes this year.
CHEERS: To the NDP P.E.I. council which has passed a motion to adopt a zero tolerance policy on all forms of sexual harassment by members in leadership positions which includes people in all official party and campaign positions; that the party adopt guidelines intended to assist victims; that said sexual misbehavior and harassment be defined and consequences laid out; and that an oversight body be designated to deal with such incidents to be reported to a designated party body of authority. An ad hoc group will develop a detailed process addressing the motion and submit it to Executive and Council for approval in a timely manner.