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CHEERS & JEERS: Readers, leaders deliver feedback

Mark Lever, left, president and CEO of Saltwire Network, has a conversation with Jim Meek, centre, consultant with Saltwire Network, and Guardian columnist Al Holman at a reception for invited guests in Charlottetown Thursday. The event was the launch of the Open Up Project, a project to see what people want to see in their newspapers.
Mark Lever, left, president and CEO of Saltwire Network, has a conversation with Jim Meek, centre, consultant with Saltwire Network, and Guardian columnist Al Holman at a reception for invited guests in Charlottetown Thursday. The event was the launch of the Open Up Project, a project to see what people want to see in their newspapers.

CHEERS: To Guardian readers and community leaders who took time out of their busy lives to stop by the recent Open Up event held by the newspaper’s new owners at  Confederation Centre's Memorial Hall in Charlottetown.  

We were delivered our own list of cheers and jeers from invited guests and we appreciated the open dialogue. Whether the feedback was positive or focused on room for improvement, our owners and Guardian staff felt that the product we work so hard to deliver is one that has great value with Islanders. Thank you.

JEERS:  to those who continue to turn a blind eye to systemic and overt racism and bigotry. White, privileged Islanders who, like Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, think that it doesn’t happen here or who think the “take a knee” debate in the NFL is just an American debate, are kidding themselves. Joel Ward, who played played for the UPEI men’s hockey Panthers, says he has experienced a lot of racism in hockey and in his everyday life. It would be naïve to think none of that happened in this province. One only has to look at the dialogue surrounding the Fort Amherst name issue or the flying of a Confederate flag at an Island home to know that is not true. Let’s commit to doing a better job of recoginizing racism when it occurs and using a privileged place to call it out.

CHEERS: To the City of Charlottetown for hosting its second Mayor’s Newcomers Reception this past week at City Hall. The influx of newcomers has helped push the province’s population past the 150,000 mark. Many of these newcomers are families and young adults, who are key to the future of the province’s tax base. As well, if we are able to retain them, our new neighbours will go on to create jobs, work in our health-care centres and give back to the communities that supported their move to Canada.

CHEERS: To the School of Sustainable Design Engineering at UPEI, whose instructors and students spent the summer designing and building a tiny, pink, motorized wheelchair for an Island toddler. Two-year-old Ellis Ferrish may have a disease similar to muscular dystrophy (the diagnosis is still tentative), but she is smart and curious. Her new wheels will help her explore her world. The engineering school only officially opened last year, but it is already proving its worth and connection to the community.

CHEERS: To Farm Day in the City. Every year a huge effort goes into taking over a busy intersection in Charlottetown’s downtown and filling it with performances, vendors, demonstrations and displays centred around P.E.I.’s farming hertiage. The event never disappoints and always serves to remind us of the value of some of our primary industries. It was a busy weekend for events, not limited to the new Island Rhythms Festival in Summerside, walks and runs for breast cancer, diabetes and a Learn Day gathering about education. Many volunteer hours and generous donations were spent at all of these festivals, fundraisers and gatherings, making the last weekend in September a busy and vibrant one.
 

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