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EDITORIAL: Cheers & Jeers

Auiem Ifrach, left, and her sister Hadas try their hand at making their first ever snowman in Victoria Park in Charlottetown during Capital New Year in the Park festivities on Dec. 31, 2015. The family had just immigrated form Israel two months earlier.

(Guardian File Photo/Nigel Armstrong)
Auiem Ifrach, left, and her sister Hadas try their hand at making their first ever snowman in Victoria Park in Charlottetown during Capital New Year in the Park festivities on Dec. 31, 2015. The family had just immigrated form Israel two months earlier. (Guardian File Photo/Nigel Armstrong) - Nigel Armstrong

Jeers to Charlottetown for cancelling the Capital New Year in the Park - four days before New Year's Eve festivities in Victoria Park.

JEERS, to the City of Charlottetown, for cancelling the Capital New Year in Victoria Park, four days before the event on Sunday evening. The city cited frigid temperatures (only -11 C) but it was a lot colder back in 2013 for the year-end event and the 2014 sesquicentennial celebrations kickoff. Why wasn’t there a backup plan ready? Summerside is going ahead with their New Year’s Eve celebrations without a hitch.

CHEERS, to the P.E.I. Storm for trying to salvage something from the cancelled New Year’s Eve countdown in Charlottetown with a first-ever Family Tailgate Party before the team’s Sunday NBL matinee against the Halifax Hurricanes. 
The party will begin at 12 noon Dec. 31 in the Trade Centre, combined with a special ticket promotion. It’s a smart marketing move by the Storm for trying to save something of the annual countdown tradition.

CHEERS, to the upstart Charlottetown Islanders, backed by goalie Matthew Welsh, for their stellar and unexpected performance thus far in the QMJHL season. Welsh boasts a record of 18-8-1-0 this season, tied for the league lead in wins while the Isles are contending for first place with a 21-11-2 record going into Friday night’s action, after a emphatic 2-0 win in Halifax Thursday.

JEERS, to P.E.I. Speaker of the House Buck Watts for declaring, “farce” as unacceptable and unparliamentary language. The speaker got a little carried away on the last day of the fall sitting.

CHEERS, to all Islanders who helped make Christmas a special day, in any way, for those in need through donations of food, gifts and volunteer time to bring a measure of good cheer over the holidays.

JEERS, to the P.E.I. government for leaking contents of the capital budget to assist the campaign for the Liberal candidate in the Charlottetown-Parkdale byelection. It seems to be a trend, as the privacy commissioner rapped government knuckles for giving emails of three whistleblowers to party members who then leaked them to the media six years ago.

JEERS, To Scotiabank downtown for having an unsightly and intrusive dumpster on Grafton Street throughout most of 2017. The eyesore and impediment to traffic was an annoying daily sight during P.E.I.’s busiest ever tourist season. Yes, the bank was undergoing renovations, but was this blight really necessary?

CHEERS, to Scott Morrison, for his hiring and successes as assistant coach with the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association. It’s a remarkable accomplishment for the native of Morell.

JEERS, to the City of Charlottetown and the multi-use task force committee for their timid and lukewarm handling of the final report. It was given to council behind closed doors, no one from the committee was available to speak on it, council needs time to digest it, and no one knows what happens next. Recommendations were confusing and it all sounds like a recipe for shelving it – until further notice.

CHEERS, to P.E.I. Sen. Percy Downe for continuing his efforts to get a fair deal for Islanders paying high tolls to cross the Confederation Bridge. He also deserves credit for declining to get involved in the ‘Senate 150’ medals project, as too expensive, and a program abused by some senators who gave medals to themselves.

JEERS, to a number of MLAs called out by Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee for using the city as a punching bag during recent debate on the new Water Act. The mayor says he’s getting tired of the city taking criticism for its water use when in fact the capital has enacted numerous conservation measures and is working hard to limit its water use.

CHEERS, to all members of the P.E.I. legislature who participated in a lengthy and engaged fall session, starting with the speech from the throne on Nov. 14 and working right up to Christmas. Taxpayers got their money’s worth in this second longest fall sitting in 20 years. A stronger Opposition has paid dividends.

JEERS, to the UPEI athletic department, which sent out invitations to men’s hockey Panthers boosters and members of the public to purchase second half ticket packages. The invitation failed to mention the team has a dismal 4-13-1 record the first half, hardly a strong argument to rush to the box office. As for the 0-7 men’s basketball Panthers . . .?

CHEERS, To P.E.I. senator Dianne Griffin and MP Wayne Easter for shepherding a bill through Parliament recognizing Charlottetown as the birthplace of Confederation.

CHEERS, to Islanders who are responding to the urgent need for blood donations this holiday season. The City of Charlottetown is an “awareness partner” for Canadian Blood Services to help them spread the word about the blood donation appointments that are still available.

JEERS, to the department of community affairs for endless delays in finding a solution to public access at Lakeside beach. The boardwalk and steps to the beach were washed away last winter and many people were unable to access to the beach this summer.

CHEERS, to Charlottetown’s Brett Gallant who begins a historic quest for an Olympic curling berth Jan. 2 when the inaugural Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Trials get underway in Portage la Prairie, Man. The event will determine Canada’s first Olympic mixed doubles curling team. Gallant will team with Jocelyn Peterman and is looking for a chance to join his father at the Olympics where Peter is coaching the South Korean women’s team.

CHEERS, to federal fisheries minister for taking steps to protect right whales in the Gulf from being injured or killed by speeding ships. The majestic mammals must be protected and cruise ship lines should be more sympathetic in efforts to help the whales survival.

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