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OPINION: Conduct unbecoming an MLA

P.E.I. Green Party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker.

(Guardian File Photo)
P.E.I. Green Party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker. (Guardian File Photo) - The Guardian

Peter Bevan-Baker ridicules efforts of our legislature and 25 other sitting members, as farcical

BY DOUGLAS COLES

GUEST OPINION

Let's get the thank you out of the way, off the top. I reference the editorial from the Guardian on Jan. 4th, 2018 paper, admonishing Peter Bevan-Baker’s actions on the last day of the fall sitting.

It has been a while since the Guardian and I have been on the same page. And with reason. The media's job is to poke and probe and question and propose. And recently, this has been tiresome for me.

Tiresome because... these are good economic times.

Tourism is through the roof, Agra receipts are well up, lobster prices have rebounded by dollars per pound and we have the newly developed economic pillars of processed food, aerospace, and pharma quickly jostling for recognition as major drivers of our provincial economy. These all positively impacted our recently balanced budget . . . and when was the last time we heard those words in this province? More than two decades ago?

As a provider of services within the knowledge-based economy, our firm continues to successfully export services worldwide, but for the first time in our 35 years of effort, we are now doing it with the full backing of a provincial government looking to reduce the provincial trade deficit. Simply music to my ears, because that means both sustainability to our firm, and its staff and new sources of revenue to our province.

Yes, our corporate life is improving, our staff remains committed, our Island way of life is solid, and finally, the Guardian and I are on the same page, politically.

Mr. Bevan-Baker and I are of a different political stripe. However, he was duly elected by his constituents and for that he deserves our respect. That was followed up by a second selection of a Green party candidate to the legislature. Again, respect is due. Democracy in action.

As someone who has witnessed firsthand, elections held in other parts of the world, at the point of a gun, I recognize that we do have a great and fair democracy here, so who can complain about the democratic voice of the people? Certainly not me.

However, and here is where I join forces with the media, a freely elected official, empowered to govern Islanders, simply ignores this privilege, when they place their personal, petty, political viewpoints in front of their privilege of responsibility to govern. And with that action I am dismayed.

For Mr. Bevan-Baker to ridicule the efforts of our governing legislature, all 25 other sitting members, as farcical . . . and then, having been given the benefit of the doubt, by his peers, to simply retract that sentiment; only to double down, and be evicted from the House, are the actions of a child.

Actions, such as rudely screaming and stomping their foot in public, hoping to embarrass the parent . . . only realizing, too late, that everyone simply sees them for what they are, a spoiled child. Grossly reminiscent of the actions of that politician governing below our southern border.

And for exposing this character flaw in Mr. Bevan-Baker, I give thanks to our media. As I said, first time in a while, we are on the same page.

- Douglas Coles, P. Eng., P.E., F.E.C., is vice president and director of engineering services for Coles Associates of Charlottetown.

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