CHEERS: To the 71 UPEI student-athletes who received an award last weekend for achieving Academic All-Canadian status. The recognition by U SPORTS, the national governing body of university sports in Canada, gives special recognition to student-athletes across the country with an academic standing of 80 per cent or better. To the credit of the university and its athletes, 71 of 179 student athletes in the 2016–17 season were named Academic All-Canadians - 40 per cent of the student-athlete population, and one of the top rates of Academic All-Canadians at universities in the country. This level of academic achievement speaks well about their work ethic and the quality of coaches, faculty, staff, and varsity programs.
JEERS: To the federal government for its failure to renew a national health accord, which will mean a funding shortfall of $32 billion for the provinces over the next 10 years. The data was provided by Canada’s health coalitions to health ministers from across Canada who met last week in Edmonton. The coalition report suggests the recent bilateral health schemes pushed through by the federal government have come at a huge cost, and with no plan to bridge the fiscal gap. The report includes a province-by-province breakdown of the shortfall between the funding contained in the bilateral deals and the level of funding required to ensure that current public health care services remain for the next 10 years. For worst hit provinces, the gap ranges from $3.4 to $13.6 billion. For P.E.I., the shortfall will total a staggering $156 million over the next 10 years, a massive amount of money for this small province.
JEERS: To an obviously insincere statement from the P.E.I. Opposition on the sudden departure of Education Minister Doug Currie last Thursday. The statement from then-Opposition Leader Jamie Fox offered his thanks to Currie, “for his service to the province since 2007. Public life comes with many demands and I'm sure Doug and his family will appreciate the added freedom his decision brings. We wish Doug and his family all the best in the future.” So far, so good, but in the next breath, Fox continued with a partisan jab, “The abrupt departure of such a senior minister is just the latest sign of a tired Liberal government that's on its last legs." The air of sincerity towards Mr. Currie suddenly disappeared and was totally unnecessary.
CHEERS: To Laura Archer, a registered nurse from P.E.I. who is participating in a special workshop and panel on health care Tuesday, Oct. 24 in Halifax. The Canadian Red Cross, in partnership with Dalhousie University, is hosting the two events on the challenges of providing health care - especially for women and children - in complex international emergencies that can range from natural disasters to war and conflicts, to refugee movement, famine and disease epidemics. Archer is currently based in Montreal as the Emergency Health Advisor for the Canadian Red Cross. Last month she deployed to Barbuda to oversee a Canadian Red Cross team that assisted in setting up a temporary new emergency room for the local hospital damaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Then she was deployed to Uganda, assessing health needs and conditions in a refugee camp.
CHEERS: To Sean Joyce, who was named executive director and provincial coach by the P.E.I. Golf Association last week. This role will have Sean working with Golf Canada delivering sport development programs along with administering membership and amateur events. He replaces Ron MacNeil, who recently resigned as executive director after 10 years. Joyce started his golf career at the Canadian Golf Academy in 2007 where he spent three years and then moved to Ottawa where he worked at the Marshes Golf Club before returning home to P.E.I. with his young family and where he spent the last two seasons working as the Business Operations Manager at Eagles Glenn and as the P.E.I. provincial team coach.