CHEERS: To Jillian Kilfoil of O’Leary, who this week gets a chance to share her perspectives on gender equality and women’s empowerment with an international audience. Kilfoil, the executive director of Women’s Network P.E.I., is a member of the Canadian delegation in New York for the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women meetings March 12 - 16. Also attending is P.E.I.’s Status of Women Minister Paula Biggar. In New York, Minister Biggar will also recognize the 25th anniversary of the Island’s “famous five” – a time in Island history when five of the most senior positions in government were held by women. They included House Speaker Nancy Guptill, Lt.-Gov. Marion Reid, Opposition Leader Pat Mella, Premier Catherine Callbeck and Deputy Speaker Libbe Hubley.
CHEERS: To the City of Summerside which is inviting everyone to welcome hometown heroine Heather Moyse, recently back from her recent bobsled appearance at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. The celebration, postponed from Friday by poor weather, takes place in the Veterans Convention Centre at Credit Union Place on Friday, March 16, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Moyse will be onsite for a question and answer period, photo opportunities and selling and signing her first book, Redefining Realistic.
CHEERS: To Kiera Rigby, a member of the UPEI Panthers women’s basketball team, who was named the recipient of the prestigious 2018 Sylvia Sweeney Award, a national university honour which recognizes the Canadian women's university basketball player who best exemplifies the values of athletics, academics and community involvement.
CHEERS: To Lauren Lenentine of Cornwall, the alternate player with the newly-crowned world junior women’s curling champion team skipped by Kaitlyn Jones of Halifax. Team Canada defeated defending champ Isabella Wranå of Sweden 7-4 Saturday morning in Aberdeen, Scotland. The Jones rink picked up Lenentine, who skipped the P.E.I. winners, following the Canadian championships earlier this year. Later Saturday, Tyler Tardi from Langley, B.C. captured the world junior men’s title by defeating previously unbeaten Scotland 6-5 in an extra end.
JEERS: To the Ontario Superior Court of Justice which struck a jarring blow against the Easter Bunny in a ruling handed down last week. A couple in Hamilton, Ont. had refused demands from the Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton to tell the two young girls in their care that the Easter bunny is real. The CAS closed the couple’s foster home when they refused to verify the existence of the Easter bunny. The court found the CAS violated the couple’s Charter rights freedoms of conscience, religion and expression. The court decided the question, “is it more important to have the Easter Bunny or permanency?” The CAS chose the Easter Bunny. And who was hurt? The couple’s strict moral views were considered more important than young children’s harmless fantasies. So, who is next, Santa Claus?
CHEERS: To Sven Stammberger of the Dalhousie Tigers men’s basketball team, named winner of the Ken Shields Award for Student-Athlete Community Service. The 6-foot-six all-Canadian 2nd team all-star forward is a native of Halifax, N.S. and was the Tigers’ leading scorer this season, averaging 18.4 points per game. He is the son of Anna (Pendergast) Stammberger, a native of Kensington.
CHEERS: To P.E.I.’s criminal justice system, which for the second year in a row, is rated the best in the country. According to the MacDonald-Laurier Institute’s second-annual Justice System Report Card, the province is No. 1 based on key indicators like crime rates, police performance and time to trial. The report cites that P.E.I. has the lowest violent crime rate and one of the lowest property crime rates in the country, both of which have declined significantly since 2012. The province has the lowest rate of failure to comply with court orders; also has a relatively efficient justice system; it has the shortest median criminal case length (37 days); and the fewest number of accused persons on remand per 1,000 crimes of any jurisdiction.