CHEERS: To Brenda McIlwaine of Belvedere who was recognized in late November for her 10 years as a volunteer with the P.E.I. Golf Association. Brenda has been instrumental in growing the game on the Island through her involvement in numerous programs and activities that include: president of the association; member of the provincial council; active participant on the course rating team; founder of the girls’ camp program; numerous committees for the rules of golf and competition; and co-ordinator of the Excel Accounting senior women's golf tour.
CHEERS: To Charlottetown Coun. Bob Doiron for speaking up in opposition to the rush by the out-going council to push through a procedural bylaw that limits the powers of the mayor. Doiron called it an abuse of process, and wrote a letter to The Guardian stating his views.
And JEERS to the former council which asked its legal counsel to investigate whether Coun. Doiron breached the city’s code of conduct. Perhaps the previous council should consider whether it was in breach of code of conduct for hypocritical behavior, and for trying to limit free speech.
JEERS: To the federal government for taking this long to finally suspend its attestation requirement for the Canada Summer Jobs Program. There was wide backlash and criticism for the Liberals’ values test which resulted in more than 1,500 Canada Summer Jobs applications being rejected in 2018, up from 126 rejections in 2017. Hundreds of organizations withdrew their applications or did not apply due to the attestation. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau failed to follow his creed of Canada being a tolerant, multicultural society by imposing his personal ideological position restricting groups from receiving government funding.
CHEERS: To Jim Hulton, Charlottetown Islanders coach and general manager, who left Sunday to join Canada’s national junior hockey team. Hulton has coached at two world junior hockey championships, but never in Canada. That will change when he steps behind the bench as an assistant coach with Team Canada in Vancouver and Victoria, B.C., from Dec. 26, 2018, to Jan. 5, 2019. Moose Jaw Warriors bench boss Tim Hunter will be the head coach while Marc-André Dumont (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles) is another assistant. Islanders defenceman P.O. Joseph leaves today for Team Canada’s selection camp. Good luck.
CHEERS: To the grand-daddy of P.E.I. Christmas parades which wound its way through Souris on Saturday, Dec. 1. The 38th annual Souris Christmas Parade attracted thousands of families and Christmas-lovers from across Kings County and the Island despite cool temperatures. Leading the event was parade marshal Olivia MacNeill, Miss Teenage Maritime International 2018. The Souris parade, brainchild of the late community organizer Urban Carmichael, is considered the best of the provincial parades because its intimate, smaller, people know each other and it’s a little quicker from start to finish.
JEERS: To a vicious fall storm Nov. 28-29 which knocked down hundreds of power poles and trees, causing widespread and prolonged power outages; and which resulted in widespread damage and destruction along P.E.I.’s north shore. The nor’easter was the worst in a series of powerful storms which pummeled the region throughout November. High winds and waves destroyed tens of thousands of shellfish which washed ashore, while delivering severe damage to the fragile dune system. Islanders always hope for an early freeze before winter storms arrive so a frozen Gulf will limit the effects of winds and waves. But storms arrived early and often, bringing winter some two months early with them. Can you say climate change?
JEEERS: To the province which recently confirmed that more than 15,000 Islanders are without a family doctor. The province revealed during question period last week that the number of Islanders on the patient registry grew from 8,408 to 11,822 in just over two years. An additional 3,800 slanders are without a doctor with the recent departure of three physicians. Most Islanders on the registry live in Queens County, at 9,075. Prince County has 2,739 on the registry, while Kings County just has eight. Besides the loss of physicians through retirement or leaving the province, the population of the province is increasing, adding to the strain on services.