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EDITORIAL: A sombre reminder


It’s Labour Day weekend. And the schedule for many Islanders is centred on getting their kids ready for school next week.  

Orientation and professional learning days for teachers are already underway to prepare for students’ return to the classrooms Sept. 7. Parents are also busy moving older children into university or college.
P.E.I. motorists are being urged to watch out for children and buses. Slow down in school zones. The warnings are annual but essential.
If we’re lucky, there will be an extra round of golf if it doesn’t rain Monday. It likely will.
Summer, or the best part of it, is winding down. Based on the chill in the air Friday, fall lurks around the corner as our thoughts shift towards a new season.
And those young, know-it-all weather people haven’t helped matters. Suddenly, we have meteorological seasons taking precedence over astronomical seasons. We thought we were three weeks away from the official start of fall on Sept. 22.
But no, the rules have changed. Today’s forecast is all about meteorological – so we’re told that fall really began Sept. 1, and includes the months of September, October and November. Dammit.
We don't want to hear the logic: By dealing with data from whole rather than fractions of months, it aligns calendar dates more closely with the temperatures felt during that period, and allows weather scientists to more easily compare weather patterns from one season to another.
Blah blah. Thank you for cutting our summer three weeks short and welcoming the approach of winter three weeks early.
Labour Day offers a more serious message about the sacrifices made by working men and women who made this great nation what it is today – through the sweat of their brow.
We hear important Labour Day messages. The Canadian Labour Congress took the opportunity to push for a national pharmacare program. Unions are in the forefront of this important health initiative and labour reminds us that Canada is the only nation with a national health plan that doesn’t include a national drug plan.
The P.E.I. Federation of Labour is planning its 17th annual Labour Day Picnic on Monday at the Joe Ghiz Memorial Park, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. There are fun events planned and much to celebrate for battles won, because labour took a stand for better wages and working conditions.
There is also a sombre reminder on The Guardian’s opinion page today about a forgotten segment of the Island workforce – young mothers who are home looking after their children. Many suffer in silence from postnatal / postpartum depression. Since January, we are told that six young women have left us - at their own hands. If such a tragedy occurred in any other workplace, there would be an outcry and a demand for action. Efforts to address mental health and mental illness gaps must go forward.
Labour Day is a time to celebrate but we must remember that much work remains to improve the everyday lives and ease the struggles of Island workers.



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