CHEERS: To Summerside’s Heather Moyse who qualified on the weekend for the Winter Olympics next month in South Korea and a chance to win her third Olympic gold medal in women’s bobsleigh. The ageless brakewoman won gold in 2010 and 2014 but this will be her first Games with pilot Alysia Rissling. It was a history-making Saturday for Canadian women’s bobsleigh - for the first time ever, three Canadian women’s sleds have qualified for the Games in PyeongChang. Moyse and Rissling broke through with their top result of the season – a fourth-place finish to nail down an Olympic berth. It was an amazing performance for the 39-year-old Moyse.
CHEERS: To the Charlottetown Airport Authority, which recorded another record-breaking year for passenger traffic in 2017 when 370,688 passengers travelled through the facility, 4.6 per cent more than in 2016. This was the second consecutive year of significant growth, totalling a 17 per cent increase since 2015, largely because of P.E.I.’s strong tourism industry. One major disappointment in 2017 was the announced termination of the popular Friday-to-Friday direct flights during the spring between Charlottetown and Orlando on WestJet. It was a godsend for golfers and DisneyWorld vacationers.
JEERS: To the City of Charlottetown for passing amendments to the Traffic Bylaw last week to allow winter parking restrictions to be enforced beginning at 11 p.m. Anyone parking on city streets between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. is taking a risk that they may be ticketed and/or towed. Council is telling residents and visitors that the city will shut down before 11 p.m. any time there is a snowfall. It’s certainly not a positive development for the busy downtown core and patrons at restaurants, clubs and hotels who are being told to go home an hour before midnight so crews can get a two-hour earlier jump on clearing snow.
CHEERS: To Jack Frost Winterfest, which announced detailed plans last week for the annual celebration Feb. 16-18. The winter festival attracts families from across the region and while the emphasis is on fun for the children, the event is expanding to make sure that moms and dads are entertained as well. A new addition is The Guardian’s Frosty Night, on Victoria Row on Saturday, Feb.17 from 6-8 p.m. This free outdoor winter outdoor party will feature pyrotechnical fireworks launched from the roof of the Confederation Centre. It will also include a live performance by The Love Junkies and buskers, as well as a dedicated licensed area. Equipment was busy Sunday at the Charlottetown events grounds Sunday, as snowmaking operations are underway to make sure there is lots of the white stuff on hand for the festival.
CHEERS: To Allen Roach and Alan McIsaac who stepped down from cabinet last week. Both announced they wouldn’t re-offer in the next election and both want to wind things down a little before then. They deserve thanks on behalf of all Islanders for their efforts. And CHEERS to Opposition Leader James Aylward for his collegial comments on the cabinet shuffle, congratulating members on their new roles, and thanking Mr. Roach and Mr. McIsaac for their years of service. Mr. Aylward expressed the hope the shuffle will result in a different approach by government to dealing with pressing issues facing the province and he looks forward to working collaboratively to help improve the quality of life for Islanders.
CHEERS: To chairman Brodie O’Keefe, his organizing committee and volunteers who are busy putting the finishing touches on the 43rd annual Spud Minor Hockey Tournament which gets underway next Thursday, Jan. 25 in Charlottetown. Scores of teams from Novice to Midget across the region will compete over the four-day event.