CHEERS: To Gov.-Gen. Julie Payette who is making her first official visit to Prince Edward Island today. Islanders are invited to welcome her at Government House (be on hand no later than 11 a.m.) on Monday June 25 where Her Excellency will receive military honours, including a 100-person guard of honour and a 21-gun salute. During her first official visit to the province, the governor general will meet with provincial officials including P.E.I. Lt.-Gov. Antoinette Perry and Premier H. Wade MacLauchlan. Gov.-Gen. Payette will also visit UPEI’s Faculty of Sustainable Design Engineering.
CHEERS: To Summerside’s Noah Dobson who was taken 12th overall Friday in the NHL entry draft in Dallas, TX. The 18-year-old defenceman for the Memorial Cup champion Acadie Bathurst Titan was selected by the New York Islanders. Dobson headed to Long Island on the weekend to take part in a week-long development camp with the team.
Most pre-draft charts had Dobson ranked 4th or 5th overall following a dominating Memorial Cup performance and the Islanders, under new GM Lou Lamoriello and head coach Barry Trotz, were elated to grab him.
JEERS: To the overly-officious P.E.I. conservation officer who seized the fishing rod of an 86-year-old Ontario resident for fishing without a licence last week. The senior was also handed a $275 fine. It wasn’t the best decision by the department but thankfully cooler heads prevailed.
After his story appeared on Facebook and his case was pleaded by Opposition MLA Jamie Fox, the province announced that the fine has been dropped. Gord Murray was on P.E.I. for a week’s holidays and didn't think seniors needed a license to fish here. Justice Minister Jordan Brown said the chief conservation officer has asked the court to stay the fine while someone has donated money to replace Murray's rod.
CHEERS: To the province for seeking expressions of interest for a spring season tourism signature event beginning in 2019. Such a major event could provide tourism operators with an early season boost and provide economic benefit to all Islanders. The province doesn’t want to rest on its laurels after a record-setting one million overnight stays in 2017, and Tourism P.E.I. wants to attract even more visitors to Prince Edward Island in the May and June shoulder season. Event proposals will be considered based on their ability to: Generate substantial direct impacts on the provincial economy; attract a high ratio of off-Island visitation; create wide market exposure; offer significant tourism, cultural or social benefits; or benefits for rural development in Prince Edward Island.
CHEERS: To Réjeanne Arsenault, the former owner of The Bottle Houses in Abram-Village who was recently recognized for her contribution to the tourism industry. Arsenault has also worked as a volunteer on tourism associations and spent time as a tourism development officer. The Association touristique Evangeline, RDEE Prince Edward Island and the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of P.E.I. honoured her contribution during a reception to launch the 2018 tourism season in Abram-Village. Arsenault retired from her business last fall after selling it to Angie and Aubrey Cormier, her neighbours in Cape Egmont.
JEERS: To parent Sobeys for the pending closure of Summerside’s largest downtown grocer. It was announced Thursday that Foodland Summerside, a grocery store under the Sobeys company, would close its doors for the final time in late July. Located in the Summerside Waterfront Campus of Holland College, the grocery store had been operating for several years. Store manager Todd Thorne said the staff is in shock.
CHEERS: To the federal and provincial governments for supporting golf tourism is a big way on P.E.I. by giving more than $500,000 to support the efforts of Golf P.E.I. as it continues its marketing efforts. Golf P.E.I. has had success in establishing a strong online, on-site and TV presence to attract visitors from Canadian and the northeastern U.S. markets. The organization intends to ramp up its digital marketing tactics and use the power of social media with golf and tourism influencers and advocates to draw further attention to P.E.I. as a must-play golf destination. Perhaps some of the funding could be used to attract a signature event involving some of the game’s top players which would shine an international spotlight on Island golf. The Skins game, and match games held in the past were successful in attracting golfers to the province.
JEERS: To Dallas fans who were rude and boorish towards NHL commissioner Gary Bettman throughout the NHL draft in that city on weekend. Every time fan Bettman approached the stage or microphone, boos rang out. One wonders why so-called hockey fans everywhere seem to think its their duty to ridicule the NHL commissioner wherever he appears. It’s all getting a little tiresome. Bettman was even forced to rebuke fans Friday night in order to proceed with a special award to the Humboldt Broncos.