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EDITORIAL: Cheers & jeers

Gallant gets invitation for Olympic curling playdowns

CHEERS: To Brett Gallant who will be at the Charlottetown Curling Complex this Friday, Dec. 22 from 6-8 p.m. with a stack of the ‘Men of Curling’ calendars available for purchase and autographs. All proceeds of the calendars sold by Brett go to KidSport, an organization that gives kids on P.E.I. the chance to play sports. Gallant is home from St. John’s for the holidays before taking part in national playdowns in early January. The first Canadian Mixed Doubles Olympic Trials are scheduled for Jan. 3-7, 2018 in Portage la Prairie, Man., where 18 teams will play for the right to represent Canada at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where mixed doubles will make its debut as an Olympic medal sport. Gallant is teaming with Jocelyn Peterman of Alberta. The event will receive wide coverage on CBC where every draw will be live-streamed with full TV coverage of playoff games. Brett hopes to join to father Peter at the Olympic where dad is coaching the South Korean women’s curling team.

CHEERS: To Atlantic Beef Products of Albany and its partner beef producers, who are helping to celebrate the history of beef farming on the island and commemorating Canada 150 with a number of holiday donations of 150 kilograms of beef to P.E.I. food banks. Donations were already made in Charlottetown and Summerside while the third of three donations will be in Montague on Dec. 14 at the Southern Kings and Queens Food Bank in Lower Montague and will benefit Montague and Souris and surrounding areas.

JEERS: To Prince Edward Islanders and most other Canadians who have their Scrooge hats on year round more than ever. The amount that Canadians are donating to charities has hit a 10-year low, according to the Fraser Institute. The study finds approximately one-in-five Canadian tax-filers claimed charitable donations on their 2015 tax return. That number is much lower than Americans, who compare at almost one-in-four Americans (or 24.5 per cent). The total amount donated by Canadians was just 0.56 per cent of income and it's the lowest amount in a decade. The average dollar amount claimed in Canada was $1,699 compared to $6,058 in the U.S. The biggest drop in donations was in Ontario and New Brunswick while Manitoba is the most generous province per capita.

CHEERS: To Cavendish Farms, which made a $2 million donation to the University of Prince Edward Island’s School of Sustainable Design Engineering to support sustainable farming solutions in the agricultural industry. The donation will help the school develop innovations for the agriculture industry on the Island and across the globe. Robert K. Irving, President of Cavendish Farms, says his company has a strong commitment to the environment and sustainable farming practices. This donation will help continue to further sustainable farming for years to come. This donation is the largest single donation to the campaign to date.

CHEERS: To The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), which delivered good news for P.E.I. fishermen last week. The Prince Edward Island Fishermen’s Association (PEIFA) reports that Island tuna fishers will benefit from additional Bluefin tuna quota in 2018. P.E.I.’s quota for 2017 was 116 tonnes and the province is anticipating a 2018 quota in excess of 145 tonnes. The increase is the result of industry efforts to rebuild the stocks. There are 359 active license holders that participate in the commercial and catch and release tuna fisheries on P.E.I.

CHEERS: The City of Charlottetown for plans to hold a pre-budget open house in January to hear input from the public on how they would like to see money allocated on services and programs in the Capital City for the 2018 budget. The open house is set for Wednesday, Jan.10, 2018 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at City Hall. This event will provide residents with the opportunity to meet with Finance Committee Members, Departmental Managers and staff to address any budget-related questions or provide suggestions on what the City might be able to do in its budget to improve services or reduce costs. Anyone unable to attend can submit feedback through email, social media or written submissions. It’s called grassroots democracy.

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