CaNews Archive‎ > ‎

June 2019


  1. 1 June 30, 2019
    1. 1.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  2. 2 June 29, 2019
    1. 2.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  3. 3 June 28, 2019
    1. 3.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  4. 4 June 27, 2019
    1. 4.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  5. 5 June 26, 2019
    1. 5.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  6. 6 June 25, 2019
    1. 6.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  7. 7 June 24, 2019
    1. 7.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  8. 8 June 23, 2019
    1. 8.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  9. 9 June 22, 2019
    1. 9.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  10. 10 June 21, 2019
    1. 10.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  11. 11 June 20, 2019
    1. 11.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  12. 12 June 19, 2019
    1. 12.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  13. 13 June 18, 2019
    1. 13.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 13.2 ATLANTIC SKIES: Searching for the Summer Triangle - The Guardian column by Glenn Roberts
  14. 14 June 17, 2019
    1. 14.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  15. 15 June 16, 2019
    1. 15.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  16. 16 June 15, 2019
    1. 16.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  17. 17 June 14, 2019
    1. 17.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 17.2 Women’s rights offer best solution to world’s woes - The David Suzuki Foundation article by David Suzuki
  18. 18 June 13, 2019
    1. 18.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  19. 19 June 12, 2019
    1. 19.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  20. 20 June 11, 2019
    1. 20.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  21. 21 June 10, 2019
    1. 21.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  22. 22 June 9, 2019
    1. 22.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  23. 23 June 8, 2019
    1. 23.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  24. 24 June 7, 2019
    1. 24.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  25. 25 June 6, 2019
    1. 25.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  26. 26 June 5, 2019
    1. 26.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  27. 27 June 4, 2019
    1. 27.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  28. 28 June 3, 2019
    1. 28.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  29. 29 June 2, 2019
    1. 29.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  30. 30 June 1, 2019
    1. 30.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews

June 30, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

June 29, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Farmers' Markets:
Charlottetown -- 9AM-2PM
Summerside -- 9AM-1PM
George's in Bedeque -- 10AM-2PM
Cardigan Farmers' Market, 10AM-2PM

Trivia, 6-8PM, with District9 Green Party candidate John Andrew
. Hillsborough Community Centre.
The ban on most single-use plastic bags goes into effect Monday, July 1st, so it's been a great time to drag then with you. The bag ban won't have an impact on many Farmers' Market vendors right now, and there is still a lot of plastic to bag their lettuce or tender tops. Ask -- when it is not too busy -- for advice on what alternates there are.

from the wonderful Moe Kerr, with lovely layout, focussing on such artisans.
Apologies for the short and jumpy nature of this away and working with small devices....

"He who wants a rose must respect the thorn."
---Persian proverb

Yours truly,
Chris Ortenburger,
Citizens' Alliance of P.E.I.

June 28, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

P.E.I. Legislature sits from 10AM-1PM
. You are welcome to attend out there, too!

Friday for the Future, in front of Province House (Grafton side), in solidarity with Greta Thunberg.
Facebook event link
District 9:Charlottetown-Hillsborough Park campaign events will be on this weekend. Here is what Green Party candidate John Andrews is planning:

P.E.I. lost two amazing women this week:

Barbara Munves was in the news the past year, but lived a long and full life supporting the arts, social justice, and animal rights.

Tracy Croken died far too early, and was involved in many endeavors, including promoting and protecting causes such as the Bonshaw Hall Co-operative. She was an excellent artist and sought-after signcrafter.
The Pact for a Green New Deal town hall consultations across the country -- notes:


Historic floods and wildfires. The MMIWG final report linking resource extraction and violence against Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people. Growing economic inequality. Our government’s failure to live up to the demands of the Truth and Reconciliation committee or to fully implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This moment of systemic crisis calls for systemic change. That’s why over 100 groups have come together in 2019 to launch The Pact for a Green New Deal.

The Pact for a Green New Deal is a coalition calling for a far-reaching plan to cut emissions in half in 11 years, in line with Indigenous knowledge and climate science; create more than one million good jobs; and build inclusive communities in the process. Its bold, justice-based vision is galvanizing thousands of people by recognizing, and working to respond to, the multiple crises we face.

Since The Pact launched on May 6, 2019, organizations in the coalition have set off with the goal of listening to people from coast to coast to coast in the ambitious project of defining what a Green New Deal looks like for their community.

In less than a month, volunteers organized an astounding 150+ town halls, taking place in every single province and territory, to build alignment towards a set of shared principles for a Green New Deal.

Of these 150+ events, about half were held in large communities (over 100,000 people), and half in small communities (under 30,000 people). The organizers we heard from hosted town halls ranging in size from four people, in Iqaluit, to over 300 in Edmonton. All in all, more than 7,000 people joined Green New Deal town halls in their communities — representing environmental groups, labour unions, faith groups, political parties, city councils, community and neighbourhood associations, Indigenous organizations, women’s organizations, the Fight for $15 and Fairness, student unions, local media, and more.

We worked with analysts to pull themes from the town hall conversations that took place: people gathering in grief, in rage, and in hope to share what they think the Green New Deal must include, and what it must put an end to. What follows is a summary of some of those themes; it is not a complete analysis or completed report. There is much work still to be done to bring in those who did not attend town halls, to allow time to hear from other groups, and to make sure voices marginalized by the status quo are made central in the process.
Red Lines and Green Lines

The town hall process was not about coming to complete consensus on specific policies or finding the perfect wording, but rather creating an opportunity for thousands of people to contribute their ideas for what a Green New Deal should look like, to identify commonalities, and to start developing specific proposals.

Participants were asked to discuss their red lines and green lines: the things that absolutely should not be in a Green New Deal for Canada, and the things that people, groups, communities and institutions want — and in some cases, need — to see in a Green New Deal in order to be on board.

Participants shared an incredible 8900 red lines and green lines. There were almost three times as many green lines as red lines, suggesting that participants are eager to focus on a hopeful and positive vision of the future. Some clear themes emerged from the responses, as outlined in the following sections.

Here’s some of what we heard.
Green Lines

The town hall responses were sorted into the following twelve Green Line categories: Economy and Government, Green Infrastructure, Nature, Agriculture, Social Justice, Democracy, Plastics, Climate Science, Decent Work, Indigenous Reconciliation, Climate Debt, and Rights. Of these categories, the ones that occurred most frequently were Economy and Government, Green Infrastructure, Social Justice, and Indigenous Sovereignty. It is clear that systemic change and radical shifts are needed to transform the systems and institutions that perpetuate inequality, racism, xenophobia, and ongoing colonial violence.

Indigenous Sovereignty

A Green New Deal must include the full implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), and the 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Participants highlighted the importance of Indigenous knowledge, and respecting Indigenous title and relationship to the land. Decolonization must go hand in hand with a Green New Deal.

Specific recommendations included:
Full recognition of Indigenous title and rights.
Fully implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent.
Fully implementing the 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Fully implementing the Calls for Justice in the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Economy and Government

Time and time again, we heard that transforming the economy is at the heart of solutions to environmental degradation and climate change. Town hall participants are ready for governments to lay the groundwork for this change in a wide range of ways — from carbon taxes, to subsidies for green initiatives, to public investment in renewable energy and infrastructure and fundamentally changing the priorities of the economic system itself.

Specific recommendations included:
Setting a legally binding climate target for Canada in line with the science of keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Creating millions of good, high-wage jobs through a green jobs plan, ensuring fossil fuel industry workers and directly affected community members are guaranteed good, dignified work with the training and support needed to succeed.
Increasing unionization and implementing workers’ rights, including at least a $15 minimum wage, pay equity, paid emergency leave, job security, protections for migrant workers, and the right to organize and unionize
Personal and public subsidies for greener technology, including affordable energy-efficient housing, and transportation.

Green Infrastructure

In talking about infrastructure for an equitable and sustainable society, participants named renewable energy and public housing as areas in need of urgent action.

Specific recommendations included:
Making massive public investments in the infrastructure to build a 100% renewable energy economy - including power generation, energy efficiency, public transportation, public housing, food justice, ecological and localized agriculture, and clean manufacturing.
Ensuring sustainable, financially and physically accessible public transportation for everyone.
Prioritizing and incentivizing local renewable energy creation especially with public service buildings.

Social Justice

The climate crisis cannot be addressed in isolation. Participants made connections between environmental issues and struggles that have long been led by communities on the frontlines of racism and an extractive economy: migrants, Indigenous communities, rural towns and villages, poor and working-class people, and disabled people. Participants also noted the rising leadership of youth whose lives and futures are at stake; and who must be included at decision-making tables.

Specific recommendations included:
Promoting justice and equity by centering the communities marginalized by our current economy. This means addressing past and current harms to Indigenous peoples, Black communities, communities of colour, LGBTQ people, migrants, refugees, and undocumented people, rural communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, people with disabilities, and youth.
Ensuring free accessible post-secondary education for all.
Full access to quality public services including healthcare, education, income security, housing, childcare, pharmacare, dental care, pensions, and more — for all.
Status for all: Permanent resident status and family unity for all migrants and refugees here, and landed status on arrival for those that arrive in the future. No detentions, no deportations.
Ensuring that Canada pays its fair share of the climate debt to countries in the Global South that have been impacted by practices and decisions in Canada, and ensuring that corporations based in Canada are not damaging the climate and environment elsewhere, contributing to conditions that force people to migrate (including wars, unjust mining, pollution, etc).
Red Lines

Town hall participants talked about putting a stop to the industries, institutions and practices that endanger our future and accelerate environmental destruction. Some of the Red Lines that came up discussed the fossil fuel industry, extraction and pollution, plastics, and a failing democracy.

Fossil Fuels

Town hall participants were heavily in support of not only preventing the future growth of the fossil industry — through actions like halting the construction and expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure, and ending government subsidies — but phasing it out on a timeline in line with the demands of Indigenous knowledge and science.

Specific recommendations:
A plan to fully phase out the fossil fuel industry and move to 100% renewable energy by 2040 (at the latest) must be developed and implemented (including a plan to fully support workers throughout this process).
Freezing the construction and/or approval of all new fossil fuel extraction and transportation projects — we cannot solve the problem if we make it worse at the same time.
Fossil fuel subsidies from the federal or provincial government should be immediately eliminated and redirected to support the transition to a clean economy.

Protecting Biodiversity and Nature

Participants emphasized the importance of ending water extraction, water pollution, and other activities that jeopardize the health and sustainability of the environment.

Specific recommendations included:
Enacting laws that grant personhood protections to our forests and bodies of water, and the creation of an environmental bill of rights.
Stopping the dumping of waste (civic or industrial) into bodies of water.
Ensuring greater protection for critical biodiversity and natural areas.
Collectively ensuring the right of all people to clean air, clean water, healthy food, and a safe environment built on connection and community.
Ensuring the protection of at least 30 percent of land and waters in Canada by 2030.


Participants voiced support for stopping the production of single-use plastics, and advocated for the importance of ending our reliance on plastics as a society.

Specific recommendations included:
Developing alternatives to plastic bags, straws and other single-use plastic items to address the problem of plastic waste, while maintaining the necessary access that these items often provide.
Ending boil water advisories in Indigenous communities.
Legislating the curtailment of excessive packaging.


Participants made systemic links between current environmental issues and the necessity of ending corporate lobbying and transforming the democratic systems and institutions that have helped to create the multiple crises we face. Participants noted they would like to see “no more first past the post elections.”

Specific recommendations included:
Honouring the promise of making Canada a Proportional Representation Democracy.

Next Steps:

The communities and organizations represented by people who attended town halls did reach beyond the “green bubble” that typically exists within mainstream environmental events and campaigns. That being said, there is much room for improvement in reaching out to the labour movement, social justice movements, Indigenous peoples, and those who are marginalized or who have been most impacted by the current and historical harms a Green New Deal must address.

Moving forward, consultation will continue and groups and organizations are encouraged to make submissions to this process. Many town halls have yet to be held, some groups are still preparing their own specific submissions; and so, the recommendations above should be taken as a living document that will continue to evolve and change as new voices enter the conversation.

Thank you for your words and participation. Let’s keep working to secure a Green New Deal for all.

Some background about the Pact for a Green New Deal, here:
"Life is about using the whole box of crayons."

June 27, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

June 26, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

June 25, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

June 24, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

June 23, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

June 22, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

June 21, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

CBC Radio Political Panel, 96.1, starting soon this morning
, link later.

Bike to School and Work Day, City of Charlottetown IS going ahead, but the organizers understood about the rain today. They posted:
"It looks like the weather is not going to cooperate for Bike to Work and School Day, but we’re going ahead with our events as planned. 

This year’s Bike to Work and School Day is being held in honor of Josh and Oliver Underhay. Josh was an advocate for all things cycling and an avid cycling commuter, regardless of the weather. It wouldn’t have been unusual to see Josh biking around Charlottetown in the rain or even the snow… that is the spirit of the event this year. We encourage everyone to dress for the weather and head out, just as Josh would have.

That said, be sure to wear colourful clothing and take your time if you’re heading out. We want everyone to stay safe and have some fun.
If biking in the rainy weather isn’t for you, we encourage you to challenge yourself to bike to work or school on another day when the weather is fit. It’s all about getting outside and participating in active transportation!"

P.E.I. Legislature sitting, 10AM-1PM, Coles Building, or watch here at the "Watch Live" button or on their Facebook page.

Fridays for Future, 3:30PM, Grafton Street side of Province House, "We plan to meet weekly in front of the Province House to stand in solidarity with international movement, founded by Greta Thunberg to force governments and corporations to do what is necessary to ensure that she and future generations will have a habitable planet." All welcome!
In the P.E.I. Legislature this week, Environment, Water and Climate Change Minister Brad Trivers tabled the link to this extensive and greatly illustrated article, which others having been sharing, too:

Toronto Star extensive article on Climate Change affecting P.E.I.
"The Seige of P.E.I"
Yeah, OK, but do good.
"In this world, one needs to be a little too good in order to be good enough."
---Pierre Carlet de Chamblain de Marivaux (1688-1763), French playwright

June 20, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

June 19, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

This morning:
Eggs Farmers of PEI Free Breakfast, 7:30-10:30AM
189 Great George Street (lot next to Old Triangle). Free breakfast sandwiches and veggie egg wraps.

Charlottetown Farmers' Market, Summer Wednesdays, 9AM-2PM.

P.E.I. Legislature sits from 2-5PM only today.
You can attend in person or watch on their website or Facebook page.

Public Meeting on Charlottetown's Short Term Rental situation, 6:30-9PM
Memorial Hall, Confederation Centre of the Arts.
from the City's notice:
"A public meeting hosted by the City of Charlottetown will be held on Wednesday, June 19 to discuss short term rentals within the City of Charlottetown.

Short-term rentals are defined as the rental of a dwelling unit or a portion of a dwelling unit for a period of less than 30 consecutive days. The issue of short-term rentals has a number of different implications for residents, homeowners, renters, and the tourism industry.

Last month, the Planning and Heritage Department collected public surveys on short term rentals. The City received 746 unique survey responses over a two week period. The information collected from the survey is currently being complied and analyzed, and will be presented to Council prior to the public meeting on June 19... The meeting will include an overview of the current status of short term housing, review of survey results and an opportunity for Q&A from the public.

For more information, contact the Planning and Heritage Department at 902-629-4158." 

Message from the Group fighting for Affordable Housing:
"It is time for us tenants to SHOW UP and clearly tell the city what we want to see!!"

P.E.I. Legislature:
Yesterday was a Nice day of new-ness -- new Speaker, new MLAs getting used to the place.

Heckling -- Official Opposition Leader Peter Bevan-Baker asked Premier Dennis King if he would call for an end to it, and Premier Dennis said yes. Good. I suspect, like changing to any new positive behaviour, they will all need lots of gentle reminders on this promise while they are learning better ways of responding to differences.

Obviously, it will help if Opposition Parties ask clear, straightforward questions, not just rhetorical ones. And it will be good to see the MLAs figure out balancing listening and responding to the answers they get, while seeing the prepared questions that are planned in advance. Question Period (QP) usually is about 15-20minutes into the beginning of the day's session and is often transcribed that afternoon for media and the public. I'll try to break down how questions are being allocated to the Opposition Parties in the coming days.
Legislative Assembly webpage for QP transcripts

Other news yesterday

Climate emergency declared.
Pipeline approved
Such odd timing.
(from Greek oxymoros (adj.) "pointedly foolish")

To some of us, this is another decision that's hard to look kids in the eyes and explain. It's similar, but worse, than the provincial government and former Premier wasting a decade by fooling around with Special Committee on Democratic Renewal.

Federally, wasting another decade and gambling much, much more by having government insisting that the next big fossil fuel project will pave the way for renewables.

June 18, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

The P.E.I. Legislature sits from 2-5PM and 7-9PM today.
You can attend in person at the Cole Building, or by watching on Eastlink or on the internet at the Legislative Assembly website or their Facebook page. This is their first full day of the 66th General Session.
Legislative Assembly website link

Today, Tuesday, June 18th:
Unpacked Store Info Session and Fundraiser Launch Party, 6:30-8PM
, StartUp Zone, 31 Queen Street, Charlottetown.
"Unpacked is hosting a public information session to inform PEI locals about the process of package-free shopping, what to expect, the brands we'll carry and what is Island sourced, and more! This is also the night we'll be launching our online fundraiser. We wanted to host this event as a way to meet our supporters face to face, and to answer whatever questions Islanders may have." All welcome. The store location is planned to be inside the Kent Street Market at the Confederation Court Mall.
Facebook event details

Documentary: Modified, 7PM, UPEI Campus, MacDougall Hall (assuming Room 242 but will confirm tomorrow)
Hosted by Cinema Politica, Council of Canadians PEI Chapter and the UPEI Environmental Society. Admission by Donation
This documentary-memoir questions why GMOs are not labeled on food products in Canada and the US, despite being labeled in 64 other countries around the world.
More details at the Facebook event link
Another Section of the Throne Speech


(Section 14):
Strengthening trust and integrity
Government will:

full text:
· encourage the Special Committee on Committees to consider equal membership on the Standing Committee on Rules, Regulations, Private Bills and Privileges, across all parties represented in the Legislative Assembly;
· recommend that the Standing Committee on Rules, Regulations, Private Bills and Privileges undertake a full open and public discussion around the structure and composition of Standing Committees; and,
· suggest to the Standing Committee on Rules, Regulations, Private Bills and Privileges ways that multi-party collaboration and consensus can be found in order to renew and re-align Standing Committee mandates towards compromise that works for all members.

While this would be pushing the Legislative Assembly to be less partisan and actually work for all Islanders, it's such a tenuous proposal..."encourage the Special Committee"..."to consider"..."suggest".... Stronger intention, stronger wording would show stronger leadership on Democratic Reform, which will of course only strengthen our democracy and improve trust and integrity. The discourse today by many MLAs on the Throne Speech ("Considerations on the Speech from the Throne") will also be illuminating about this area of improving Committee work.
Something completely different: 

ATLANTIC SKIES: Searching for the Summer Triangle - The Guardian column by Glenn Roberts

Warmer weather, longer days mean spring is coming to an end

Published on Wednesday, June 12th, 2019

Hurray, summer is finally here!

Well, it doesn't officially happen until June 21, but the weather certainly feels more summer-like than it has for the past few weeks.

The summer solstice occurs at 12:54 p.m. ADT on that date, marking the official commencement of summer here in the northern hemisphere (winter in the southern hemisphere). It also marks the longest day of the year, and, subsequently, the shortest night.

The celebration of the summer solstice has a long history, spanning many centuries and countless global cultures, where ancient peoples used the summer solstice to organize their calendars, work out when to plant crops and, in general, to celebrate the end of the cold and confining weather of winter and spring. The ancient Celts of Europe are said to have celebrated the arrival of summer by dancing around huge bonfires.

Unfortunately, for most people around the world nowadays, it is just another day, and though they mentally welcome its arrival, there are few, if any, large, public celebrations. However, in the northern European countries of Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway, the summer solstice is still celebrated with large, public festivals that often incorporate music and dancing around a maypole.

At the famous, neolithic Stonehenge circle in Wiltshire, England, celebrants annually gather, with much merriment and fanfare, to watch the sun rise above the horizon between two of the henge's huge stone monoliths on the solstice.

With the return of summer, and the summer constellations to our night sky, there is a particular geometric shape that is visible in the night sky at this time of the year. The Summer Triangle, a triangular-shaped asterism, can be formed by joining the three brightest stars Deneb, Vega and Altair in the constellations of Cygnus (the Swan), Lyre (the Harp) and Aquila (the Eagle) respectively. Look for the Summer Triangle directly overhead on any clear night throughout the summer months.

June 17 - Full moon
June 21 - Summer solstice; 12:54 p.m. ADT
June 23 - Moon at apogee (farthest from Earth)
June 25 - Last quarter moon

It is located in a star-rich portion of our galaxy's Milky Way – a broad, murky, diffuse band of stars (appearing like spilt milk) and dust clouds stretching across the night sky from the northeast to the southwest (a beautiful sight in binoculars). Vega (mag. +0.03) is 25 light-years from Earth, with Deneb (mag. +1.25) at 3,550 light-years and Altair (mag. +0.77) at 16.6 light-years. A light-year is how far light travels across the vacuum of space in one Julian calendar year (365.25 days), approximately 9.46 trillion kilometers. It is a measure of astronomical distance, not time.

On the nights of June 15-16, the waxing, gibbous moon, Jupiter (to lower left) and Antares (the bright "heart" star of Scorpius - the Scorpion, to the lower right) form a triangle in the southeast sky about an hour after sunset. The following evening, the near-full moon has moved to the lower left of Jupiter, with the three celestial objects now forming a shallow arc across the night sky, before setting in the southwest just before dawn.

The evening of June 18 will see the moon (one day past full) and Saturn (just above the moon) rise in tandem (less than one degree apart) in the south-southeast sky. Look for the "teapot" asterism in Sagittarius - the Archer to the right. On that same evening, just after sunset, Mercury (now at mag. +0.1) and Mars (mag. +1.8) are visible extremely close together in the west-northwest sky – an excellent photo-op. Mercury reaches its greatest eastern (to the left of the sun) elongation (angular distance between Mercury and the Sun as seen from Earth) on June 23, necessitating binoculars to locate it amid the evening gloaming. Venus (mag. -3.8) continues to rise in the east-northeast sky about one hour before sunrise through the balance of June.

The Algonquin tribes of North America referred to June's full moon (June 17) as the strawberry moon because this was the month when the wild strawberries were plentiful. European settlers to North America referred to it as the rose moon, the month when most roses began to bloom.

Until next time, clear skies.

Glenn K. Roberts lives in Stratford, P.E.I., and has been an avid amateur astronomer since he was a small child. His column, Atlantic Skies, appears every two weeks. He welcomes comments from readers, and anyone who would like to do so is encouraged to email him at
"Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, 'What's in it for me?' "
---Brian Tracy

June 17, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events today, Monday, June 17th:
Voluntary Resource Centre Potluck and AGM, 5-6:30PM
, Haviland Club. All welcome (bring a potluck dish) to share in this fantastic organization's work.
Facebook event details

Progressive Conservative candidate for District 9: Charlottetown-Hillsborough Park Meet and Greet BBQ, with Natalie Jameson, 6-8PM, Malcolm Darrach Community Centre, 1 Avolnea Drive. Facebook event details

Tomorrow, Tuesday, June 18th:
Unpacked Store Info Session and Fundraiser Launch Party, 6:30-8PM
, StartUp Zone, 31 Queen Street, Charlottetown.
"Unpacked is hosting a public information session to inform PEI locals about the process of package-free shopping, what to expect, the brands we'll carry and what is Island sourced, and more! This is also the night we'll be launching our online fundraiser. We wanted to host this event as a way to meet our supporters face to face, and to answer whatever questions Islanders may have." All welcome. The store location is planned to be inside the Kent Street Market at the Confederation Court Mall.
Facebook event details

Also Tuesday, June 18th:
Documentary: Modified, 7PM
, UPEI Campus, MacDougall Hall (assuming Room 242 but will confirm tomorrow)
Hosted by Cinema Politica, Council of Canadians PEI Chapter and the UPEI Environmental Society. Admission by Donation
This documentary-memoir questions why GMOs are not labeled on food products in Canada and the US, despite being labeled in 64 other countries around the world.

Shot over a span of ten years, the film follows the grassroots struggle to label GMO foods, exposing the cozy relationship between the biotech industry and governments. The film is anchored in the moving story of the filmmaker’s relationship to her mom, a prolific gardener, seed saver, and food activist who was fighting cancer while the film’s production was underway.

Interweaving the personal and the political, the film uses family home video archives and playful cooking and farming vignettes from the filmmaker’s award-winning PBS cooking show, in a mouth-watering celebration of homegrown food. The mother-daughter investigative journey skillfully debunks the myth that GMOs are needed to feed the world, making a strong case for a more transparent and sustainable food system.
More details at the Facebook event link

Wednesday, June 19th:
First Wednesday Opening of Charlottetown Farmers' Market, 9AM-2PM
, Belvedere Avenue. It is usually quieter on Wednesdays, and some vendors are not there, but it is a great time to meet friends for some food and get fresh produce midweek!

Friday, June 21st:
Bike to Work and School Day, various times and locations
This year’s Bike to Work and School Day is being held in honor of Josh and Oliver Underhay. Josh was an advocate for all things cycling and an avid cycling commuter. The City of Charlottetown is inviting local schools and businesses to participate by encouraging students and employees to walk or bike to work instead of travelling by car.
For information on cycling or assistance planning commute routes, visit the Cycling Pop-Up at the Charlottetown Farmer’s Market on June 19 or visit:
from: Facebook event details

Wednesday, June 26th:
PEI Green New Deal Town Hall Event, 7-9PM
, Trinity United Church GYM, What should this look like? The Green New Deal is a plan to create millions of jobs while taking on climate change, building stronger communities, and tackling injustices towards Indigenous communities, job losses, rising racism and economic inequality. What could this kind of transformation look like in Canada? In PEI? Have your voice heard! Together we will determine this and influence the creation of a Pan-Canadian Green New Deal.

Join us to determine the specifics of what a Green New Deal should look like in Canada, why it's important and why we must act quickly. In this moment of uncertainty, it feels like there has never been a better time for this vision.
Facebook event link
Sponsored by the PEI Chapter of the Council of Canadians, Cooper Institute, Citizens' Alliance, and many other groups, which want to hear what's important to Islanders share with national planners.
A bit more on the Throne Speech: Communities
Text of highlights released by government media is below in BLUE and found in its entirety here.
My comments in Black.

Full unabridged text of Throne Speech
from highlights of the Throne Speech media release:

Section 13:
Connecting communities

Government will:
· develop a new ‘Made in PEI’ internet solution for the province involving all industry stakeholders, including local internet service providers;

Acknowledging the importance of access to high speed internet across the Island makes a lot of sense, and people have been talking about this for AGES. The Ghiz-MacLauchan governments squandered time and money regarding internet, making grand promises and seemingly rewarding companies which really didn't do much.

One word that needs to be in these promises and eventual contracts is a clear definition of access to the internet -- it's got to be affordable for people out in the country areas, both in getting it into their homes, and paying for it every month, and not having limits data and such. Otherwise, it's not really accessible.

· lead and champion the development of a viable and sustainable community hub program;

I am not sure what is being thought of here, though MLA and Government House Leader Sidney MacEwen has a lot of information and ideas. Here is information on an Ontario model (but who knows what actually is going on in Ontario right now)

· invest and enhance transportation infrastructure networks;
· develop a province-wide integrated active and public transportation strategy with a goal of a more self-sustainable system by 2050; and,

We need to keep up the roads we have, period. Not just paint lines over skimpy cold-patching. The plans for public and active transportation should be sped up by a decade at the very least.

· work with community leaders to enhance opportunities for growth.

While this nods and repeats the usual tightly held idea that Growth is Good, it's also a pretty nebulous goal.
There is also no mention (that I could find) of hearing Islanders concerns, or amending or scrapping the Municipal Governance Act.
"I've been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing that I wanted to do."
---Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986), American artist

June 16, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events tomorrow:

Monday, June 17th:
Voluntary Resource Centre Potluck and AGM, 5-6:30PM
, Haviland Club. All welcome (bring a potluck dish) to hear what the VRC does and the big or small ways you can help.
Facebook event details

Meet and Greet District 9 Progressive Conservative Candidate Natalie Jameson, 6-8PM, Malcolm Darrach Community Centre, 1 Avolnea Drive. Facebook event details
Reviewing the Speech from the Throne, delivered Friday, June 14th, 2019

Collaboration is such a big topic it's the only one looked at more closely today:
from the Highlights of the Throne Speech (sent by Government, here) and in blue:

Section 1) Collaboration

Government will:
· lead through active collaboration with all sides of the Assembly;

(CO here: The Throne Speech says the priorities of the Official Opposition are:
poverty elimination and
climate change.

Third Party priorities include:
health care and

These will be the "immediate focus of our collective work" writes the Throne Speech..
· carry out open and regular consultation in key areas such as Throne Speech, 2019-20 operating budget, and in the development of legislation; and,

So this is good as long as Islanders hear about these consultations and are encouraged to have their opinions included, too.

· establish a panel inclusive of Islanders and elected officials to consider reforms to the Legislative Assembly Act.
The exact wording of this section of the Throne Speech is:

Indeed, the illuminating recent debate over our democratic future revealed a desire to approach our democracy with an open and judicious mind and, while the question of changing to a system of proportional representation may not have reached the required threshold, there remains a degree of public support for reforms in the way that work is done in this Legislative Assembly.
For that reason, Government will convene a panel made up of citizens and elected members to consider reforms to this Legislature. The goal will be to introduce constructive changes to the way public input is gathered by this Assembly – and new rules to govern the open transmis-sion of information to Islanders. This exercise will begin within the next six months, and Government expects to table significant amendments to the Legislative Assembly Act within the next year. While respectful of the traditions of this institution, Government also understands that a rigid adherence to the past is no emblem of strength. To maintain public trust, we must evolve in a respectful, responsible manner. We also need, as a priority, to find ways that we can better engage our young people in the democratic process as what we do today should be in their interest.
<snip> from page 2 and 3 of:

The referendum on proportional representation-- on how we elect these Members, not just how they organized themselves once elected, appears to be picked up, set on a shelf, and given a pat on the head. No actual statement or allusion to the bias in the Electoral System Referendum Act of June 2018 or to the snap election that shrunk the education period down, or to a threshold not met by the against PR vote, either.

So, there is work to be done there, but it doesn't look like the new government has any particular "vision" about electoral reform or real desire to spend energy there, (This is understandable, though!) The panel idea seems to be limited to what's covered in the Legislative Assembly Act.
The Act is only 16 pages long (lots of that blank space, too) and is found here:

On the Legislative Assembly Act:
It is current to May 2012 and covers the nuts and bolts of how the Legislative Assembly works:
composition, speaker, deputy and acting speakers, power of legislature, what happens when the monarch dies ("Demise of the Sovereign" -- basically, "Keep Calm and Carry On"), terms, Jail --the Assembly uses the Queens County jail if needed for an unruly member), Qualifications, resignations, remuneration (making sure we all know it's a completely backwards word to what we think about counting a salary -- not renumeration but remuneration) or pay and benefits, and the golden pension (one-twelth of their salary as pension for every year served).

It's a pretty snappy read, as far as Legislation goes.

Another section of The Throne Speech reviewed tomorrow. Comments welcome!
Happy Father's Day to those that fill that role, and I can think of no more wily and paternal role-model than actor Harrison Ford (who had a, hmm, rather troubled relationship with his son in the seventh Star Wars movie, not to mention Indiana Jones' complex generational bonds).

Here he is speaking out fiercely on fighting the climate crisis, insimilar but different speeches:

Fall 2018, 8 minutes, bearded and driven, at the Global Climate Action Summit:

February 2019, 90-second clip -- clean-shaven, at the World Government Summit in Dubai (his language is a bit clean-shaven, too):
"We know that we only have the possibility of avoiding a looming climate catastrophe if people like us refuse to give up."
– Harrison Ford, Conservation International Vice Chair at the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit

June 15, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events today:
Farmers' Markets open:
Charlottetown -- 9AM-2PM
Summerside -- 9AM-1PM
George's in Bedeque -- 10AM-2PM, also a yard sale

Charlottetown Bike Auction, 8:30 (viewing), 9AM-10AM
Charlottetown Police Station. Abandoned, stolen, recovered and not claimed, etc. bike go on auction, with money going to Police services for youth.

Cornwall Watershed Annual Stream Cleanup and Tree Givaway, by the Community Garden, 9AM-2PM, meeting on MacArthur Drive. " Be prepared to get a little messy while helping cleanup our Hyde Creek that runs along side the trails, starting at community gardens. We will provide trash bags and latex gloves for those who come out to help us. Please feel free to bring boots, your own gloves if you have them and dress for the weather! If the weather is too ugly, the rain date for the event will be Saturday, June 22nd, 2019.

For every bag of trash that is filled up there will be a variety of island native tree species that you can choose from (limited to one per person). Deckers has kindly helped to sponsor this event and there is a prize for the most garbage collected! Deckers is a great place to grab an ice cream cone on a hot day or enjoy an easy supper out with the family! There will be a station set up at the community garden trails along with volunteers to help out with the collection of trash, filled trash bags, and picking out a tree.

Located within the heart of Cornwall the Community Gardens are located on MacArthur Drive. If there is any trouble finding the way a quick type into Google will lead you to the gardens. At the end of the cleanup there will be a little thank you presentation to everyone who is able to come and help out with the watershed stream cleanup!

We hope to see you all out there with us, helping to make are community shine, keep it clean, and enjoy a day outdoors!" 

Spring Park Elementary School Tree Giveaway, in honour of Josh and Oliver Underhay, 10AM-12Noon, Spring Park Elementary School,30 Dunkirk Drive, Charlottetown. Details
Meet and Greet BBQ, Green Party District 9 Deferred Election Candidate John Andrew, 4-6PM, 3 Oakland Drive. Details
Rock Barra Artists Retreat "Let Them Eat Cake" Fundraiser, 7PM, Haviland Club. Details
Speech from the Throne, June 2019 text link for the Speech from the Throne document

The government media communications complex released this summary of the Speech from thre Throne, found on-line here:

There are 14 highlighted sections, and the media has reported on several items. The CA News hopes to look at a few sections before and when MLAs start to discuss it (which will be Tuesday afternoon, June 18th):

(Section 5:)
Protecting and preserving the environment

Government will:
- uphold the spirit and intent of the Lands Protection Act;
- consult on the establishment of a provincial Land Bank that helps keep land in appropriate use;
- complete and release the Water Act regulations within the next six months, seek further public engagement prior to full implementation; and,
- support the undertaking of independent local research to build knowledge and understanding of the current water resources.

CO comments (and I have not discussed this with any Coalition for the Protection of Water people or the Lands Coalition folks yet).

Lands Protection Act and Land Bank formation -- sound good but could be more strongly worded.
Water Act regulations -- OK, let's see.
The last bullet is a bit concerting -- "local, independent research...current water resources" sounds good but could also be a bit of a screen for "pilot" deep water wells. Notice nothing was said about the moratorium on deep water wells.

Section 6:
Addressing climate change
Government will:
- work collaboratively to build upon the Climate Change Action plan to develop a more forward-looking, longer-term strategy;
- set more aggressive targets for cleaner transportation;
- work with key industries such as agriculture and trucking to accelerate innovations that lower emissions; and,
- undertake more engagement with Islanders to seek ideas and solutions to address climate change.

CO comments: OK, sounds stronger than the Liberal government's plans these past few years, but that's not saying much, and there isn't much in the way of details.

Comments on these two or any other sections appreciated 
Premier Dennis and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney met last night, as the latter is on the Island with his staff.
Quote: "Plant kindness and gather love." ---Proverb

June 14, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events today:
"Greet the MLAs" and Remind them to Act on Climate Change, 10AM
, outside the Coles Building. Organized by Extinction Rebellion PEI, which is also gathering at 3:3)PM for Friday for Futures outside Province House on the Grafton Side.

Speech from the Throne, 11AM
"The public gallery is open and available for seating... on a first-come, first-served basis. The security entrance on the ground level of the Hon. George Coles Building will begin processing visitors for seats in the public gallery at 10:00am on Friday). Once the gallery fills, security will redirect visitors to overflow locations to watch the live broadcast."

Public viewing also available at the Murphy's Community Centre gym.

Reception after the Speech is open to the public (no invitations needed), Murphy's Community Centre Gym. All welcome to the Reception for MLAs and the public.

Also live on:
Legislative Assembly website and their Facebook page
Congratulations to MLA Colin LaVie (D1:Souris-Elmira) on his election to be Speaker of the P.E.I. Legislature. He was visibly moved by the awe of the position and faith his fellow MLAs have in him to elect him to that role, and yet retains his character, not missing a beat to make a small joke when he didn't turn and read the back of double-sided printing on a page.
Article: from the David Suzuki Foundation:

Women’s rights offer best solution to world’s woes - The David Suzuki Foundation article by David Suzuki

by David Suzuki with contributions from Senior Editor and Writer Ian Hanington
Published on Friday, June14th, 2019

What’s the top solution for resolving the human-caused climate crisis? According to Paul Hawken, it’s educating girls and improving family planning.

Hawken is the author of Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming. “Drawdown” is “the point at which levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and then steadily decline, ultimately reversing global warming.”

For the book, now grown into a project and website, Hawken and a team of researchers used peer-reviewed evidence to find the top 100 solutions to climate disruption under seven categories: energy, food, women and girls, buildings and cities, land use, transport and materials. Solutions range from solar and wind power to farmland restoration and marine permaculture.

The study looked at three scenarios. “Plausible” solutions “are adopted at a realistically vigorous rate over the time period under investigation, adjusting for estimated economic and population growth.” “Drawdown” considers adoption of solutions optimized to achieve drawdown by 2050. “Optimum” is when “solutions achieve their maximum potential, fully replacing conventional technologies and practices within a limited, competitive market.”

Although the top single solution is, surprisingly, refrigerant management, the best result comes from combining two related solutions, educating girls and family planning, which fall at 6 and 7, respectively, on the list. Drawdown finds these measures could reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases by 120 gigatonnes and human population by one billion by 2050.

According to Project Drawdown, “Access to education and voluntary family planning are basic human rights and should be secured simply because they are, yet significant gaps remain around the world today.” Advancing these rights affects fertility rates and population growth, which drive “demand for food, transportation, electricity, buildings, goods, etc., all with attendant emissions.” In addition to education and family planning, Project Drawdown includes addressing inequity in agriculture, mainly through equal access for women smallholders to “a range of resources, from land rights and credit to education and technology.”

Educating girls would result in “improved livelihoods, delayed onset of marriage, delayed childbearing, and fewer children than peers with less education.” Family planning, “including access to contraception and reproductive health resources,” would reduce fertility rates and slow population growth. Providing “resources, financing, and training to women smallholder farmers around the world” would improve agricultural yields and reduce deforestation.

Drawdown team member Katharine Wilkinson notes that climate change disproportionately affects vulnerable people, including women. “There's greater risk of displacement, higher odds of being injured or killed during a natural disaster,” she said at a TEDWomen talk in California last year. “Prolonged drought can precipitate early marriage, as families contend with scarcity. Floods can force last-resort prostitution as women struggle to make ends meet. These dynamics are most acute under conditions of poverty.”

Education, family planning and women’s rights are extremely important for many reasons — avoiding climate catastrophe is just one — but many forces worldwide, especially religious, have prevented women from being treated equally and with respect. In many parts of the U.S., a growing backlash against all forms of birth control, including abortion, is threatening hard-fought rights women have gained over many years.

Over the past 50 years, as exponential population growth has increasingly strained Earth’s resources, the globally influential Catholic Church has remained steadfast in its opposition to all but “natural” birth control. That’s despite Pope Francis’s powerful 2015 encyclical regarding the need for change in the face of ecological crises such as human-caused global heating.

We’ve seen progress, but some is more in word than deed. The UN notes 143 countries had recognized constitutional equality between women and men by 2014, but 52 countries had not and, “Stark gender disparities remain in economic and political realms.”

The UN also says many of its recent 17 sustainable development goals recognize “women’s equality and empowerment as both the objective, and as part of the solution.”

There’s no single solution to climate disruption and other environmental crises we’ve created. Our refusal to take necessary action for so long, even though we knew about the problems, means we have to urgently employ every means possible.

Women’s rights — including education, family planning and equal opportunity in all aspects of society — are necessary for stabilizing population growth, creating a better world and ensuring the well-being and survival of our species.
"If you can't think of anything nice to say, you're not thinking hard enough."
---from the Wonder page-a-day calendar

June 13, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events today:
Opening of Legislature, 2PM
, Legislative Assembly Building (Coles Building). Election of the Speaker:
candidates offering are Progressive Conservative Colin LaVie (District 1:Souris-Elmira)
and Liberal (though first elected with Olive Crane's PCs) Hal Perry (District 27: Tignish-Palmer Road)
from the event listing:

"The public gallery is open and available for seating on both days on a first-come, first-served basis. The security entrance on the ground level of the Hon. George Coles Building will begin processing visitors for seats in the public gallery one hour before official events begin (1:00pm on Thursday and 10:00am on Friday). Once the gallery fills, security will redirect visitors to overflow locations to watch the live broadcast."

So for today, if you are going in person, bring a photo ID, prepare to stand in line, but get to see some history in person (or nearby in space at J. Angus MacLean Building -- and they will have a line for visitors to go in The Gallery as people exit).
Things will also be live-streamed on Eastlink cable, and at the:
Legislative Assembly website

Presentation: The Secret Lives of City Brook Trout, 6:30-7:30PM
, Confederation Centre Public Library. "Join Norman Dewar (Coordinator of the Ellen's Creek Watershed Group) to learn about Brook Trout and the challenges they face."

NBA Finals Toronto Raptors/Golden State Warriors Basketball Game broadcast free, Eastlink Centre, Charlottetown, doors open at 8PM, game starts at 10AM, general seating. Obviously, there will be concessions of all kinds for sale.
Tomorrow, Friday, June 14th:
Speech from the Throne,11AM
, Lieutenant Governor Antoinette Perry will present Government's plan, with "the usual" pomp and ceremony. All welcome to attend, or watch on the Assembly's website.
Same applies:
"The public gallery is open and available for seating on both days on a first-come, first-served basis. The security entrance on the ground level of the Hon. George Coles Building will begin processing visitors for seats in the public gallery one hour before official events begin (1:00pm on Thursday and 10:00am on Friday). Once the gallery fills, security will redirect visitors to overflow locations to watch the live broadcast."

HOWEVER, on Friday, in addition to the in person options, the public can also go watch at the Murphy's Community Centre gym, where refreshments will be wheeled in after the Speech and all can be there for the MLAs and guests to arrive to begin a public reception.
Legislative Assembly website

Saturday, June 15th:
Collecting used planting pots for Macphail Woods nursery, 9AM-1PM
, Charlottetown Farmers' Market. A few friends of Macphail Woods are bringing cardboard boxes (probably by the front "loading dock/eating area door" but watch for signs) to collect used 4 inch or larger plastic plant pots for Macphail Woods staff to use for their nursery. So brush off your unused pots, stack them, and give them to Gary!
More info:
You may also make arrangements with him or bring them to Macphail Woods yourself.

Gary could possibly be there to get pots, but instead he will be "on the road" leading a:
Native Plant Landscaping Workshop, 11AM-12:30PM, Meeting at Eliot River School Staff Room, heading out to theTerry Fox Complex, Cornwall. Free. "If you missed the native plant landscaping workshop at Macphail Woods this year, we're hosting another Cornwall... We'll be talking about pollinator gardens, windbreaks, and everything in between. We'll be going for a walk afterwards to look at some of the plantings done in association with the students and staff of the school, the Terry Fox Trail Enhancement Group, the Cornwall and Area Watershed Group, the Town of Cornwall, and Macphail Woods Ecological Forestry Project. Everyone is welcome. Hope to see you there."
OK, finally, this chart:

all errors and omissions are my own
2019 Provincial Election
Government Role
(Progressive Conservative)
Official Opposition Critic Role
(Green Party)
Third Party
Critic Role
Premier Dennis King Peter Bevan-Baker Robert Mitchell
Intergovernmental Affairs Dennis King Peter Bevan-Baker Robert Mitchell
Indigenous Relations Dennis King Peter Bevan-Baker Robert Mitchell
Acadian and Francophone Affairs Dennis King Peter Bevan-Baker Sonny Gallant
Deputy Premier Darlene Compton    
House Leader Sidney MacEwen Hannah Bell Sonny Gallant
House Whip   Lynne Lund Robert Henderson
Social Development and Housing Ernie Hudson Hannah Bell Heath MacDonald
Health and Wellness James Aylward Trish Altass Gordon McNeilly
Fisheries and Communities Jamie Fox Trish Altass Hal Perry
Finance Darlene Compton Michele Beaton Heath MacDonald
Agriculture and Land Bloyce Thompson Michele Beaton Robert Henderson
Education and Lifelong Learning Brad Trivers Karla Bernard Robert Mitchell
Status of Women Darlene Compton Karla Bernard Gordon McNeilly
Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture Matt MacKay Ole Hammarlund Sonny Gallant
(couldn't format this row to go away)      
Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy Steven Myers Stephen Howard Robert Henderson
Justice and Public Safety Bloyce Thompson Stephen Howard Robert Mitchell
Attorney General Bloyce Thompson Stephen Howard Robert Mitchell
Environment, Water and Climate Change Brad Trivers Lynne Lund Hal Perry
It's available if you want a copy as an e-mailed attachment -- write
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."  

   ---Albert Einstein

June 12, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

June 11, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

June 10, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

June 9, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

June 8, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

June 7, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

June 6, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

June 5, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

June 4, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

June 3, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

June 2, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

June 1, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews