February 2019


  1. 1 February 28, 2019
    1. 1.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  2. 2 February 27, 2019
    1. 2.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 2.2 RUSSELL WANGERSKY: The winter nights - The Guardian article by columnist Russell Wandersky
  3. 3 February 26, 2019
    1. 3.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  4. 4 February 25, 2019
    1. 4.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 4.2 Hard to grow a party from a digital locker room - The Eastern Graphic article by Paul MacNeill
  5. 5 February 24 2019
    1. 5.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 5.2 Feds to conduct environmental assessment of Boat Harbour cleanup - CBC News online article by Mairin Prentiss
  6. 6 February 23, 2019
    1. 6.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  7. 7 February 22, 2019
    1. 7.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 7.2 Where do you stand? - The Guardian Guest Opinion by Gary Robbins
  8. 8 February 21, 2019
    1. 8.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  9. 9 February 20, 2019
    1. 9.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 9.2 Nova Scotia liquefied natural gas project signs agreements with unions, Mi'kmaq -The Guardian article from The Canadian Press
  10. 10 February 19, 2019
    1. 10.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  11. 11 February 18, 2019
    1. 11.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  12. 12 February 17, 2019
    1. 12.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  13. 13 February 16, 2019
    1. 13.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 13.2 LETTER: Joe Byrne’s leadership - The Guardian Letter to the Editor
  14. 14 Our Story
  15. 15 There's a place for the oilsands
  16. 16 There's a place for renewable energy
  17. 17 Where iron and earth meet
  18. 18 February 15, 2019
    1. 18.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 18.2 GLENN ROBERTS: Conjunction of Venus and Saturn - The Guardian article by Glenn Roberts
  19. 19 February 14, 2019
    1. 19.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 19.2 Electoral Reform Confusion - The Guardian Letter to the Editor
  20. 20 February 13, 2019
    1. 20.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 20.2 Intended consequences - The Eastern Graphic Letter to the Editor
  21. 21 February 12, 2019
    1. 21.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 21.2 Nuclear power not a competitive option - The Guardian Guest Opinion by Matt Hall
  22. 22 February 11, 2019
    1. 22.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 22.2 Islanders drill down into mixed-member proportional - CBC online article by Kerry Campbell
  23. 23 Facing 3rd vote since 2005, Islanders probe details of proposed electoral change
  24. 24 Too hard for the Tim's crowd?
  25. 25 Switch to 'open-list' ballot
  26. 26 Results binding, but not
  27. 27 Referendum date up in the air
  28. 28 February 10, 2019
    1. 28.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  29. 29 February 9, 2019
    1. 29.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 29.2 Two candidates debate land use issues - Island Farmer article by Andy Walker
    3. 29.3 Debate boycott bad move by candidates - Island Farmer article by Andy Walker
  30. 30 February 8, 2019
    1. 30.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 30.2 P.E.I. NDP rolls out series of promises ahead of a widely expected spring election - The Guardian article by Dave Stewart
    3. 30.3 Health hub pilot
  31. 31 February 7, 2019
    1. 31.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  32. 32 February 6, 2019
    1. 32.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 32.2 Ottawa drops appeal in political activity case, ending charities' 7-year audit nightmare - CBC on-line article by Dean Beeby
  33. 33 February 5, 2019
    1. 33.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  34. 34 February 4, 2019
    1. 34.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  35. 35 February 3, 2019
    1. 35.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  36. 36 February 2, 2019
    1. 36.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  37. 37 February 1, 2019
    1. 37.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews

February 28, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

ReferendumPEI Information Session- ABRAMS VILLAGE, 6:30-8:30PM
, Ecole Evangeline,1596 Rte. 124.Facebook event link

NDP Eastern Nominations Meeting, 6:30-7:30PM, Pownal Sports Centre.
"Join us...at Pownal Sports Centre (upstairs at the Rink accessible by elevator) Registration at 6:30pm; Meeting at 7pm. Candidates are stepping up and we encourage others to get on board for a combined Nominations meeting. District 2 has Edith Perry offering and District 5 has Lawrence Millar with others to follow."

Summerside and Area Town Hall with Green Party Nominated Candidates and Leader Peter Bevan-Baker, 6:30-8:30PM, Sherbrooke Community Centre, Rte. 2.

Join Peter Bevan-Baker and your Green Party Nominees for Districts 21, 22 and 23 for an in-depth discussion of issues important to you. With Lynne Lund (D21), Steve Howard (D22) and Trish Altass (D23). You can also submit your questions to summersidegreens@peigreens.ca
Facebook event link
(and countless apologies to Trish Altass for switching some letters in her last name repeatedly)

Island Jazz Weekly Series, 8-10:30PM, Baba's Lounge, features Catherine O'Brien.
...singing the tunes of Johnny Mercer (standards such as Moon River, and Come Rain or Come Shine and more). Admission by donation, and featuring Dan Roswell, Alan Dowling and Holland College School of Performing Arts students.
District 26: Alberton-Bloomfield

This district has a name change, from Alberton-Roseville, which still sounds just as gardeny. (continuing that theme with Rosebank and Greenmount and Elmsdale...) It is the second-most western District, runs west to east split by Rte. 2, and at its northernmost area and going clockwise are the communities of Montrose, Huntley, the town of Alberton, Mill River, Cascumpec, Roxbury, part of Foxley River, back up to Woodstock, Bloomfield Corner (at Rte, 2) and Bloomfield (west of Rte. 2), Campbelton, Rosebank on the highway, Roseville to the west, Piusville, and Elmsdale.

The Slider Map is not available as Elections PEI has moved its website, but my old copy shows D26:

And the new new map (partial):

D26 in pinkypeach, from:
A clearer detailed map followed by ones of all the polling stations can be found here:

District 26: Alberton-Bloomfield
And MLA Brad Trivers' overlap map of old and new boundaries, showing that new D26 has taken some area from former District 25 and shifted a bit to District 27.

Pat Murphy, just given the just created portfolio of Rural and Regional Development a year ago, is the current MLA.  A very popular and hard-working MLA, he also stood as if on cue in the Legislature in the past couple of years to highlight and exaggerate concerns about proportional representation (which were discussed and put into perspective with all the MLAs before the plebiscite as part of their educational component). 

I do not know of any other declared candidates at this moment.
"Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What's important is the action. You don't have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow." ---Carrie Fisher (1956-2016), actor

To which I must quote a scene from Star Wars Episode 7, The Force Awakens (2015), the character Lor San Tekka, played by another legendary actor, Max von Sydow:
Lor San Tekka: "Oh, the General? To me, she is royalty."
Poe Dameron (young ace resistance pilot): "Well, she certainly is that."

February 27, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

A belated and short CA News today.

Green Drinks -- Charlottetown, 7-9PM
, bar1911, Longworth Avenue. "Please join us for our monthly Charlottetown Green Drinks - an informal gathering where all those Green and Green-curious are invited to connect and get to know one another, and talk about the issues important to you."

Our Common Journey: Making the Transition to Sustainability course, 7-9PM, Room 343 at Charlottetown Rural continues and all are welcome.
Facebook event details

Another evocative piece by Russell Wangersky: https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/opinion/columnists/russell-wangersky-the-winter-nights-285394/

RUSSELL WANGERSKY: The winter nights - The Guardian article by columnist Russell Wandersky

Published on Tuesday, February 19th, 2019

For it is February, and the idea of winter is often tiring now. The dirty banks of snow are coughing up their gutful of detritus, and cold mornings on the way to work seem like one more trial to be endured. But…

Sometimes, you work your way into the bare branches of the alder brush, the snow hard and crunching and up to your knees, and you make your choice between staying in cover with the deep-drifted snow or making fast progress across open barrens that are at least wind-swept clear. That choice, of course, is between the tiring slog of the drifts, or the knife-cut of that snow-clearing wind across your face.

The air is sharp and dry in a way it isn’t in summer, the sky bright, and there are berries left on some of the exposed bushes, berries that are dried hard like shrunken Christmas ornaments left on the tips of the branchlets. Sometimes, they’re broken up, broken open recently, seeds and leathery skins scattered about, and if you look hard enough, you can see the fading tracks of the birds that have picked the berries apart. Sometimes, it’s the repeated footprint semaphore of field mice or voles, or the Morse of rabbits, dot-dot, dash-dash.

Enough life around to let you know that, for some creatures, there’s nothing unusual about the constant cold.

With the leaves off the trees and shrubbed alders, you can see the shape of the land better, can see the dips and folds and hollows, until you finally reach a spot where you know there has to be standing water: dowsing with nothing more than your eyes. It’s practice that slows you down, that makes your feet do more than simply step confidently ahead — your stride changes as you set your feet down more gently, testing the ground, trying to feel the give of it to decide if ground has become marsh, has become shallows, has become pond.

And then you’re on the flat plane of it. Once fully on the ice, the very flatness of it gives the pond away, even under the snow. You don’t need to see it to know it.

You’ve kept track of the bitter cold nights and the days that swing between freeze and thaw, and can anticipate the ice’s thickness. The sun is bright white on everything, and the snow only serves to accentuate that.

You’re dressed warmly enough to kneel on the ice, warmly enough to stretch out flat and brush the snow away from the clear surface of the pond there in front of your face.

Pressure cracks shoot through it, some wide, white and opaque, others so thin and new that they are like a break in crystal. It is the fine new ones that catch the sunlight and break it into brilliant and waved rainbows, crazed blues and reds and violets.

In all sizes, entrained air bubbles hang, caught in frozen fixative, and there seems no reasonable explanation of physics for why a vertical line of bubbles can be so many different sizes, or why there are bunches here, while there it is only clear ice reaching down into the dark.

Later on, after you’re back and warmed up in a wood-stoved cabin, filled full with dinner, the cold driven back out of your fingers and toes, you might go outside and stare up at the clear night sky.

And realizing, jarringly, how much the bright stars and dark sky, the purpled stretch of the Milky Way and the vague drawings of constellations, look like the ice-stopped pattern of bubbles and cracks from the recent afternoon, fixed under ice.


The District focus will skip (another!) day and continue tomorrow.


"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." --- Aesop

A corollary from writer and broadcaster Garrison Keilor ---
"Nothing you do for children is ever wasted."

February 26, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events today:

In camera but not *on* camera....fyi, from the Legislative Assembly website:
Tuesday, February 26th:
Standing Committee on Public Accounts, 10AM
, Coles Building.

Topic: The committee will meet to discuss operational and procedural matters. Auditor General B. Jane MacAdam will be in attendance. Please note: this will be an in camera meeting.

SO much going on today, a screenshot of a few of the events that came my way:

More Housing Now

Providing more housing, especially affordable housing, has become the clarion call of many politicians, be they in government or aspiring to be elected. The need for more housing is being spurred by our population growth and our expanding tourism industry. With over one million visitors each year, tourism is growing at an annual rate of over 6%. This translates into an extra 60,000 overnight accommodations or approximately 1000 new bedrooms per year, assuming 60 days occupancy for each room. Immigrants, people returning to PEI and international students only add to the need for additional units.

The pressure for new housing is relentless yet new housing developments take considerable planning and time to create. It may take a couple of years before any new government initiative actually produces results. Fortunately, Charlottetown City Council has responded to this emerging crisis with a change in the city bylaws which allow nearly every property owner to be part of a more immediate and long-term solution.

These recent regulatory changes now permit accessory suites in single family homes that can be used as a rental unit. These apartments may be used to accommodate a homeless refugee family, low-income workers or used for live-in help; the opportunities are wide-ranging. Just think, literally thousands of property owners can take immediate action to create affordable housing units that are dispersed throughout the city. Those people facing a housing crisis

would not have to wait for another government commission to study the problem and no new taxes would be needed to cover deficit spending to build new public housing.

A new addition or underutilized section of a house or an empty garage or even an attic may be eligible for converting into a suite. The building code requires a suite to be no more than 80 square meters or 80% of the main part of the house, whichever is smaller. 80 square meters or 861 square feet is quite adequate for a modest two bed room apartment.

The building code has additional requirements, but they are more relaxed than for commercial apartment buildings. For instance regular 1⁄2 inch drywall is accepted in most places as sufficient fire protection.  Homeowners do not need an architect as long as detailed plans are provided. However, considerations should be made to maintain the style of the original house so it remains

compatible and maintains the appeal and re-sale value of the original structure. Your house may be your biggest investment, so be careful. Use only experienced and trusted contractors and designers to make sure you are ahead of the game.

The creation of an accessory suite can change your life for the better but can also be a daunting task for someone unfamiliar with design and construction. In an effort to help create at least 1000 new, accessory suites in the Charlottetown area, Architect Ole Hammarlund is offering a workshop (today), 7pm-9pm at the Yloft for $25 (reserve space at 0lehammarlund@gmail.com). I think this is a wonderful way for Islanders to take things into their own hands instead of waiting for government to do it for them.   ---submitted by Phil Ferraro
Referendum PEI information sessions
This is from Queens County resident (and candidate for the Green Party for the District of Brackley-Hunter River) Greg Bradley, Monday night, on social media:

"The Cornwall Curling Club held the latest electoral reform information session tonight.. There were questions and comments from the audience, and it was all over in a little more then an hour. One woman stressed her disappointment about the lack of French translation in the literature. This was the largest gathering so far, and I still counted less then fifty people. I received The Voters Guide Referendum on Electoral Reform in my mail box tonight. Never had time to absorb it beforehand, but it was good to see a few more people interested in learning more about the process." -- Greg Bradley

Gerard Mitchell, the Referendum Commissioner, is quite willing to present to any group or in any location, from now until I am assuming the next provincial election, whenever that will be.  The office can be contacted at referendumpei@referendumpei.ca

Focus on District 25: O'Leary-Inverness
Official blurb about its boundaries:
District 25, O’Leary – Inverness

Commencing at a point at the south end of the Conway Sand Hills where the Conway Narrows meet the Gulf of St. Lawrence; thence northwardly along said gulf to the south end of Oultons Island and Cascumpec Bay;thence westwardly along said bay, Foxley Bay and the Trout River to the Western Road (Route # 2); thence northwardly along said road to the O'Halloran Road (Route # 145); thence westwardly along said road and an extension thereof to Northumberland Strait; thence southwardly along said strait to Egmont Bay and the Higgins Wharf Road; thence southwardly along said road and the Higgins Road (Route # 11) to the Harmony Line Road (Route # 128); thence eastwardly along said road to the Western Road (Route # 2); thence northwardly along said road to the Ellerslie Road (Route # 133); thence eastwardly along said road to the former C.N.R. Right-of-way; thence northwardly along said right-of-way to the Oatway Road; thence eastwardly along said road to Route # 12; thence southwardly along said route to the Little Channel Road; thence eastwardly along said road to the Southwest Road; thence southwardly along said road to the Little Channel River; thence eastwardly along said river to the Conway Narrows and the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the point of commencement and includes Conway Sand Hills.


Dark screenshot of the current/old Districts


New District 25 is in peach.


screenshot of PDF of new District 25:O'Leary-Inverness


The adjusted map with overlays -- blue lines old District boundaries, and light gray the new District 25: O'Leary-Inverness. From Brad Trivers' map

The major communities and landmarks are O'Leary, Cape Wolfe, Lennox Island, West Point and West Cape, the Bidefords, and, of course, Alaska.

The current MLA is Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Robert Henderson.

Dr. Herb Dickieson is running for the NDP

Jason Charette has been nominated by the Green Party
"Growth itself contains the germ of happiness."
--- Pearl S. Buck

February 25, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews


Tonight (weather permitting):
Referendum PEI information session, 6:30PM
, Cornwall Civic Centre, Cornwall Road. This is at the smaller town building -- not APM Centre -- with the curling club in the basement. With Referendum Commissioner Gerard Mitchell, explaining the referendum process and answering questions.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, February 26th:
District 7 (Morell-Donagh) PC Nomination Meeting, registration 6:30, meeting 7PM
. "Come join PC Leader Dennis King and the PC Team as MLA Sidney MacEwen is nominated as the PC candidate for District 7 Morell-Donagh in the next provincial election!"

Film: After the Last River, 7-10PM, UPEI, Irving Chemistry Building Room 104. Free but donations accepted. "Filmed over five years, After the Last River is a point of view documentary that follows Attawapiskat’s journey from obscurity and into the international spotlight during the protests of Idle No More. After the Last River is a complex examination of a community under pressure. Poverty, neglect, and isolation combine to force the remote reserve of Attawapiskat into accepting a De Beers diamond mine on it's traditional territory. As the mine removes billions of dollars worth of diamonds, the promised jobs barely materialize and the community is threatened by potentially devastating contamination. Filmmaker, Vicki Lean, follows the remote reserve's five-year journey into the international spotlight. Through interviews with executives and government, and day-in-the-life footage of the community, Lean weaves a tapestry of the issues effecting indigenous rights today. Hosted by Cinema Politica Charlottetown, UPEI Mawi''omi Centre and UPEI Environmental Society"
Facebook event link
With arched eyebrow, from Paul MacNeill:

Hard to grow a party from a digital locker room - The Eastern Graphic article by Paul MacNeill

Published on Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

So Dennis King must be sexist, I was asked. No. I’ve known him a long time and sexist, homophobic or mean-spirited are words I would never use to describe the new leader of the PC Party of PEI.

But how do you explain the tweets?

That’s more nuanced. There is no doubt they are offensive; the type of thing you might hear in a locker room. The problem is King’s preferred locker room was Twitter, which makes every utterance available for the world to see.

In the days since CBC’s story aired, the leader has been set back on his heels and the Tory caucus (normally a cacophony of opinion) sit with their heads stuck firmly in the sand thanks to a party imposed gag order.

The ensuing angry social media dust up is making many potential voters who the Tories must attract to grow - youth, women and those just looking for an alternative – wince in discomfort. Many Tories are quietly expressing embarrassment that once again the PCs must fight a crisis that is completely self-made.

King was counselled to clean up his social media posts before jumping into the leadership campaign. He didn’t do it, adding to a growing list of items he has ignored that have come back to bite him.

A year ago the PC Party of PEI bragged it was implementing a stringent new vetting process of potential candidates. “When a person chooses to have a public life, they need to conduct themselves in a professional manner,” a spokesperson was quoted as saying. “We’ll be probing into a lot of personal things into a person’s life,” they claimed.

Nope. Didn’t happen.

Less than two weeks earlier King had posted a random tweet that used a vulgar play on words to attempt a ‘joke’ about female genitals. It was one of a string of questionable tweets he penned over a number of years. They weren’t hard to find, but the since deleted tweets failed to raise a red flag in what can only be described as a catastrophic failure by the party.

King hopes Islanders consider context before passing judgement. The tweets were written he says in his capacity as a storyteller/comedian. However, his Twitter account was almost exclusively used to chime in about his beloved Canadiens, Red Sox or other sport happenings, including many funny exchanges.

But in the thousands of 140 character missives penned, storytelling was no more promoted than his other roles as paid political consultant to the PC Party, political commentator or his work with the fish processors association. Twitter was his digital locker room.

Now as a politician promising decorum, respect and civility, he says he would never write such things, and by extension should not be judged by his actions before entering politics.

Offensive is offensive. Regardless of the day.

Calling Walmart shoppers #whackos and #inbreeders is offensive.

Trying to make a joke with female genitals as the punch line is offensive.

Using a hashtag #UglyOnesCountToo is offensive.

The leader offered a Richard Brown like non-apology-apology. Anytime someone starts with ‘If I offended’ it’s an apology with an asterisk.

What’s disappointing is these tweets do not represent the Dennis King so many Islanders know, people who are fervently now defending him. He is better than these, but must live with the consequences.

So what’s the impact?

For years the Tory party has fought a perception of not being friendly to women. An abortion debate during the leadership campaign followed by the current tweet storm will only deepen these perceptions.

Dennis King’s brand is tarnished, but he has enough charisma to turn the ship around if combined with credible candidates, a sellable platform and an absolute focus on substance going forward. Any time spent defending a questionable action is time lost building trust with the Island electorate.

Ultimately, trust is Dennis King’s biggest challenge. For 12 years Island Tories have stumbled from one crisis to another. The party is perceived as being against everything and unable to move forward from its own internal struggles. King must convince Islanders that he is different and can be trusted. It’s possible. But his first two weeks as leader only make the challenge greater.

Paul MacNeill is Publisher of Island Press Limited. He can be contacted at paul@peicanada.com

Focus on provincial electoral voting district


This is the true Western end of the Island, and the Evangeline Region. It's kept its name from the last district redrawing, and it encompasses Miscouche, Wellington, Richmond, Springhill, and extending out and to the Northumberland Strait, so it includes, Victoria West, Sts. Chrysostome, Phillipe, Hubert and Gilbert, Abrams Village, Cap-Egmont Mont Camel and Union Corner. So it's gained some gepographical area in both the north and the easterly direction.

Official description of boundaries:

District 24, Evangeline – Miscouche

Commencing at a point where the Higgins Wharf Road meets Egmont Bay; thence southwardly along said bay to Miscouche Cove and an extension of the Kinsman Road; thence northwardly along said extension and road to Route # 11; thence westwardly along said route to the Kinsman Road; thence northwardly along said road to the Western Road (Route # 2);thence eastwardly along said road to Carrs Creek; thence northwardly along said creek to Reeves Road; thence westwardly along said road and Route # 12 to township line # 16; thence westwardly along said township line to the Western Road (Route # 2); thence westwardly along said road to the Harmony Line Road (Route # 128); thence westwardly along said road to the Higgins Road (Route # 11); thence northwardly along said road and the Higgins Wharf Road to Egmont Bay to the point of commencement.

Old map of Districts:

New slider map of Districts:

Screenshot of PDF of District 24:Evaleline-Miscouche

Screenshot of Brad Trivers' overlap maps, showing the former boundaries in thick blue lines and the new District 24 in gray.

The current MLA is Liberal Sonny (Stanley) Gallant, minister of Workforce and Advanced Learning; the nomination meeting for the Liberal Party for this District is scheduled for Monday, March 11th.
Nick Arsenault has been nominated to run for the Green Party PEI in District 24.
(I just found the biography pages for the Green Party PEI candidates, here:
https://www.greenparty.pe.ca/nominees )

from the link:

As a first-language French Acadian, born and raised in la région Évangéline, Nick Arsenault’s roots run deep here on Prince Edward Island. He has come to understand the importance of the francophone language and the Acadian heritage to the Island’s history and its future. Still today, the francophone community must advocate and fight to ensure survival; we make advances, but the battle of being a minority population is everlasting and remains a struggle. We must continue to be resilient.

Since returning to the Island after studies, Nick worked as a teacher for l’École Évangéline, a journalist for La Voix acadienne, and now, executive director of le Conseil scolaire-communautaire Évangéline. He is currently in charge of sports for the upcoming Jeux de l’Acadie 50+, on the board of the Evangeline Recreation Commission and organizer for the Acadian Festival. in his free time, he loves spending as much time as he can at the hockey rink, the golf course or the gym.

Nick brings to the Green Party a strong Francophone voice, and also a proud Islander’s voice with a sincere desire to help our province move in the right direction.
More on the candidate and others through the link

"And, the true realism, always and everywhere, is that of the poets: To find out where the joy resides, and give it a voice far beyond singing. For to miss the joy is to miss all."
---Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish writer

February 24 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Snowshoe hike, Winter River Trails, 1-3PM
, hosted by WinterLovePEI, one of their last events. More details at the link.

District 14 (Charlottetown-West Royalty) and District 16 (Cornwall-Meadowbank) Green Party candidates Nominations and Celebrations, 1:30-3:30PM, Pronto Piatto, 15 Milky Way, Charlottetown."You're invited to join us in nominating and supporting the Green Party of PEI candidates for districts 14 (Charlottetown-West Royalty) and 16 (Cornwall-Meadowbank). Join us at the Piatto Pronto on the causeway that links the two districts.
We hope you can join us for pizza, politics (and optionally for those 19+, pints) and lend your support to our Green nominees! All are welcome (you do not need to be a member to join us)." Facebook event details

Bonshaw Ceilidh, 2-4PM, Bonshaw Hall, admission by donation.
Special performers will include: singer/songwriter David MacKay with Peter Holden,The Stiff Family Bluegrass Band,step-dancer Tory Burke, plus local musicians​ ​Herb MacDonald, Phil Pineau and Tony the Troubador.
Admission is by donation, with​ proceeds to ISCA (International Sustainable Community Assistance: see https://www.isca-aidc.ca/)

PEISO (PEI Symphony Orchestra), Winter Concert, 2:30PM, Zion Presbyterian Church, corner of Prince and Grafton Streets. Tickets at the door. Guest conductor Dina Gilbert will lead a program of familiar works and new music, and special guest will be Judy Yun, who won the big prize at the Kiwanis Music Festival which includes this invite. She will be performing Mozart's Violin Concert. Facebook event link

Yesterday's Forum on "Land Grabbing" was so packed I didn't make it in the vicinity! Fortunately, among the over 200 people that did, was Maureen Kerr, who recorded and posted parts on social media. https://twitter.com/moekerr
A recording of the afternoon is in the works.
Congrats to the organizers and thanks to the presenters.
In yesterday's news -- note (if I understand it correctly) this is for cleaning up the mess that is there, not a more thorough review of the new effluent treatment plan

Feds to conduct environmental assessment of Boat Harbour cleanup - CBC News online article by Mairin Prentiss

Ottawa decides possible adverse environmental effects must be reviewed

Published on CBC News online Saturday, February 23rd, 2019


Nova Scotia's biggest contaminated site will get a federal environmental assessment before the cleanup begins.

The decision was based on submitted comments and the possibility that carrying out the project may cause adverse environmental effects, the federal government said in a news release late Friday night.

Northern Pulp's waste treatment plant at Boat Harbour is scheduled to close in January 2020, as laid out in provincial legislation passed by the Liberals in April 2015.

The pulp mill has said it needs a one-year extension to get a replacement plant up and running because it cannot operate without a treatment facility. Premier Stephen McNeil has refused to extend the deadline of the closure.  

The remediation project at the pulp mill effluent site may start in 2021, said Ken Swain, the project's leader, in January.

Swain said the environmental assessment process may delay the cleanup of the wastewater lagoons, where tens of millions of litres of wastewater effluent has been dumped since 1967.

The cleanup project at the lagoons adjacent to Pictou Landing First Nation is also getting a provincial Class 2 environmental assessment, which can take up to 275 days.

Former Nova Scotia environment minister Iain Rankin called the toxic waste lagoons one of the worst cases of environmental racism in Canada

An aerial view of the Boat Harbour remediation pilot project. (Nova Scotia Government)

Many have also called for a federal environmental assessment of Northern Pulp's new proposed treatment facility — a pipeline that will dump treated effluent from its site in Abercrombie, N.S., into the Northumberland Strait. The plan is undergoing a shorter, 50-day provincial Class 1 assessment.

The company's plan has sparked protests from fishermen, First Nations and the region's tourism industry, who say the plan puts the ecosystem of the Northumberland Strait at risk.

"You can get a federal assessment when you already make a mess, so you should have one before you make one now," said Allan McCarthy of the Northumberland Fishermen's Association.

The Boat Harbour cleanup plan

The Boat Harbour treatment facility is owned by the provincial government, which is on the hook for the cleanup once the facility closes. The cost is forecast at $217 million.

The plan is to dredge up the contaminated sediment at the bottom of the Boat Harbour lagoon and move it to a containment cell.  

A pilot project to test dredging techniques was stalled in December because cold weather froze pipes. The pilot project will resume in the spring.


Back to a focus on provincial electoral districts -- not in-line with the days of the month anymore, but February still has more days that electoral districts.


This District was Tyne Valley -- Linkletter, but has reached further east to the Sherbrooke area north of Summerside.  The starts the curve up toward the north and western side of Malpeque Bay and the Island, and includes (starting about the nortern point and going clockwise) the communities of: Tyne Valley, Port Hill, Birch Hill, Bayside, Grand River, Lot 16 (SW, Central and Belmont) Slemon Park,  Sherbrooke and part of Traveller's rest, alomg Rte. 2 including "portion of" Wellington Centre, Richmond and Springhill and Mount Pleasant. 

Old District 23: Tyne Valley-Linkletter:


New District 23: Tyne Valley-Sherbrooke, in bright green in both the full map and the Summerside-area inset.
Screenshot of PDF of new District 23:

Brad Trivers' map shows the overlays of the old and new Districts:

Actual URL here:

And the area has four declared candidates!
Current MLA and Liberal Cabinet minister Paula Biggar
PC nominee Hilton MacLennan
Green Party's Trish Atlass, their shadow critic for Workforce and Advance Learning
NDP nominee Robin Enman, Journal-Pioneer article on him
"To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the beautiful thing: That is enough for one man's life."   
---T.S. Eliot

February 23, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

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

An Event Reminder:

Forum: Land Grabbing on PEI, 1:30-4PM
, Farm Centre, 420 University Avenue, Charlottetown.

Hosted by the Coalition for the Protection of PEI Land with support from the Coalition for the Protection of PEI Water.
"Senator Diane Griffin, chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, will lead a panel of presenters with a summary of her research on land grabbing and speculation in Canada and beyond. Other panelists include Douglas Campbell, District Director for the National Farmers Union on PEI and Island writer, Ian Petrie, who is well-known for his thoughtful analyses on PEI farming issues.
The Coalition for the Protection of PEI Land was formed last spring by a group of concerned islanders from a diverse range of backgrounds. The purpose of the Coalition is to promote steadfast stewardship, respecting the spirit of the PEI Lands Protection Act, for the protection of Prince Edward Island’s fragile ecology, environment, watersheds and lands. Given the current trend of accumulation of land by corporate interests, the coalition will first address deficiencies in the PEI Lands Protection Act (in the Act itself, and in the way it is being implemented) that undermine its purpose, spirit and intent. Following presentations by the panelists, there will be a short Q&A and then participants will be asked to help contribute to possible solutions. This forum will be relevant to any islander who is concerned about preserving PEI land for now and into the future."

February 22, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events tomorrow:
Saturday, February 23rd:
Postponed, again: Winter Woodlot tour,
scheduled for Saturday, February 23rd, has been postponed due to ice along the trails until further notice.

Forum: Land Grabbing on PEI, 1:30-4PM, Farm Centre, 420 University Avenue, Charlottetown. Hosted by the Coalition for the Protection of PEI Land with support from the Coalition for the Protection of PEI Water.
"Senator Diane Griffin, chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, will lead a panel of presenters with a summary of her research on land grabbing and speculation in Canada and beyond. Other panelists include Douglas Campbell, District Director for the National Farmers Union on PEI and Island writer, Ian Petrie, who is well-known for his thoughtful analyses on PEI farming issues.

The Coalition for the Protection of PEI Land was formed last spring by a group of concerned islanders from a diverse range of backgrounds. The purpose of the Coalition is to promote steadfast stewardship, respecting the spirit of the PEI Lands Protection Act, for the protection of Prince Edward Island’s fragile ecology, environment, watersheds and lands. Given the current trend of accumulation of land by corporate interests, the coalition will first address deficiencies in the PEI Lands Protection Act (in the Act itself, and in the way it is being implemented) that undermine its purpose, spirit and intent. Following presentations by the panelists, there will be a short Q&A and then participants will be asked to help contribute to possible solutions. This forum will be relevant to any islander who is concerned about preserving PEI land for now and into the future."

The Standing Committee on Communities, Land and Environment did NOT meeting yesterday, due to some traveling issues, and so we will have to wait to another day to hear discussion of the first Water Act regulations.
This matters to many, many people outside (and even inside) the "urban centres."

Opinion piece in Thursday's Guardian (not yet on-line, but in the e-edition):

Where do you stand? - The Guardian Guest Opinion by Gary Robbins

Published on Thursday, February 21st, 2019

Members of the Rural Coalition and those who agree with our position will take your responses into consideration when they vote. You can count on it.

To Dennis King, Peter BevanBaker, Joe Byrne, Bush Dumville and independent candidates.

The Rural Coalition of P.E.I. wants to know where you and your members stand with respect to the Municipal Government Act (MGA). It is critical that you make your position clear as we move toward a provincial election.

The new Municipal Government Act (MGA) was passed into law in December 2017 by Wade MacLauchlan’s Liberal government and supported by the Green Party of P.E.I.

The way this legislation was put together, it gives no say in what happens to most small communities on P.E.I. It means big changes for unincorporated areas and most small communities under 1,000 people.

It also takes away previously established rights from existing villages, towns and cities, such as voting on the annual budget. It gives the councillors the right to set their own salaries and pensions.

The MGA requires all municipalities to provide fire protection, land use planning, official plans and emergency measures planning — services which have until now been provided by the provincial government or contracted out.

Each community must also provide 20 hours of office time each week. This will cost each small community about $25,000 per year (after year four the office and administrator have to be open for 40 hours per week).

The province’s solution to this problem (which they created) is to amalgamate all the small communities into 25 large municipalities and to annex all unincorporated areas into the mix as well.

This means huge tax increases. Think about farmers who own hundreds, even thousands of acres of land, think of the consequences. They will now have to pay a new municipal tax on every acre with no new services in return. They will be subject to municipal-style bylaws which have no relevance to them, only meaningless inconvenience.

Land use planning will move from provincial responsibility to municipal responsibility, times 25, one plan for each municipality.

If water protection is handed to these new municipalities, will P.E.I. be facing a “Walkerton” crisis with tainted water and ensuing deaths?

Small municipalities are not equipped to take on the responsibility and the liability of these services.

The MGA does not give anyone who lives in an unincorporated area any say or vote in how they are going to be governed. Wade’s government has enacted this MGA to control all rural citizens in an undemocratic and discriminatory fashion. The MGA even gives the Federation of P.E.I. Municipalities (an unelected, unaccountable lobby group) a veto power in the MGA.

The Rural Coalition of P.E.I. will hold public meetings across the province during the upcoming electoral campaign.

People will want to know where the parties and independent members stand on these issues.

Are you with the government or are you prepared to repeal and replace the Municipal Government Act? Are you prepared to hold public consultations and look at viable options for the management of rural P.E.I.?

This includes strong and enforced Acts with respect to land and water. This includes looking at other provincial models which have Rural Services Acts. This includes removing the Federation of P.E.I. Municipalities from any MGA in the future and certainly removing the Federation from any Acts, which govern rural P.E.I.

We expect your platforms on these issues to be strong and comprehensive right from the day the election is called.

Members of the Rural Coalition and those who agree with our position will take your responses into consideration when they vote. You can count on it.

--Gary Robbins is chair of the Rural Coalition of P.E.I

Electoral Boundaries for the next provincial election:  District 22: Summerside-South Drive

This electoral district of the western half of Summerside has been adjusted in name and geography a bit, dropping the St. Eleanor's neighbourhood name and extending westerly beyond South Drive to include the rest of Summerside to the community of Linkletter, now shaped like a box with a trumpet blaring off to the lower left.

It's lost its northern part of Summerside, from Pope Road to Route 2, to District 23: Tyne Valley-Sherbrooke (tomorrow's focus!), which will be different, perhaps, for some residents of that area used to being with a Summerside focus. The eastern  boundary of D22 is Granville Street, down to the waterfront and the whole western waterfront area along Heather Moyse Drive, Water Street, and MacKenzie Drive, up property lines to Darby and South Drive again, then easterly along Pope Road to Granville.

Previous map of Summerside Districts, focusing on District 22: Summerside-South Drive

"New" map of Summerside Districts:

Screenshot of PDF of Electoral Boundaries of the newly redrawn District 22: Summerside-South Drive, from:

Screenshot from Brad Trivers' overlay map from his website.

Tina Mindy, Minister of Family and Human Services, is the current MLA for D22:Summerside-St. Eleanor's, and has been nominated to represent the Liberal Party in the next election.
Steven Howard, a solar energy systems professional, has been nominated by the Green Party.

"True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation." ---George Washington

February 21, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events today:

This morning: CBC Radio PEI is joining in with Nova Scotia programming for the 7o'clock hour to explore the Pictou paper mill waste treatment pipeline issue.

Standing Committee on Communities, Land and Environment, 1:30PM, Coles Building. Topic: "The Committee will receive a briefing on the Water Act regulations from: Hon. Richard Brown, Minister of Communities, Land and Environment; and Mr. Todd Dupuis, Executive Director, Climate Change and Environment."
This is the first chance to see some regulations related to the Water Act.
You can watch on-line from a link on this page.

PEI Referendum Information Session-- BELFAST, 6:30PM, Belfast Recreation Centre.
Facebook event link

(These sessions are wrapping up --
Next week's sessions:
Monday, February 25th -- CORNWALL
Tuesday, February 26th -- NORTH SHORE Community Centre
Thursday, February 28th - WELLINGTON (with French interpretation)
and the last in March 4th in MORELL.)

Bluefin documentary screening, 10PM
, CBC's Doc Channel. John Hopkins' touching, evocative film looks at the fish and the enormous pressures at play. You have to have this channel on your cable TV, or call and get the free February trial of the channel, to see this.
YouTube trailer of Bluefin

Hurrah for the progressive team in Charlottetown!

from Renewable Cities publication just updated:
Prince Edward Island

In February 2019, P.E.I.’s capital city of Charlottetown adopted a community energy plan that calls for a “…carbon neutral, diverse and economically strong community, powered only by renewable energy.” With the move, the City of Charlottetown becomes the first local government in The Maritimes to commit to an energy transition. The plan includes a community-wide 100% renewable energy target, for electricity, heating and cooling, and transportation, as well as a projection to cut community energy demand in half by 2050.
CBC's Searchlight (music talent competition) second round of voting has begun, and there are four artists who have made it into this second round: Little Cities, Russell Louder, Shane Pendergast and Soul Filter. Search for "Prince Edward Island" as the region if you wish to cast a daily vote. Congrats to all the groups that tried!

Regarding the Electoral Reform referendum: Vote Yes PEI has this Facebook page -- consider liking and sharing and such:

The electoral reform referendum (with its question: "Should Prince Edward Island change its voting system to a mixed member proportional voting system? No or Yes?") will be concurrent with the next provincial election.
The Electoral Boundaries were redrawn in 2017 for the upcoming election, by a commission headed by Gerard Mitchell, former Supreme Court Chief Justice and current Referendum Commissioner.
Here is a photo of the Commissioner, with cheeky question marks added by the Referendum PEI communications people to remind you that you can ask him any question!

Their Facebook page:

Back to the Boundaries: Focus on District 21: Summerside-Wilmot

This district is quite differently shaped, though it has the same name of D21:Summerside-Wilmot, the second City and the eastern "neighbourhood" of Wilmot. It does not contain the Traveler's Rest roundabout, but starts west of that, west along Route 2, south down Granville Street, over Cambridge, Russell, Eustane (!), and to the shore, cutting through the parking lot between the Silver Fox Curling Club and Holland College and the mall. It goes easterly to the bridge at Route 107 (south of the bridge is District 19:Borden-Kinkora and then to the east D21 borders with D20:Kendington-Malpeque). Another big change as it only used to border D19, D20 and D22 (Summerside-St. Eleanors) but now District 23: Tyne Valley-Linkletter is to the North containing what had been the D20 area of Sherbrooke.

Old Map:

District 21: Summerside-Wilmot

New slider map:

District 21: Summerside-Wilmot is lavender.

A borrowed screenshot of the PDF of the new District 21:

And a screenshot of Brad Trivers' map from his website:

from: https://bradtrivers.com/2018/02/map-new-district-18-rustico-emerald-boundaries/

Chris Palmer is the Liberal MLA for District 21, and is Minister of Economic Development and Tourism -- and has spent a large amount of his time defending the government's Provincial Nominee Program's failings, a seemingly hereditary part of the job, going back to when Richard Brown was in a similar department division utilizing the "advantages" of the immigration program.

Besides Palmer,
Lynn Lund, deputy leader of the Green Party of P.E.I., is the other declared candidate for the District for the Green Party.
------------------- "Who is the world am I?  Ah, that's the great puzzle."
   ---Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)

February 20, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events today:
Standing Committee Meetings

Standing Committee on Public Accounts, 10AM
, Coles Building. "The committee will meet to discuss its work plan; following this, the committee will move in camera to discuss operational and procedural matters. Auditor General B. Jane MacAdam will be in attendance."
Standing Committee on Education and Economic Development, 1:30PM, Coles Building,"The committee will meet to receive a briefing on Regional Economic Advisory Councils by John Jamieson, Deputy Minister of Rural and Regional Development; Amie Swallow MacDonald, Director of Rural Economic Development; and Darryl O'Brien, Rural Policy Specialist."
You can attend the meetings in person in the Gallery or watch the meetings on-line -- usually there is a notice here:

Also today:
Green Rights Course, with Silver Donald Cameron, "live" lecture, 1:30-3PM
, on-line at Cape Breton University link. If you are registered, you can view it later. You can possibly still register here
If you are having trouble with passwords and such, you can write to <helpdesk@cbu.ca>

Our Common Journey: Making the Transition to Sustainability, 7PM
, Charlottetown Rural High School., Room 343. The schedule is a little mixey due to the storm days but all are welcome.
Facebook event link

Green Drinks -- Souris, 7PM, with Green Party candidate for District 1: Souris -Elmira, Boyd Leard, Souris Legion No. 3. All welcome.
Facebook event link

The Department of Communities, Land and Environment has released a document compiling public input into sustainable transportation. It is here:

And goes over barriers, and choices we would like to have. It is good that Sean Ledgerwood and the Climate Change Secretariat people are thinking about all this.
Background government page
from the news yesterday:

Nova Scotia liquefied natural gas project signs agreements with unions, Mi'kmaq -The Guardian article from The Canadian Press

HALIFAX — A proposed liquefied natural gas project says it has signed agreements with the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaq Chiefs, the Nova Scotia Construction Labour Relations Association, and unions in Cape Breton.

Bear Head LNG says the mutual benefits agreement with the assembly is a commitment to develop the project on the Strait of Canso in an environmentally sustainable manner. 

CEO John Baguley calls it a "significant milestone" for the project and demonstrates the company's commitment to providing direct benefits to Mi'kmaq communities.

The company also says its project labour agreement with the unions ensures a stable work environment for the development of its facility.

It says the labour agreement governs the terms of employment for employees represented by the unions at the Bear Head facility and gives priority to qualified residents of Cape Breton Island and mainland Nova Scotia.

The proposed facility will comprise an initial development of an eight to 12-million tonne per annum liquefied natural gas facility, with the capacity and approvals for further expansion.

The company says all required initial permits are in place to construct the export facility, while Canada's National Energy Board and the U.S. Department of Energy have granted export licences.

LNG produced at the facility will be transported by vessels to overseas markets.


Today the Focus is provincial electoral District 20: Kensington-Malpeque.
This District is in the northwest part of the middle clump of P.E.I., encompassing the land of L.M. Montgomery (Park Corner, etc.).
Kensington is the biggest community, and the District contains Malpeque, Darnley, Long River, Park Corner, Burlington, Indian River, and New Annan. This District lost the Sherbrooke area with this redrawing, but got a small part southeast of Summerside.

Like many P.E.I. electoral districts, farming, fishing and agriculture play big roles.

Old map:

New map:

The Electoral Commission report map PDF (Screen shot):

Right now, Matthew MacKay, the current MLA, and Opposition MLA, is seeking re-election, but I am not sure of anyone else.

And a screen shot of Brad Trivers' maps with overlaps:


"Once the storm is over you won't remember how you made it through...You won't be the same person who walked in.  That's what this storm is all about."
   ---Haruki Murakami (b. 1949) Japanese writer

February 19, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Upcoming Legislative Standing Committee Meetings this week:

Wednesday, February 20th:
Standing Committee on Public Accounts, 10AM. Coles Building.  Meeting #1, Work plan, and operational and procedural matters. "The committee will meet to discuss its work plan; following this, the committee will move in camera to discuss operational and procedural matters. Auditor General B. Jane MacAdam will be in attendance."
Committee members are:  Chair: Brad Trivers, Hannah Bell, Kathleen Casey, Jamie Fox, J. Alan McIsaac, Hal Perry, and Allen Roach.

Standing Committee on Education and Economic Development, 1:30PM, Coles Building, Meeting #1, Regional Economic Advisory Councils.  "The committee will meet to receive a briefing on Regional Economic Advisory Councils by John Jamieson, Deputy Minister of Rural and Regional Development; Amie Swallow MacDonald, Director of Rural Economic Development; and Darryl O'Brien, Rural Policy Specialist."
Chair: J. Alan McIsaac, Hannah Bell, Paula Biggar, Robbie Henderson, Sidney MacEwen, Matt MacKay, Robert Mitchell, and Pat Murphy.

Thursday, February 21st:
Standing Committee on Communities, Land and Environment, 1:30PM, Coles Building. Meeting #1, Water Act.
"The Committee will receive a briefing on the Water Act regulations from: Hon. Richard Brown, Minister of Communities, Land and Environment; and Mr. Todd Dupuis, Executive Director, Climate Change and Environment."
Chair: Kathleen Casey, Peter Bevan-Baker, Colin LaVie, J. Alan McIsaac, Sidney MacEwen, Hal Perry, Allen Roach, and Brad Trivers.


"Fill up the Landfill to the Rim"
by cartoonist Gareth Lind, from 2014 (!), with that year's stats.
Gareth's Facebook page

If you wish you could do something in addition to reducing your use of take-out containers, this petition, created by three schoolkids, is still active, if and can be signed here:

Its main part, from Change.org:
"..., we’re working together to ask Tim Hortons to commit to developing and using a #BetterCup — one that is fully recyclable and compostable.

We see so many people buy coffee at Tim Hortons every day and we also see their cups littering the streets and in the garbage. It is estimated that a total 600 billion single-use cups are distributed worldwide each year, most of which wind up in landfills. Our planet and our oceans can’t take any more waste! We think it’s time for Tim Hortons to join the movement towards a more sustainable future.

Together we ask Daniel Schwartz, CEO of Restaurant Brands International — the owners of Tim Hortons, Burger King and Popeye’s — to join the #BetterCup movement by investing in and using a better cup! We also ask them to move away from the single-use culture, promoting the use of reusable cups.

So many people love Tim Hortons coffee in Canada and we know they can be leaders by making this important environmental commitment.

Please join us in asking Tim Hortons to be a leader and make/use a #BetterCup! Together we can make our future greener."


Focus on new electoral boundaries: 
District 19: Borden-Kinkora

This district keeps its name and most of its geography, but appears to have given a section to District 18: Rustico-Emerald, and taken a symmetrical piece from D17: New Haven-Rocky Point. (see final map, below)

The District now contains Victoria and Crapaud in the Southeast, continues along the South Shore with the Tryons, Augustine Cove and Cape Traverse, Albany and Borden-Carleton, Chelton, Fernwood and the Bedeques.  It goes up to the south side of the Blue Shank Road, with Lower Freetown and Kinkora nestled in, and heads back east of Maplewood Road back down to Crapaud, encompassing the lovely little communities of Maple Plains and Lady Fane.  The District has the western end of Queen's County and is mostly Prince County.

Old map showing District 19's pointy north part:

New Map with District 19 in lavender

Screenshot of the overlay maps from Brad Trivers' website:

The new District 19 is in green, with the former boundaries in blue lines.
The current MLA is Jamie Fox, who was interim Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of P.E.I. (after Rob Lantz stepped down), and Official Leader of the Opposition. He is the Shadow Critic for Transportation, Infrastructure, and Energy, and Justice and Public Safety.
Matt MacFarlane had been nominated to run as the Green Party candidate.
From the Wonder page-a-day calendar of quotes:

"The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity."
---Ellen Parr
Are you curious as to who is Ellen Parr? Apparently this quote was attributed to her in an 1980 Reader's Digest, but there really isn't any concrete information on Ellen Parr. The quote is likely from Dorothy Parker (1893-1967), American poet and satirist, who was often overheard and her witty words "borrowed". And that's a cat I know who's rife with curiosity.

February 18, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

District 17:New Haven-Rocky Point Progressive Conservative Candidate nomination meeting, 6:30PM registration, 7PM meeting, Afton Community Centre, Rte. 19 (26 Nine Mile Creek Road).  Kris Currie is the candidate, and new PC Leader Dennis King will be in attendance. All welcome.
Facebook event link

Tomorrow's Standing Committee Meeting on Health and Wellness, discussing Smoke-Free Places, has been CANCELLED due to scheduling conflicts.

Wednesday, February 20th:
Public Accounts Standing Committee Meeting, 10AM, Coles Building (Legislative Assembly Building).
"The committee will meet to discuss its work plan; following this, the committee will move IN CAMERA to discuss operational and procedural matters.  Auditor General B. Jane MacAdam will be in attendance."

Thursday, February 21st:
ReferendumPEI Information Session -BELFAST, 6:30PM
, Belfast Recreation Centre,  3033 Garfield Road, Belfast.  This is the only one scheduled for this week.

photo by Pete Souza

Quote of the Day (it's also President's Day in the States):

"Hope is the thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it, and to fight for it."
---Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States

Focus on new provincial electoral District 18: Rustico-Emerald
This district has the same name, but has been shifted one step to the west, losing Hunter River and part of Darlington and Brookfield to District 15: Brackley-Hunter River, but getting the area west of Emerald and east of South Freetown (lost yet?). District 18 has Cavendish, goes counterclockwise to the Rusticos, Rennies Road, Hazel Grove, Fredericton, Breadalbane, Emerald, continuing north up to Springfield and to New London (also gaining some land here to encompass the community, and Stanley Bridge. Millvale, the Granvilles, St. Patricks and St. Ann are in this District. And don't forget Toronto.

Brad Trivers is the current MLA, Progressive Conservative, Official Opposition Whip, critic for Communities, Land and Environment -- which he is VERY hardworking at, and chair of the Public Accounts committee.
He is also quite adept at technological resources and has the overlay maps I have been sharing screenshots of (below) at his website:
And he is one of the musically inclined MLAs in this current class.

old slider map of the Districts, with District 18 in the north centre of the Island.

New slider map of Districts, with District 18:Rustico-Emerald, in peach.

February 17, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

(In District 17 and 19)
Afton Community Pop-up, 9AM-1PM
, Afton Community Centre, 26 Nine Mile Creek Hall.
 "..an indoor community market, featuring a combination of locally-produced items and gently-used items for sale.  Admission will be $2 (kids may enter free of charge when accompanied by a parent). There is no ATM on site..." (so bring cash).

This afternoon:
The Great Debate, 2-4PM, Victoria Playhouse, fundraiser for Green Party Candidates Peter Bevan-Baker (D17) and Matt MacFarlane (D19), debating merits of the profession of dentisty va. law, with music and variety acts in between.  Some tickets at the door still available. 
Facebook event link

In Charlottetown:
Scott Parsons and Friends, 2-4PM, Confederation Centre Public Library.  "Scott Parsons will be performing music... for Black History Month...joined by guests from the School of Performing Arts.  Presented in partnership with the Black Cultural Society of PEI and co-hosted by Sean Casey, MP for Charlottetown. This incredible afternoon of music is a free event, and open to all ages."
Keep in mind for next weekend:

Saturday, February 23rd:
Land Grabbing Forum, 1:30-4PM
, Farm Centre, free. Sponsored by the Coalition for the Protection of PEI Land.  Senator Diane Griffin and others will explore concerns regarding the Lands Protection Act and land use on P.E.I. today. 
The 27 New Electoral Districts highlighted in February
District 17: New Haven-Rocky Point
This District in south central queens is

District 17 is where I live, and I first got to know our former MLA Valerie Docherty during community events, and then through futile efforts to try to change the Plan B highway proposal.   From about that time and until the May 2015 election, James Aylward (District 6: Stratford-Kinlock) kindly substituted as my family's MLA when we had questions or concerns.  (So I see first hand how any sort of proportional voting system would be advantageous for any Islander, as it would give that person more that one MLA to go to for support or information.)

District 17, from the obscurely named Kellys Cross-Cumberland, got the slightly less obscure New Haven-Rocky Point.  The geographical area has shrunk a bit, with the entire community of Crapaud and now Victoria moved to District 19 (Borden-Kinkora).  I think this is because of increased development in the area outside Cornwall, particularly, but not certain.  The District is the entire "Cumberland peninsula" for its eastern boundary, the south shore almost to Victoria, with the western boundary along Rte 13 but not including residents along both sides of Rte 13) from Crapaud to Kellys Cross, and  Stanchel, with the northern boundary south of Rte. 225, to the border of District 16:Cornwall-Meadowbank.  New Haven is kind of in the middle, and the district looks like a backwards Austria.  The West River is prominent in the District.

Peter Bevan-Baker, Green Party of P.E.I. Leader, and in Legislative terms, Leader of the Third Party, is the MLA elected in 2015 and is reoffering for the next election
Judy MacNevin is the candidate for the Liberal Party and was nominated last week.
Kris Currie is seeking the nomination for the Progressive Conservative (I think) and the meeting is Monday, February 18th, at Afton Hall, 6:30PM registration. Dennis King, Leader of the PCs, is to be in attendance. 

Old Map:

New map

sorry to have cut off Tignish and also part of District 4...

From the Electoral Boundaries official map:

And from Brad Trivers' map:

A beautiful quote:

"One way to open your eyes to unnoticed beauty is to ask yourself, 'What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?' "
---Rachel Carson (1907-1964), American biologist, writer, and pioneer environmentalist

February 16, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

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

This afternoon:
Chat Rural, District 15: Brackley-Hunter River, with Green Party candidate Greg Bradley, 1-3PM
, By the River Bakery and Cafe, Hunter River. This was postponed from a couple of weeks ago.

District 20 and 18 Progressive Conservative Fundraising Concert, 7PM,
New London Community Complex, tickets $10. With Matt MacKay and Brad Trivers, current MLAs. 
More info: https://bradtrivers.com/buy-concert-tickets/

A seriously silly poster:

A very supportive letter about a committed and decent individual, Joe Byrne, Leader of the Island New Democrats: https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/opinion/letter-to-the-editor/letter-joe-byrnes-leadership-284723/

LETTER: Joe Byrne’s leadership - The Guardian Letter to the Editor

Published on Friday, February 15th, 2019

I would like to respond to the recent editorials that have appeared in your paper in relation to the leadership of Joe Byrne of the NDP. We live in a representative democracy. Joe’s leadership is centred in this and his desire is to make it more truly representative. Accordingly, to be truly representative we must hear from all people and they must know their voices are respected. Joe’s leadership is grounded in trying to make this happen.

In particular, his leadership is shaped by groups of people who are underrepresented in the legislature. These include women, indigenous people, refugees and immigrants, the working poor, social assistance recipients, visible minorities and the LGBT community.

Joe’s leadership flows from his life grounded with living and working for those whose voices have not been heard. Joe’s leadership comes from his life experiences with struggling humanity whether that be his years with the marginalized of the Dominican Republic or with newcomers, immigrants and refugees here on the Island. This leadership is driven by social justice. This leadership comes from a collective listening and giving priority to those most vulnerable, including the land, sea and air from which we all live. This is a leadership style which would benefit the Island legislature. If we are truly looking for change, Joe would be a powerful voice for that change.

Phil Callaghan, Charlottetown


Today's provincial electoral District for the next election focus:  District 16!
D16: Cornwall-Meadowbank

This District is pretty clear from the name, and the boundaries have just been changed a tiny bit, some western boundaries pared off into District 17 to keep population numbers in the Districts more uniform.  The District still goes from the North River Causeway/Bridge in the northeast along the North River and Hyde Point and Meadowbank, all the subdivisions and the town of Cornwall, to the Meadowbank Causeway on the West River, up but not Clyde River community or Linwood Road residents (that got moved to D17:New Haven-Rocky Point -- tomorrow's focus), some little bit near Hampshire, and then easterly along Kingston Road Rte. 225 but not Warren Grove, back to the North River Bridge.  The "borrowed" PDF map link provides a lot of detail, as does Brad Trivers' website map.

Current/old Map, District 16: Cornwall-Meadowbank


New map boundaries

borrowed from the Electoral Boundaries Commission PDFs of the New District maps, on D16:

from: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/37f9d9_dd11eec2246d474d9aa378c6a1355422.pdf


and a map from "blue" PC MLA Brad Trivers:

screenshot from:
with District 16 in orange, and old lines in dark blue.
Currently, Heath MacDonald is the Liberal MLA, and is Minister of Finance.
No other candidates have been officially nominated, I think, but I believe Ellen Jones, Green Party Shadow Cabinet critic for Community, Lands and Environment, is planning to run.


Some really great news about how renewable energy and social enterprise can work:

from the Government of Canada press release:
The Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador (ASNL) is establishing a year-round social enterprise greenhouse that will use clean technology to produce sustainable food products, as well as provide skills training and new employment opportunities for people living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  

ASNL will build a new greenhouse that will operate from natural sunlight during the standard growing season and generate heat and light using solar photovoltaic modules during winter. The greenhouse will be built on site at the Elaine Dobbin Centre for Autism and will enable ASNL to produce larger volumes of healthy food to be used at its social enterprise restaurant – the Pantry Café & Catering.  <snip>

The Government of Canada is investing $60,000 through ACOA.
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is contributing $50,785
Trades NL is providing $120,000.
ASNL is contributing $55,000 toward this project.
Iron and Earth East is also providing solar panels and other in-kind support for this project.

from Delia Warren, East Coast Director of Iron and Earth (more below on them), sent by e-mail on Friday, February 15th, 2019:

We are delighted to formally announce government funding from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency as well as the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation for our 365 Greenhouse project!
Thanks to these groups, a significant donation from Trades NL, and in partnership with Autism Society NL, we will be breaking ground on this project in the spring with Borealis Consulting Inc.
The 365 Greenhouse is a year-round greenhouse powered entirely by solar power through a grid-tied system. Trainees from our Solar Skills training initiatives have already installed 3kW of solar modules on the adjacent building, with 7kW of additional solar to be installed following completion of the greenhouse.
This project was conceptualized and developed largely through the volunteer efforts of our hard-working chapter members and the amazing team at the Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador.<snip>

More about Iron and Earth, which has two chapters, one in Edmonton and the East (really Atlantic Region, based in St. John's, NL) 
from: http://www.ironandearth.org/about_us

Our Story

Iron & Earth is led by oilsands workers committed to incorporating more renewable energy projects into our work scope. We created this organization during the spring of 2015 when oil prices started to fall. We were losing work and conversations about needing to diversify our energy grid was dominating our lunch conversations on the job site. This moment acted as a catalyst for us to realize our shared vision for a sustainable energy future for Canada - one that would ensure the health and equity of workers, our families, communities, economy, and the environment. We founded Iron and Earth as a platform to engage in renewable energy development issues, and to empower us to advocate for an energy future we can be proud of creating. Our membership has since grown to include workers from a variety of industrial trades, including boilermakers, electricians, pipe fitters, ironworkers, and labourers.

There's a place for the oilsands

Every Canadian uses oil in some form on a day-to-day basis, and it's an essential resource for our country at this period in history. The oilsands is a key industry for the Canadian economy, and adds to the wealth of individuals, families and business owners. The members of Iron and Earth greatly appreciate the jobs that oilsands development has created for us, and realize that we will rely on many of these jobs into the near future.

There's a place for renewable energy

Renewable energy development has already created thousands of jobs in Canada, and has the potential to create millions more. Fortunately, for many of the workers who are affected by the ongoing boom and bust cycles of the oilsands, many renewable energy jobs require the same skills and tradespeople that are currently working in Canada’s oil and gas industry. There is a lot of work to do to make this transfer of skills fluid, and that is the work that Iron and Earth hopes to engage in. If this direct transfer of skills was streamlined, Canada would be empowered to more rapidly diversify its energy sector, while developing the oilsands at a sustainable pace. This fluidity would also ensure that workers like us are more consistently employed.

Where iron and earth meet

We, the members of Iron and Earth, are the hands and feet of our energy future in Canada. Our intention is not to shut down the oilsands, but to see they are managed more sustainably while developing our renewable energy resources more ambitiously. The power of this initiative is its potential to bring together diverse stakeholders to advance a shared vision of the future. Oilsands workers, business owners, non-profits, politicians from the left and right, and every-day Canadian consumers can stand together for a future we all believe in – one where iron and earth meet.

February 15, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Now until Saturday, February 23rd:
February Wildbird Food Sale,
Phillips Feed Store, Exhibition Drive. (8-5 weekdays, 8-12noon Saturdays)  Feed and feeders on sale and a portion going to Island Nature Trust.

Live at the Haviland Club, 7-10PM
, with Laurie Brinklow and Michael Mooney and special guest Liam Corcoran, Haviland Club, 2 Haviland Street in Charlottetown. 
Facebook event link

Lecture: The History of Professional Theatre in P.E.I., 7:30PM, Benevolent Irish Society Hall, presented by director and producer Duncan MacIntosh.  Free admission.
Facebook event link

Night Music, 8-9PM, St. Paul's Anglican Church.  "Pianist Sarah Hagen invites people yearning for a quietly magical evening to come out to St. Paul's Church for a carefully curated programme of Schubert, Chopin, Satie, and others. Inspired by Natkirke, a contemplative initiative in Denmark, the music will flow from one piece to the next without pause or applause....Admission is pay-what-you-will at the door."
This has been passed around social media, but in case you haven't seen it,
from yesterday's Journal-Pioneer, by Wayne Wright:


Focus on New Electoral Districts provincially --

Today is District 15: Brackley-Hunter River

This is very much different!  This District (15) used to be West Royalty-Springvale, was former Liberal MLA and now Independent MLA's Bush Dumville's District, and was a blend of West Royalty, some of Winsloe and Milton heading northwest out of Charlottetown in a thin diamond shape.  Now it is a much more of a clump with a little area near Hartsville added.  The main outer areas are Hunter River to the west, Oyster Bed Bridge to the north, Brackley to the east and Warren Grove to the south.  Bluefield High School, near Hampton, is just in the southern extent of this District.

Candidates for the next election:
Greg Bradley is running in this District for the Green Party.
Windsor Wight for the Liberals.
Leah-Jane Hayward, Party president, for the NDP.
and I believe the new Progressive Conservative leader Dennis King will run in this area, as I think he lives near Brookfield.
Sounds like there could be lots of good discussion of issues!
Old/Current D15: Brackley-Hunter River

New map showing D15: Brackley-Hunter River


Screenshot of PDF from the Electoral Boundaries Commission website of D15: Brackley-Hunter River

Screenshot of PDF of District 15: Brackely-Hunter River


from: Brad Trivers' map of D15: Brackley-Hunter River
And because the planets will be interesting in the next week: https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/community/glen-roberts-conjunction-of-venus-and-saturn-282152/

GLENN ROBERTS: Conjunction of Venus and Saturn - The Guardian article by Glenn Roberts

Mars will be the only bright planet to be visible in the night sky throughout February

Published on Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

Venus, our "morning star", shines brightly (mag. -4.3) in the eastern, pre-dawn sky this month, as it did in January. It will sink lower and lower in the early morning sky throughout February, as the planet moves away from Earth in its orbit around the sun.

Though it will diminish slightly in brightness to mag. -4.1, the percentage of its surface illumination increases from 62 per cent to 72 per cent, meaning that it will continue to shine brightly in the pre-dawn until mid-March. Venus forms a rough straight line (running lower left to upper right) with Saturn and Jupiter this month. As February opens, Jupiter sits to the upper right of Venus, with Saturn to the lower left. This configuration will change on the morning of Feb. 18.

Mighty Jupiter (mag. -1.9), the second brightest planet after Venus, rises about three and a half hours before sunrise in early February, sitting well above its dazzling cousin (to the upper right) in the pre-dawn sky. The waning crescent moon sits above Jupiter on the morning of Feb. 27.

Saturn (mag. +0.6) sits to the lower left of Venus in the pre-dawn sky early in February, about one and a half hours before sunrise. On Feb. 18, Venus and Saturn are in close conjunction, with Saturn sliding past Venus, and, thereafter, rising higher in the early morning sky. Venus (to the upper left) will outshine Saturn by a factor of 80 at the time of their conjunction. During the last week of the month, Saturn sits between Venus and Jupiter. Saturn's magnificent ring system is still tilted favourably towards Earth for telescopic viewing this month.

Mercury, having become an evening sky object at the end of January, won't be visible in the evening sky until about mid-month. However, it should be fairly easy to spot at mag. -1.2 low above the western horizon about an hour after sunset, before disappearing below the horizon shortly thereafter. Mars, which sits to the upper left of Mercury, might help you locate the solar system's smallest planet. Mercury will be at its greatest eastern elongation from the sun on Feb. 27. It will, therefore, be at its highest point in the evening sky and, consequently, much easier to spot.

Mars will be the only bright planet to be visible in the night sky throughout February. Though this famous planet will fade slightly (mag.+0.9 to +1.2) in brightness this month, it will be readily visible above the western horizon as the evening sky darkens. On Feb. 10, look for the waxing, crescent moon to the lower left of Mars.

The year's farthest lunar apogee occurred on Feb. 5, with the moon being approx. 406,580 kms from Earth. The year's closest lunar perigee will occur this month on Feb. 19, with the Moon being approx. 356,760 kms from the Earth. This lunar perigee corresponds with the full moon on Feb. 19, making it a supermoon (the second of three in 2019). The moon will be larger and brighter than normal on that evening.

Until next month, clear skies.


  • Feb. 12 - First quarter moon
  • Feb. 18 - Venus and Saturn conjunction
  • Feb. 19 - Full (super) moon; moon at perigee
  • Feb. 26 - Last quarter moon

Glenn K. Roberts lives in Stratford, P.E.I., and has been an avid amateur astronomer since he was a small child. His column appears in The Guardian on the first Wednesday of each month. He welcomes comments from readers, and anyone who would like to do so is encouraged to email him at glennkroberts@gmail.com.

"...all serious daring starts from within."
Eudora Welty, (1909-2001) American write

February 14, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events today:

Walk in Silence for Victims of Family Violence -- Charlottetown, 12noon, Coles Building.
postponed from yesterday --"...This event is part of Family Violence Prevention Week and is also 'Wear Purple Day'. The walk is a symbolic gesture by those of us determined to give a voice to family violence victims who remain silent out of shame or fear. Participants will convene at the Hon. George Coles Building and will proceed to City Hall where there will be a reception with refreshments and remarks. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to wear purple and attend."

Extinction Rebellion (XR) "Die-in" -- Charlottetown Mall, 5PM, presumably meet around the main entrance.    
from their event link:

At 5 pm we will gather at the Charlottetown Mall (670 University Ave) to stage a "die in" -- we will walk into the mall and collapse on the floor to send the message that doom is upon us if massive change does not happen sooner than "possible".
-The Government and the media must tell the truth about the climate and wider ecological emergency, reverse inconsistent policies and work alongside the media to communicate with citizens.
-The Government must enact legally binding policy measures to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025 and to reduce consumption levels.
-A national Citizen’s Assembly to oversee the changes, as part of creating a democracy fit for purpose.
Discuss and post on this
event page and elsewhere, and/or message us!
This date falls within the Canadian Declaration of Rebellion week (

Valentine Cabaret, 7:30PM, The Mack Theatre.  Catherine O'Brien (of the Citizens' Alliance, the Coalition for the Protection of PEI Water, Young At Heart Musical Theatre for Seniors, and other volunteer work), along with Joey Kitson, and Don Fraser, perform new and old love songs, etc.   Still a few tickets left.
Confederation Centre Box Office ticket info
Condolences to Stratford-Kinlock MLA James Aylward and his family on the passing of his father, William (Bill) Aylward.  Such a wonderful gentleman.  Visitation tomorrow, Friday, February 15th from 2-4PM and 7-9PM at the Hillsborough Funeral Home in Stratford.  Funeral Mass Saturday morning at 10AM at Pius X Church in Charlottetown. 
Guardian obituary
A positive message and helpful request from Jane Thomas: https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/opinion/letter-to-the-editor/letter-electoral-reform-confusion- 283826/

Electoral Reform Confusion - The Guardian Letter to the Editor

Published on Wednesday, February 13th, 2019

First, I would like to thank you for the two articles in the paper on new ways of handling and reusing wastes and on the university that was adding organic gardening and other horticultural aspects to their campus. Both articles warmed my heart and gave me hope for the future.

Please continue to provide these good news articles that not only raise spirits but provide ideas for how our Island can do something similar and create jobs in the process.

Second, I would like to encourage the paper to do a clear, concise explanation of the upcoming electoral reform process. I read the letter to the editor from the person who is in charge of explaining the process and was discouraged. As an intelligent and interested party, I found it quite confusing.

It would be much better if there were a longer article that explained the process using clear bullet points that separated the varying concepts. In addition, the article could conclude with an example of how this system would have worked if it were in place in the last election. The current administration has made it clear they do not want change as it would be detrimental to their desire to retain power. Thus, we cannot rely on them to provide someone to give an objective and clear explanation to Islanders who are in doubt.

As time has passed, first-past-the-post has resulted in two-party systems that no longer even pretend to work co-operatively. You just have to look at the United States to see that a party that won by a significant margin the popular vote still lost the presidency. Thus, a minority party is governing the country with the attitude of "it's my way or the highway."

This is the direction of the two-party system here in Canada as well. We need a more representative government where politicians can view each issue with intelligence, co-operation, and compromise and not be bound by rigid party ideologies. I hope you will help clarify the electoral system options for the public. It is clear the current government will not.

M. Jane Thomas, Bonshaw

Focus on the Redrawn Provincial Electoral Districts

District 14: Charlottetown-West Royalty

This redrawn and renamed District is the mostly the current/former District 14: Charlottetown-Lewis Point, but it has lost a southern neighbourhood to D13:Charlottetown-Brighton, and been extended northwesterly to encompass all of West Royalty and meet with Districts 10: Charlottetown-Winsloe to the east and District 15: Brackley-Hunter River to the North.  It goes to Sleepy Hollow Road to the north, the neighbourhoods along Upton Road, but not those like Bell Heights along Lower Malpeque Road, and the current areas of Lewis Point (south of Beach Grove Road, Orchard Hill (between Beach Grove and Capital Drive), and the area between Capital Drive and Belvedere Avenue bordered by University Avenue on the east. The District included part of the North River Causeway and bridge, Poplar Island and its wetland-filled-in commercial area, that roundabouts and the Maypoint one, West Royalty Industrial Park, and the Biocommons.  Charlottetown Rural High School is squarely in the District, but West Royalty Elementary School....looks like the street access and address are in D10:Charlottetown-Winsloe and the building is in District 14:Charlottetown-West Royalty. 

OLD/CURRENT District 14: Charlottetown-Lewis Point

NEW Map of Charlottetown Districts, including District 14: Charlottetown-West Royalty

Screenshot of PDF of District 14: Charlottetown-West Royalty

And Brad Trivers' map from his website:

New District 14: Charlottetown-West Royalty is in dark pink, with the old/current District lines in blue.
Longtime Liberal MLA and Deputy Speaker Kathleen Casey represents the District currently.
Gordon MacNeilly, fitness enthusiast and former NDP candidate, has been nominated for the Liberals for the next election, and former Liberal MLA and current Independent MLA Bush Dumville has indicated he will run in this District in the next election.
"Familiar acts are beautiful through love."
---Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), English Romantic poet

February 13, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Now Scheduled for Thursday, February 14th:
Walk in Silence for Victims of Family Violence -- Charlottetown, 12noon
, Coles Building.
"...This event is part of Family Violence Prevention Week and is also 'Wear Purple Day'. The walk is a symbolic gesture by those of us determined to give a voice to family violence victims who remain silent out of shame or fear. Participants will convene at the Hon. George Coles Building and will proceed to City Hall where there will be a reception with refreshments and remarks. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to wear purple and attend."

CANCELLED:  Standing Committee on Education and Economic Development meeting, 1:30-3:30PM, Coles Building.  "The committee will meet to receive a briefing on views in regard to Bill 100, An Act to Amend the Employment Standards Act by the PEI Federation of Labour. Other witnesses to be confirmed."
More on this committee:
NOTE: Due to impending bad weather, this meeting has been canceled and will be rescheduled for a later date.

(As public schools are closed for the day, these after-school events are often cancelled -- see the Facebook event link later if you are in doubt)
Our Common Journey: Making the Transition to Sustainability, 7-9PM,
Charlottetown Rural Room 343.   This multi-part course features different topics each week,
Facebook event link
An excellent synopsis of the electoral reform file in this current Liberal  provincial government:

Intended consequences - The Eastern Graphic Letter to the Editor

Published this morning, Wednesday, February 13th, 2019

I’ll begin by offering the Cambridge Dictionary definition of the word transparency: “The characteristic of being easy to see through.”

In Wade MacLauchlan’s inaugural Speech from the Throne in June of 2015 he promised to strengthen the Island’s electoral system. The entire speech was liberally sprinkled with the words transparency, accountability and engagement.

In July MacLauchlan presented a White Paper on Democratic Renewal and struck a special legislative committee. Though arguably biased toward a ranked ballot option, this became the primary source document during the committee’s ambitious public meeting schedule leading to the its first report to the legislature in November of that year. It recommended a second round of public consultations to draw up a plebiscite question and a robust four month educational campaign preceding a plebiscite in November, 2016.

In Wade MacLauchlan’s year-end interview for 2015, he spoke of his preference for a ranked ballot outcome and stated he was “not a believer in proportional representation.” The special committee made its second (and last) report to the legislature in April of 2016.

After presenting the selected plebiscite question it recommended “the committee will act in an advisory capacity for Elections PEI.” Jordan Brown, the committee’s chair, stated “education needs to be extensive and interactive if this whole exercise is to mean anything.” This committee was then removed from the process.

The November, 2016 plebiscite reflected a strong preference for proportional representation over all other options with mixed member proportional being the eventual choice. The premier promptly applied an arbitrary threshold, cited the use of ranked ballots as further tainting the plebiscite results and refused to honour the vote. The whole democratic renewal file was tactically buried until June of 2018. A complex, flawed piece of legislation to support a referendum was tabled. After an abbreviated, intense debate it was duly ramrodded through the legislature.

In January of 2019 a referendum commissioner was appointed and provided with a budget the premier claimed would “enable a fulsome education campaign.” Despite an earnest effort from those involved this process reflects the consistent tepid commitment from government. It reflects the bare minimum of the assets which should be available to it.

This will be further marginalized when the premier decides to go to the polls. Those trying to support public education on this vital question are already forced to navigate through the complex, punitive array of regulations and will have even fewer resources and less access to the ears of Islanders once the parties deploy their troops.

Rhetoric notwithstanding, Wade MacLauchlan and his government have no interest in substantive democratic renewal. Effectively rebooting the system would be much too costly for them and those dependant on them. The networks groomed and the instruments embedded would be tough to maintain if any real oversight was brought to bear.

Boyd Allen, Pownal

Elizabeth May, leader of the federal Green Party of Canada and MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands, was in P.E.I. yesterday for some Party events and for an all-welcome "Community Matters" Tour to hear from Islanders.  May and fiance John Kidder were warmly welcomed by the full house at Murchinson Centre last night, but the visit was curtailed a bit due their needing to get off the Island to drive to Fredericton for a similar event Wednesday.   Many questions were brought up, many with ties to concerns about Climate Change. 
May spoke about the young Swedish teen Greta Thunberg, and vowed she would use the kid's forthright summary of situations for her own moral compass, and not gloss over the needs and ways to address Climate Change in order to win votes. The ordinarily gentle May exclaimed,  "How the hell do you sugar coat that we are facing extinction?"

The forum ended with a last question on agriculture, with support and admiration for farmers, and pledges to work to ease transitions due to Climate Change and the ill-effects of years of conventional, chemical agriculture.  Both May and Bevan-Baker emphasized supporting farmers, encouraging local food production and consumption, and supporting ways to encourage more people to get in the business.

Earlier in the week, as reported by The Guardian:
Party members also nominated Darcie Lanthier as (federal Green Party) candidate for Charlottetown (Riding) Monday night. Lanthier is a past leader of the provincial Green party and is a member of the its federal council.  Lanthier will face off against incumbent Liberal MP Sean Casey in the fall’s federal election.

District 13: Charlottetown-Brighton

Hope (more about Hope, below) Drive, Rosewood Drive and Rosewood Park, and the rest of Nassau Drive and area, have been added to the northwest corner of this District, pinched off the former District 14:Charlottetown-Lewis Point (Now D14: Charlottetown-West Royalty, and on the slate for tomorrow's Citizens' Alliance Newsletter).
University Avenue forms the eastern boundary, Belvedere the northern (part but not all of Moreau Drive's residents, the North River itself on the western edge (and Queen Elizabeth Drive, and Brighton/Euston Streets form the southern boundary to the intersection with University/Great George Streets.
Spring Park, St. Jean's and West Kent Elementary schools, Queen Charlotte Intermediate, and Colonel Gray High School are all in this District.

Old map of Charlottetown Districts, new Map of Districts, screenshot of PDF of new District 13, and screenshot from Brad Trivers' map.  The latter two as links allow  you to zoom in and see roads.

New District 13: Charlottetown-Brighton


Screenshot of PDF of New District 13: Charlottetown-Brighton:


From MLA Brad Trivers' website:

Liberal government Education and Early Childhood Learning Minister Jordie Brown is the current MLA.  He was the former Chair of the Special Committee on Democratic Renewal.**
(link goes to Committee page)
Ole Hammarlund has been nominated for the Green Party.

I am not sure of other candidates (if you know where any "Party Lists" of candidates are, please let me know ;-)   
Some clever collection of individuals has kept up a Wikipedia page with the current candidates, here:

**FYI: special (now nostalgic) separate website for the Special Committee on Democratic Renewal:


"Hope" is the thing with feathers--
That perches in the soul--
And sings the tune without the words--
And never stops--at all.

---Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), American poet

On CBC Radio's "The Enright Files" (via Ideas,in early February), soon after the death of poet Mary Oliver, broadcaster Michael Enright revisited some poets who happen to be women, including Emily Dickinson.  Here is a summary article and link to the podcast:

February 12, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Today is Darwin Day, celebrating what would be the 210th birthday of Charles Darwin, the often misunderstood British naturalist.  International Darwin Day celebrates "perpetual curiosity."  :-)

About Charles Darwin



"Community Wildlife Session -- Inside the Have," 1:30-4:30PM, Eastern Kings Community Centre. Sponsored by the Souris & Area Branch of the P.E.I. Wildlife Federation.  Local beekeeper Roland MacDonald, talk on bees, beekeeping and pollination. All welcome.


ReferendumPEI Information Session -- STRATFORD, 6:30PM, Stratford Town Hall – Southport Room, 234 Shakespeare Dr, Stratford

Community Matters Tour -- Charlottetown, 7-9PM, Murchison Centre, 15-17 St, Pius X Ave,  from the media release printed in The Guardian:

"Elizabeth May, federal Green party leader, will make a stop in Charlottetown this week as part of her Community Matters Tour.  May, who is the MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands, B.C., will host a town hall meeting in Charlottetown Tuesday evening. She will be joined by P.E.I. Green Leader Peter Bevan-Baker.  The Community Matters Tour began last week in Montreal and includes 14 stops across the country, including Charlottetown, Moncton and Halifax. The tour aims to give Canadians an opportunity to share their priorities, concerns and vision for Canada’s future with May and the Green party....This event is free, and all are welcome."


An excellent essay by Matt Hall, a relatively "new" engineering professor at UPEI, specializing in energy systems.

This is from this morning's Guardian, and not on-line yet:

Nuclear power not a competitive option - The Guardian Guest Opinion by Matt Hall

Published on Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

Nuclear power seems to be a recurring opinion topic in The Guardian lately, and I think the discussion could be simplified by considering the question of present-day technical practicality.

Nuclear power has its merits. It is a reliable baseload electricity source and has significantly lower life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions than fossil-fueled power generation. Closing existing nuclear plants prematurely and making up the difference with natural gas or coal doesn’t do the climate any favours. However, when it comes to installing new low-carbon generation, there is a reason that only one new nuclear plant has entered service in the U.S. in the last 20 years.

I’m not an expert on nuclear power; I can’t provide an informed opinion on nuclear waste safety or the likelihood of future reactor technology breakthroughs. But I am literate in the topic of energy systems, and the evidence I’ve seen suggests that, relative to other low-carbon energy sources available today, nuclear power is significantly more expensive, less flexible, and impractically slow to build.

Nuclear power is expensive compared to modern renewables. The most recent cost of energy assessments from Lazard, a very reputable source, show nuclear coming in at roughly three to four times the cost of utility-scale wind or solar power. Three to four times.

If this comes as a surprise, it might be because nuclear projects end up on average more than 100 per cent over budget (according to a peer-reviewed survey of 180 nuclear plants). Though nextgeneration reactor designs promise significant improvements, that technology is still in the works. In contrast, wind and solar power are already mature technologies, widely deployed at utility scale, and more affordable than almost every other option.

It’s commonly argued that nuclear plants provide reliable baseload generation. This is accurate, but of decreasing relevance. The challenge with electricity supply is meeting the peak load, not the base. This calls for flexible generation that can ramp up or down when needed, energy storage (of which there is an expanding array of options), and demand response (e.g. Summerside’s smart grid). Furthermore, as our energy mix becomes increasingly renewable, the need for flexibility increases and the space for always-on baseload generation decreases. Current nuclear technology, which is inflexible and relies on full-time operation to be economical, becomes increasingly impractical.

The urgency for decarbonizing our energy system has never been greater. Last year’s special report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change pushes for a halving of global net greenhouse gas emission by 2030. This involves switching the majority of our energy use to electricity, and providing that electricity from low-carbon sources. The 2030 timeframe means we need to use technologies that can be deployed quickly.

While wind and solar power plants can be installed in a single year, nuclear plants typically take ten years. Even if nuclear power were cost-effective and compatible with the future of the electricity grid, nuclear plants simply take too long to build to be a significant part of the energy system’s evolution.

We are lucky that the abundant and quickly-deployable lowcarbon energy sources we need are also now the cheapest form of electricity generation on the planet. Wind and solar are remarkably safe; the main risks are killing birds and bothering local land owners if siting isn’t done properly. Criticisms about space and resource utilization fly in the face of most evidence. If there is a genuine challenge, it is that wind and sunlight are intermittent rather than available 24/7. However, researchers around the world have done work showing how renewable energy can reliably provide even 100 per cent of our electricity needs if we intelligently leverage existing storage and smart-grid technology. We are already working on that research for P.E.I.

The energy system benefits from diversity. Existing nuclear plants may provide a valuable supply of baseload low-carbon electricity for many years to come, and next-generation nuclear technology might one day be a sensible addition.

But wind and solar, supported by storage and demand response, are the leading solutions for new electricity generation in the present.

And, when it comes to acting on climate change, it’s the present we need to work with.

Matt Hall is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Sustainable Design Engineering at UPEI.


Provincial electoral District 12 is the focus today, looking at the new electoral boundaries for the next provincial election. 

District 12: Charlottetown-Victoria Park
Downtown, the Great George part of the city, the waterfront, etc.  In this redrawing of the Districts, the "Orlebar neighbourhood" near Birchwood Intermediate School was added to this District, and one small section near Belmont Avenue placed in District 11: Charlottetown-Belvedere.

not-great screenshot of current District 12:Charlottetown-Victoria Park

new District 12:Charlottetown-Victoria Park, in pink

A screenshot of the PDF of new District 12, from the Electoral Boundaries list

Brad Trivers' map, with District 12: Charlottetown-Victoria Park in unlovely gray, showing the blue lines of the old/current District, and the new area of the Orlebar neighbourhood added.
MLA Brad Trivers' website link to District maps


Currently, Richard Brown is the Liberal MLA, a longtime MLA -- in fact, the last vestige of the "Ronny-Bobby-Ricky-and-Carol"** Liberal Opposition prior to the 2007 election.  An MLA and frequent Cabinet minister, from the portfolio with way back when there were major concerns about PNP, to Environment.....to currently serving in Wade MacLauchlan's cabinet as Minister of Communities, Land and Environment.  From this Legislative Assembly page:

"On June 12, 2007, he was appointed the Minister of Development and Higher Education by Premier Robert Ghiz, and in January 2008 was appointed the Minister of Environment, Energy and Forestry. In October of 2011, he joined Government Members' Office as a Private Member. A Liberal Member of the Legislative Assembly, he represents the constituency of Charlottetown - Victoria Park. In the past he has served on several Standing Committees including Public Accounts, as well as Treasury Board.
On May 20, 2015, he was appointed Minister of Workforce and Advanced Learning by Premier H. Wade MacLauchlan, and served in the role until February 2017, when he became Government House Leader. He was appointed Minister of Communities, Land and Environment on January 10, 2018."

(**a routine by comedian and later-Liberal MLA Cynthia Dunsford, as "Parkdale Doris" on CBC Radio, naming the Opposition quartet of Ron MacKinley, Robert Ghiz, Richard Brown and Carolyn Bertram during the last Pat Binns' government)

Joe Byrne, Leader of the Island New Democrats, is running for the NDP
Karla Bernard is running for the Green Party of PEI
I am not sure if there is a Progressive Conservative candidate named yet, but I am sure there will be nomination meetings in many Districts in the weeks to come.
If I could distill my life's goals to six words, maybe this would be it.

"Be silly.
Be honest.
Be kind."

   --- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), American essayist and philosopher

February 11, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events tonight:

Monday, February 11th:
Family Violence Prevention Launch Party, 4-6PM,
Upstreet Craft Brewing. from the event notice: Family Violence Prevention Week is February 10 to 16, 2019. A launch party will be held at Upstreet Craft Brewing to kick off the week and showcase a new web resource on the Engagement of Men and Boys in Family Violence Prevention (http://www.fvps.ca/menandboys/ ). Everyone 19+ welcome. Complimentary munchies will be served....*A complimentary drink ticket will be given to the first 20 people to arrive.For more information on Family Violence Prevention Week, visit http://www.stopfamilyviolence.pe.ca/2019campaign

ReferendumPEI Information Session -- HUNTER RIVER, 6:30PM, Central Queens School,
19821 Route 2, Hunter River

District 9: Charlottetown-Hillsborough Park Community Forum, hosted by Green Party candidate Josh Underhay, 6:30-8:30PM, Hillsborough Community Centre, 199 Patterson Drive.  "Grassroots democracy is one of the Green Party of Prince Edward Island's core values. What are YOU concerned about?
 Tell Josh Underhay, (Green nominee for D9: Charlottetown - Hillsborough Park) the issues that matter to you. Paper, markers, and index cards will be available for you to share and discuss your concerns, issues, and priorities."
Facebook event link

This is from late last month:

Islanders drill down into mixed-member proportional - CBC online article by Kerry Campbell

Facing 3rd vote since 2005, Islanders probe details of proposed electoral change

Posted on Wednesday, January 30th, 2019 

About 60 people attended a meeting in Charlottetown Tuesday (January 29th, 2019) night to ask questions — and engage in some polite debate — on the topic of mixed-member proportional representation and P.E.I.'s upcoming referendum on electoral reform.

The province's referendum commissioner Gerard Mitchell held the fifth of 15 scheduled public meetings Tuesday night on the campus of Holland College.

One of Mitchell's duties as commissioner is to provide public education on the referendum, and in particular on MMP, the electoral model pitted against the current first-past-the-post in the referendum, which government says will be binding.

According to one of the people attending the meeting, explaining MMP isn't easy.

Too hard for the Tim's crowd?

Douglas MacNevin said he tried explaining the system to some of the "old guys" in his crowd at Tim Horton's.  "They're pretty smart people, and I thought I was kind of half-smart too," he said, but MacNevin added his explanation fell short.  "The devil's in the details," he concluded, noting not all the details on the proposed model have been fleshed in government's legislation setting out the rules for the referendum.

But others at the meeting found lots of detail to dig into on the proposed electoral system. MMP is used in countries around the world but so far has been unable to gain a foothold in Canada after being rejected in plebiscites in B.C., Ontario, and in P.E.I. in 2005.

This will actually be the third time Islanders have been asked to consider a proportional system of government.  In 2016 five options were put forward in a plebiscite. MMP came out as the top choice ahead of first-past-the-post.

Premier Wade MacLauchlan called the result debatable given turnout of just 36 per cent, setting the stage for the upcoming referendum. Several questions at the meeting revolved around party lists that make up the second part of what would be a two-part ballot.

On the first part of their ballot, Islanders would vote for a candidate in their local district as they do now, and the results would be tabulated in each district using first-past-the-post. Eighteen seats would be decided that way in 18 individual districts.

The second part of the ballot would include lists of up to ten candidates for each party, with voters asked to vote for a single list candidate.

Switch to 'open-list' ballot

That's the biggest change from the MMP model Islanders voted down in 2005; that used a "closed-list" ballot where, on the second portion, voters chose just their party of choice, and the parties had more say in which of their list candidates could be elected.

As Mitchell pointed out Tuesday, with the current open-list proposal, list candidates would be elected based on the number of votes each candidate receives.

Nine list candidates would be added to the legislature from the lists in order to try to make the percentage of overall seats each party has in the house equal to the proportion of votes they received on the second ballot.

When asked how parties will choose candidates for their lists, Mitchell said they would be likely to write that process into their party constitutions, as they have regarding the process they currently use to select candidates.

Results binding, but not

In response to a question about whether the results of the referendum would be binding, Mitchell responded that's what the legislation says, but added "a new government could come in and change the legislation. If a government has jurisdiction to make the legislation, government also has jurisdiction to change the legislation. So it's possible you could get a new government in place and say, 'No we're not going to do that at all.'"

Government has said that for the result to be considered binding, the yes or the no campaign has to win not just more than 50 per cent of the overall votes, but it also has to win in 60 per cent of P.E.I.'s districts. As Mitchell calculated, that works out to 17 out of 27 districts.

When asked why that threshold was set, Mitchell said "I don't know. That's what the legislation says. ...I don't know why, I'm not a member of the legislature."

"That's like another kind of barrier to this going through," commented one woman at the meeting.

Referendum date up in the air

The referendum will be held in conjunction with the next provincial election, so Mitchell doesn't know its date. That means he also doesn't know when the referendum period would begin. The official referendum period will bring tighter restrictions on referendum advertising and fundraising by advocacy groups.

Mitchell explained cabinet will set the start of the referendum period up to eight months before the election is held, although the referendum period and the election period could also begin simultaneously, lasting as few as 26 days.

The New Electoral Boundaries for the next Provincial Election -- District 11: Charlottetown-Belvedere

District 11 was Charlottetown-Parkdale and is now District 11: Charlottetown-Belvedere.  Much of Belevedere Avenue and all of Belvedere Golf Course are in this district.  Hannah Bell (Green Party) is the current MLA, winning the seat among lots of competition in November 2017 after Liberal long-time Cabinet Minister Doug Currie stepped down from politics.

I am not sure of other nominated candidates at this point, and will recap nominated or intending-to-run candidates at some point.

The District is trimmed in some and stretched in other directions for this redrawing, taking the other half of Sherwood that District 10: Charlottetown Hillsborough Park now has. 
At the Charlottetown Bypass where Oak Drive would intersect (if it did), wiggling westerly and south through Pope, Coles, Pine, Maples, Woodlawn streets, the University northern "ring road" to the northwest, University Avenue down to Allen Street for its western boundary, Belmont at Second Street as its southern tip, and Riverside Drive/Bypass all along its eastern border to back up to where Oak Drive would intersect. Belvedere Golf Course is its easterly boundary.

Screenshots: old, new, PDF of new, and Brad Trivers' overlays:

Current (old) D11: Charlottetown-Parkdale

New District 11: Charlottetown-Belvedere

More detailed map of new D11


Pinky purple shading is new District 11:Charlottetown-Belvedere, with old(current) boundaries in blue lines. Brad's website has overlays you can see old and new.
"The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return."
---ahbe (eden ahbez) (1908-1995), American musician and songwrite

February 10, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Congratulations to Dennis King, the new Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of P.E.I.  Dennis (or "Denny") won a majority** of seats on the second round of a ranked ballot, with Allen Dale, Kevin Arsenault, Sarah Stewart-Clark and Shawn Driscoll.

Peter Bevan-Baker, Leader of the Green Party of PEI, sent this immediate and complete tweet, which pretty much summed up what a lot of people hope and look forward to:
"Congratulations to @DennyKing on becoming the new leader of the @PEIPCParty I want to thank @jsjaylward for his ongoing contribution to #PEI politics, and I look forward to a constructive and collaborative working relationship with (King)."
A Preview of some upcoming events:

Today, Sunday, February 10th:
Community Fireside Stories and Singalongs, 2PM, Bonshaw Hall, corner of TCH and Green Road.  "Come join us...for mid-winter cheer with Cameron MacDuffee telling Fireside Stories interspersed with Singalongs led by Karen Graves and Ruth Lacey. Admission is free for this family-friendly community event sponsored by the South Shore Arts Council. Light lunch and 50/50 draw with proceeds going to the South Shore Food Bank. Other donations of cash & non-perishable goods accepted."

Monday, February 11th:
ReferendumPEI Information Session -- HUNTER RIVER, 6:30PM,
Central Queens School
19821 Route 2, Hunter River

District 9: Charlottetown-Hillsborough Park Community Forum, hosted by Green Party candidate Josh Underhay, 6:30-8:30PM, Hillsborough Community Centre, 199 Patterson Drive.  "Grassroots democracy is one of the Green Party of Prince Edward Island's core values. What are YOU concerned about?
 Tell Josh Underhay, Green Party of PEI (Green nominee for D9: Charlottetown - Hillsborough Park) the issues that matter to you. Paper, markers, and index cards will be available for you to share and discuss your concerns, issues, and priorities."
Facebook event link

Tuesday, February 12th:
ReferendumPEI Information Session -- STRATFORD, 6:30PM,
Stratford Town Hall – Southport Room, 234 Shakespeare Dr, Stratford

Community Matters Tour with Elizabeth May, federal Green Party of Canada Leader, 7-9PM, Murchison Centre, St. Pius X Avenue, Charlottetown. "Real change starts with real conversation. What matters to you? How would you improve our democracy? What can we all do together to secure our future, for humanity, for the natural world? Come share your priorities, concerns, and vision for Canada’s future."  All welcome.

Wednesday, February 13th:
Standing Committee on Education and Economic Development, 1:30PM
, Coles Building.

"The committee will meet to receive a briefing on views in regard to Bill 100, An Act to Amend the Employment Standards Act by the PEI Federation of Labour. Other witnesses to be confirmed.

Until February 14th:
Searchlight CBC Music contest public voting (first round).  There are 23 entries under Prince Edward Island, and you are allowed to vote for one performer/group per day, until the 14th.  http://www.cbcmusicsearchlight.ca/
P.E.I. artists include Kelly Mooney, Russell Louder, Emerald Junction, Alicia Toner, and others.

A good reminder (for me):
**Plurality system, electoral process in which the candidate who polls more votes than any other candidate is elected. It is distinguished from the majority system, in which, to win, a candidate must receive more votes than all other candidates combined. -- Encyclopedia Britannica online

A sad reminder:
Nigel Armstrong, Guardian reporter
, has been battling cancer for a while, and his caring co-workers have set up a GoFundMe to help his family during this time.  It's hard to think of kind words to write about Nigel -- there are so many. 
Provincial Electoral Districts, a district a day, is the focus of February's look at the redrawn electoral districts.  The next provincial election is supposed to take place in October 2019, or Spring 2020 if a federal election is set for the Fall.  It seems the current government is set to ignore Robert Ghiz's legislation on this (which Robert Ghiz ignored, too; perhaps it wasn't a good use of legislative time and resources).  Presumably, looking at the new Districts before Spring is timely.

District 10: Charlottetown-Winsloe  (formerly, District 10: Charlottetown-Sherwood)
This District is a one of six Districts with Charlottetown in its names and are more clumped in Charlottetown than in the Districts set in 2006 and used until now.  With limited skills, I have placed the old map in black and white and the new ones in colour side-by-side but it is at the end of this newsletter :-)  and scrolling down here old, new and a screenshot of the PDF map of the new District.  It's longish shape now, going north to Winsloe -- beyond Melody Lane to Fox Run Drive, near where Rte. 2 and Lower Malpeque Drive converge.  It also splits Sherwood by only going halfway south through it (to Woodlawn Drive, and splits UPEI's land from the Athletics Fields/woods and the rest of the University Campus.

Old District 10 was Charlottetown-Sherwood, with Robert Mitchell, former Minister of Communities, Land and Environment, and current Minister of Health and Wellness.

New District 10: Charlottetown-Winsloe

New District 10 close-up map from:

And Brad Trivers' map:

District 10: Charlottetown-Winsloe is in dark purple.

"Don't be afraid to take a big step.  you can't cross a chasm in two small jumps."
   --- David Lloyd George (1863-1945), British statesman

February 9, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

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

Progressive Conservative Convention, 9AM-4PM, Eastlink Centre, Kensington Rd., Charlottetown.

Here is the order of the day:


Registration opens


Call to order


Tribute to former leader James Aylward


Speeches from Leadership Candidates (20 min each)


Final opportunity to eVote


eVoting closes


Results announced followed by victory speech


End of Convention

CBC's coverage is only web-based -- not broadcast radio or television -- starting around 3:15PM, on their website and Facebook page.

A special congratulations to James Aylward, outgoing Leader of the Island Progressive Conservatives, for his enduring loyalty and for his committed, continued work as an MLA.


This is a bit older news now, but:

Andy Walker, editor of Island Farmer magazine (published by Paul MacNeill's PEI Canada publishing) authored both a write-up of the National Farmers' Union forum on land issues, and and opinion piece about the three PC leadership hopefuls who pointedly did not attend that forum.

Two candidates debate land use issues - Island Farmer article by Andy Walker

Published on Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

Despite the lack of a full line-up on the stage, there was plenty of discussion on land use and agriculture during a debate organized by the National Farmers Union.

All five candidates running for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party were invited to the event, but Dennis King, Allan Doyle and Sarah Stewart-Clark boycotted the event, claiming it was not sanctioned by the party. Both King and Dale had previously indicated through emails to NFU District Director Doug Campbell that they would be attending.

That left Kevin J. Arsenault and Shawn Driscoll to answer questions from the crowd of approximately 75 people. Arsenault said it is time for the party to start a new relationship with the farming community. He suggested a task force should be established with all of the players in the industry to help tackle land use and agricultural issues.

Arsenault, who is a long-time researcher and NFU member, said the discretion cabinet now has to overrule recommendations of the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission on land issues must be taken away, saying it has tremendous potential for an abuse of power.

Driscoll said he attended the debate to help start a dialogue on land use and agricultural issues. He added "we need to have serious conversations about land."

"I want full disclosure of land holdings on a centralized database," Arsenault said.

He added the province needs to move away from intense chemical farming and he agreed with the need for a land banking system to allow young producers to enter the industry. However, he said there must be a system put in place to ensure those selling their land into the bank receive fair market value.

Veteran farmer Randall Affleck said he is concerned about the growth of large farms. Despite the limits of 1000 acres for individuals and 3000 for corporations, Affleck said small family farms are disappearing. He said governments of both political stripes at both the federal and provincial levels have failed to develop an agricultural policy.   "Nobody is speaking for the soil," Affleck said.

Brian Turner agreed, saying rural PEI is suffering from years of neglect. He said there is a need for government support for smaller farmers, something both Arsenault and Driscoll agreed with. Arsenault said years of industrialized agriculture has resulted in a reduction in soil organic matter, adding that is one of the major reasons why Island potato growers have a significantly smaller profit margins than their counterparts in New Brunswick.

In a response to a question from the audience, both candidates indicated they had not received any campaign funds from Cavendish Farms or any other Irving company.

and Andy's opinion piece:

Debate boycott bad move by candidates - Island Farmer article by Andy Walker

Published on Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

The decision by three candidates vying for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party to boycott a debate on land issues organized by the National Farmers Union is baffling to say the least.

There was no possible upside for Sarah Stewart-Clark, Allan Dale and Dennis King in not showing up. Land use, particularly the fate of the Lands Protection Act, is a passionate issue from many Islanders including many in the farming community. The NFU set up the forum to hear the views of the five candidates-- one of whom could be premier if they can lead the party back to the promised land of electoral victory in the election will be held within the next eight months.

The excuse put forward in a joint statement by the three candidates, namely that it wasn't an event sanctioned by the party, lies somewhere between laughable and ridiculous. Not to mention a serious embarrassment for both King and Doyle, since a series of emails with NFU District Director Doug Campbell shows they had both previously agreed to attend.

The fact it was not a party sanctioned event didn't prevent the other two candidates -- Kevin Arsenault and Shawn Driscoll-- from attending. It also didn't stop current leader and Stratford-Kinlock MLA James Aylward or Belfast-Murray River MLA Darlene Compton from attending. Ironically, Dale didn't seem to have any problem attending another event not sanctioned by the party a few days later, namely the annual meeting of the PEI Federation of Agriculture.

Here's a tip for the three absent candidates-- if you want one of the 27 seats in the legislature that will soon be up for grabs, you are going to have to attend events that don't have the official stamp of party approval and talk to people who don't hold a Tory membership card. You might as well start getting used to it. Otherwise, it may be time to rethink politics as a potential career choice.

While the boycott will likely have little impact on the February 9 convention, it will still carry a political cost should one of the three emerge victorious at the convention. I remarked to somebody during the debate how long it would take before a political rival would use a picture of the empty podiums. The answer, as it turned out, was a little over a week. NDP Rural Affairs Critic Herb Dickieson sent a letter to the media that included a picture of the three no-shows and questioned their commitment to the farming community and rural PEI in general. It is likely to happen again-- it is a gift to their rivals and it is only natural they would use it.

On another front, congratulations to Darren and Brenda Peters of Somerset Farms for winning the Gilbert R. Clements Award for Excellence in Environmental Farm Planning. This award celebrates the best efforts of Island agriculture to protect the environment and this Kinkora area couple is the latest in a long line of deserving winners.

Continuing to highlight the redrawn electoral districts for the next provincial election, one District each day this short month, today focusing on District 9:Charlottetown-Hillsborough Park

Provincial District 9:  Charlottetown-Hillsborough Park
This very new-in-shape-and-name District radiates out from Charlottetown, and begins the next sequence of Charlottetown Districts.  There isn't any tail piece that dips into more densely populated areas of Charlottetown as the last set of District boundaries from 2006 did.  It encompasses the Charlottetown Airport to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and other health facilities -- everything north of the Charlottetown Bypass from Mt. Edward Road to Murchison Lane.

Island new-old slider map with new Districts:

District 9: Charlottetown-Hillsborough is very light blue and nestled between the rest of the Charlottetown Districts south and District 8 north, with a bit of District 15.

Old slider map of District 9

Apologies for the shading on the screenshot. Old electoral districts map.

Map location is here:
for seeing slider function.

Here is the detailed map of District 9: Charlottetown-Hillsborough Park, from:


Brad Trivers' map from his website

District 9:Charlottetown-Hillsborough Park, is in gray-blue colour, like an heavily-laden astronaut with the boot being the QEH lands by the Hillsborough River, old District lines in bright blue.

This District already has three candidates declared, but not sure about the PEI Liberal Party.
Declared/nominated Candidates for District 9: Charlottetown-Hillsborough Park
Gordan Gay, NDP
Sarah Stewart-Clark, Progressive Conservative Party of PEI
Josh Underhay, Green Party of PEI

"Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books."
   --- Sir John Lubbock (1834-1913) ,Vice chancellor, University of London

February 8, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Surprisingly, TODAY:

Standing Committee on Agriculture and Fisheries is meeting today, postponed to 10:30AM, Coles Building.
This should be live-streamed on the Legislative Assembly website, and also on some Facebook Live places (like the Legislative Assembly Facebook page).
"The committee will meet to receive a briefing from representatives of the Northern Pulp Working Group and Friends of the Northumberland Strait, as part of the committee’s examination of the proposed waste water treatment project at the Northern Pulp mill in Pictou County, Nova Scotia."
Meeting details
Live streaming at Legislative Assembly link

Progressive Conservative Leadership Convention, 9AM-4PM (approximately),
Eastlink Centre, Charlottetown. CBC will be providing coverage of the announcement of the Leader and speech, etc. at 3:30PM.
Referendum Information Sessions Next Week, all 6:30PM:

Monday, February 11th: HUNTER RIVER, Central Queens School, 19821 Route 2, Hunter River

Tuesday, February 12th:  STRATFORD, Stratford Town Hall – Southport Room,  234 Shakespeare Dr, Stratford.

Saturday, February 23rd:
Winter Woodlot Tour NEW DATE in two weeks, 9AM-1PM,
Strathgartney Equestrian Park, Bonshaw.  The snow and weather conditions (little snow, very cold) make tomorrow look miserable, so this has been postponed (original date February 9th).  An event to write in pencil, for sure.

Last night's Environmental Coalition of PEI AGM guest speaker presentation was on Facebook Live and can be watched at their Facebook page, here:
scrolling down to "Posts".
It features Department of Environment Executive Director Todd Dupuis and is about 90 minutes in length.
CBC Radio PEI's Island Morning Roundtable segments from last week with the five Progressive Conservative leadership candidates are found at the link below, scrolling down to the January 31 and January 30th entries:

P.E.I. NDP rolls out series of promises ahead of a widely expected spring election - The Guardian article by Dave Stewart

Published on Thursday, February 8th, 2019

Island New Democrats are promising $100 million for farmers, fibre internet for rural Islanders, a new medical facility at UPEI and a family doctor for every Islander within 18 months.

The NDP rolled out the first of its election platforms at a news conference in Charlottetown on Thursday.  The promises also include a new Western P.E.I. addictions treatment facility, doubling medical residencies immediately, more provincial manor capacity, 2,000 new affordable housing units, an all-electric provincial vehicle fleet, a new provincial pension plan that covers all Islanders, 16 doctors each for West Prince and Kings County and 40 new doctors and specialists.

It’s a platform that would certainly cost a lot of money.  The first question from the media to Joe Byrne, leader of the Island New Democrats, was how the party plans to pay for it all.  “There’s money in the system, and the question we’ve been asking for a long time as New Democrats is, why do we spend money?’’ Byrne said, adding that they will attach an actual dollar figure to their plan in the weeks ahead.

He used the Cornwall bypass as an example, $58 million that could have been spent elsewhere.  “What we’re saying is that we need to make a series of different choices. When we invest in farms and farm families, this is money we will get back. When farmers can produce this is how we sell cars; this is money in the economy.’’

Health hub pilot

  • The NDP intends to create a hub program, one in Charlottetown and one in North Rustico
  • The North Rustico plan would consist of a new sports, recreation and wellness facility
  • It would include medical, dental, mental, psychological, education and financial services

Byrne also argued that it’s time to stop government stalling on fibre broadband for rural Islanders. It was promised in 2007 and it was in the throne speech in 2017.

As for the doctor shortage that government after government has tried to solve, the NDP wants to build a medical faculty at UPEI, similar to the Atlantic Veterinary College. Since the Island doesn’t have enough doctors, the NDP will see to it that the province educates its own.  “We have some short targets to attract some new physicians into the system and that is why the residencies gives us the most immediate effect.’’

The NDP says it will double the number of residency positions on P.E.I. this year and triple them by 2020, allowing hospitals to have more professionals on site to speed up health care and reduce the stress on existing medical professionals.

Byrne believes supplying fibre internet for the rural part of the province would go a long way to helping entice physicians to stay.  "We’ve heard time and again where physicians come here, they like living here (and) some physicians leave here because they don’t have access to fibre broadband in rural areas and they have to think of their children and their families.’’

The NDP is the first part party to release an election platform. Byrne said they were generating ideas and it was time to start the discussion.

A provincial election is widely expected to take place sometime this spring.


(Former provincial NDP Leader Mike Redmond had a comment on social media, from Ghana, where he and his partner are working with Veterinarians Without Borders, saying "Nurse Practitioners."   Aleida Tweeton's and Mike's blog of their experiences is here:
Continuing to highlight the redrawn electoral districts for the next provincial election, one District each day this short month, today focusing on District 8:

Provincial District 8:  Stanhope-Marshfield
This redrawn electoral District is a northerly clump of the former District 8 (Tracadie-Hillsborough) and District 9 (York-Oyster Bed), now Stanhope-Marshfield, and it goes from Brackley Beach westerly, to Scotchfort easterly, with all the north shore in between, and southeast to Marshfield, but not the Charlottetown Airport area to the southwest. This is where Brad Trivers' mapping shines, since you can play with the overlay choices on the left and figure out what's changed (thank you, Brad and your techie pals).

The Electoral Boundaries Commission sliding map of the Island, District 8 in aquablue

apologies for the shading

And the old Districts, slider map:

PDF Map of New District 8: Stanhope-Marshfield (in yellow)

And, finally, a screenshot of Brad Trivers' website map, with District 8 in grayish-green:

Currently, Speaker Francis (Buck) Watts is the MLA for District 8, and the Premier Wade MacLauchlan for District 9: York-Oyster Bed.  The Speaker is not running again, and the Premier mentioned his resident in West Covehead, in the newly redrawn District 8. 
"I'm an idealist. I don't know where I am going, but I am on my way."
   ---Carl Sandburg (b.1878-1967), American poet

February 7, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Referendum information events today:

Coffee and Conversation at the Haviland Club with Referendum PEI Commissioner Gerard Mitchell, 10-11:30AM, Haviland Club, 2 Haviland Street, Charlottetown. "If you have questions or comments about the referendum, bring them on Thursday. Relaxed atmosphere. Public welcome."
Facebook event link

Referendum PEI Public Information Session - SUMMERSIDE, 6:30-8:30PM, Three Oaks High School, 10 Kenmoore Avenue, Summerside.


Not sure why location details are only told to those who pre-register --

2019-2020 P.E.I. Provincial Government Pre-Budget Consultations, **2-4PM**, these municipalities:
Summerside (storm date February 8)
On site French interpretation services will be available at the Summerside session.

Also scheduled:
Tuesday, February 12, Charlottetown (storm date February 14)
Friday, February 15th, Montague (Storm date February 19)

from the media release:
"Finance Minister Heath MacDonald is holding consultations on the 2019-2020 Budget both online and at four public meetings.
<O'Leary was last night, forgot to mention it. --CO> The consultations provide Islanders, organizations and businesses an opportunity to provide ideas and feedback on the upcoming budget.

    “Engaging the public is an important part of the budgetary process, it gives us the opportunity to hear first-hand what is most         important to Islanders,” said Finance Minister Heath MacDonald. “We are committed to managing Island taxpayers’ money         wisely and working together helps us to find ways to save and ways to continue to grow our economy.”

Feedback can be made online at Pre-Budget Consultation until February 22.

To pre-register, call (902) 368-5501 or e-mail shughes@gov.pe.ca.


Also today:
ECO-PEI AGM (6:30PM) and guest speaker, 7PM,
Beaconsfield Carriage House, Kent Street, Charlottetown. "Although climate change is a global issue, its effects can both be seen and felt provincially, whether through coastline erosion or shifting weather patterns. Living on a small island with provincial governance gives us a unique opportunity to address, mitigate and plan for our environmental future....climate change will headline the Annual General Meeting of the Environmental Coalition of PEI (ECO-PEI).
Todd Dupuis, Executive Director of the Department of Communities, Lands and Environment’s Climate Change and Environment Division, will be the guest speaker, talking about A Climate Change Policy for Prince Edward Island.<snip>
Starting at 6:30pm, a short business meeting will go over the events of the past year and include election of the 2019 Board of Directors. Then at 7pm, our guest speaker will give an overview of the new provincial climate change strategy, followed by a question and answer period. Todd is a graduate of UPEI and has worked in the watershed restoration field for more than 25 years. He has co-authored a technical manual on watershed management on PEI, sat on the Island Round Table on Resource Land Use and Stewardship, taught at the university level and recently assumed his new position with the province.
The evening is a great opportunity to hear about our work at ECOPEI, and about important new perspectives on addressing the environmental issues that concern us all.
Admission is free and all are welcome. The storm date is Tuesday, February 12th. "


Friday, February 8th:
Standing Committee on Agriculture and Fisheries, 10AM
, Meeting #2, "Northern Pulp Mill waste water treatment project", Coles Building (Assembly Chamber). "The committee will meet to receive a briefing from representatives of the Northern Pulp Working Group and Friends of the Northumberland Strait, as part of the committee’s examination of the proposed waste water treatment project at the Northern Pulp mill in Pictou County, Nova Scotia."

A note that Elizabeth May's petition calling for a federal review of the mill plan was tabled in the House of Commons yesterday. Here is the text:

E-1750 (Waste Management)
42nd Parliament
Initiated by Mary Gorman from Merigomish, Nova Scotia, on June 21, 2018, at 11:17 a.m.


  • The Kraft pulp mill in Abercrombie, Nova Scotia has a fifty year history of environmental negligence in Pictou County and has a plan for an effluent pipe that puts at risk the delicate ecosystem of the Gulf of St. Lawrence;
  • Discharging 70 – 90 million liters of bleached Kraft pulp effluent daily into the Gulf of St. Lawrence will have a significant negative impact on the sensitive spawning, nursery and migratory habitat of lobster, herring, mackerel and many other interdependent species;
  • The pipe threatens tourism and fishing industries in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Quebec which support a global food supply and generate billions of dollars in economic activity; and
  • Thousands of commercial fishers in the Northumberland Strait and the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence depend on these sustainable fisheries to support their families, and coastal communities in which they live.

We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the House of Commons to call upon the Government of Canada to authorize a full environmental assessment report under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency regarding this proposed pipe.


Continuing to highlight the redrawn electoral districts for the next provincial election, focusing on District 7

Provincial District 7: Morell-Donagh

So one good thing about redrawing this area and renaming it is that finally, Islanders who don't know any better and mangle the pronunciation of "Donagh" will hear what it is supposed to sound like, when it's used on a regular basis in the Legislature.

The current MLA is the popular and razor-sharp Progressive Conservative Sidney MacEwen, though a couple of PC leadership hopefuls reside in the District.

In the big shifting of what was District 5, and the Mermaid part going to District 6, District 7 now extends its easterly reach and takes up the St. Peter's areas. Why that is not reflected in the name to anchor the District, is a good question.

Here is the "old" District 7:

And the same map slid to show new District 7:

You will have to tilt your head or your computer to get the orientation right.
The map is from:

Here is the detailed map of the new District 7:

And finally, a screenshot of the area, in light green (not the gray green of the next District westerly), from Brad Trivers' website map:


Nice quote for this week:

"In the middle of winter I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer."
---Albert Camus

February 6, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events today:
Silver Donald Cameron's Green Rights Course continues, 1:30-3PM,
on-line. If you are registered, you can view it later. More information from Cape Breton University.

Our Common Journey: Making the Transition to Sustainability, 7-9PM, Charlottetown Rural High School, Room 343. This multipart series continues, with the topic postponed from last week due to poor weather "The Principals of Social Ecology and enabling techniques of Permaculture."

Board Games Night,with District 9 Green Party candidate Josh Underhay, 7-9PM, Small Print Games, $5 to stay-and-play; drinks and snacks are available for purchase
Facebook event link

Everyday until Thursday, February 14th:
Searchlight Competition (CBC contest for emerging artists) daily popular voting
. Ron Kelly, among other achievements, works to and writes extensively about improving life on our Island -- a thorough researcher and a dedicated and kind soul. And he plays guitar and sings as half of the duo Emerald Junction, which is competing in the Searchlight Competition this year. If you wish to lend a hand to their efforts, you can follow along this poster:

The website is a little tricky to find, but here is the link:

Two opportunities Thursday for Referendum engagement:
Thursday, February 7th:
Coffee and Conversation at the Haviland Club with Referendum PEI Commissioner Gerard Mitchell, 10-11:30AM,
Haviland Club, 2 Haviland Street, Charlottetown. "If you have questions or comments about the referendum, bring them on Thursday. Relaxed atmosphere. Public welcome."
Facebook event link

Referendum PEI Public Information Session - SUMMERSIDE, 6:30-8:30PM, Three Oaks High School.
Common sense takes a while, but it finally was put in place here.

Ottawa drops appeal in political activity case, ending charities' 7-year audit nightmare - CBC on-line article by Dean Beeby

Legislation passed in December removes all limits on political activities of charities

February 1st, 2019, on CBC on-line

The Liberal government has withdrawn its appeal of a stunning 2018 court ruling that quashed a section of the Income Tax Act limiting the political activities of charities.

The landmark case was launched by a tiny Ottawa charity, Canada Without Poverty, which argued that the section violates the Charter of Rights guarantee of freedom of expression. Justice Edward Morgan of the Ontario Superior Court of Canada agreed in his July 16 ruling, declaring that the section no longer had any "force and effect."

Canada Without Poverty had been under threat of losing its charitable status after auditors at the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) determined that 98.5 per cent its activities were political. Charity law, as it was written at the time, had limited political activities to no more than 10 per cent of an organization's resources, though critics have said the law's definition of 'political' was too fuzzy.

After losing the case, the Liberal government eventually agreed to rewrite the Income Tax Act to accommodate Justice Morgan's ruling – but paradoxically announced Aug. 15 it was appealing the case because of an alleged error of law in the judgment. Anne Ellefsen-Gauthier, spokesperson for National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier, told CBC News the government still believes Morgan made an error in law by applying a test for religious freedom rather than for freedom of expression.

But after consulting with the charity sector last fall and reviewing higher court rulings, the government has decided not to fight the Ontario case because little would be gained by the effort. "Higher courts have already been pretty clear on the different test that needs to be applied to freedom of expression," said Ellefsen-Gauthier. "We're dropping the appeal."

The Liberal government has since amended the Income Tax Act, under Bill C-86, to remove all reference to political activities for charities. The omnibus bill, one of two implementing last year's budget measures, received royal assent on Dec. 13, 2018.

The department also recently published a guidance document to inform the charity sector on how the new regime — which still includes a strict prohibition on partisan activities — will be applied. Notably, the term "political activities" has been replaced by the phrase "public policy dialogue and development activities."

But charities still cannot endorse or support political parties or candidates for office, something the sector has always accepted. Ottawa's decision Thursday appears finally to end a long nightmare for some charities targeted by a special CRA auditing program launched in 2012 by the former Conservative government to review the political activities of charities. More than $13 million was earmarked for audits of 60 charities over four years.

In its first year, the controversial program targeted environmental charities, most of which were critics of the government's energy and pipelines policies. It was later expanded to include religious and human rights charities, among others. The targeted charities said the audits drained precious resources and in some cases led to an "advocacy chill" as groups self-censored so as not to aggravate the government.

The Liberals campaigned in the 2015 federal election on ending the "political harassment" of charities but did not halt the audit program immediately, winding it down only in stages and letting some audits continue. The program has since been cancelled. "The decision to let Justice Morgan's decision stand is a huge victory for democracy in Canada," said Leilana Farha, head of Canada Without Poverty. "The government has done the right thing twice. First they made the legislative changes recommended by the government's appointed panel and ordered by Judge Morgan, and now they have properly decided to withdraw their appeal ...This decision puts Canada in the lead among common law countries and will have a positive effect not only in Canada, but worldwide."


Continuing to highlight the redrawn electoral districts for the next provincial election, focusing on District 6

Provincial District 6: Stratford-Keppoch

It is a little confusing, keeping Keppock and Kinlock straight, not knowing the history of the communities. But this District, Number 6, is no longer Stratford-Kinlock, looking at its eastern border, but Stratford-Keppoch, for its more southwesterly coastal area. The District has shrunk in area a bit, as the population has increased, with the eastern areas going to District 5: Mermaid-Stratford. It covers everything south of the TransCanada Highway once you cross the Hillsborough Bridge, to where the Mason Road/Old Georgetown intersection is, and jutting back following Kinlock Road.

The before-and-after map from the PEI Electoral Boundaries Commission is here:

Here is the official map of District 6: Stratford-Keppoch:

And the colourful map from MLA Brad Trivers' website:

Though labeled "Stratford-Kinlock", the dark green colour represents the new District 6: Stratford-Keppoch, with the former boundary of blue lines. District 17: New Haven-Rocky Point in yellow, and the City of Charlottetown Districts are to the north.

Current MLA is outgoing Progressive Conservative Leader James Aylward, who loves the area.
Josh Weale has been nominated from the Green Party to run in the next provincial election.
From the Wonder quote-a-day calendar for today:

"You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something -- your gut, destiny, life karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life."
---Steve Jobs

February 5, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events today:

Tuesday, February 5th:

Forum: Children's Health: What Does Income Have to Do with It? and Basic Income Guarantee: A Solution to Childhood Deprivation?, 6:30-8:30PM, Murphy Community Centre, Room 207, hosted and led by Members of the P.E.I. Working Group for a Livable Income. With Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison, and a discussion led by the P.E.I. Working Group for a Livable Income. All welcome.

Waves of Change, CBC forum on single use plastics, 7-9PM, The Guild. Screening of Land and Sea's Oceans of Plastic episode and discussion of reducing plastics. All welcome though there is limited seating.

Wednesday, February 6th:
Council of Canadians Water Protection Campaign Planning Meeting, 10AM
, Voluntary Resource Council office, 81 Prince Street. All are welcome to participate if they are interested in water protection on P.E.I.


Electoral District Redrawing: District 5:Mermaid-Stratford

Reflecting the growth in Stratford, there are now two Districts that pretty much comprise Stratford.

Old Districts for Stratford:

New District total map:

And a map of new District 5:Mermaid-Stratford

Electoral Boundaries website link
And the colourful map from MLA Brad Trivers' website:


Happy Chinese New Year (new Year of the Pig)

"A bit of fragrance clings to the hand that gives flowers."
--- Chinese proverb

February 4, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events today:
Monday, February 4th:
Referendum PEI Information Sessions, 6:30PM -- KENSINGTON,
Kensington Intermediate High School

Tomorrow, Tuesday, February 5th:
Forum: Children's Health: What Does Income Have to Do with It? and Basic Income Guarantee: A Solution to Childhood Deprivation?", 6:30-8:30PM, Murphy Community Centre, Room 207.  "Join us...to discuss the current health and well-being of children on PEI, its relationship with income, and to explore potential options about where we should go from here to improve their quality of life.  In the first half of this event, guest speaker Dr. Heather Morrison, Chief Public Health Officer of PEI, will present findings from the PEI Children's Report 2017. The report can be found at the following link: https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/sites/default/files/publications/pei_childrens_report_web_2017_2.pdf
In the second half of this event, the PEI Working Group for a Livable Income will lead a discussion on basic income guarantee and ask participants: Could a basic income guarantee be a solution to childhood deprivation?
Whether you are interested in improving the health and well-being of children, curious about a basic income guarantee, or you just want to learn more about either of these topics, you won't want to miss out on this very interesting discussion.  This event is free, accessible, and open to the public. All are welcome to attend!  Storm date: Wednesday, February 6th.
Brought to you by the PEI Working Group for a Livable Income and the Public Health Association of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island."

Waves of Change, CBC forum on single use plastics, 7-9PM, The Guild. Screening of Land and Sea's Ocean Waves film and discussion of reducing plastics.   All welcome though there is limited seating.

Not for a couple of weeks, but of note:

Thursday, February 21st:
Standing Committee on Communities, Land and Environment Meeting, 1:30PM, Coles Building, Meeting#1, Water Act:

Topic: The Committee will receive a briefing on the Water Act regulations from: Hon. Richard Brown, Minister of Communities, Land and Environment; and Mr. Todd Dupuis, Executive Director, Climate Change and Environment.

This letter to the editor hasn't made the on-line version of The Guardian's website, but was too good not to share from the Press-Reader format, considering the forum on BIG and other issues tomorrow night:

RE: Donald J. Savoie’s “It’s the economy, stupid” - The Guardian Letter to the Editor

Published on Friday, February 1st, 2019

I appreciate the clear and concise opinion piece you offered in The Guardian, putting “It’s the Economy, Stupid” to the test. However, I do wonder if Carville’s quip, “It’s the economy, stupid.” would be more relevant on P.E.I. if the comma was removed? Or, if it was recast to read, “Is the economy stupid?”

I’m not an economist, but isn’t an economy “stupid” if the indicators chosen to measure and report it are stupid? Isn’t stupidity itself manufactured when there’s a disconnect between what people are being told about their economic performance and what people actually live as a result of economic performance?

For example, in your published opinion piece, based on valid (but misleading?) indicators, you state that, “Housing starts (on P.E.I.) outpaces the national average.” And yet, there’s a housing crisis on P.E.I.; acknowledged even by the sitting government. Also, based on valid (but misleading?) indicators you correctly state that, “Retail sales are up and wages were up 3.6 per cent during the past year.” And yet, the food banks can’t stock and distribute enough food, and more working poor than ever are struggling to feed themselves and their children. And, what of the increasing stress on our already over stressed mental health and addictions centers? Do these performance indicators (rarely reported and accurately measured) suggest P.E.I. ought to celebrate an economy that’s smart?

As I stated, I’m not an economist. And, I must admit that the last 10 days or so trying unsuccessfully to help a family that’s trying to pull themselves together (economically) has perhaps biased my perspective. If only they were an isolated case.

So, perhaps the “forces at play in the Maritime provinces that are playing havoc with the region’s political landscape” to which you refer are not actually playing havoc with the political landscape. Rather, the “havoc” would be displaced by clarity if we used better metrics? Metrics that include indicators that matter to all the people, and not just the minority who are in the envious position of having “been in business for forty years” or those who must “wait a year” to build a home in Charlottetown. Surely, any of the many families on Habitat for Humanity’s waiting list would consider waiting a year for decent shelter a luxury.

I do respect the insight and opinions of those who have studied economics and public policy. It’s my lack of understanding that drives this missive and perhaps I have misinterpreted your letter as a good news story and a celebration of good governance? I don’t want to misinterpret you. If you have the time to help me better understand your recent letter, I’ll listen open-minded to your informed point of view. Otherwise, for me it’s back to work helping to fix someone’s wreck of a car so they can drive 90 kilometres a day to support three children, pay rent, scrounge for food and get to their minimum wage job.

Walter Wilkins, Stratford


Continuing to look at the new electoral boundaries for Districts on P.E.I., which will be in place for the next Provincial Election:

District 4: Belfast-Murray River

This District covers the southeast part of the Island, and includes the Wood Islands Ferry terminal. In the redrawing, it has also gotten geographically bigger, extending northwesterly into part of what was District 5: Vernon River-Stratford, including Uigg, Macphail Woods and Orwell Corner.
Darlene Compton is the current MLA and Opposition House Leader.

Former District 4:

New District 4:

both images from the PEI Electoral Boundaries website:

And a map which shows the overlay of new with blue lines for the former boundaries, from MLA Brad Trivers' website:

District 4 in yellow; former boundaries in blue lines

Quote: "Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night."
   ---Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849), American poet and writer

February 3, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Some events coming up:
Today, Sunday, February 3rd:

Green Party Button-making party, 1-3PM, Slemon Park Plaza, with Trish Altass.  All welcome.
Facebook event link

This week's Referendum PEI Information Sessions, 6:30PM
Monday, February 4th: KENSINGTON,
Kensington Intermediate High School
Thursday, February 7th: SUMMERSIDE, Three Oaks Senior High School

Tuesday, February 5th:
NaturePEI Meeting "Members Night Photos!", 7:30PM
, Beaconsfield Carriage House. All welcome.
Event details

Thursday, February 7th:
ECOPEI AGM plus guest speaker Climate Change secretariate and Director of Environment Todd Dupuis, 6:30PM (meeting), 7PM (Todd),
Beaconsfield Carriage House.
Focus on the redrawn 27 District electoral boundaries:

Provincial Electoral District 3 (Montague-Kilmuir)

The boundaries have changed just a bit for this District, with the land increasing in what was D2 Georgetown-St. Peter's before that got all pulled westerly.  Union Road and Victoria Cross are added. Montague is the biggest area, and Kilmuir is the community between Commercial Cross and Heatherdale (Heatherdale being the community where the GEBIS monks' land is, I believe), and Heatherdale Wholesome Goods (Salty publication link).

"Old" District 3 in the lower right of the page  (PEI Electoral Boundaries website map)

"New" map from the same website:

The slick slider function isn't too functional to compare this area of the Island, though.  Nice try.
And Brad Trivers' map from of District 3 from his webside (screenshot):

from Brad Trivers' website
This was posted yesterday by the Swedish 16 year old Greta Thunberg, climate activist, on her social media sites:
February 2nd, 2019:

Recently I’ve seen many rumors circulating about me and enormous amounts of hate. This is no surprise to me. I know that since most people are not aware of the full meaning of the climate crisis (which is understandable since it has never been treated as a crisis) a school strike for the climate would seem very strange to people in general.
So let me make some things clear about my school strike.

In may 2018 I was one of the winners in a writing competition about the environment held by Svenska Dagbladet, a Swedish newspaper. I got my article published and some people contacted me, among others was Bo Thorén from Fossil Free Dalsland. He had some kind of group with people, especially youth, who wanted to do something about the climate crisis.
I had a few phone meetings with other activists. The purpose was to come up with ideas of new projects that would bring attention to the climate crisis. Bo had a few ideas of things we could do. Everything from marches to a loose idea of some kind of a school strike (that school children would do something on the schoolyards or in the classrooms). That idea was inspired by the Parkland Students, who had refused to go to school after the school shootings.
I liked the idea of a school strike. So I developed that idea and tried to get the other young people to join me, but no one was really interested. They thought that a Swedish version of the Zero Hour march was going to have a bigger impact. So I went on planning the school strike all by myself and after that I didn’t participate in any more meetings.

When I told my parents about my plans they weren’t very fond of it. They did not support the idea of school striking and they said that if I were to do this I would have to do it completely by myself and with no support from them.
On the 20 of august I sat down outside the Swedish Parliament. I handed out fliers with a long list of facts about the climate crisis and explanations on why I was striking. The first thing I did was to post on Twitter and Instagram what I was doing and it soon went viral. Then journalists and newspapers started to come. A Swedish entrepreneur and business man active in the climate movement, Ingmar Rentzhog, was among the first to arrive. He spoke with me and took pictures that he posted on Facebook. That was the first time I had ever met or spoken with him. I had not communicated or encountered with him ever before.

Many people love to spread rumors saying that I have people ”behind me” or that I’m being ”paid” or ”used” to do what I’m doing. But there is no one ”behind” me except for myself. My parents were as far from climate activists as possible before I made them aware of the situation.
I am not part of any organization. I sometimes support and cooperate with several NGOs that work with the climate and environment. But I am absolutely independent and I only represent myself. And I do what I do completely for free, I have not received any money or any promise of future payments in any form at all. And nor has anyone linked to me or my family done so.
And of course it will stay this way. I have not met one single climate activist who is fighting for the climate for money. That idea is completely absurd.
Furthermore I only travel with permission from my school and my parents pay for tickets and accommodations.

My family has written a book together about our family and how me and my sister Beata have influenced my parents way of thinking and seeing the world, especially when it comes to the climate. And about our diagnoses.
That book was due to be released in May. But since there was a major disagreement with the book company, we ended up changing to a new publisher and so the book was released in august instead.
Before the book was released my parents made it clear that their possible profits from the book ”Scener ur hjärtat” will be going to 8 different charities working with environment, children with diagnoses and animal rights.

And yes, I write my own speeches. But since I know that what I say is going to reach many, many people I often ask for input. I also have a few scientists that I frequently ask for help on how to express certain complicated matters. I want everything to be absolutely correct so that I don’t spread incorrect facts, or things that can be misunderstood.

Some people mock me for my diagnosis. But Asperger is not a disease, it’s a gift. People also say that since I have Asperger I couldn’t possibly have put myself in this position. But that’s exactly why I did this. Because if I would have been ”normal” and social I would have organized myself in an organisation, or started an organisation by myself. But since I am not that good at socializing I did this instead. I was so frustrated that nothing was being done about the climate crisis and I felt like I had to do something, anything. And sometimes NOT doing things - like just sitting down outside the parliament - speaks much louder than doing things. Just like a whisper sometimes is louder than shouting.

Also there is one complaint that I ”sound and write like an adult”. And to that I can only say; don’t you think that a 16-year old can speak for herself? There’s also some people who say that I oversimplify things. For example when I say that "the climate crisis is a black and white issue”, ”we need to stop the emissions of greenhouse gases” and ”I want you to panic”. But that I only say because it’s true. Yes, the climate crisis is the most complex issue that we have ever faced and it’s going to take everything from our part to ”stop it”. But the solution is black and white; we need to stop the emissions of greenhouse gases.
Because either we limit the warming to 1,5 degrees C over pre industrial levels, or we don’t. Either we reach a tipping point where we start a chain reaction with events way beyond human control, or we don’t. Either we go on as a civilization, or we don’t. There are no gray areas when it comes to survival.
And when I say that I want you to panic I mean that we need to treat the crisis as a crisis. When your house is on fire you don’t sit down and talk about how nice you can rebuild it once you put out the fire. If your house is on fire you run outside and make sure that everyone is out while you call the fire department. That requires some level of panic.

There is one other argument that I can’t do anything about. And that is the fact that I’m ”just a child and we shouldn’t be listening to children.” But that is easily fixed - just start to listen to the rock solid science instead. Because if everyone listened to the scientists and the facts that I constantly refer to - then no one would have to listen to me or any of the other hundreds of thousands of school children on strike for the climate across the world. Then we could all go back to school.
I am just a messenger, and yet I get all this hate. I am not saying anything new, I am just saying what scientists have repeatedly said for decades. And I agree with you, I’m too young to do this. We children shouldn’t have to do this. But since almost no one is doing anything, and our very future is at risk, we feel like we have to continue.

And if you have any other concern or doubt about me, then you can listen to my TED talk
in which I talk about how my interest for the climate and environment began.

And thank you everyone for you kind support! It brings me hope.

from Wonder page-a-day calendar for this weekend:

"Let us always meet each other with a smile."
---Mother Teresa (1910-1997) Roman Catholic missionary

February 2, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Farmers' Markets Open:
Charlottetown, 9AM-2PM, and it is the first weekend of the PEI Symphony Orchestra fruit sale there (the February concert is Sunday, February 24th)
Summerside, 9AM-1PM
George's Market in Bedeque, 10AM-2PM

Later today:
Green Party PEI AGM (Registration 4PM, meeting 4:30, and Potluck, 6:30PM,
Afton Community Centre, #1552 Rte. 19, New Dominion.
Business of this General Meeting will includes a Leader's Address and all the usual AGM business.  "Following the business portion of the General Meeting, anyone who likes is invited to come or stay for a potluck social starting at approximately 6:30pm...
Please visit https://www.greenparty.pe.ca/2019_agm to RSVP and register for onsite childcare or for a ride share."
Mapping the Electoral Districts:

DISTRICT 2  Lots of Changes.
This District gets a name change (Georgetown-St. Peter's to Georgetown-Pownal) to reflect its significant change in representation, with it taking some of the former Stratford-Vernon River district.

The PEI Electoral Boundaries Commission has a "sliding" map on their website showing "Before and After".  Sliding back and forth may make you a little batty, and they could have positioned the maps to be in the same orientation, but it's something.

These two maps of the Old and New are from that website, followed by a screenshot and the link to Brad Trivers' more interactive map.

"Old" boundaries, with D2 in the eastern part of the Island.

D2 is in coloured orangy and extends more westerly.  PEI Electoral Boundaries Map link
PEI Electoral Boundaries full District 2 map link is here.

From Brad Trivers' site, with the new District in orange and the old outlines in blue.

Currently, Steven Myers is the MLA, Progressive Conservative, and Susan Hartley has been nominated for the Green Party PEI. Hartley's accomplishments and community involvement, and continuing "Chat Local" times, are worth looking into.
Posted online, Wednesday, January 30th, 2019, and used with permission.

"Keep talking about all the little things you do for the environment so that our common voice gets louder, and louder and louder. And also, vote for candidates and parties who are ready to start having the conversations we should have been having decades ago.

I have gone from being someone who ate red meat several times a week, to someone who eats it several times a year. My dairy consumption is reduced to the occasional piece of cheese, and eggnog at Christmas. I own one leather jacket, two leather belts and one hat with real fur … but I will never buy leather or fur (or down) again. I bring a reusable cup to work every day for coffee and water.

I also drink bottled water when it's around, toss recyclables into the garbage when I'm lazy, forget to take my reusable bags to the grocery store and tons other things I know I shouldn't be doing. I drive a vehicle, two in fact and I heat with oil. But that doesn't preclude me from championing other options and hoping one day to be able to use those other options myself.

We can't each save the planet, so don't think you have to, don't think the effort for you alone is too great ... it's our combined AND LOUD effort will have a ripple effect. The things we share on social media, the conversations we encourage in our neighborhood. Documentaries we watch/support. Fundraisers we participate in. Our combined AND LOUD discussions when it's election time … all these (and many more) will have a ripple effect if we do them collectively and loudly.

Whatever you are doing to help the planet … however large or small … keep doing it … and keep talking about it.

Also … this video is really good … have a look. You think YOU feel powerless … try being a climate scientist."
   ---Gail Rhyno, dedicated Islander, activist, artist, mother, and many other titles

February 1, 2019

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Agriculture and Fisheries Standing Committee Meeting, 10AM-12noon
, Legislative Chamber, Coles Building. "The committee will meet to receive a briefing from representatives of Environment and Climate Change Canada on the regulation of effluent release in waterways, as part of the committee’s examination of the proposed waste water treatment project at the Northern Pulp mill in Pictou County, Nova Scotia."
Facebook event link

This should also be on the Legislative Assembly website and Facebook page, and some MLA's Facebook pages sometimes, if you can't make it.

Community Cafe at Y Loft (Green Party MLA candidates), 4-6PM, Prince and Euston Street, Charlottetown. "Join District 13 (Charlottetown-Brighton) nominee Ole Hammarlund and District 12 (Charlottetown-Victoria Park) nominee Karla Bernard in the beautiful Y-Loft for this first in a series of community cafés meant to stimulate discussions about what we want for our communities and our futures - from meat-and-potato issues to 'loftier' aspirations.
Free tea and specialty coffees from Ole's espresso machine will be provided. You are welcome to bring any food and drink you would like as well to share in the potluck tradition."
Facebook event link

These are week after next, but a note about the date:
Tuesday, February 12th:
ReferendumPEI Information Session: STRATFORD, 6:30-8:30PM
, Stratford Town Hall.

Elizabeth May and Community Matters, Charlottetown, 7-9PM, Murchison Place.
"Real change starts with real conversation. What matters to you? How would you improve our democracy? What can we all do together to secure our future, for humanity, for the natural world? Come share your priorities, concerns, and vision for Canada’s future at a Community Matters Town Hall near you. (Federal Green Party Leader and MP Elizabeth May) will be joined by MLA Peter Bevan-Baker, Leader of the Green Party of PEI."
Facebook event link

Someone reported less than a dozen people at the Referendum info session Thursday night in Kinkora. Still the people who made it likely had ample time for questions. But the sessions don't sound too enticing. Is the presentation engaging? Does the audience get surveyed at the beginning to see where they are at with their knowledge on the referendum? There is still lots of time, because...

The Referendum period starts today. I am not sure exactly all that entails, but here is the link to the press release from government

Presumably the provincial election would have to be called in the next few months, which seems not to follow the fixed election date legislation put in by former Premier Robert Ghiz (which, apparently, has never been followed :-)
February has 28 days and there are 27 Districts in the electoral map, so today here is District 1: Souris-Elmira

MLA Brad Trivers (D18: Rustico-Emerald), has placed a map with overlapas of the previous and new Districts on his website:
so you can get an idea of what has happened to the boundaries of each district, but you have to mouse over and enlarge the screen and such. Huge thanks to Brad and his talented friends.

It looks like Souris-Elmira keeps the name, but some edges of land have gone to other Districts, so presumably the population of the area increased.

and more information is here: https://www.electoralboundaries.pe.ca/new-districts
Pink is District 1(previous mass), blue lines new boundaries), with extra land going ot other Districts. -----------------------------------------
I deep quote:

"I am part of all that I have met."
   ---Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) British poet