The summer of 2019 was an unusual one for Legislators on PEI as much of it was largely filled with a sitting that opened on June 13th and went until mid-July. I have found over the years that while the House is in session, I have precious little capacity for anything else, and I found that particularly (and delightfully) so this summer with a caucus of 8, and as the leader of the first Green Official Opposition in Canadian history.
Once the House closed, the busy and enjoyable political obligations to attend the wide array of wonderful Island activities and events that get crammed into our short and precious summer started up. In one 48-hour period, I attended events as varied as a seminar on Ticks and Lyme disease, the Relay for Life walk, a Petit Dejeuner at the Carrefour de l’Isle Saint-Jean, the Kelly’s Cross community summer picnic, and played trumpet with a band at the Summerside Lobster Carnival.
While summer always holds a varied buffet of fun opportunities, this summer seemed especially so. I had the joy of going on farm tours, attending community fairs from tip to tip celebrating the unique character of the towns and villages in all three counties, participating in many of the events at the Congres Mondial Acadien, learning at all-day UPEI presentations on topics as diverse as the future of work and precision agriculture, ongoing meetings to try and improve broadband service in my district and beyond, visiting out tree nursery and planting some of what they grow, forums on housing, Pow wows put on by a number of Native organizations, as well as occasionally walking my dogs, enjoying – like all Islanders – summer visitors, and now and again I’d catch a glimpse of my wife Ann!
I love summer on PEI – who doesn’t? But when your “job” includes opportunities to see all those things above and many, many more, and to meet friends and neighbours, and visitors from far afield while you’re at it, you feel specially blessed. I am a lucky man, and I give gratitude regularly for all the special things and people in my life that allow me to do this work with both vigor and joy.