As we prepare for the fall sitting of the Legislature, I would like to take a few moments to reflect on my experiences so far as the MLA for Tyne Valley Sherbrooke and member of the first ever Green Party Official Opposition in Canada.
During the first Legislative sitting in the spring, I was able to bring forward ideas and issues within my critic areas of Health and Wellness, and Communities and Fisheries, as well as about important local issues in our community. Some of these topics included access to psychiatric supports, a registered nurse bridging program, remuneration models for doctors, the costs of supplies for home care patients, public medication coverage through the PEI formulary, social prescriptions, fair allocation of EDA jobs and the last-minute cancellation of supports for not-for profit Rock the Boat Festival in Tyne Valley.
Once the house closed, I had the great honour of representing the PEI Opposition Caucus at the Canadian Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference, where I collaborated with elected members from all across the country. I was also part of a panel and participated for my fourth year at the Atlantic Summer Institute for healthy and safe communities. My legislative committee work includes chairing the Special Committee on Poverty tasked with identifying measures of poverty, defining a living wage for PEI and creating a costed Basic Income Guarantee pilot proposal, and being an active member of the Health and Social Development Legislative Standing Committee.
Since being elected, I have worked hard to support and connect with constituents in my district. I was able to highlight several local community groups and initiatives in my member’s statements such as the Stewart Memorial Hospital Foundation, Lot 16 Hall, Slemon Park Community Coordinator and Events. Every Monday I hold regular Office Hours in Tyne Valley and Summerside where I hear ideas and help constituents navigate systems and access supports and services. I also co-hosted a town hall with my fellow Summerside area Green MLAs Lynne Lund and Steve Howard.
Over the summer I contributed to several local events by volunteering where I could be most useful, such as scrutineering at the Tyne Valley Fireman’s Club Elimination Draw, helping out at the Lobster Carnival, Tyne Valley Oyster Festival Suppers and Slemon Park Community BBQ, timing contestants at the Tyne Valley Oyster Championships, front gate and bartending at the Rock the Boat Festival, and even climbing into the dunk tank at the Tyne Valley Rubber Ducky Races and co-captained a cardboard boat with MLA Lynne Lund. I also participated in several fundraising walks, dinners, and other events for local charitable organizations, and supported the Tyne Valley Caring Cupboard and Atlantic Superstore free lunch after tropical storm Dorian.
It is truly a dream come true to be able to represent the people of Tyne Valley-Sherbrooke and to work to ensure all Islanders can live with basic health and dignity in their families and communities.