Our Work

A rare opportunity to make a healthy change
Official Opposition
May 12, 2020

By Steve Howard, MLA District 22 Summerside-South Drive
Official Opposition Critic for Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy

COVID-19 has made the world seem smaller for many of us. Our daily commute is often to the backyard or a wellness walk around the block. We are driving a great deal less than we were, and we still have all the same road infrastructure. It’s just not being used as much. Maybe this is an opportunity for us to rethink how we can better utilize it in this time of changed behaviors.

A time for courageous creativity

We could take advantage of the underutilized streets around PEI and set in place additional active transportation lanes. We could encourage and support healthy activities like biking and walking by turning some streets into safer and more easily accessible active transportation routes. Some roads could be blocked off to vehicular traffic, while others could be turned into one-way streets thereby freeing up safe and fun lanes for alternative, active transportation.

Another option we could explore is opening up some additional real estate for restaurants and other businesses so they can expand into these lesser used spaces. This will enable them to expand and offer friendly experiences in this time of increased physical distancing requirements. Some of this extra road space could be used to create extra seating or product displays. I am sure our local businesses would appreciate and welcome some of that extra foot traffic.

From Lithuania to Newfoundland we are seeing these kinds of ventures being undertaken. Little, courageous and creative changes like this can create a major benefit to our local businesses while also offering a boost to our own collective physical and mental health.

Let’s be bold

We have been given a rare opportunity to rethink our way of doing things and to create a new, healthier way of living. If we don’t grab this chance now, when will a better opportunity come our way?

The Official Opposition of Prince Edward Island provides a crucial role in the governing of our province. The caucus is made up of Green Party MLAs elected by Islanders.

We strive to offer informed and intelligent debate and proposals that are evidence-based and data-informed. Through respect and integrity, we seek to improve the work and efforts of government on behalf of all Islanders.

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Office of the Official Opposition
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Prince Edward Island, Canada