P.E.I.’s Official Opposition Chief Peter Bevan-Baker says 2022 has been a difficult yr.
“I nonetheless communicate with Islanders day by day who’re actually struggling or having a tough time, and that is distressing,” the provincial Inexperienced Get together chief mentioned.
“It was made much more difficult and tough by the truth that authorities was not at all times there after they wanted to be to assist folks of their greatest time of want.”
Bevan-Baker mentioned his celebration has needed to regulate to the Progressive Conservative majority within the legislature, however he mentioned he is pleased with how the Opposition has held Premier Dennis King’s authorities accountable.
The Inexperienced Get together chief mentioned his celebration’s greatest accomplishment this yr was bringing the considerations of Islanders into the provincial legislature.
“Whether or not they’re staff, whether or not they’re seniors, whether or not they’re tenants, whether or not they’re health-care staff, they’ve all come to us,” he mentioned.
The Opposition chief mentioned his priorities for the approaching yr embody preparing for the subsequent provincial election, rising entry to well being care, reasonably priced housing and addressing the excessive value of residing.
Listed here are a few of the matters mentioned in his interview with CBC Information: Compass host Louise Martin.
Well being care
The Inexperienced Get together chief mentioned whereas the dearth of health-care staff shouldn’t be an issue distinctive to P.E.I., he believes the federal government should take a distinct strategy from different provinces to maintain staff right here.
“We’re lacking the mark as a result of Islanders are nonetheless unable to entry the well being care they want the place they dwell.”
Bevan-Baker mentioned the federal government should leverage P.E.I.’s high quality of life to retain staff within the province.
“We should always have the ability to use our Island’s attractiveness, whether or not that is from an financial perspective or a social perspective or an environmental perspective, to draw folks to return right here and to maintain them right here.”
The Opposition chief mentioned Premier King’s authorities additionally made a mistake by providing $8 million in retention incentive bonuses for a select group of health-care workers.
“That created such a division,” Bevan-Baker mentioned.
“We’ve got to worth and we’ve to respect each single health-care employee that we’ve, and that was not executed.”
The P.E.I. authorities lately opened an emergency shelter in Charlottetown with 50 beds for folks experiencing homelessness within the metropolis.
Nevertheless, the shelter is barely open from 8 p.m. to eight a.m., and a few individuals are nonetheless selecting to dwell in an encampment on the Charlottetown Occasion Grounds.
Bevan-Baker mentioned the subsequent step the federal government should take is to make the shelter a 24-hour service.
“While you rise up within the morning, you additionally want a spot the place you’re feeling such as you belong, that seems like a house,” he mentioned.
“For the time being, having to rise up within the morning and get out of wherever you might be by 8 a.m. and go someplace else, that is no method to deal with people who find themselves already struggling in every kind of different methods.”
Premier Dennis King has not but dedicated to a precise date for the subsequent provincial election, however it’s anticipated someday in 2023.
Earlier this month, P.E.I. Liberal Chief Sharon Cameron introduced she could be operating for District 17, New Haven-Rocky Level, within the subsequent election. Bevan-Baker at the moment holds that district’s seat.
The Inexperienced Chief mentioned he was a bit stunned by Cameron’s determination, calling it “an attention-grabbing tactic.”
“I dwell in a ravishing a part of this province and I like my neighbours and I like serving the folks in District 17. It is a ravishing place,” he mentioned.
“So, I suppose I should not be too stunned that Sharon desires to return and go to for just a few weeks.”
Regardless, Bevan-Baker mentioned he is “enormously excited” in regards to the concept of a 2023 election, and his celebration is prepared for it.
He mentioned the Inexperienced Get together will current Islanders with a distinct imaginative and prescient for the longer term: “a imaginative and prescient of inclusion, a imaginative and prescient of well being and safety and of transparency.”
“When you will have good governance, something is feasible.”