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CHEERS & JEERS: Oct. 19, 2020

Cheers & Jeers
Cheers & Jeers - SaltWire Network

JEERS: To the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission (IRAC) for the continued lack of information related to the Brendel land sale. The sale involved 2,200 acres of land transferred from a family farming operation to a company affiliated with the Irving family. Over one year later, even Agriculture Minister Bloyce Thompson is reduced to putting out feeble press releases expressing “concern and disappointment” about the slow pace of the investigation. IRAC has refused to provide Guardian reporters with information about the investigation since it was announced. The lack of transparency is likely to erode public confidence in the enforcement process related to the Lands Protection Act and its ability to regulate and limit the actions of large land-holding corporate entities.

CHEERS: To the Kings Playhouse, Victoria Playhouse and The Guild for teaming up with Campbell Webster Entertainment to produce Christmas concerts that will entertain Islanders from Nov. 26 to Dec. 20. It has been a challenging year for the theatre business, as it has for so many others. Public health guidelines allow no more than 50 people in the audience. All three theatres participating in these shows will adhere to those guidelines. But, it’s more than that. This is about coming together and feeling the spirit of the Christmas season in what has been the toughest year many of us have experienced in our lifetimes. It just goes to show, through collaborative efforts, many things are still possible.

JEERS: To three of the four provincial political parties running candidates in the upcoming District 10 byelection. After every election, there seems to be an outcry for more women candidates and more people of colour. Yet, when an opportunity presents itself, the Liberals, PCs and Greens all opted to nominate three white men as their candidates.

JEERS: To decision-makers with the Department of Education and Lifelong Learning for classifying many of their recent staff hires at a lower level. The department had raised hopes of school staff in August, announcing plans to add 160 full-time equivalent positions that would help alleviate some of the stress of reopening school this fall. But union leaders told a standing committee last week that many of the positions, including administrative assistants, were hired at a lower classification and at a lower wage rate. This means part-time staff looking for full-time hours have effectively been short-changed. Also, many of the new staff will not be able to provide relief for existing staff. The department should ensure qualified staff that had already been hired for part-time jobs can work full-time hours if they so choose without having to take a pay cut.

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