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LETTER: Rock the Boat Festival organizers blindsided by government

Energy Minister Steven Myers speaks with MLA Cory Deagle prior to question period last week. Myers said the province will be pressing on Maritime Electric to slow its rate increases.
Transportation Minister Steven Myers speaks with MLA Cory Deagle prior to question period recently. - Mitch MacDonald

The Transportation Department of the new P.E.I. Conservative government has denied two festivals assistance in kind that would have supplied workers to set up and tear down essential structures for their music events, assistance that has been given to them in the past.

My concern is with the non-profit event, the Rock The Boat concert that is part of the Tyne Valley Oyster Festival.

Every year thousands of volunteer hours go into staging this event with almost no one receiving any pay. The concert’s already tight budget was dependent on this assistance and volunteers’ time is already stretched to the max. Because of the total lack of communication on the part of government, the young volunteer organizers were blindsided. Adding insult to injury, they only learned of this decision through the media. With only five weeks until their event, how can they possibly scramble to deal with this cut back?

By comparison, this year, the newly elected Ontario Conservative government informed Ontario cities to cut four per cent from their budgets, budgets that had already been approved. That provincial government listened, realized it had made a terrible mistake and reversed these cuts.

Minister Steven Myers, the federal government gives your Transportation Department millions of dollars yearly that you depend on. Imagine if five weeks before implementation the federal government denied you a portion these funds. Where would this leave you?

Minister Myers, please reverse this very harmful and demoralizing decision to deny much needed help to the Rock The Boat concert this year.

Gary A. O. MacKay,

Birch Hill

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