Cheers & Jeers
Cheers to P.E.I.’s Thilak Tennekone, the only Islander to be included in RBC’s list of the Top 25 Canadian Immigrants for 2015. The Stratford resident and provincial government employee received enough votes to advance from a short list of 75 nominees from across the country. He works as diversity consultant for the Public Service Commission and also volunteers in Stratford as chair of the town’s diversity and inclusion subcommittee. Tennekone came to the Island with his family from Sri Lanka in 1992.
Cheers to senior Canadian Red Cross staffer John Byrne, who oversaw all four Atlantic Provinces for seven years, on his retirement June 30 after a 40-year career. In 2003, Byrne was named director general for the Atlantic region. On June 19, Byrne received his organization’s highest honour - the Order of Red Cross for lifetime contributions. Byrne led the Red Cross's disaster responses for Hurricane Juan in Nova Scotia and P.E.I. He helped the campaign for a new building in Charlottetown that opened last November to house Red Cross operations for P.E.I.
Jeers and cheers to the City of Charlottetown for its Canada Day fireworks display. The event was postponed July 1 because of high southeast winds blowing towards spectators on land. The jeer is for the late postponement decision – at 9:40 p.m. for a 10 p.m. start. The fireworks went off without a hitch the next night even though winds seemed as gusty from the southwest, again blowing towards a large crowd of spectators along the waterfront. It was worth the wait as the show was impressive, especially the grand finale which drew big cheers from the appreciative throng.
Jeers to motorists who never heard of the simple, courteous habit of stop and go traffic. Spectators leaving streets and parking lots following Thursday night’s fireworks in downtown Charlottetown were held up by motorists who apparently never heard of letting a vehicle exit a lot. Everyone keeps moving on the stop-and-go system, eliminates road rage and gets everyone home safely. Another jeer to city police who were remarkably absent following the fireworks Thursday night. A little traffic direction by police would certainly have helped ease downtown congestion.
Cheers to Jim Hulton, the new head coach of the Charlottetown Islanders, who expects the team to start winning - now. GM Grant Sonier says Hulton brings an impressive resume and experience at all levels, and is known as “a motivator, a teacher, and a guy that we think can bring this team to the next level." Hulton, 46, should bring a new, winning attitude with the expectation of a long playoff run next spring. That is music to the ears of Islanders fans who are growing weary of hearing that the team is building for next year. Next year is here.
Cheers to Cardigan MP Lawrence MacAulay for pushing forward a Private Members motion in June calling on the federal government to ensure all future contracts for the Wood Islands – Caribou ferry service are at least five years in length. It was voted down in the House 143 to 124. All Conservative MPs present voted against the motion, while the Liberals and NDP voted for. MacAulay said he was pleased to bring this issue to the floor of the House of Commons to show MPs from across the country just how important this issue is.
Cheers to the 2015 recipients of the Order of Prince Edward Island - Bill Campbell of Charlottetown, Gerald Sheldon Dixon of Crapaud and Dr. Charles St. Clair Trainor of Charlottetown. The three were selected from 51 Islanders nominated to receive the award this year.