What I Stand For...
I believe that Islanders want change, but that’s what all politicians say. What do I mean?
More than anything, I advocate a change in approach and style. People are tired of politicians and political parties that all sound the same and do the same things.
I feel differently and I want to lead differently.
I am running today to lead the Progressive Conservative party but I want to lead that party to government so it is fair to ask what I want to do in government.
The system is broken.
There is a lack of trust.
People are disillusioned about politics.
There are fewer and fewer core supporters for all political parties. There is a reason for this.
Public servants don’t feel respected or valued.
We need to restore that trust.
In our current political system, only one point of view matters.
That does not serve us well as Islanders, or taxpayers.
Elected officials waste too much time fighting each other on partisan issues.
I have a vision to do it differently.
I want to change the way our government and our legislature operates.
We need to loosen the partisan grip on our democratic institutions.
Why can’t our Government embrace good ideas that are suggested by members of other political parties or the public at large?
Why can’t the Opposition give kudos to Government for a job well done when it is deserved?
Why can’t politicians admit mistakes?
As Islanders, we do this every day. But in politics, we don’t. It is because we are too partisan.
I want to change that.
We are too small as a province to focus only on what divides us.
We need to use all of the talent the Island has to offer, not just half of it.
We need to work together to do better.
Once we start working together – what can we achieve?
We want to make sure we have a roof over our heads and food on the table.
We need to work towards ensuring all Islanders have access to a living wage.
We have to create and protect jobs without selling our souls to do it.
We need to invest in more small businesses.
We need Island-wide high speed internet for everyone.
We want to preserve and protect our Island for future generations.
We need to achieve a carbon-neutral society.
We need to set hard targets of consuming a fixed percentage of our energy from renewable sources, and we need to make those targets binding.
We want our kids to get the best education possible. To do that we need to start to listen to our educators and follow examples set by the top rated education systems in the world, like South Korea and Finland.
We need constant critical review of our curriculum, caps on class sizes, maximized instructional time, more teachers and more technology.
We want to be assured that our health care system is there for us when we need it.
We need to clear the way for front-line service providers to do their jobs.
We need to be responsible with taxpayers’ dollars.
We need to be guided by the principle that government must be open, accountable and transparent with Islanders. This is their province, this is their information and this is their money.
I have lots of ideas and look forward to sharing them with you throughout this campaign. But I can’t do this alone. No one person can. It will take creativity, open-mindedness, hard work and time. But I believe I can lead Islanders, and working together, we can make real progress.
As a journalist, I learned the importance of listening, to ask the questions that need to be asked, and to respect differing opinions in the pursuit of a fair and balanced account.
In government, I appreciated the value of working with people to get things done.
In my work with PEI First Nations, I learned the importance of knowing and respecting our past and how it can influence the path to a successful future.
When I went to work in the seafood industry, there was a climate of hostility and suspicion between fishers and processors. Over the course of four years, through a process of consultation and mutual respect, the seafood industry is more united and prosperous today because we were able to bring all sides together, convince them that more unites us than divides us, that we are in this together, that we are too small as an industry with too many world competitors to be always fighting with each other.
I’m proud to have played a small part in that.
In the private sector as a consultant, I learned how you have to hustle to put food on the table. I lived the struggles small businesses face, the burden of red tape and I have come to appreciate the resilience, dedication and determination required to keep working at it every day.
In my years as a storyteller, I witnessed the absolute pleasure Islanders take in celebrating their culture and heritage.
And on the occasions when my wife hands me a pitch fork to scoop up the stuff that comes out of the back end of a horse…I learned a lot about hard work...and the responsibility that goes along with a farm business operation…and the pleasure one can derive from a hard job done well.
Sports, namely hockey and baseball, have been a lifelong passion for me.
Playing, coaching, managing, volunteering and broadcasting sports have taught me the value of team work...taking pride in the home town team…and the satisfaction one gets out of putting it all on the line in the true spirit of competition.
I want to lead a government that is truly collaborative.
I want to lead with kindness, with compassion, with civility, with courtesy and with respect.
I want all of us to work together for the common good.
That is why I want to be your leader.
I want to be a leader for all Islanders.
I need you.
Please join me.