Posts Tagged ‘PEI’

CBC reporters offer tips to cut through the media spin

December 4, 2009

The best way for someone to sense they are being spun is to listen for jargon or trigger words repeated over and over, says a reporter for the CBC.

With the seemingly never ending barrage of news stories popping up in the media related to politics, citizens are constantly exposed to political spin. Most politicans have become masters of trying to influence the behaviour of voters.

How can a regualr person see through the spin tactics of politicians and make an informed decision?

Political reporter Bendan Elliott said if someone keeps going back to or repeating the same message using different words, then this person is more than likely trying to spin you into hearing their version of the story.

“Also, regular news observers should listen to whether a question is actually being answered. If a journalist asks a question, and the person does everything except answer the question, then there’s a good chance that person is spinning.”

a It is hard for the average person to counter this spin, he said.

“The only suggestion would be for the person to continue asking their question until they feel satisfied that their question has been answered.”

CBC producer Donna Allen, said people should stop and ask themselves a few

questions,when considering whether or not they have been spun.

“Does this sound likely, reasonable, does it pass the smell test? What aren’t they telling me? Why is this person saying what they are saying? Might there be an ulterior motive? Does this person seem credible to me?”

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Sega producer teaches students ins-outs of industry

December 3, 2009

Sega producer Ethan Einhorn showing the platform of some of his most recent work, the iPhone. Conway photo

Prince Edward Island is the best place to visit when heading out to see a game developer, says Sega of America’s digital content producer.

Ethan Einhorn spoke to students of both the Video Game Arts and Design and Interactive Media programs at Holland College’s Charlottetown Centre on Oct. 8.

He praised the students.

“They had a lot of great questions. They are clearly focused on wanting to understand what major publishers are looking for in games.”

The presentation was made possible through Video Game Art and Design instructor Chris Sharpley, once a co-worker of Einhorn’s.

Before becoming an instructor at Holland College, Sharpley was a game artist who worked for several different developers, including Sega.

While working at Other Ocean in Charlottetown, he did some of the design work for the iPhone version of Super Monkey Ball,  a popular Sega property and a game produced by Einhorn.

Of all of the producers he has worked with, Einhorn was one of his favourites, Sharpley said.

“He was probably the most easygoing and easy to get along with and I’ve never had any problems with him.”

Sharpley saw the presentation as a possible source of inspiration.

“Hopefully the students aspire to follow their dreams like he did and if you put the hard work in you can work anywhere you like.”

The students enjoyed the opportunity to talk with Einhorn individually after the lecture, Sharpley said.

“Afterwards, he must have spent twice as long casually chatting with students, just as he did during the presentation.”

During the presentation, the students learned about the role of a producer in a game’s devlopment and a little bit of Einhorn’s background before he worked for Sega, said Sharpley.

If the presentation demonstrated one thing, it was even though P.E.I. is a small part of Canada, it is still possible to be employed with a full-time job, Sharpley says.

“You could work on top international brands, dealing with people in San Francisco and Tokyo and see your work releashed globally and appreciated by millions of people.

Einhorn said he wished he had the same opportunities growing up that the students of the Holland College Video Game Arts and Design program have.

“I wish there were schools like this available when I was a student myself, but there was really no such thing as video game programs that long ago.”

Related posts:

Holland College prepares students for work in the gaming industry

Program challenges students to excel in the video game industry

Charlottetown studio develops game for the Nintendo DS

Wireless Internet continues to expand throughout Holland College

December 2, 2009

Holland College student Spencer Mosher, tries out the new wireless Internet connection in the Charlottetown Centre cafeteria. Conway photo

Due to a growing student demand, the wireless Internet connection at the Charlottetown Centre the first of what could be a series of upgrades.

On Oct. 15, the wireless Internet services provided at the campus expanded as part of a pilot project to make it more accessible throughout the campus.

The new wireless system is designed to be more stable and manageable, said Richard MacDonald, manager of computer services.

“It is  also capable of handeling traffic more efficiently.”

The new connection was made possible due to the co-operation between Computer Serivces, the Student Union, and the Computer Information Systems and Business departments, he said.

“With everyone working together, we have a better wireless connection here than we would have had if we did not co-operate.”

Still, there are only three routers providing wireless Internet for the cafeteria and bottom floor, he said.

“To provide coverage to the entire building would require 20, 30 wireless routers. We could eventually have 25-30 routers to provide full coverage.”

Students are enjoying the wireless connection, although there are some minor glitches.

“It’s pretty good. It goes down sometimes but other than that it works well,” said Spencer Mosher.

MacDonald said the main goal is to figure out the best way to have wireless access on a large scale for all Holland College centres.

“Students want to be connected and we want to provide it without students having to pay too much for it.

“It would be nice to have the same student experience in all of our major centres.”

The Langille Show: behind the scenes

December 2, 2009
Brian Langille filming and episode of The Langille Show. Conway photo

A man answers the door on Halloween. He is greeted by children in their costumes.

“Trick or Treat,” they yell with glee as they expect their sugary treats. The man choses trick.

He morphs into a horrific monster. The children flee in terror. This 30-second clip took  three hours of careful editing.

It was the opening of episode 189 of The Langille Show. It is the Youtube show created and hosted by Holland College’s resident Mac technician, Brian Langille. The episode, Sweet, Sweet Candy, serves as the show’s Halloween special.

A lot of work went into the making of the show’s introduction. In fact, it takes a considerable level of technical skill to make his face so terrifying.

Langille shot the original footage and took it back to his computer, where he began the editing process.

“I cut to the piece where I wanted to make my face to expand, export that, put in some after-effects and motion track it. Once I have it motion tracked, I can apply things to my face and make them move with my face. “

Then he was able to shrink his eyes and nose and puff up his face and everything else, he said.

“Once I get that done and rendered, I test and apply a couple more things. I changed the tone of my skin colour and I imported the sound and everything else.

“That is what gave me the demon effect. It’s fun to do something like that.”

Langille filmed the episode during his lunch break on Oct. 28 in his front yard. It was a beautiful autumn day in his quiet suburban neighbourhood. He couldn’t have asked for a better day to film.

In the driveway was the infamous van blown up in many an opening sequence. You’d expect it be in several pieces scattered across the lawn rather than parked in one piece. Perhaps he has a secret stock pile of vans somewhere?

Before the actual filming began, Langille went to his basement to gather some equipment. His version of the bat cave contains the technology that makes filming The Langille Show possible.

There were two 2,000-watt lights and a green screen used for indoor filiming, his microphone, camera and computer.

Langille grabbed his microphone, camera and tripod and headed out the door, but before that he had to make sure he was wearing his trademark glasses, hat and jersey.

“When I’m putting on the gear, it makes me feel like Clark Kent turning into Superman.”

Before turning on the camera, he noticed someone looking as they drove down the road. It happened before.

“There are times when people who are driving by will slow down to check out what I’m doing. I remember I got some strange looks from the neighbours the time I filmed the episode where I shaved my head.”

As soon as he had his camera adjusted to get the perfect shot, he began recording. He started things off with his trademark, “Hey!”

It echoed throughout the neighbourhood as he started his opening monologue. He let a little blopper slip out as he remembered he wanted to tell a joke about a tree but there was no tree in the shot.

He was able to improvise with a joke about the Toronto Maple Leafs and all was well.

The episode revolved around an incident which occurred on Halloween a few years back. He was in charge of passing out the candy, but instead ate the candy himself.

The shoot took about 11 minutes and besides a few pauses and bloopers all went smoothly.

There was one thing that seemed odd. There were a few moments when he would pace from one spot to another. The reason would be revealed during his editing process.

One of Langille’s biggest fans is his wife, Susan. He does some great work on the show, she said

“He puts a lot of hard work into every show and it really pays off.”

She usually doesn’t get to see any of the tapings since they are done when she is at work. But she is occasionally exposed to some content unseen by viewers.

“Whenever I happen to be at home when he is filming, I get to hear some of the outtakes. I get a good chuckle out of them.”

She has nothing but good things to say about her husband’s show.

“I think it is amazing. He makes it look so easy to do. He taught himself how to do it.”

After Langille completed filming the episode, he headed back to the basement to begin editing.

He took the opening segment and attaching it to the nine minutes of video he had just finished filming. After that, it was a matter of trimming the new footage and cutting anything he didn’t want to use.

He cut the jokes he doesn’t plan on using to get straight to the punchline.

He does this to take the over 10 minutes worth of footage and convert it to about three or four.

“Sometimes I realize that not every joke needs to be in there.”

Langille also revealed the reason why he was moving around so many times during the taping.

It is to compensate for not having a director to zoom the camera in and out. He also said he makes sure the time it takes him to move is taken out of the video.

“I also have to make sure to cut out as much dead time as possible, so that I am constantly in different spots on the screen and that there is no down time as far as silence goes.”

This process used to take hours, now it takes about 20 minutes.

“I got better over time and learned what material I want to keep or remove from  a video.  It comes with practice.”

After he completed the video it is just a matter of fading to black and inserting the final punch line.

“I guess this takes away a lot of the mystique.”

Chytrid fungus a possible threat to Island frogs

December 2, 2009

A killer fungus known as chytrid, which has caused the death of approximately 200 species of frogs worldwide, has been found in P.E.I.

A group of researchers found traces of the fungus as they spent the summer travelling to ponds throughout the province.  The fungus is seen as the root of the worse case of mass extinction in history.

The spread of chytrid originated in 1934 when South African clawed frogs were imported to North America and became a popular test subject for pregnancy test research. The American bull frog, which can also carry the fungus, made it a worldwide problem when frog legs became a popular culinary export.

Humans can also spread the fungus when travelling through different habitats. Something as simple as mud on a boot can contain traces of chytrid. The fungus is not a threat to humans however.

Assistant biology professor at UPEI Natacha Hogan was one of the researchers here.

The research team would spend every day to every second day sampling several ponds from west of O’Leary to Souris, she said

“We swabbed several frogs from each pond we visited and sent the swabs to a lab in Washington.”

The lab performed what is known as a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test on the swab samples. The tests revealed 26.3 per cent of frogs on P.E.I. tested positive for chytrid. Froglets are also 4.5 per cent more likely to have the fungus than older frogs.

It is a form of bacteria within the fungus that is killing the frogs and it is impossible to treat frogs who live in the wild, Hogan said.

“There could possibly be a way of treating frogs which live in a laboratory setting, however there isn’t a cure for chytrid at this time.”

The  fungus came up in a recent speech in Charlottetown. Dr. Maria Forzan was a keynote speaker during the opening night of Amphibian Week at the Atlantic Veterinary College on Oct. 5.

Chytrid spreads through the body, casuing an electrolyte imbalance, and respiration problems, since frogs breathe through their skin, she said.

“Tadpoles can also carry chytrid but they carry it in their mouths rather than their skin. Chytrid causes the tadpoles to develop with mouth deformities and behaviour changes.

“Tadpoles with chytrid tend to be more prone to panic attacks, which gives them a better chance to escape predators. It is fortunate for them to be able to escape but it is unfortune they survive long enough to spread the disease.”

The extreme tempratures in P.E.I. may determine whether the frogs live or die, said Forzan.

“The heat during the summer months and the cold during the winter months could keep the bacteria from spreading.”

Hogan said it is too soon to determine the effects of chytrid in P.E.I. due to this being the first year of testing.

“The effects of the chytrid spread is something that must be monitored for a number of years.”

Budget becomes main focus of question period

April 20, 2009

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Premier Robert Ghiz answering questions for the media. Conway photo.

 

    The Liberal government is proud to have created such economic growth during a time of economic downturn, said provincial Treasurer Wesley Sheridan during Question Period April 17.

    Montague Conservative MLA Jim Bagnall said the Conservatives feel the economy is not doing as well as the Liberals are saying that Sheridan can’t seem to ever know the proper economic figures.

      The argument began when Bagnall asked the treasurer about the $ 42.3 million deficit.

      “The budget that was put in by the previous government when you came into power had a surplus of $2.1 million. That would have showed three surplus budgets in a row. Mr. Treasurer, why did you revise the budget when you came in from a $2.1 million surplus to a $42.3 million deficit?”

       Sheridan said the province was just coming out of the 10 best economic years the province and the country as a whole have ever gone through and the Conservatives had nine deficit budgets.

       “Probably the most embarrassing piece of financial work I have ever witnessed.”

        Sheridan said there were a lot of problems caused by the Conservatives which the Liberals had to take care of when they took office.

         He said examples included a health care system which was ignored for 10 years, write offs in the beef industry and in the fisheries as well.

      “The things we had to clean up inside that first year were incredible.”

      Bagnall said the treasurer numbers were wrong and the fact was he had lost $39 million in his first budget.

     “How do you expect Islanders to have faith in your number?”

      Premier Robert Ghiz stepped in to answer the question.

      Ghiz said Islanders were actually very happy to have a treasurer with as much integrity and experience as Sheridan.

       “He is doing a tremendous job balancing the books of this province. I wish he had been in power 12 years ago when that government was in power because I think the Island would be in better shape than it is now.”

        Bagnall said the Conservatives were on the verge of a balanced budget.

        “But when the Liberals came in, we get a budget with a deficit.”

         Sheridan said the Liberals were there when Islanders needed help and the Liberals will be there to invest when there is a need for it.

          “Twelve hundred jobs will be created on the Island. Our model of a stimulus budget has been used accross North America and even the Obama government has followed our leader.”

          The discussion ended with one final question from Bagnall.

          “How can we have a deficit with the economy working as well as you said it has?”

           The Liberal party has seen other jurisdictions that are producing billion dollars in debt, said the provincial treasurer.

            “We have tightened our belts and don’t have that problem.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

      

 

How to protect important information with biometric technology

April 20, 2009

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First year CIS students; Norma Mayhew, Paige Palmer and Jean ‘Louis Pinet presenting the facts about Biometrics. Conway photo.

 

   With the growing threat of identity theft and security breaches, the need for the government agencies, big companies, and even home computer owners to protect themselves is a growing need, says Computer Information Systems student Norma Mayhew.

     Biometrics is a method of using an individual’s behaviours or characteristics to positively identify them and to make sure they are the only ones to access their information.

       Biometric technology is the next step in high tech security.

       Mayhew said one such biometric technology is the use of Dynamic Signature Varification, which uses the handwriting of the computer user to confirm his/her identitiy.

        “It is not just the image that is verified but also the speed in which they write, and the pen pressure that they use. It is more of a three-dimensional characteristics that they use.”

       She said these security measures are becoming more widely used anywhere from big companies to home computers.

      “Even laptops can use biometrics. Some use voice recognition and fingerprint scans.”

       Paige Palmer, who is also a student in the CIS program, said different companies and government offices are using biometrics to gain access to confidential information.

        “For example, finger print scans of employees are often used instead of punching in numeric codes.”

         Mayhew said it all depends on how secure they need their enviroment to be.

         “The idea behind biometrics is that the use of passwords or ID cards can be stolen or forged or someone could have been given the password by someone from within the company.”

     “With biometrics it is physical or behavioural characteristics of a person which grants access to the information, making it much harder to forge these things.”

       The type of information, whither it is a scan or an image of an employee, is placed into a database and when someone makes a request for the information they wish to access, they would have to make one of the scans in the database to acquire it, she said.

      “It runs on the fact that no two people are alike.”

       Palmer said even identical twins have their own individual set of characteristics that could be pick up in a scan.

      “They have different finger prints and retinal characteristics for example. Everyone has their own unique characteristics.”

      These systems are advanced enough to tell even if someone is conscious, she said.

      “For example if someone had cut off an employee’s finger to gain access to the information, it would not work because there would have to be a pulse or temperature for the print to be properly identified.”

      She said with the constant improvements in this technology, its usage is becoming more and more common as information is becoming more valuable.

       “Finger print and retinal scans are the most popular.”

        Mayhew said voice scans are a popular choice for home computers and laptops because all the user needs is a usb port to plug in a microphone or the computer might already have one built in.

         “Voice scans work in one of two ways. Text dependent, which the user would have to not only have their voice match the scan but also say a particular phrase to gain access. Text independent on the other hand, the user can use any phrase they choose because it is only the voice that has to match.”

      The sound is broken up into segments and each of the words spoken by the user is compared to the sample in the data base, she said.

      “If there is a match it checks to see if the tones and the voice pattern are are match as well.”

      Mayhew said as long as the need for secure information continues to grow, more biometric systems will be put in place to protect that information.   

 

College students end up in provincial court

April 20, 2009

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P.E.I. Provincial Supreme Courtroom number 5. Conway photo.

 

   It was 10 a.m. on the Thursday before the Easter holiday when a group of students from the Holland College journalism program entered the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown for a tour of the facilities.

    The students and their instructor were greeted at the door by Sheila Gallant, clerk of the Court of Appeals. Gallant welcomed them warmly and informed them she would be their tour guide.

     The first stop on the tour was courtroom No. 5. This is where some of the larger court cases are handled as it can hold up to 120 people.

     Gallant started off the tour of the courtroom by pointing out the holding area in which the defendant would be held  to protect those in the court and themselves as well.

      “Prisoners leave the holding area to go up stairs with the deputies,” she said. “It is to prevent violence.”

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Sheila Gallant, showing students around  the courtroom. Conway photo.

 

       Gallant said this particular courtroom was also used in civil cases and explained how a criminal case differs from a civil case.

        “The purpose of a civil case is to settle a dispute for money,” she said. “It often involves an insurance claim.”

         Students were shown everything from the judge’s desk to the jury box, but one thing they found really interesting was the press area.

          The area is in the same area as the public seating area but with one special difference. The seats in the press area have a special little tray attached to each seat for a reporter’s tools of the trade (their pen, paper and what not). Some of the students couldn’t help but test out these little trays first-hand.

     Gallant took the time to inform the students about the relationship between journalists and the court system.

     She pointed out such things as the need for journalists to seek permission to record court proceedings and to learn of any publication bans that might be in place.

      “In a family case, for example, the name of a young offender can not be used,” said Gallant. “Although the offenders initials can be used in violent cases.”

       The students began to explore the room to take photographs as Gallant continued to explain the inner workings of the court.

       Some of the students looked down upon the room from the judge’s bench as they took pictures from this  new perspective and even posed for a group photo.

       One student noticed how close the jury box was to the witness stand. Gallant said that was to make sure the jury members could clearly hear the testimony as well as to observe the mannerisms of witnesses. It is all an effort to make sure the jury will make the best judgment possible.

       Gallant also pointed out that this particular courtroom is also used for special occasions, as it is called a ceremonial court.

       “This courtroom is also used for when a new judge is sworn in to the Supreme Court,” she said.

        The tour of courtroom No. 5 came to a close and the tour group was on the move as they made their way upstairs to courtroom No.3.

         The students couldn’t help but feel as if there was something different about this new courtroom, something which separates it from the room they had visited just minutes before.

      The students were surprised when they realized the courtroom was actually quite smaller than the one they had already visited.

       Gallant said this is a courtroom used for the court of appeals, mostly for human rights and workers compensation cases.

       One of the young journalists asked about an interesting painting being proudly displayed in the room. Gallant explained it was a portrait of Henry Davies.

court4Gallant answer a question asked by Journalism student Patricia Nunez. Conway photo.

 

       “The only Islander to become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada,” she said. “He held the position from 1876-9. He was also an MP and the Fisheries Minister as well.”

          Before the tour ended, Gallant gave a bit of a history lesson about her time working at the Supreme Court.

          She started in 1984, which makes her tenure, the third longest in the court.

         “Only two of the girls from the head office have been here longer than I have.”

           She said she had seen her fair share of strange occurences.

          “We had one bombing, two fires, a broken sprinkler system, and of course the car crash that happened a few months back. I’m glad that one happened at night, considering how busy the lobby gets during the day.”

          “We also deal with some pretty rude or ‘interesting’ characters on , well I wouldn’t say daily but definitely a weekly basis.”

           After Gallant ended the tour, she gave the students directions to courtroom No. 8, which was holding a hearing at the time.

     The students (mysef included) were surprised to see a young man enter the court room in shackles. It was quite surreal. He was facing multiple charges, including drug possession, impaired driving, public intoxication, and public mischief.

      The man pleaded guilty to all charges but with the time he had already served and the defendant’s willingness to improve his situation in life, the judge sentenced him to pay a $1,000 fine, a $100 fine, 12 months probation, and spend four days in the provincial correctional centre. His drivers licence is also suspended for 12 months.

        It is safe to say that these students will not forget their first day in court.                          

 

                                                                                                               

           

 

Holland Steppers sell sweets for an even sweeter cause

April 20, 2009

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Holland College Stepper Barbara Henry, working at the bake sale to raise money for the Run For the Cure. Conway Photo.

 

   The boardroom of Montgomery Hall was filled with people looking to buy the delicious baked goods of the Holland College Steppers to help fund breast cancer research on April 8.

    The Holland College Steppers is a group of 32 people who are Holland College staff members, retirees, and a few family and friends who participate in the CIBC run for the cure, said bake sale organizer Barbara Henry.

    “The Holland College Steppers have been together for four years now and since then we have organized six fundrasing events a year, which include plant sales, pickle and preserve sales, chili cook offs, and bake sales.”

     Henry said everything at the bakesale is handmade by members of the steppers.

     Henry worked at the Charlottetown Centre of Holland College until about two years ago when she retired but she returns to the campus every now and again to see some old friends and raise money for the Steppers.

      She said she remembers her time at the college fondly.

      “My time here was excellent and I would like to say how I am impressed I am with the folks here at Holland College for working as hard as they do and for being as helpful as they are with the fund raisers.”

       Shirley Gallant from Computer Services at Holland College is also a member of the Holland College Steppers. She said the group has had one main goal since it was formed four years ago.

       “The purpose of the group is to raise awareness for the Breast Cancer Foundation and to raise money for breast cancer research.”

     Gallant, like Henry, said the bake sale is only one of the different fund-rasiers which the steppers organize throughout the year.

       “We also held a silent auction at the bake sale as well. We also have barbecues, a garden sale in which we sell some nice plants that we had grown and dug up. And we have held lunches as well, like the Chili Cook Off we had in the cafeteria last month.”

        Gallant said she enjoys her time as a member of the Holland College Steppers.

        “We have a lot of get togethers before the sales and do the cooking and we get together before the Run for the Cure as well, to just relax and have fun.”  

   

 

           

            

 

Island New Democrats offered hope in leadership conference finale: First elected NDP Quebec MP speaks; Rodd is elected leader

April 20, 2009

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Quebec MP Thomas Mulcair, speaking to his fellow NDPers during Provincial leadership conference in Charlottetown. Conway Photo.

 

      Newly elected provincial NDP leader James Rodd vowed to form government in Prince Edward Island and used guest speaker Thomas Mulcair, who is the first NDP MP to ever be elected in Quebec as a prominent example that it is possible.

      Before was offically announced as the leader for Island New Democrats at the NDP leadership conference on April 4, Mulcair delivered a message of hope to his fellow NDPers.

      His speech began with an offer of hope to his fellow New Democrats in attendance at the conference.

      “Stephen Harper for all of his gloom and doom may have won the federal election but the NDP had its best showing ever and we should never forget that.”

       The Quebec MP’s message of hope for a New Democrat to be elected in P.E.I. was the perfect lead in for the newly elected provincial leader James Rodd’s acceptance speech, where he offered the same sentiment.

      Mulcair said the growth of the NDP in Quebec has to do with the idealogies of the Conservatives and Liberals.

       “The Conservatives are more Conservative than ever. They have become a group of idealogues who act without thinking out their next step.”

        “The Liberals don’t believe in anything. Ignatieff is more or a less a Conservative but has changed his opinions when he was running for the Liberal leadership.”

         Mulcair ran down a list of items Ignatieff had changed his mind about over the course of his leadership.

        “Ignatieff called for the need of imperial law, during his time at Harvard. He called for Canada to get involved in the war in Iraq in 2003.”

       “He may be trying to show his Liberalism but this is the same man who voted for a budget that cut the equal pay for women in this country and the protection of Navaho water is also gone now because of that budget. Liberals signing the Kyoto accord is more like a PR stunt.”

        Mulcair didn’t spare Ignatieff’s feelings as he made a rather sharp observation at the expense of the Liberal party about their sense of entitlement.

        “Liberal’s feel all they have to do is show up for an election and they would at least walk out with second place. They only look out for number one and not the Canadian people.”

        Mulcair said he knows the people of Quebec are not happy with the way both Liberals and Conservatives have been running the government.     

        “In Quebec, people were beginning to realize there was another option out there and it will happen here in P.E.I. as well.”

         This is the time for NDPers to provide Canadians with hope and perhaps it is time to speak of the party’s vision for Canada, he said.

        “The NDP is the federal party with the best record for having a balanced budget and a will to act on people’s behalf during what could be the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.”

         He said with Harper being the real deal for the Conservatives and The Liberals voting with him, it is a great opportunity for the New Democratic Party.

         “It is you who helps us push forward. The rise in the amount of people who vote NDP is real. Make people realize it, just like we did in Quebec.”

          After Mulcair’s speech, Rodd shook his hand and presented him with a lovely painting of a P.E.I. sunset. Party members then voted on who would fill each of the leadership positions in the party.

          Rodd was elected as the provincial party leader after running unopposed. After he was officially elected as leader, shared Mulcair’s message of hope for the NDP.

           He began by congratulated the executive branch of the party, which he called fresh because there are five women members.

           “I am really looking forward to working with the executive, as we continue to push the policies of our party forward that we have started here today.”

           He asked how the party could invest in its people, and its communities and make them viable, strong and self reliant?

           “It is not going to be easy because our previous governments, the Liberal and Conservative governments have negelected the rural community, which was once a source of wealth and an economic generator for our entire economy but that source of wealth is gone.”

           He said the source of wealth in the area is gone because the infrastructure is gone and the services aren’t there anymore.

         “The wages haven’t been keeping up so you have young people and middle-aged people and people of all ages leaving the rural communities to urban areas and if not, they are leaving the Island entirely.”

          “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to welcome back the wisdom and the energy and the wealth that these Islanders have garnered while leaving P.E.I. and then bring them back to advise us to rekindle our economy with their help.”

        Rodd began to focus on the energy usage in the province. He said the province uses approximately $700 million on petroleum products in a year.

        “It is a staggering amount of dollars to be spending by Islanders on transportation, heating feul and other things. So energy is going to be something that this party is ahead on. We are going to present policies that will create energy that is to the net benefit of Islanders and would be a change to what we are currently experiencing.”

         He asked his fellow party members what can they as a party look forward to the months and years ahead.

         “What I am seeing here is that we have a lot of work to do. But I always have considered myself a team player and I entend to keep it that way. The work that we do both within the party and with Islanders, is to incorporate team work with mutual respect, with equality, with sharing, with caring, and balance.”

          “That is what will distinguish us from other political parties in the end and that is what I belevie will give us an advantage.”

           The party will have to make an extra effort to reach out to Islanders and to invite them and encourage them to join with the NDP to improve our democracy and our government, he said.

           “But there is a great deal of cynicism created by both the Liberal and Conservative parites, which draws a lot of people, particulary young people away from voting or to participate in public affiars. This undermines our democracy.”

       He said they must let the people know that they are not like the other parties before offering his message of hope:

         Rodd then took off his jacket.

        “I’m going to roll up my sleeves, how many of you out there are willing to roll up your sleeves? We have a lot of work to do. We want to engage people and bring in the kind of policies to give people the alternative to vote for and the only way to do it is to do some hard work right here and now.”  

rodd-sleeves

New provincial NDP leader, James Rodd rolls up his sleeves  to help Islanders as he asks the NDP to do so to. Conway Photo.

 

        “Make no mistake, ladies and gentlemen, we will form government on Prince Edward Island. There are many out there who will tell you that it won’t happen and that Islanders will not vote in a New Democratic government but I will remind them that is what they said about Saskatchewan before Tommy Douglas proved them wrong, that’s what they said in Manitoba, in British Columbia, in the Yukon, in Ontario, and Quebec. It is also what there cousins in Nova Scotia are saying where we have Darell Dexter as a government in waiting.”