Open Tables

It took about four hours of effort, but I cleaned the print shop this week, in preparation for a tour this afternoon. I touched things I hadn’t touched since I moved them in. The label maker was involved.

It feels good to have open tables again.

The IWMC App is Broken

Island Waste Management, which handles compost and recycling pickup on Prince Edward Island, has an mobile app that, among other things, can send me alerts about which cart to put at the curb when.

Our pickup day has been Tuesday since time immemorial, but last night I got an alert that waste had switched to Thursday, with compost remaining on Tuesday.

I called IWMC, confused, only to learn “the app is being worked on,” and Tuesday remains the day for both.

So if the app is telling you something different than you expect, double check to make sure — 1-888-280-8111.

The one where Annamie Paul’s car window finally goes up…

The day didn’t start off unusually: I got up, had a shower, made breakfast, made lunch for Olivia, had a cup of coffee.

I was about to head out the door when I got a text from Darcie Lanthier, Green candidate for Charlottetown:

Can I call you?”, she asked.

I’ll call you in five!”, I replied.

I called back. Darcie wanted to know if I could drive Green Party leader Annamie Paul around the Island today in my electric car, supporting a visit that came together only in the previous 24 hours.

I told her I’d call her back in 15.

I quickly rescheduled my dentist appointment, and checked in with a friend who had an electric car with considerably more range than mine to see about borrowing it; he agreed without hesitation. I texted work colleagues to let them know I’d be out for the day.

I was in!

I called Darcie back.

Meet Annamie at Charlottetown Airport at noon,” she instructed.

Which is how I came to be driving Annamie Paul from Charlottetown to Victoria to Albany to Freetown and back today. It was a delightful and unexpected opportunity to contribute to the Green campaign, and a chance to sit inside the eye of the national campaign hurricane for the day.

Beyond that, it was a chance to get to know Annamie, to watch her campaign up close, to hear her give interviews from the back seat of the car, to see how she relates to people, to understand her grasp of the issues and their nuances, and witness her prodigious communication skills and equally prodigious intelligence.

The last few months have not been, I imagine, an easy time to be the leader of the Green Party of Canada: the party appeared to be eating itself alive, with a federal council—the secular arm of the party, so to speak—seemingly at war with the leader, for reasons unknown and opaque even to we members.

And so it hasn’t been an easy time to be a member either: who wants to be a member of an apparently deeply-dysfunctional party, incapable of even governing its own affairs. I felt my own enthusiasm waning over the summer, and wasn’t certain I’d participate in the next campaign, or even vote Green.

But yet here I am, doing both.

Why?

First, as I’ve written before, I strongly believe that Darcie, my local Green candidate, is the candidate most qualified for the job.

Second, I read the Green Platform, and found myself saying an emphatic yes to the plans it lays out—canceling oil pipelines, ending fossil fuel extraction, getting to net zero ASAP, investing in coop housing, introducing a guaranteed livable income, concrete action on reconciliation—seeing my priorities reflected in them; a systematic, bold, integrated approach to tackling the issues of the day.

Third, I realized that the party’s internal struggles don’t, for all immediate electoral intents and purposes, matter: we’re in the business of getting capable private members elected, in support of a strong platform backed by a bedrock of solid values, not running a railroad, nor, for the time-being at least, forming a government. Participatory democracy is a Green core value, and participatory democracy is, by times, messy and chaotic and fractious and capable of pulling people away from their better natures. This messy chaotic fractious internal season shall pass, I am convinced; the essential nature of the party remains true, and it will endure, renewed. And perhaps falter and renew again in the future. It’s a feature, not a bug.

And finally, today, seeing Annamie in action, and realizing that the collaborative style of politics she espouses, the intelligence she brings to bear, the humility and awareness of her own limitations she demonstrates, they are the kind of leadership we need for these polarized times.

Toward the end of our day on the road, Annamie was having trouble getting the window in the back of the car to stay up: every time she’d press the button to make the window go up, it would, indeed, go up. And then go right back down again. I tried from the front seat: same thing. She tried again: same thing. Finally, I pulled the car over, we all took a breath, and she tried it one more time: the window went up and stayed up.

No better a metaphor, I would like to think, for Annamie Paul’s political life, and for the fortunes of the party she leads.

Yes, I like piña coladas, and gettin’ caught in the rain

The Achilles heel of a cycling-not-driving active transportation lifestyle is the rain, because riding a bicycle in the rain is clearly impossible.

And yet it’s not!

I snarfed up a half-price pair of rain pants from Sporting Intentions this summer, and I’ve been keeping them in abeyance for hurricaney days like today.

And I gotta tell you, with a well-fitting rain jacket, a bicycle helmet, and the rain pants on, cycling in the rain is eminently possible: I suited up and cycled across downtown to The Shed for my regular afternoon coffee this afternoon, and discovered that whatever it is that makes cycling in the rain impossible is completely mitigated by the gear. I arrived happy and dry and, dare I say, extra-refreshed.

My rainy cycle was rendered slightly safer by the presence of a new billion-foot-candle red flashing light on the back (adding to the million-food-candle flashing white light already on the front), newly-acquired from MacQueen’s.

Provincial” Credit Union

Provincial Credit Union, where I’ve been doing my banking for almost 30 years, is amidst a merge with several other PEI credit unions. The question of naming the merged entity was raised to the combined membership earlier in the summer, and the suggestions were of a nature only someone skilled in naming startup companies could love: I’ve put them out of my mind, but they were names like ExtrivaBenefico, Xsmortootha. One of the options, though, was to gather under the legacy Provincial name, and that received my vote.

As such, I was happy to read this morning that it was the clear winner:

We heard you loud and clear. 

An overwhelming majority of members surveyed from each of the four legacy credit unions indicated Provincial Credit Union as their top name choice for the new credit union. 
We are ready to embrace the name Provincial Credit Union and to build on the success of our legacy credit unions to better serve you and your community 

Thank goodness.

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