Today I threw in the towel. It was clear that I couldn’t carry on indefinitely trying to juggle all these balls simultaneously. So I ran up the white flag: cashed in my chips: laid down my arms: packed it in: gave up the ghost: took the count: ate humble pie.

I have been a dentist for over 30 years, and it’s a job I love: I’ve even become quite good at it, if I do say so myself. But despite my best efforts to maintain my office in Hampton, and carry out my duties as MLA for district 17 and leader of the Island Green Party, I have decided to hang up my drills. On Thursday I sold my dental clinic.

It has been an agonizing decision, but I have concluded that changing the political culture of a whole province is not a part-time job.

It has become abundantly clear that if my success at being elected last year is to mean anything beyond a quirky footnote in Island political history, I will need to devote myself entirely to the job of building the Island Green Party, and dedicating this next part of my life in working toward the vibrant, healthy, sustainably prosperous Island which is the clear vision of the Party I represent.

Of course such a vision is not entirely new: Premier Angus MacLean, for one, imagined just such an Island back in the 1970s and 80s. It has been a long time, though, since an Island Party looked at our rural regions as a primary source of our future well-being. For over 30 years Prince Edward Island has attempted to mimic the development patterns of the rest of the world, with decidedly mixed results. And now, as we watch the rest of the world dealing with the consequences of decades of centralization, over-exploitation of natural resources, social malaise, and increasing economic fragility, perhaps we need to strike out on a different development path; one more suited to our unique situation.

Islanders have shown a willingness to vote for new parties — but I’d like to suggest that in so doing, we weren’t necessarily voting for a new set of values. The Green Party echoes long-standing Island traditions of care of the land, social cohesion, modest living and economic creativity. I think it’s time to revive some old ideals and in this rising sea of global despair, create an Island of well-being.

-Peter

 

29 Comments

  1. John Reynolds 11 July 2016 at 2:29 pm

    Wishing you all the best in your new (slightly less hectic?) life. If there is one thing I remember about you from back when, it is that you are passionate and committed to those things you believe in. Your riding could not have a better MLA. Looking forward to following you in the years ahead. Rev. John

     
  2. Rita Stanley 11 July 2016 at 2:32 pm

    so sorry to hear you have given up the dentistry office. Good luck in your new phase in life. All the best in the future. i know we have lost a great dentist but gained a good politician. Will miss you as my dentist. Rita

     
  3. Marie Nantes 11 July 2016 at 2:42 pm

    The community has lost a first rate dentist. One with not only expertise, but a warm caring humourous personality to match. You will be missed Dr Bevan Baker, but as a voter in District 17, I know that the district and the community is celebrating that you are now….a full time politician. Go, Peter
    , go!!

     
  4. marcelle roy 11 July 2016 at 2:46 pm

    Congratulations Peter on this enormous decision! P.E.I. will be all the richer for your tireless efforts and vision for social justice and sustainability.

     
  5. Ron Boudreau 11 July 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Life’s choices are seldom easy, but here’s hoping that your enthusiasm for the Green Party is contagious
    \

     
  6. Walter Wilkins 11 July 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Another lad just down the road from Aberdeen, Robert Louis Stevenson, once said, “Judge each day not by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.” I’ll add to that: So what if the seeds you now plant were picked from the teeth of your patients?

    Be it the cleansing of plaque or politics, many Islanders have full confidence that you know “the drill” well enough. May you also find happiness for yourself in this new time you’ve now found to do more work for others!

     
  7. Joseph Clark Sherren 11 July 2016 at 2:54 pm

    Oh Darn NO. You are the best. But, of course you also needed in our Government as one with thoughtful wisdom. I wish you all the best!

     
  8. Rosemary White 11 July 2016 at 2:59 pm

    Thank you for your public service. We need more like you.

     
  9. Jim Honsberger 11 July 2016 at 2:59 pm

    Congratulations Peter!! Good for you in refocusing !!

     
  10. Garth Carragher 11 July 2016 at 3:31 pm

    Congratulations Sir!!

     
  11. irishroverpei 11 July 2016 at 3:41 pm

    Well done PETER now you can concentrate on the job at hand. Build a strong and formidable green party. For the island for islanders. Out with the old in with the new

     
  12. olivepei 11 July 2016 at 3:44 pm

    All the best in your new venture Peter

     
  13. JenG. 11 July 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Thank you for your dedication to the Green Party! I have so much hope for island politics now that you are a part of them.

     
  14. Bill Kays 11 July 2016 at 3:58 pm

    Let’s call it what it is, a SACRIFICE, and hopefully for the people’s best interests.The people should now consider you a prime candidate in the next election. I know you had mixed feelings about it, but I am sure this is the right decision for the people of PEI. Time will tell if it is the right decision for you. As a full time servant of the people, we will expect you to be making the right decisions for the people’s benefit, rather than corporate benefit. Doing the right thing has its own rewards. Voting for the people’s best interests in the Legislature will go a long way in building the people’s trust. The people are craving an honest, truthful man that they can trust. The next election should be between you and Mike Redmond NDP. I would be content with either of you as I believe the people can start to build a trust with either of you, as I consider you both honorable men.

     
  15. Kathy Doiron 11 July 2016 at 4:24 pm

    Congratulations, Peter! We are so lucky to have you as leader of the Green Party!

     
  16. aqualight 11 July 2016 at 4:28 pm

    Thank you, sincerely. Blessings and success will be yours.

     
  17. jean Willcock 11 July 2016 at 5:13 pm

    Oh no, my worst nightmare!

     
  18. Sharlene MacLean 11 July 2016 at 6:35 pm

    Thank you Peter.

     
  19. Rose Barbour 11 July 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Thank you for your dedication! I wish you all the best.

     
  20. Chester H Llewellyn 11 July 2016 at 7:26 pm

    well to be quite honest, i was not a full believer in the Green Party , but due to the last election our choices for either PC or Liberal were non-existent ie a suitable representative so i voted Green ……..first time I broke ranks……but you honed in on some good points and we need to refocus and redifine the loss in the past 60 years of PEI politics which have been embolden with self service, gratification and entitlement at the taxpayers expense and an erronous affront developement with hiding ” behind the Legislature and could say anything inside the House and not be held accountable on any vocal issue including outright lies and corruptuion……enough is enough if you can lead the way then I will make a change in my voting and can convince others to do the same……….the snake oil reps just do not cut it…….Unless Honesty, Accountability and Transparency become everyday words we use as action in getting results as walked out then it will be a lost process………i believe that only you and Mike Redmond have what it takes to make this happen…….you will not stand alone at the end of the day if you make this happen……just awesome the thought of ” An Honest Broker ” and not going to the trough on his way to work.:)

     
  21. Martha Robinson 11 July 2016 at 7:51 pm

    Congratulations, Peter. Wishing you all the best. Your patients will surely miss you – you ARE an extraordinary dentist – but the whole island will be served by your decision.

     
  22. ivan taylor 11 July 2016 at 8:08 pm

    good luck Peter your new job takes a lot of time

     
  23. Val 11 July 2016 at 9:14 pm

    Your personal and professional integrity and kindness, combined with your passion and devotion for your party principals will surely result in some wonderful possibilities for PEI. A difficult decision, a loss for your patients, but a greater gain for Islanders! Thank you for being who you are, and all the best in achieving your wonderful vision!

     
  24. Alan Buchanan 11 July 2016 at 10:45 pm

    Thank you for your dedication to the political and social betterment of our province, Peter. We are extremely fortunate to have people of your integrity and intelligence offer for public office.

     
  25. Carol Thompson 12 July 2016 at 4:21 am

    As a very selfish person I wish you could do both, but am thrilled that building the Green Party was your choice however I can’t see that hanging up the drill will give you any more free time. Being the person you are you will probably be working longer and harder to try to meet your goals. I will not wish you luck because luck has nothing to do with what I know you will achieve.

     
  26. Marcella Bradley Byrne 12 July 2016 at 5:32 am

    This must have been hard to do but you are such a “breathe of fresh air” pun intended, that I’m glad you are going to work towards building a greener island for all of us and instill your values in others to join in representing our province.

     
  27. Sharon Sawyer 12 July 2016 at 6:57 am

    Peter, we will miss your wonderful, friendly, office staff and your gentle dentistry. You may be the only dentist in North America that your patients look forward to visiting! You’re doing a great job as our MLA, and environmental issues must take first place when we live on such a beautiful island and delicate ecosystem that must be looked after. Good luck to you, Peter–you’re a great friend, dentist, member of our community, and MLA.

     
  28. Mary Lea Gray 12 July 2016 at 3:22 pm

    Thank you for having the courage to give up your dental career and take on a political career for the betterment of the people of Prince Edward Island. Back in the 1930’s, ’40’s to mid ’50s my father (Alan Stewart) of Strathgartney dedicated his life to the political scene of PEI – at that time he felt he had no other choice that he could live. Thank you again.

     
  29. Bev Wells 12 July 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Peter, I think that you have always been one who needs to be successful at what you do but you also maintain a very healthy outlook on what’s important. It’s a funny thing to say to a dentist perhaps, but you are putting your money where your mouth is. I have every expectation that PEI will, with your guidance, be an example for greening in a reasonable, sustainable, sensible manner. You go!

     

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