Please note. This event took place on February 25, 2020, before calls of self-distancing were in place.

On behalf of Mark Woermke, President of District 25, O’Leary-Inverness New Democrats, I wanted to thank all those who expressed interest, contributed, attended and participated in our annual general meeting (AGM) at the Ellerslie Legion on Saturday afternoon, February 25, 2020.

Jason Alward, our provincial president, attended the meeting providing an update on activities of the Island New Democrats, and oversaw the election of officers for the District 25 executive.

Sophia Kreuzkamp, our guest speaker, gave an inspiring presentation relating her successful organizational work in British Columbia in electing, and working with New Democrats advancing progressive policies to help people on the West Coast.  We are very fortunate that Sophia and her husband have moved to the Island and she has joined our provincial executive.

Mark Woermke, president of the District 25 New Democrats, chaired the overall meeting and shared his perspectives.

Sharon Dunn, treasurer of District 25, and Egmont New Democrat candidate in the 2019 federal election, provided a financial update for our riding association.

Our newly elected 2020 District 25, O’Leary-Inverness Executive is:

• Mark Woermke                  President

• Bayfield Dyment                Vice-President

• Sharon Dunn                      Treasurer

• Heidi Ellis                            Secretary

• Amy Clements                   Youth Rep

• Herb Dickieson                  Provincial Council Rep

All committed to addressing the concerns, and promoting the interests of District 25 residents and Islanders. 

Many thanks to Nila Murray who prepared delicious lemon meringue cheesecake with cookies, Bayfield Dyment who generously provided coffee and to Gertie Morrison, manager of the Ellerslie Legion.

I was very happy to report progress on the Island New Democrat effort to ensure every Islander has a family doctor.  It was part of our 2019 Election Platform, and efforts have continued with the plan to:

• Facilitate hiring and retention of family physicians.

• Increase residency positions for new doctors to complete their education on the Island.

• Establish a Medical Faculty at the University of Prince Edward Island.

Through seeking and receiving the support of Charlottetown, Summerside, many Island town and rural municipalities, several federal Member of Parliament candidates (two now elected), meeting with Island political leaders and cabinet ministers, as well as President Alaa Abd-El-Aziz of UPEI and making public presentations as the one to the Health and Social Development Committee of the Legislature, some results are evident including:

• More government recruitment efforts bringing doctors to O’Leary, Kensington and Crapaud.

• An increase in Island medical residency positions from five to seven this year.

• Growing support, and now UPEI research of the medical faculty concept led by President Aziz.

We are now pushing the issue one step further by gathering signatures for a formal petition to present to the Legislature to facilitate physician recruitment, increase residency positions and to establish a medical faculty at the University of Prince Edward Island (see attachment).

Some our members have taken petition forms to get more signatures.  Please call me if you wish to get involved (902) 856-0259.

Thanks again for your continuing interest and support.

Dr. Herb.