Thursday, January 8, 2009

Corn in the Cobb... but not at the Social..

It's a great attribute to always aspire to big things... I've always understood that Gordon was mentoring himself as a future Liberal political representative…. I understand he was seriously thinking of taking a run at Ghiz for the Liberal leadership back in 2003.... I think when the Liberals took power in 2007 both parties got together and switched some political jobs around.... Cobb who got to ACOA when the Liberals were in power was "traded" for someone from the Binns administration..... Yes I'm pretty sure Gordon "quietly" asked people to be "removed" AS HE WANTED THEIR JOB... and now that he hasn't got it.... well you figure it out but he’s now back to work at ACOA.... maybe there is a "top job" there ... but don’t expect to see him at the Strawberry Social anytime soon…
Senior adviser quits controversial immigration program
Thursday, January 8, 2009
CBC News
A senior adviser to P.E.I. Innovation Minister Richard Brown has quit over what he calls the mishandling of the provincial nominee program.
'I suggested quietly to him that Brooke MacMillan and Bill Dow should be removed from the file.'— Gordon Cobb
Gordon Cobb was seconded from the federal government for a three-year term to work on the PNP and some other programs, but Cobb told CBC News Wednesday his concerns over the PNP led to his departure in December after just one year.
The PNP allowed foreign investors to fast-track Canadian visas by putting up $200,000, some of which was invested in P.E.I. companies.
But many investors had no involvement in those companies. The federal government said that violated its rules, and Cobb suggested the province come up with guidelines to have the program conform. A consultant's report also made the same recommendation.
But Cobb said two people close to the premier's office, then deputy minister Brooke MacMillan, and Charlottetown lawyer Bill Dow, resisted changes to the program, and he urged Brown to take the two men off the file.
"When Richard's asking me about the feds and about what we should do for a followup, I said, 'Well, technically to get things going here, we need a brand-new approach to this,' and I suggested quietly to him that Brooke MacMillan and Bill Dow should be removed from the file."
Conflict of interest alleged
Cobb also said he doesn't think MacMillan or any MLAs should have received money under the immigrant program, but that did happen.
"I was just extremely uncomfortable and that was another one of the things that was driving my decision in December," he said.
Brooke Macmillan left the Innovation Department in August to become CEO of the liquor commission, receiving investment money from the PNP shortly afterward. The province's conflict of interest commissioner has ruled Macmillan and the MLAs were not in a conflict, but Cobb believes the laws have to be changed.
A disgruntled employee
Cobb has taken his concerns to P.E.I.'s auditor general, who is looking into the program.
Premier Robert Ghiz called Cobb a disgruntled employee, and said Islanders should wait for the auditor general's report into the PNP.
"It's unfortunate that Mr. Cobb wants to make accusations. Obviously the auditor general's going to have all access to these files, and it will be up to the auditor general to come forward and present the facts," said Ghiz.
Ghiz said the report will contain a balanced view of the operation of the program.


Anonymous said...

your comment doesn't make sense. There was no election in 2003 in canada, and in pei that year, the tories won again... so please explain why there would be a need to "trade" people. It was the status quo.

And it's my understanding that Cobb didn't move over to the province until the Liberals won the last election in PEI.

Perhaps you meant the last provincial election? Regardless, great blog, but this comment is perplexing to say the least.

I think he is just probably the only rat who is able to get off the ship because he has a pretty good cushion with a cushy federal government job to go back to.

Anonymous said...

You're a Liberal hack and everyone knows it

Anonymous said...

Gordon Cobb was on Prince Edward Island in the Fall of 2005, as he was quoted extensively (often out of the both sides of his mouth) criticizing the electoral reform proposal being debated that season.

And I agree with the good Mr. Banks that he's clearly just doing this for his own political advancement.

Might he be joining his cousin Olive on the blue team? If that were the case, this would be exactly what one would do ...