Saturday, February 28, 2009

Valerie's the tan....

I don't know what the big deal is all about... I've been trying to get a meeting with Valerie since January 23, 2008 and she still hasn't been able to find any time to meet.... now I've been working hard for the Liberal Party since 1970 long before she knew how to spell "liberal" and she still hasn't been able to fit me in for a meeting, so what's the big deal... why should she have to explain anything to taxpayers anyway... remember the $400,000.00 wasn't really taxpayer's money as "it came out of another program"... especially when it might interfere with her vacations... I think I'll swing over to the account's committee on March 4th and if I can't get a meeting with her maybe she'll at least give me a Crybush membership....
Tourism minister's day book released
The Guardian
A P.E.I. man who became the first in the province to demand to see a provincial minister’s day book has been granted his wish.Earlier this week, Dan Aiken of Charlottetown was handed 10 pages outlining Tourism Minister Valerie Docherty’s schedule for the period between Jan. 19 and March 27. But the day book is short on details, with many appointments blacked out. Docherty is also on holidays for three weeks of the 10-week period contained in Aiken’s Freedom of Information request, which means there are no appointments during that three-week period. Aiken made the request after the tourism minister said she couldn’t appear before a legislative standing committee investigating provincial government losses at a rock concert for up to eight weeks because she was too busy. After reviewing the day book, Aiken is convinced now more than ever that Docherty could have met with the public accounts committee “There is a significant amount of information that is blacked out,” said Aiken, who is president of the Conservative Campus Club. “But frankly, I think honesty is the best policy and from what I see in this document I’m not convinced the minister was being honest. I think the minister could have met with the public accounts committee a lot sooner than March 25 as she had originally specified and even sooner than March 4 when she has agreed to attend.” Aiken made his request late last month after staff in Docherty’s office said the minister wouldn’t be able to appear before the public accounts committee until March 25. That committee wants to know more about the provincial government's decision to fund the failed Alanis Morissette concert. The concert lost more than $400,000 in taxpayers’ money. Docherty said she’s not dodging the public accounts committee, and she said the whole story was never told about her schedule. In an earlier interview, the tourism minister said she was given four dates over an eight-week period to appear before the public accounts committee. She said she wasn’t available for three of those four dates. There was never an option to choose other dates, she added.“I was given four dates. The four dates coincided with items that I just could not reschedule, one of which was a personal test at the hospital,’’ said Docherty, who is a cancer survivor. “The unfortunate thing is the way it was reported made it sound like I absolutely had nothing available. “But it wasn’t like, ‘you pick the date.’ I was offered dates that conflicted, that’s all.’’ Docherty is on vacation and out of the province. She could not be reached for comment Friday. The P.E.I. legislature confirms that Docherty will now appear before the public accounts committee on March 4 at 10:30 a.m. Aiken believes there was a concerted effort by the tourism minister to avoid the public accounts committee, something the tourism minister flatly denies. “With this documentation here before us today, we can see that there was numerous opportunities for her to meet with the public accounts committee,” said Aiken.

The jigg is up....and eventually so will the taxes...

I spoke about this before but I'm pretty sure that Credit Union Place is one of the contributing factors that is putting pressure on the City of Summerside to raise taxes and if not this year, next for sure. Simply put the City like a lot of other small communities set out with good intentions to develop a community health scheme for their citizens that they could sell to Governments to help finance the capital costs. Unfortunately there always seem to be something that gets in the way of any good "public" plan and in this case it was in spades.... they started out with a budget $15,000,000 and spent about $40,000,000... they probably could have put it in a better location from an awareness point of view.... they miscalculated the fundraising drive... and due to this current economy there probably will be less market demand and higher operating costs than originally projected... and now they are "stuck" with it and after the Canada Games and there will probably be no more capital funding partners…. and no new real revenue opportunities due to a slowing economy and that's when tax hikes will probably catch up to them... and it may not be very pretty for the Summerside taxpayer...
Crunch time for Summerside financial decisions
Transcontinental Media
SUMMERSIDE - It’s decision-making time for Summerside city council. With funding applications in and consultations complete, council now has to decide how to dole out funding in its 2009 budget. Finance committee chair Bruce MacDougall admitted with the current economic slowdown, this year’s budget may be council’s most difficult to prepare. "We’re like every other community; we’re faced with our challenges. We’re going to do the best that we can with the resources we have right now." MacDougall’s giving no assurances tax hikes won’t be in the cards. "It’s been a number of years since we’ve had a tax increase. That’s our last resort," he added. "We’re probably at a point where we’ve got to take a good look at that way of thinking. Things are getting tough... There just seems to be less and less resources." If residential, water, electric or sewer rate increases are in the works, they’ll be nowhere near what the Community of Borden-Carleton is proposing. But, he added, Summerside is among the municipalities across Canada struggling to maintain water and sewer utilities. "If the costs are going up, the rates have to go up. If the costs are going down, the rates are probably going down," said MacDougall. The 2008 city budget totalled $36.8 million and included money for the 2009 Canada Games, to upgrade utilities and $320,000 in funding for community groups and organizations, such as the Boys and Girls Club and Harbourfront Theatre. This year, the city received 40 such applications. Unfortunately, many won’t see money. "Everybody states their case and council, in their wisdom, has to go through it every year and put that money where we figure we are getting the best value," said MacDougall. "In times like these, do we increase that? I can’t see it really." City roads and streets continue to be priorities and money must be put into the ditch infilling program, added the finance committee chair. But, cautioned MacDougall, although more equalization funding is coming from the Province, it doesn’t mean the city is spending more in its budget. "There are lots of things that we have on the go that we’re funding," said MacDougall, refusing to hint to any big announcements. "There’s always good news in the budget." The budget will come down March 19 at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

No Speaky English..... No Money Back Guaranteed...

Talk about milking a story... in fact what is the news story here... every day people enter into a contract and every day there is the odd dispute... in fact I'm pretty sure there are quite a few people who would love to be able show up on the doorstep of their financial institutions and complain that they didn't understand the investment shares they bought had risky conditions and now they want their money back... try showing up tomorrow and occupying the offices at one of our chartered banks with a bunch of your friends and just see how quick would you be hauled away in a Paddywagon... and that's exactly what should happen here... haul them away and if they have a legitimate case then they can do what the rest of us would have to do and that is settle it out in court.... simply put they signed an agreement and they have to live up to that agreement...
Chinese immigrants still protesting for deposit
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
CBC News
About 40 Chinese immigrants were back at the offices of P.E.I.'s Business Development Corporation Monday seeking the return of deposits for learning to speak English.
They put up $20,000 when they immigrated — money that was to be returned after they passed an English proficiency test. They believe the province has arbitrarily raised the standard, but officials say the standards haven't changed.
The immigrants had protested last week and had been promised a meeting with officials this morning. The meeting was cancelled due to weather.
At least one of the protesters has a meeting scheduled for Tuesday with Innovation Minister Allan Campbell about the controversy.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
CBC News
About 40 Chinese immigrants were back at the offices of P.E.I.'s Business Development Corporation Monday seeking the return of deposits for learning to speak English.
They put up $20,000 when they immigrated — money that was to be returned after they passed an English proficiency test. They believe the province has arbitrarily raised the standard, but officials say the standards haven't changed.
The immigrants had protested last week and had been promised a meeting with officials this morning. The meeting was cancelled due to weather.
At least one of the protesters has a meeting scheduled for Tuesday with Innovation Minister Allan Campbell about the controversy.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lesson time... time and time again...

Don't tell anyone but I'm pretty sure it was the Princess on the tractor joy ride and now that I see that the APM sign was smashed over... it has got to be her and what I want to know is where did she get the tractor?... I'm thinking Ronnie as he was at the "market" early Saturday morning and he seemed quite chipper and not a word on the missing tractor... I bought him a coffee and we talked about the great job he did on Compass the night before talking about all the highway resurfacing the Liberals were up to... if only a few of the folks around the Premier's office would take a lesson from Ronnie on how to get the good messages out... as it quite obvious they seem to be having trouble managing some positive PR... the thing about Ronnie is that he has always had some good old "grass root" voter instincts and has a knack for telling it like it is ... he could very well have been the guy on the tractor in the following story... and if he ever got caught he'd figure out some way of turning the tables on the media to give everyone the impression he was doing it for a good reason... and that's how you get re-elected, time and time again... and some of his other Government members should consider taking a few lessons from Ronnie....
RCMP seek errant tractor driver
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
CBC News
RCMP are looking for the driver of a tractor that caused damage around the town hall in Cornwall, just west of Charlottetown.
Police said they received a complaint early Saturday morning about a tractor being driven erratically along Lowther Drive in Cornwall. They investigated and discovered the damage.
"Someone in a vehicle came in off Lowther Drive and drove over the APM sign and then proceeded towards the town hall," town administrator Kevin McCarville told CBC News Monday.
"Drove into a guardrail, snapped it off the posts, proceeded over towards the town hall and ran over a tree and ran over the fenced-in area where we keep our garbage."
RCMP are asking anyone with information about the vandalism to call their local detachment or Crime Stoppers.

Monday, February 23, 2009

"The Time Has Come"...Through The Looking-Glass..

"The time has come," the Walrus said, "To talk of many things: Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--Of cabbages--and kings--And why the sea is boiling hot--And whether pigs have wings." ..... from the narrative poem "The Walrus and the Carpenter" by Lewis Carroll that appeared in his book Through the Looking-Glass, published in December 1871... and the only thing Carroll left out to talk about was the Provincial Nominee Program....
I heard that sometime today the Auditor General Colin Younker will deliver his report on the PNP's to Government where it will be quickly devoured by a very "tight" group in the Premier's office and then the "damage control" meetings will start to take place... and the silly part of it all is there won't be that much to talk about as the media has exasperated every possible angle of the story and laid guilt on all the Island Businesses that ever went near the program... don’t expect to see any surprises or a copy of the report out soon… my guess is two weeks… I found a copy of Carroll's poem to keep you all entertained while we all wait for the report to be released this poem kind of reminds me of the saga associated with the current PNP program....

Gerry boy... "get to work"....

I guess I must be a little slow on the uptake but I would have thought the Minister should be going to these meetings just to give the Boss and Caucus some feedback on the meetings not to mention the opportunity to give those in attendance the sense that Government is listening if nothing else... and don't our politicians get paid for this...
Minister to watch school-closure meetings from a distance
Friday, February 20, 2009
CBC News
P.E.I. Education Minister Gerard Greenan doesn't plan to attend any of the meetings scheduled by the Eastern School District to discuss the proposed closing of 11 schools. Greenan told CBC News Friday it probably wouldn't be possible for him to simply go as an observer.
"I probably might like to go as an observer, but I guess if I show up there then something like this happens, people are asking me all kinds of questions," he said.
"So it's best that I observe it from what I hear in the media, and that's how I've chosen to approach this."
A school board report has proposed closing the schools to deal with declining enrolments. The meetings are part of a six-week consultation process.
The next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday at Colonel Gray High School in Charlottetown.

I Saw Him At Walmart... with Joe Clark

I don't know which part of this story is the funniest.... the fact he was naive enough to show up or that he was probably there thinking he could build a bomb with the WD-40 and claim it as a weapon of mass destruction... I can't wait until tomorrow night when David Letterman gets a hold of this story...
Bush goes to hardware store that offered him job The Associated Press
DALLAS -- Former president George W. Bush has visited a Dallas hardware store that earlier this month made him a lighthearted offer to work as a greeter.
Andrea Bond, a manager at Elliott's Hardware, says Bush walked into the store Saturday and quipped that he was looking for a job.
The store had published an open letter to Bush, inviting him to apply for a store greeter position.
The tongue-in-cheek appeal appeared in the Dallas Morning News newspaper and its commuter-oriented sister publication, Quick.
Bond says Bush spent about an hour shopping and talking to customers during the surprise visit.
He bought a few flashlights, batteries and a can of WD-40.
He also bought night lights.
Bush and his wife, Laura, moved into a home in the Preston Hollow area of Dallas on Friday.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

"I'll Second That..." just a "money pit"...

I wouldn't necessarily call this a "Secret" report as it was more or less a NOFG business plan "Term Sheet" to raise money for working capital and to build a new plant elsewhere... brokers in Halifax and elsewhere were sending the report and term sheet off to people they thought might be potential investors... and I should know because I was sent an unsolicited "plan" and I also had an unsolicited call looking for "cash" to invest in this business... at the time I thought it was a pretty unusual as there was a lot of local talk that the "Company" was having some financial difficulties which was evidenced by the quick money Mr. Bagnall was throwing at them... and there was also some talk of building a new plant... what surprised me the most when looking over the "plan" was that locally there appeared to be a group of Island Hog Producers as the owners and they were "wearing their feelings on their sleeves" and we could all feel for them... yet when you read the report and in talking with the brokers there was little if any Island ownership, directors or management being played up in the business plan... it appeared clear these Quebec guys had a plan to grab the money and move the plant off Prince Edward Island and I'm pretty sure they weren't sharing that with the locals or Mr. Bagnall and his crowd.... the other surprising thing about the business plan was there was no owners "equity" or owner's cash invested in the plan and I suspect that is because the directors (outlined in the plan) hadn't put any money in the business themselves... as Mr. Bagnall had already did that with taxpayers' money and now there was none left to pay the executive salaries... and they weren't getting mine.... it was clear to me this crowd were "hoodwinking" the locals... I'm all for supporting local producers and local investment but this business in question "NOFG" was bleeding "cash" like a pig and the shareholders wouldn't, couldn't and hadn't put any of their own money into the operations.... they clearly couldn't raise it in the "public" marketplace and it appeared if they did they were hightailing it out of here anyway.... taxpayers’ should thank Premier Ghiz for putting an end to this "money pit"....
'Secret' NOFG report shows Quebec owners planned to invest elsewhere
The Guardian
Yet another ‘secret’ NOFG report surfaced at a public accounts committee meeting Wednesday as it continues its probe into the $4-million loss of provincial money in the Island’s former pork-processing plant.Several internal, ‘secret’ reports and addendums to reports have been trickling out of the hands of MLAs at public accounts for several weeks. This newest report, marked as a ‘confidential information memorandum’, contains the marketing and business strategy of the Quebec-owned Natural Organic Food Group Inc. (NOFG). It includes a plan by the Quebec owners to buy out the P.E.I. partners’ holdings in the company. It also discusses plans to build a new pork-processing plant — one that would not necessarily be built on P.E.I.MLA Charlie McGeoghegan, who brought this report forward Wednesday, said he views this information as “shocking.” “(The Quebec owners) didn’t put one penny into Garden Province Meats for NOFG in Charlottetown here on MacAleer Drive, not one penny for the $2.8 (million) in repairs for that,” McGeoghegan said during Wednesday’s public accounts meeting. “If anything, this report shows they were going to take the value-added process off of P.E.I.” P.E.I.’s former pork-processing plant was called into receivership in December 2007 when the province called in a loan the plant owners could not pay. It closed its doors permanently last March. The province’s auditor general investigated the plant’s finances and operations and found the plant was doomed from the start when the Quebec-owned NOFG, partnered with P.E.I. Pork Plus, took over the Garden Province Meats plant, formerly owned and operated by Maple Leaf. In his audit of the NOFG plant, Auditor General Colin Younker is highly critical of the millions in loans advanced to the company by government, despite $2.8 million in repairs that was needed but never supplied by NOFG.Without this capital financing, the plant bled money until it was finally called into receivership. But this newly acquired report, dated November 2007, shows the Quebec owners of NOFG were in the process of raising as much as $10 million — but not for the capital expenses required for their P.E.I. plant. They were planning to build a new pork-processing plant. “Construction is planned to start in early 2008 for completion towards the end of the year,” the report states. “The location for this facility will either be in the Canadian Maritime provinces or in Quebec.” This implies the proposed new plant would not have been built on P.E.I., McGeoghegan said. “There’s a lot of big questions about what they had planned, raising all this money and their intentions were not even for P.E.I.”Committee member and MLA Janice Sherry was highly critical of the Quebec owners exploring alternative plans while the previous government continually propped up P.E.I.’s plant with taxpayers’ money. “They walked off with how many hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayers’ money,” Sherry said, referring to almost $1 million paid out to the Quebec owners in salaries, bonuses, consulting fees and travel expenses. “These business owners from Quebec were obviously having a great time taking money out of the (P.E.I.) company with really no consideration of the hog industry on Prince Edward Island.” Public accounts has finished looking at the auditor general’s report on the plant but plans to continue investigating NOFG. The committee has called former agriculture minister Jim Bagnall, former provincial treasurer Mitch Murphy, who was in charge of the P.E.I. Lending Agency, as well as former development minister Mike Currie, to testify about key decisions in the province forwarding millions in unsecured loans to the company.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I Smell A Mayor's Job Opening Up.....unless he tones down his demands

O.K. .... I was a little harsh in the post below and I owe Kevin an apology... simple put he was brave enough to put his name out there and ran for politics and it's a pretty thankless job... everyone wants everything and in the case below it appears that 50 to 60 families want the rest of us to deliver up a couple of new schools and that's where I have the problem... who do they think should pay for them and if they want a school so bad then they should get themselves elected to the school board and deal with at that level... proving the demand to the school board instead of showing up and grand standing for CBC... and for Kevin there is probably nothing wrong with supporting everyone but he should pick his issues on what his Community really want as the majority turned down a new school during the last Provincial election when the Tories tried to "buy the seat" with one...
The following post has been modified.....
I Smell A Mayor's Job Opening Up..... if he doesn't start picking sensible issues and dealing with "today's economic reality"....
Just think about it...when Stratford gets those three big shinny eight storey condo towers, a new $50,000,000.00 Disney Downtown, a new high school, a new yacht club, a new junior high school, a new waste treatment facility, a new museum and soon enough you'll have a City.... they could then get a new "City Chain's of Office" (livery collar) like the one Basil sports around in Summerside....(the one in the "pic" went for $496,501. US dollars at a recent Christie's Auction).... it probably wouldn't hurt to install a few sidewalks and maybe the odd street light if there is any "coin" left over... here we have real people with real issues meeting to discuss ways to prevent their Communities from losing their schools and this Stratford School Crowd shows up demanding two new ones... clearly they don't grasp what happened to the last crowd that were going to "give away a new school".... the good people of Stratford voted them out and I suspect that is where Mr. Jenkins and some of Council will be will be after the next election if they don't start toning down their demands and living in today’s economic demands.... they "jacked" the price of owning a dog up to Toronto rates... awe the benefits of big City life.... taxes, taxes, taxes..
Bus rides too long for some Stratford students, mayor says
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
CBC News
More than 200 people turned up for the second meeting on possible school closures in P.E.I.'s Eastern School District, but this time building a new school was high on the agenda.
The district is looking at closing 11 of its 43 schools to deal with declining enrolment, but half the presentations at Tuesday night's meeting at Charlottetown Rural High School were arguments in favour of new schools in Stratford.
Most of the other discussion was concerned with Grand Tracadie Elementary, north of Charlottetown, which has just 30 students and is threatened with closure.
But while declining enrolments could shut down schools such as Grand Tracadie, Glen Stewart in Stratford is overflowing. The report recommending school closures also recommends a new school for elementary student in the town.
Mayor Kevin Jenkins made a plea for a junior high and a high school in the town. Currently kids are bused across the Hillsborough bridge to city schools.
"Some parents are reporting travel time of over one hour from Stone Park" said Jenkins.
"This extends the school day without bringing in any educational benefit, leaving less time for homework and after-school programs."
High schools not needed
While district superintendent Sandy Macdonald has expressed sympathy regarding long bus rides, suggesting the district implement a policy putting a cap on busing times, he does not support a new junior high or high school.
"The closest junior high school is just over a kilometre and a half away, so until that's fully utilized, you'll have a tough time convincing me we need a junior high school in Stratford," he said.
The next public consutation meeting will be held Tuesday at Colonel Gray in Charlottetown, giving parents from St. Jean and Parkdale, the two city schools slated to close, a chance to voice their concerns.

IRAC... a thorn in the side of progress...

I opened the Guardian today and seen an advertisement calling on Islanders for a "Public Consultations on the role of IRAC" and I was quite excited until I read the fine they are only looking for feedback on “the Commission's overall role in serving Islanders’ interests in the areas of energy costs and rent increases" and they left everything else out... if they are going to do a review why not a full review? So I fired off the following email to the Chair, Robert Henderson asking to have the Public Consultation expanded to include all aspects of IRAC's role in serving the public... now I expect Robbie to come back with some wishy-washy reply that will acknowledge that the Committee can't really stop what people are about to say but that doesn't really provoke people to show up and comment on anything beyond "energy and rent costs"... don't get me wrong as I believe these are important issues but there is a hell of a lot more "broken" with the IRAC process and the Government should be calling for more.... they had a "Red Tape Review" in 1996 and I've attached a copy of my presentation back then /REDTAPE%20REVIEW.PDF and if you take a look through it you'll see not much has changed... but there is always that eternal hope…

From: Tim Banks
Sent: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 10:34 AM
To: Robert Henderson
Cc:; Hon. Allan Campbell; Hon. Carolyn Bertram
Subject: Role of IRAC

Mr. Henderson,

Why stop at “energy and rent increases”? Why not ask for a full review of IRAC as this “red tape regime” is clearly the leading agency stifling Islanders from moving ahead in their everyday lives and choking our economy. You are the Chair of the Standing Committee on Community Affairs and Economic Development and you have in front of you the opportunity to really hear what Islanders think but if you limit the hearings to only “energy and rent increases” then you’re not looking after the Economic Development interests of Islanders.

I have attached a presentation I made 12 years ago to a “red tape review” standing committee and I would like the opportunity to present an updated version which will clearly demonstrate that not much has changed and Prince Edward Island’s economy is still being “set back” by IRAC.

Can you please confirm that you will allow Islanders the opportunity to expand their comments on the role of Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission and schedule me a time to make a formal presentation to your committee?

Thank You

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The World's A Changing... but "never, never, give up."..

Back about 34 years ago when I started up my first incorporated business "Mechanics Inc." (an auto service centre) I was playing around with developing some real estate on Harvard Street in Summerside to house this new venture… I was a bit naive at the time and thought that if I could find a nice piece of land that I would just waltz into the Bank and they would fork over the money to spring for a new building.... so in the pursuit to find a location I came across a suitable piece on Harvard St. just above the railway track which was properly zoned and on checking it out found that it belonged to the Irving's and this is where my real naivety came in... as I went about to try and "buy" it from them... so I headed off to the local Summerside Irving Oil branch office... who in turn sent me to the Charlottetown branch office... who sent me to the Saint John head office... who told me that I had to go back to the Summerside office and have the local manager bring it forward... and you guessed it... he had to bring it forward to a host of supervisors (who I had to keep chasing for an answer) before they finally brought it back to the Saint John's Head Office... word finally came back that they didn't think they wanted to sell it... so not about to give up I decided to visit the Head Office in Saint John to see if I could talk some "sense" into Mr. Irving as everyone keep telling me that they "might want to put a Irving station there someday" which in my little brain seemed highly unlikely... I made my way to Saint John on a "cold call" and got as far as a meeting in a small cubical where an older gentlemen was quite polite and told me that "although he didn't think the Irving's would sell he would have Mr. Irving visit the site and look at it one more time" a polite brush off... I left Saint John and heading back to Summerside I decided that maybe I should look for another site… I subsequently settled on a piece of land across the street that I ended up renting (the bank wasn't as giving with their money as I had imagined) and we finally opened the business about 6 months later... and it was not too long after the opening that I got a phone call from the local Irving manager and he said "Mr. Irving was in Town" to look at the land parcel on Harvard Street…. and sure enough I headed out to the property and there was a small delegation of "suits" and they walked around and asked me a few questions including whether I'd be prepared to sign a "covenant not to sell oil, gas or lubes from the site unless they were Irving products" so I agreed there on the spot not even knowing what a covenant was… I was taken aside and told that Mr. Irving was going to think about it and get back to me... I'm glad I didn't hold my breath but "true to their word" someone called me about six months later to say they decided "not to sell at this time but if they ever did they would get back to me".... well the world's changing because yesterday word came out that the Irving’s have put up 170,000 acres of timberland in Southwest Nova Scotia (about a fifth of the size of PEI) “up for sale” and have listed LandVest a Portland Maine company as the brokering agent... now I'm pretty sure J K Irving is rolling over in his grave somewhere but the reality is that things change and there are a lot of lessons to be learned here... one of which is my own philosophy "that everything is for sale except the wife and the kids" as I don’t like holding people up on their dreams… and the good news is I might be getting a call about that parcel on Harvard Street.... and to coin an old Churchill phase “never, never, give up…”

Monday, February 16, 2009

Did you say...Poll.... or Leadership....

Well someone is in full force doing some polling this week and my guess is the Liberals... and so we’re all likely to wake up next week heading in a whole new direction... or so the people close to the Premier probably think... yes, leadership by a poll... usually once the results are in the “backroom boys” will be trying to change the direction of Government based on what about 1,600 random people who picked up the phone told the pollster... sure seems to me to be a strange way to lead our Province but it appears to be the case with all Governments no matter what party affiliation.... obviously the key issue that "should" surface out of this poll would be the "state of the economy" but with the abundance of money put into the Island's economy last year from the PNP’s then this issue may not have caught up to us Islanders yet, so who knows... the issue could be Mike Duffy's wardrobe as he seems to be the Newsmaker of the day.... but if it does turn out to be the economy, which I expect it will be, then unfortunately our Government will have very little financial latitude to play with and it will be hard for them to really do anything to improve it as it’s really a global issue... the interesting thing about this current poll was the five principal issues they questioned were the Western Hospital changes, the school consolidations, the PNP's, Sunday shopping and the Premier's leadership... obviously all concerns of the present Government or they wouldn't be asking the questions... what surprised me the most was why wasn't there any questions about farming, fishing, tourism or the environment which one would have expected... I would have though these issues would have been important to get the pulse from Islanders on…. I wish they would have asked a few more questions about what Islanders think about the level of service provided by Government and what people think about the level of "red tape" in our daily lives... in any event a good leader leads and hopefully only using a "poll" as a guiding tool...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Bill "101"... silly at best...

I like Alan McIsaac... he's a hard working guy... he's sincere and dedicated to his constituents... and I think he wants to do more and he knows that if you want to get anything done in Government you have to make it into cabinet... so I'm thinking that he was probably bringing this private members bill forward to give him the exposure he'd need to get some attention... I'm afraid his plan backfired as there is no real support for his bill and quite frankly I don't even know how it made its way to a public Committee... businesses are furious and they are verbally bashing Government as they don’t see the distinction between what is a private members bill verses a Government led bill... now McIsaac is being "questioned" for his judgement and it just may be enough to keep him on the backbench... now had he pushed a harmonized tax he would have had a lot more business support....
Legislature committee hears pros, cons of tax-inclusive prices
The Guardian
The legislative Standing Committee on Community Affairs and Economic Development heard representations Tuesday from supporters and opponents of a proposed private member’s bill that would see all taxes included in the sticker price for goods sold on P.E.I. The line was drawn straight down the middle, with consumers on one side of the line and business on the other. Shari Robertson, speaking as a consumer, said consumers play a shell game every time they go shopping. She told MLAs that consumers have the right to know the final price of an item before they reach the cash register. Taking an item to the cash register that you thought you had enough money to pay for only to come up short because you did not calculate the taxes properly can prove embarrassing for people, she noted. Robertson said one of the reasons for the popularity of online shopping is you can see the full price of an item before you click to to buy. She questioned whether businesses were afraid to show the full price of the items they sell because it might cause some consumers to think twice before they bought things. Some of the sentiments voiced Tuesday by Robertson were echoed by Nikkie Gallant. Gallant said the changes proposed in this private member’s bill are in the best interests of the consumer. She urged the standing committee not to misinterpret the relatively small number of people speaking out in favour of the bill as a lack of support for it. Sherlyn Bevan, who appeared at the table with Gallant, said she and Gallant had done their own Internet-based poll and found there is public support for the bill. She told the committee that people want to see stickers with all taxes in because they want to know exactly what they can or cannot afford to buy. This proposed legislation would enable them to do that. Jason Wood, who has worked in retail, said the concept of inclusive pricing is not a new idea. Wood said he sees prices every day that have taxes included, a prime example being gasoline. He noted as well that the three other Atlantic provinces have all passed similar legislation although none of them have yet proclaimed the legislation. The message committee members got from business was altogether different. Spokespeople for the business community suggested the legislation would prove costly for business to implement, that those costs would likely be passed on to the consumer through higher prices and that it would be problematic. Jeanne Cruikshank, Atlantic vice-president of the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors, said the members of the association she represents take the concerns of their customers seriously but they’re not being told by their consumers that inclusive pricing is an issue for them. “We’re not hearing that from our customers,” Cruikshank said. She said the legislation being proposed would be costly to implement. In addition to the cost of simply managing the process, business would face increased advertising costs, it was indicated. Cruikshank noted for example that national chains operating in P.E.I. would not be able to send out the same flyers that all other provinces receive because no other province currently uses inclusive pricing. She said as well there would be problems with items that come into the province already priced because that price would not be accurate for P.E.I. Some companies might decide simply not to market some of their pre-priced items in P.E.I. Charlottetown businessman Jay MacDonald, who owns and operates one of the most prestigious heritage inns in Eastern Canada, said if the proposed bill became law it would place him and other people in the hospitality/tourism industry at a serious competitive disadvantage. MacDonald said a large number of visitors to P.E.I. research potential destinations and accommodations on the Internet before they travel and these people look at costs closely. If the costs of coming to P.E.I. appear to be higher than the competition elsewhere in the region because businesses in P.E.I. are required to posts their costs with all taxes in and their competition isn’t, some of those people may just not come here, he suggested. MacDonald told the standing committee that introducing tax inclusive pricing at a time when the tourism industry is already facing tough economic challenges would not be a positive move for P.E.I.The Island, he stressed, is already an expensive place to get to. “We don’t need another disadvantage,” MacDonald said.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

This Oughta' be Good...

This could turn out to be quite a challenge... having Valerie explain her "daytimer" or having her explain how her department blew $400,000.00 of taxpayers’ money... either way it certainly will be entertaining... and while she's there let's find out if she got those "Bay City Rollers" ready to rock this summer....
Island man requests copy of Tourism minister's day book
The Guardian
A P.E.I. man says he was so surprised to learn that Tourism Minister Valerie Docherty couldn’t find time to appear before a legislative standing committee for up to eight weeks that he’s demanding to see her day book. Dan Aiken of Charlottetown has made a formal request under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPP) for a copy of Docherty’s day book for the months of January, February and March. And it appears he may get his wish.Aiken made his request late last month after staff in Docherty’s office said the minister wouldn’t be able to appear before the public accounts committee until March 25. The public accounts committee wants to know more about the provincial government’s decision to fund the failed Alanis Morissette concert. That concert lost more than $400,000 in taxpayers money. Aiken, who is president of the Conservative Campus Club, said he believes Docherty may be dodging the public accounts committee. “Is she really this busy?” he asked. But Docherty said she’s not dodging the public accounts committee, and she said the whole story was never told about her schedule. The tourism minister said she was given four dates over an eight-week period to appear before the public accounts committee. She said she wasn’t available for three of those four dates. There was never an option to choose other dates, she added. “I was given four dates. The four dates coincided with items that I just could not reschedule, one of which was a personal test at the hospital,” Docherty told The Guardian. “The unfortunate thing is the way it was reported made it sound like I absolutely had nothing available. But it wasn’t like, ‘you pick the date.’ I was offered dates that conflicted, that’s all.” The P.E.I. legislature confirms that Docherty will now appear before the public accounts committee March 4, as opposed to the original date chosen of March 25. The Tourism Industry Association of Prince Edward Island is holding its annual meeting on March 4 and 5 but the tourism minister said she does not have to be at the meetings until that afternoon. So the minister agreed to appear before the committee at 10:30 a.m. Docherty said a precedent has been set in other jurisdictions for the release of minister’s day books, and she expects her day book will be made public. “I don’t even have any say in it,” said the minister. “If legal counsel says ‘yes, you have to’ then we will (release it.)” Kevin Jenkins, the FOIPP co-ordinator for the Department of Tourism, said it’s the first time in the history of the act in P.E.I. that a minister’s day book has been requested. He said that’s why they are seeking a legal opinion before it is released. The province has an initial 30 days to response to information requests, but can ask for an extension. But Jenkins said if the day book is released, it will have a lot of information excluded. “There are certain pieces of information in the minister's calendar related to personal appointments, regarding personal information, regarding individual’s names, there are certain things that must be edited according to the FOIPP?act,” he said. Aiken said he may get the day book, but he suspects he won’t get it until after the minister appears before public accounts. “There’s the appearance they are holding out (in releasing the day book) until the minister actually does appear at the public accounts committee, which would then put aside any potential embarrassment or loss of face for the minister who claimed to be busy all day, everyday for an extended period of time.”

What Are They Smokin' Over There..

Just when I thought things couldn't get any weirder... out pops the Mayor again with this foolish notion of a Yacht Club for Stratford... surely someone close to him would explain that you have to have water to float a boat... and there is also the question of money... these guys got snookered into spending $200,000.00 for a "Downtown Disney Plan" that would easily cost $50,000,000.00 to build and I'm pretty sure there are a lot more important things to do with taxpayers money than spend it on a bunch of boat owners... Good God In Heaven... please drop a little common sense on this "crew"... as I think they're smokin' seaweed...
Stratford yacht club could fill future need: mayor
Thursday, February 12, 2009
CBC News
The Town of Stratford is in preliminary discussions to build a yacht club on its side of Charlottetown harbour.
The community's waterfront plan mentions the possibility of a marina or yacht club in the future, and Mayor Kevin Jenkins updated town council Wednesday on discussions last month with Wellington Gay of the Charlottetown Yacht Club.
Jenkins said there are advantages to Stratford having its own marina.
"Not being a yachtsman, I can only repeat what I've heard in terms of shelter from the wind, of tides, wave action, those kinds of things," he said.
"There are some natural features to the Stratford side of the harbour that offer some advantages."
A 100-berth marina was in the recommendations contained in a detailed study on the future of the town. The report, released about a year ago, said it could cost $5 million to build.
Need for more slips in the future
The Charlottetown Yacht Club is looking at relocating up towards the mouth of the Hillsborough River. The Stratford study said even with the expansion across the harbour there will be a future need for 60 to 70 more slips.
Jenkins sees a Stratford marina as helping, rather than hurting, the Charlottetown club.
"That's why we invited a member [of the Charlottetown Yacht Club] in to talk about it, to keep this a complementary project," he said.
Jenkins said if the new marina goes ahead it would likely be located near the Stratford Towers condominium project.
He won't commit to a timeline for the project, but the development plan for the town suggests it would take a little more than two years to complete.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Time To Move On....

I don't know what this is all about but it seems just when things start moving ahead in the Town they're not happy unless there is some public controversy going on... I believe Montague has a great chance to move ahead even through these tough economic times but Council has to put a "public" end to the squabbling... surely they can work these issues behind closed doors for the betterment of their Community...
Montague council Wednesday requests special meeting with mayor
The Guardian
MONTAGUE – A united town council has delivered a letter to Mayor Pat McGowan requesting a special in-camera meeting Thursday to help break the stalemate that saw the regular council meeting end this week in a stormy adjournment.“No one wants her to walk the plank, we just want to hash out some issues in private so we can reunite as a productive council,’’ said Coun. Peter Doucette. “There are obviously some problems that need to be aired.”A municipal mutiny took place 20 minutes into the monthly council meeting Tuesday when the Mayor was once again asked to apologize for failing to allow rookie councillor Janice Taylor the opportunity to introduce a motion at the January meeting. Taylor tried again Tuesday night - armed with a validation letter she sought from the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs - but was once again denied.“Don’t hold your breath,’’ offered the Mayor. “This is a personal vendetta.”That’s when Taylor requested an adjournment, the entire council concurred, and all six elected officials gradually left the building.“We all agreed that it had to be a united effort and everyone agreed to back the adjournment of the meeting and deal with the issue,” said Taylor.The Mayor is being challenged for ignoring municipal protocols and all councillors signed the special meeting letter for 7 p.m. a town hall. The letter was delivered to the Mayor following Tuesday night’s meeting requesting the special session but it is unclear on the outcome. While a council can initiate a special meeting, only a Mayor can approve it.

Want, Want, do you say that in french..

Gee... I was watching this guy on Compass tonight and I "think" he was telling us that we had to build him a new Cultural Centre because a bunch of Supreme Court Justices said we had to build him a school.... surely why not a new Wellness Centre to boot... and what about a library building... my money's on the Province fighting them in court...
French language school board asks province to reconsider cultural centre funding

The Guardian
Asserting that the community of Rustico has a right to a cultural centre as well as a school, French Language School Board officials want the province to reconsider funding a Rustico French cultural centre. Currently, the French-language school in this area is run out of the Cymbria Lions Club. This was established as a pilot several years ago and was only supposed to be a temporary home for the school. Enrolments at the school have been increasing and the French School Board has been pushing for a new building for French education in the community. Last December, the province answered those requests, committing $2.6 million for a new school in Rustico. But, despite requests for a cultural centre alongside the school, as is the case for École François Buote in Charlottetown, the province has said the Lions Club can be used for that purpose. French School Board Superintendent Gilles Benoit says this is not acceptable. “First of all it’s a constitutional right, but most important is for the French language minority it’s important that there’s a community part that goes with the school,” Benoit said. “It’s activities and living in French that complete the education of French minority language students.” A Supreme Court decision in the year 2000 gave francophones the constitutional right to be educated in their own language in their own community. Section 23 of that decision also establishes a close link between language, culture and education. Benoit said the board wants to meet with Premier Robert Ghiz, Education Minister Gerard Greenan and Communities, Cultural Affairs Minister Carolyn Bertram to show them this Supreme Court decision that favours their request for a cultural centre to be part of the Rustico French school. “There’s a community here saying ‘We want to be able to have our own activities in a place of our own where we provide activities with kids and a French life,” Benoit said. He also pointed out the Supreme Court decision gives French school boards the authority to make the cultural as well as the educational decisions for minority French communities. “For the board, it’s not a matter of asking ‘Are you going to do it?’ They have to do it. But how we’re going to make that clear to the government – that’s another question.” When asked if he plans to seek legal action on the issue, Benoit said he’s not ruling it out. “We hope it won’t have to come to that. I think that Premier Ghiz will see that minority French speaking Islanders have rights and I can’t see why he would deny that right at this point.”

Saturday, February 7, 2009

"Duffy won't apologize".... no surprise here

I generally get up every morning and take a quick look at the CBC and Guardian web sites and I usually click on a few stories that seem interesting and then I take a look at the comments that follow to get a sense of how the readers feel. Generally you have to discount about 50% of them being politically biased but there are always a few serious constructive comments that usually show you how people are thinking.... for some reason there are always more comments made in the Guardian reports than the CBC and one might say that is due to a larger Guardian following but I'm sure there are lots of other theories for this.... in any event it's been my experience most stories get about 15 to 20 comments but a "hot issue" might conjure up about 40 to 50 responses and half that amount would respond to a CBC report... so I was very surprised today to look at the following CBC report and see 574 responses of which I've copied a few that might give you a sense of where the story is going... in fact one reader suggests... Any article that generates over 500 commentaries shall from this day forth, be known as a "Duffy." .... for a guy who's been in the media all his life he certainly didn't learn a lot on how to deal with it... Duff's obviously struck a nerve...

Duffy won't apologize for saying P.E.I. will 'get the shaft'
Friday, February 6, 2009 Comments 574
CBC News
Under fire from a fellow senator, two premiers and the leader of P.E.I.'s Opposition, Senator Mike Duffy says he won't apologize for his remarks about the dangers of the Island getting in bed with Newfoundland and Labrador. for the rest of the story.....

The following are just a few of the 574 comments....

Grant Jonasson wrote: Posted 2009/02/07at 3:06 AM ET Of course he won't apologize - he was pompous and arrogant on TV, so what's preventing him behaving the same way in the Senate?

Catherine F wrote: Posted 2009/02/06at 11:56 PM ET To those who make ignorant and uninformed comments like skippi, may the curse of the Irish follow you the rest of your days.

Grant Dickin wrote: Posted 2009/02/06at 11:45 PM ET Poor Mike Duffy - a gross failure as a journalist - and now on display as an embarassing failure as a Senator. Already,

CoryBarnes wrote: Posted 2009/02/06at 10:04 PM ET Isn't he the obnoxious tabloid reporter who harassed Margaret Trudeau at Pierre Trudeau's funeral by bringing up the death of Michel Trudeau? What a piece of garbage that man is.

Marks and Angles wrote: Posted 2009/02/06at 6:00 PM ET Any article that generates over 500 commentaries shall from this day forth, be known as a "Duffy."

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Journal....maybe... maybe not..

A couple of days ago I saw a brief story on CBC Compass speculating that the Journal Pioneer in Summerside might be closing down and since I only caught the tail end of the story I decided to do a search in our local media outlets to get the full scoop on the story. But as it turns out there was nothing I could find and not even on CBC... so what's the scoop... it appeared from the end of the news account that the Publisher was denying all speculation and the paper was in fine shape... he may very well be right but it's been my experience that large corporations like Transcontinental Media Inc. don't always necessarily share their business plans with the "locals"... that being said the Journal has been an Island institution that has been well supported by the Community over the years and I understand when it was in Conrad Black's hands it was quite profitable.... Summerside is a pretty small market and in today’s economy you can bet your bottom dollar that some bean counter somewhere is taking a pretty serious look at the operation and I'd be surprised at the end of the day if they just don't merge it with the Guardian... "Covers Prince Edward Island Like The Dew" and that includes Summerside..... probably with a Summerside section sometime soon….

"Sold Out"... and so is the Concert...

It certainly appears Ticketmaster has "Sold Out" the fans and it's great to see the artist sticking up for his fans... I've always suspected Ticketmaster was up to these kinds of tricks.... lots of times I have tried to go through their system to get tickets for major events only to find out that "all" the good seats were "sold out" but miraculously a week or so later they would have some new available tickets for up front seating... I suspect they were "pushing" the cheaper sections before releasing the better seating... surely someone will dig into this and make them own up to better practices.... on another note, I watched Springsteen's Superbowl performance and I must say it was the most impressive I've ever seen and there is no wonder why this concert quickly "sold out"...
Bruce Springsteen says he’s "furious" with Ticketmaster
THE ASSOCIATED PRESSTRENTON, N.J. — Bruce Springsteen said Wednesday that he is angry with Ticketmaster and believes its selling practices constitute a conflict of interest. When tickets for Springsteen’s show at New Jersey’s Meadowlands went on sale Monday, some fans got an error message on their computer screen that shut them out. The potential ticket-buyers then saw an ad for Ticketmaster subsidiary TicketsNow offering tickets for hundreds of dollars more than face value. Springsteen said on his website Wednesday that he and the E Street Band are “furious.” “We perceive this as a pure conflict of interest,” the band said. “Ticketmaster is there to ensure that we have a good, fair sale of our tickets at their face value plus normal ticketing charges.” TicketsNow allows people who have tickets to exchange, trade or sell them at marked-up prices. The band said it has received assurances from Ticketmaster that it will stop redirecting Springsteen fans to TicketsNow. The snub to Springsteen fans on Monday prompted U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell to call on the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department to investigate possible conflicts of interest involving Ticketmaster and TicketsNow. The New Jersey attorney general’s office is also investigating whether Ticketmaster has violated any consumer fraud or ticket resale laws. Several phone messages left Wednesday for Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc. spokesman Albert Lopez were not returned. On Tuesday, a company spokesman said only a few fans reported problems. But state attorney general’s spokesman David Wald said the office has received more than 250 complaints since Monday. Heather Dunham, of Great Meadows, said she and about a dozen of her friends were among those who tried to buy tickets when they went on sale Monday. “The website just kept throwing us all off, telling you it was down for routine maintenance. That’s the same message we got routinely for the better part of an hour,” she said. “Then it started redirecting us to the premium ticket site,” where prices were double. “It was outrageous,” said Dunham, who has previously purchased Springsteen tickets from Ticketmaster. “It’s corporate greed at its worst.”

Come on Ronnie... here's your chance...

In a previous blog I suggested winter tires should be mandatory and our Governments should come up with some type of tax credit for lower income people to help with the cost of installing them. It's now law in Quebec and there is no reason why we shouldn't follow suit especially in commercial vehicles such as taxis and rentals... on my way home from Halifax during Wednesday's storm there were a number of vehicles off the road more particularly before the Halifax airport exit and they sure looked like rental cars to me... here's a great opportunity for Mr. MacKinley to make our highways safer and while he's at it he should also "demand" the banning of cell phones while driving...
Taxis should be required to have winter tires: coroner
Thursday, February 5, 2009
CBC News
All cabs should be prepared for winter conditions with snow tires, says P.E.I.'s chief coroner, but neither the province nor cab companies make it a requirement.
Quebec brought in legislation this year requiring vehicles to be fitted with winter tires, but P.E.I. has no plans for similar legislation.
Chief coroner Charles Trainor told CBC News Wednesday that for safety reasons taxis should be equipped with the tires.
"It's very important for taxi cabs if they're going to be driving around in the snow conditions, that they are able to get through," said Trainor.
None of Charlottetown's three major taxi companies require their drivers to have winter tires on their cars.
City Cab owner Joe Corrigan said it's up to his drivers to put on the winter tires, and most of them do. But he said there is no policy, and no one inspects the cars.
Cal Joslin of Co-op Taxi Line said the company has no policy, but drivers are encouraged to install them.
"It's common sense. Put snow tires on the car, front and rear," said Joslin.
"We don't really inspect for them, but if I saw a car that didn't have them on I'd certainly bring up the issue with them."
Yellow Cab owner Kirby Eldershaw said he may consider making winter tires mandatory for his drivers next year.

How do you spell... "Buffoon"...

Cat calling in the Senate (upper house)... now here's something to look forward too... we don't have enough of it in the "Commons" (lower house)... so let's bring it on to the Senate.... it's one thing for me to act like a buffoon by times but it's certainly another thing to act like that when you are being paid by the taxpayers of Canada to do your job as a Senator.. "The Senate tends to be less partisan and confrontational than the House, and is more likely to come to a consensus on issues. It also often has more opportunity to study proposed bills in detail either as a whole or in committees. This careful review process is why the Senate is still today called the chamber of "sober second thought", though the term has a slightly different meaning than it did when used by John A. Macdonald. The format of the Senate allows it to make many small improvements to legislation before its final reading. Although the Senate rarely vetoes bills from the House, their minor changes are usually accepted by it." ...from Wikipedia... Clearly Senator Duffy is obviously not that politically bright... picking a fight with a Newfoundlander and an Islander is not going to get you anywhere and with that kind of an attitude he may as well "stay" in Ottawa as he won't be welcomed here.... Mike, if you want to call Danny Williams a "bully" for sticking up for Newfoundlanders then I'm thinking "buffoon" should fit somewhere else in your vocabulary....
Senator unapologetic for comments about premiers
The Guardian
A newly minted P.E.I. Senator remains unapologetic for suggesting that Premier Robert Ghiz may get the “shaft’’ by getting in bed with the premier of Newfoundland and Labrador and that the sight of two politicians in bed is “ . . . a grotesque scene.’’ Mike Duffy first made the comments during the provincial Progressive Conservative party’s annual meeting Saturday in Winsloe. He repeated the comments, using slightly different language, in the Senate Tuesday.
“I was disappointed to see that our dynamic young premier in Prince Edward Island, Robert Ghiz, has climbed into bed with the premier of Newfoundland and Labrador and honourable senators know what a grotesque scene that is,’’ Duffy said in the Senate. “Do honourable senators know what happens when two politicians climb into bed together? One of them comes out on top and I am afraid that when one is in bed with Danny Williams he will come out on top and I would hate to see where that will leave P.E.I. in the end.’’ During the Conservatives annual meeting, Duffy used stronger language suggesting that when “two men’’ get in bed, “one is going to get the shaft.’’ He went on to say, “And I can assure you it won’t be Danny Williams.’’Some in the crowd reacted with a mix of mild laughter and muted applause, while others did not laugh or applaud at all. Contacted Wednesday, Duffy stood by his comments and his humour. “I think people are pretty easily offended if they’re offended by that,’’ Duffy said in a telephone interview from Ottawa.“I was trying to be humorous and paint a graphic picture of the power relationship. Newfoundland has oil and billions of dollars and P.E.I. has our goodwill and our good relations. “To get into some kind of alliance with a guy who’s widely seen as a bully is just foolish.’’ Both Ghiz and Williams have called on the federal government to delay any changes in the equalization program for a year, arguing that it’s wrong to make changes to the federal transfer during an economic recession. The Island government contends a new cap on equalization could cost the province up to $20 million annually. Duffy’s comments set off a political firestorm in two provinces. Ghiz called Duffy’s comments disappointing and called the senator ill-informed. “Mike Duffy said he wanted to be a senator from Prince Edward Island. I would hope that he would act like one,’’ said Ghiz. “I just wish that perhaps Mr. Duffy, as a senator for Prince Edward Island, would stop wasting time with petty partisanship and look at the big picture and what we can do to improve Prince Edward Island in the long run.’’ Ghiz said he has a good working relationship with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the prime minister understands that he’s simply standing up for his province. “If Mr. Duffy took the time to review the changes that were made to equalization, he would understand that Prince Edward Island is going to be losing millions of dollars.’’ In Newfoundland, Williams said Duffy’s comments certainly were not the kind of language one would expect to hear in the Senate. “But obviously Senator Duffy was given his marching orders. We’ve seen the nasty, vindictive type of mentality of Stephen Harper and (Jim) Flaherty,’’ said Williams. “Robert Ghiz happens to be a very good premier and a very good leader who is obviously prepared to speak out on principle on behalf of his province and that’s exactly what he’s done. And I think now that he’s had the gumption and the political intestinal fortitude to speak out in support of his province, which has lost some money in equalization, they’re now trying to disparage him by a smear and trying to pretend that there is some alliance between myself and Robert Ghiz. “That wouldn’t be fair to Robert Ghiz or to myself to indicate that that is happening. But if, as leaders of our province, we feel we have to speak out then the last I knew Canada was a democracy and we’re entitled to speak out.’’ The issue of Duffy’s remarks came up in the Senate Wednesday with Liberal Senator Joan Cook asking Conservative Senator Marjory LeBreton, the leader of the government in the Senate, whether she condoned the comments made by the P.E.I. senator. Ghiz said Harper broke a deal with the provinces when it comes to federal equalization transfers. “Two years ago a new equalization deal was signed. Unilaterally, before Christmas, that deal was broken.’’ (With files by The St. John’s Telegram/Transcontinental Media)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Step Over Kenny Rogers.... for some fresh entertainment

Here we go again creating that Charlottetown - Summerside rivalry... first it was Clifford getting the "Cari Centre" and then Basil wanted a bigger loser so he builds the "Wellness Centre"... not to be outflanked Clifford builds the "Racino" and now Basil is getting a newer, shinier one.... I heard Clifford was pretty upset with Basil getting Kenny Rogers in Summerside and so not to be outdone Clifford's pulling out all the stops and is bringing in "Mr. Las Vegas".... I can't wait until this week when our famous Tourism Minister (has anyone seen her) announces this summer's rock concert as I hear Basil's got a lock on it with the "Bay City Rollers" preforming at his newly annexed Slemon Park....
Viva ‘Mr. Las Vegas’
Consummate pro Wayne Newton coming to Confederation Centre in Charlottetown
The Guardian
Singer Wayne Newton, affectionately known by millions as Mr. Las Vegas, is coming to Charlottetown. The 66-year-old Newton will play at the Confederation Centre on Saturday, March 14, with a 10-piece orchestra. New Brunswick promoter Jack Livingston of SRO Entertainment confirmed the show publicly Thursday. “It’s official,” Livingston said. “We are going to play Wayne Newton and his 10-piece Las Vegas band, first time ever in Prince Edward Island, and we are going to play him at the great Confederation Centre of the Arts.” Newton, who began singing professionally at the age of six and performed in a duo with brother Jerry before going solo more than 40 years ago, has enjoyed one of the longest and most successful careers in the music business. He garnered his first major success in 1962 with Danke Schoen but also scored hits with Daddy Don’t You Walk So Fast, Years, Red Roses For A Blue Lady, More, Remember When, I’ll Be With You In Apple Blossom Time, Games That Lovers Play and Summer Wind, among others. At the peak of his career he was earning as much as $1 million a month in Las Vegas, where he has been a fixture for decades. His name even adorns the main road leading into that city. “Wayne Newton is a household name,” said Livingston. “His music is universal.” This will be Newton’s second visit to the Maritimes. Livingston said he played the Halifax Metro Centre and St. John Harbourfront in 2000.

My Money Is On .... "Pottie"..... stay tuned...

I was reading this article with interest as local "Charlottetown Tories" at the Farmers Market yesterday were all talking about how big the crowds were going to be so I was expecting "thousands" and not a peep from the reporter on the numbers although if you look at the attached picture there didn't seem to be any "youth".... mostly the same old crowd in the pics and quoted in the report.... no new blood.... I'm with Currie on the timing... the sooner the better and I noticed at the bottom of this report the Guardian is going to give us a list of potentials in Mondays paper (this should be riveting).... I'm going to go way out on a limb here with my predictions and throw out a dark horse... so how about that "Pottie Guy" now that he's not hanging around with Ghiz anymore... think of all the great photo ops...
Elect a new leader sooner rather than later, Tories say

The Guardian
The Progressive Conservative Party should elect a permanent leader sooner rather than later, its membership said during the party’s annual meeting in Winsloe Saturday. The party has been without a permanent leader since the last election. Pat Binns, who led the party to an astounding defeat in 2007, resigned after being named Canada’s ambassador to Ireland. The party’s executive then named Olive Crane as interim leader. Mike O’Brien is no stranger to leadership campaigns. He chaired Pat Binns’s campaign in 1996, a campaign that saw Binns win the leadership on the first ballot. O’Brien would like to see the convention held earlier, rather than later, and suggested the spring of 2010. But O’Brien said a leadership campaign needs to be more than just a one-day event. He said it’s essential that districts are organized, that the leadership contenders hold a series of town halls across the Island, and that the party comes together and supports the new leader. “The last poll showed a 20 per cent differential. You have to be realistic about these things,” O’Brien told The Guardian. “You have to go about trying to close that gap. You’re not going to close that until you get a leader, and until there are some candidates representing certain ridings. That’s the purpose of getting out sometime in 2010.” David McKenna, a former Conservative MLA, cautioned members not to go too early. He said if that happens the party will spend all its money on the new leader rather than fighting the next election, or the leader will be without a salary for a year-and-a-half, which may prevent some candidates from running. The party has a total debt of $260,000 but it is confident it can be debt-free by the fall of 2010. “We usually get a bump in the polls after a leadership convention,” he said. “We want to keep that momentum going into the next election.” The party appears set on holding its leadership convention in 2010, more than likely in the spring. But the final decision will lie with a leadership committee, which is being struck immediately. Mike Currie, MLA for Georgetown-St. Peters, warned members that the next election is only 33 months away. He also suggested a leadership convention in spring of 2010. “Whoever wins has to lead this party to victory in 2011, that’s crucial.”
Want to know who could be in the running for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party? Pick up a copy of The Guardian Monday and we'll tell you who to watch for.