Thursday, December 3, 2009

And Why Not A "Private" Plane...

It appears that Cynthia Dunsford's thesis for PEI needing an Ombudsman is "that every other Province has one" and if we subscribed to that kind of thinking then maybe we should go out and get the Premier a new plane first as every other Province had one of them before they had an Ombudsman... so let’s get Blair Ross and Deborah Hawkes and a few other crazies a referee at taxpayers' expense... the Ontario Ombudsman's office has a staff of over 83 people at a cost of $9,300,000 a year and if PEI opened one it wouldn't be long before we'd be there too and if you don't believe me then just head on over to IRAC and have a look around... when the Ghiz Government were talking about job creation before they were elected these weren't the kind of productive jobs I had in mind... at some point our elected officials have to get off the "we need program - because some other Community or Province has it" and move on to proposing ways for Government to operate more efficiently without increasing costs... surely a Province of 134,000 can by without a plane and an Ombudsman... and if a pressing mediation matter comes forward then Government could always appoint a legislative committee as they've got lots of experience at wasting time... thank God the Premier is coming to his senses and considering what it would cost...
MLA proposing provincial ombudsman
The Guardian
A backbench MLA is putting together a private member’s bill proposing to create an ombudsman for the P.E.I. government. P.E.I. is currently the only province without such an ombudsman, but Stratford-Kinlock MLA Cynthia Dunsford would like to see that rectified. “(The ombudsman) could take on a lot of different inquiries and different complaints that people might have,” Dunsford said. “Those calls or complaints can be categorized into alternate kinds of actions that could be taken to help people, which an ombudsman would be able to do very effectively.” A similar private member’s bill was introduced 10 years ago by former NDP MLA Herb Dickieson. It did not pass but was debated extensively in the legislature and in the end did win the support of seven MLAs in a vote of 13-7. Several members abstained from voting on the issue. The concerns raised at the time revolved around whether an ombudsman would change the role of MLAs in their dealings with the public. Dunsford, who has been doing extensive research into the policies enacted by other provinces, said she does not believe such a figure would call into question the role of elected politicians on P.E.I. Islanders are infamous for calling their MLAs for complaints or concerns both big and small, and that will not change with the addition of an ombudsman, Dunsford said. “We are always going to get those calls and that’s fine because people generally just need direction and we may be able to help them and that’s a good thing,” she said. “But there are areas that an MLA should not be looking into or can’t look into. There are limitations to what we can do and how we can help and it’s very frustrating as an MLA and somebody calls you with an issue that you can’t really get involved in because it would be something that would be seen as interference — because we’re political figures, we’re not bureaucrats.” The addition of a provincial government ombudsman was a promise made by the Liberals during the 2007 election campaign, but on Thursday Premier Robert Ghiz said such a new position would be an added expense the province may not be able to afford right now. But he didn’t rule it out as a future possibility. “As we know, there was a bit of a financial downturn in the world economy over the last year or so,” Ghiz said. “This probably won’t be happening this year, but we’ll definitely be looking for it for the year after as a definite possibility.” Dunsford said her private member’s bill is not ready to be tabled during this session of the legislature anyway, as she is still conducting research and comparing the practices and policies of ombudsman in other provinces. “This is something that will still require a fair bit of work,” she said.

No comments: