Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"Take No Prisoners" especially parking...

Just when I thought Tiger had cornered the market on strange parking lot liaisons out comes Olive with her very own Parking Lot Caper... and it certainly wasn't a shock to me to learn that she's been running her PNP witch hunt program from evidence she's found in brown envelops dropped on her doorstep... now this approach may appeal to Larry McGuire and his bag of crazies but the reality is she's suppose to be the Leader of the Official Opposition and I can only imagine the eyes rolling on the Charlottetown Tory crowd when they scanned the story in the Guardian this morning... and I'm sure they're all just waiting until next fall to give her a message on how her personal PNP agenda of “take no prisoners” is doing and I’m guessing not that well with bureaucrats and business people alike...
Crane accused of ‘scare tactics’ during secret meeting
TERESA WRIGHT
The Guardian
09/12/09
Opposition Leader Olive Crane was accused Tuesday of using ‘scare tactics’ to try to get inside information about the Provincial Nominee Program during a nighttime meeting with the PNP’s program director.
Crane was questioning Premier Robert Ghiz on his government’s handling of the controversial PNP – asking him once again whether he would support allowing senior directors and bureaucrats who ran the program to testify before the public accounts committee.
But Ghiz nodded to Innovation Minister Allan Campbell, however, who then accused Crane of having a personal vendetta against some senior bureaucrats she has repeatedly mentioned by name in the legislature.
Crane has named PNP program director and current CEO of Innovation P.E.I. Neil Stewart as well as former PNP deputy minister Brooke MacMillan numerous times – accusing them of breaking PNP rules.
Campbell said Stewart in particular has been upset by these constant references and accusations.
In a rare move, Campbell pulled out a letter written by Stewart and began to read from it during question period.
In the letter, Stewart details a secret meeting organized by Crane last fall, which Stewart characterizes as ‘inappropriate.’
According to the letter, Crane called him on his cell phone some time after 5 p.m., saying she had heard good things about him but that she had seen information with Stewart’s name that was going to the RCMP. She asked to meet with him alone.
“I agreed to meet, as her statement concerned me as I would certainly not be involved in anything illegal and I wanted to see what this obviously incorrect information was,” Stewart states in his letter.
Crane picked him up in her car and drove to Victoria Park. She indicated again she had heard he was an honest person and wanted to give him the chance to explain things about the PNP before the ‘troubles’ began, Stewart wrote.
“I informed her nothing illegal was going on.”
Stewart then asked Crane what information was being sent to the police. He said she was unsure about this and referred to rumours she’d heard. That’s when he asked to be taken back to his office.
Stewart is highly critical of Crane in his letter for the circumstances of this meeting. He said he believes she was trying to get him to reveal details about the PNP and that she appeared bothered when he gave her no evidence of wrongdoing.
“I remain shocked that the leader of the Opposition used scare tactics to try to get information from me. What she did was very inappropriate,” Stewart states in his letter.
“I also cannot understand why she continues to attack my character in the house and in the media. I can only surmise that she has a vendetta against me because I didn’t giver her what she was looking for.”
Innovation Minister Allan Campbell called Crane’s meeting with Stewart at night in Victoria Park ‘wrong.’
“Here we have the leader of the Opposition holding meetings with senior bureaucrats after dark down in Victoria Park – it’s just very, very odd and I guess it would be fair to say, probably wrong.”
Crane, however, made no apologies for her actions.
She said she was merely trying to give Stewart a heads up that she was going to be questioning controversial decisions he’d made and wanted him have a chance to give his side of the story.
“I wanted to be very clear to Neil that there was a lot of red flags,” Crane told reporters.
“The auditor general raised concerns about Brooke MacMillan and Neil Stewart and how they had broke the rules around the Provincial Nominee Program.”
Crane said she had received numerous brown envelopes filled with documents mentioning Stewart’s name.
This is why she wanted to meet with him in private to discuss the PNP.
“I wanted to make sure to Neil that I was very clear that I agreed that there was red flags and I wanted him to be aware of my issues with the PNP program went back to the beginning.”