Sunday, May 31, 2009

Wine On Thursday... No Show On Friday...

Well I had the good fortune to attend the Savoy of Food and Wine Show on Thursday night at the Confederation Centre as part of Wine Fest. On the way in I noticed Senator Duffy but didn't have a chance to speak with him. About thirty or so Island restaurants had set up appetizer desert stations accompanied by a host of wine displays... the food was excellent and you'd have to ask the Princess about the wine as I don't drink but it seems as everyone was having a good time at it even Senator Duffy.... on Friday he was to speak at some function and apparently wasn't available so word is Hon Gail Shea's office had to pull a rabbit out of the hat and get a speech ready for her to deliver in place of Duffy... rumours circulated that maybe it was too much food and wine but I suspect the following story that hit the news wire on Thursday was what kept him away from a public event and away from the media... but was what probably got him the Senate seat....
CTV broke ethics code in Dion interview: standards council
Thursday, May 28, 2009
The Canadian Press
Mike Duffy comments went 'too far'
The standards council also studied complaints lodged against CTV Newsnet's Mike Duffy Live program. The show rebroadcast Dion's false starts and discussed it with a panel of politicians and later with journalists.
During the discussion, Liberal MP Geoff Regan suggested Dion might not have understood the question because of a hearing impairment, but then said it was not a subject worth discussing.
Duffy then repeatedly said that Regan was accusing the network of ridiculing a handicap.
The CBSC's national specialty services panel said Duffy "went too far."
"He was not fair, balanced or even-handed," the panel said, also agreeing the rebroadcasts of the restarts were in breach of industry code.
CTV Newsnet will run a statement saying it violated the Canadian Association of Broadcasters code of ethics within the next three days at the same time as the Mike Duffy Live program used to air, and again within a week.
Two members of the national specialty services panel dissented with the Duffy Live opinion, saying that media outlets should err on the side of providing more information — not less — to the public.
They argued that Dion's ability to react to stressful situations could have constituted valuable information during an election campaign.
The dissenters said they agreed with the assessment of Duffy's show, but didn't find it constituted a breach of code.
Hurst's statement did not include a specific mention of Mike Duffy Live.
Duffy was appointed a Conservative senator last January. He declined comment Wednesday.
Regan said he was pleased with the ruling.
"I hope it'll lead to stronger journalistic practices," Regan said.
"I respect the media and they have an important role to play, but this decision clearly shows that in this case CTV crossed the line."

Another White Elephant... you say...

Here's another reason why Government should stop trying to be a developer... back in 2002 a leading global technology provider EDS wanted to build a 50,000 square foot call centre in Montague but the Government of the day thought they should split the size and put two smaller centres in PEI, one in Montague and one in Bloomfield.... EDS would have nothing to do with that scheme so the President of EDS flew down to PEI to meet with Premier Binns to appeal to reason and just build the one centre in Montague.... But as usual the Government thought they were smarter and they told EDS to take a hike (so they went to Port Hawkesbury, NS and built a 400 seat centre) and they would find someone else..... Why go with a global leader like EDS when you can make an arse of it yourself... so here we are today with an empty building in Bloomfield and a mini centre in Montague while Port Hawkesbury still has 400+ people working in the centre there... and if you think Bloomfield has a White Elephant then the Atlantic Technology Centre is equal to a "herd of elephants" and costing taxpayers a $1,000,000.00 a year not to mention the $26,000,000.00 it cost to build and unlikely to "fetch" $5,000,000 if it were sold today....
MLA seeks federal tenant for 'white elephant'
Thursday, May 28, 2009
CBC News
Western P.E.I. MLA Pat Murphy says he can't understand why the former Bloomfield call centre is still vacant after five years.
The Alberton-Roseville MLA told CBC News Wednesday he'd like to see what he calls the "white elephant" transformed into office space for the federal government, for something like another GST centre or a passport office.
"I know that we have the brain power here to do those kind of jobs, but it's just a matter of having the opportunity," said Murphy.
"Being the MLA I get approached quite frequently with people that are looking for employment, and asking me if I have any help that I can offer to seek employment."
The 20,000-square-foot building has been vacant since 2004, when the call centre Help Desk Now moved its business to New Brunswick. The Department of Innovation owns the building and continues to pay some operational costs.
Innovation Minister Allan Campbell said the province has been actively trying to find businesses to rent the space for the last five years, and attracting federal interest to the building is an option he'd like to pursue.
"Thirty years ago, did we think we would have the [Department of Veterans Affairs] in Charlottetown; did we think we would have the Tax Centre in Summerside?" said Campbell.
"We need to maybe look a little outside the box here a little bit, and I don't see why it couldn't be possible."
Campbell said he will be meeting with the local MP, Gail Shea, who is also the Island's representative in the cabinet, about possible options.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Now here's a new take on a "Ring-Tone"....

I can't help but think that this would make a great "Ring-Tone" for a cell phone... maybe a retake on Steve Balmer's tune...
Neighbours unite in song over cellphone tower protest
The Guardian
Catherine MacKinnon leads a sing-along at a concerned neighbours group rally held Friday opposing Rogers’ construction of a 14-storey cellphone tower in their residential neighbourhood.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Here's The Skinny On Rob Lantz for Mayor...

I threw it out there yesterday on Twitter..."I'm going to tell you why Rob Lantz will be running for the Mayor's job and why he'll be good at it"... well there is a little more to it than that.... first of all I don't know anything more than the next guy about what Councillor Rob Lantz has in mind for his future but I can tell you as a long time political junkie and organizer that if he wants the Mayor's job it's his... and why do I say that... well first of all he's "out there" and what I mean by that is... he's on the bus... he's on committee's... he's returning calls... he's not afraid to speak out... he’s prepared for change... and he's tuned in to the "social network" (I don't mean parties... I'm talking about the next generation of doers and carers that are hooked up through the electronic media).... but most importantly he has the old fashion skill of getting things done when his constituents call him... now throw in the fact that he's a hard working family guy who's got a good head on his shoulders and he's young and appealing to the public... then why won't he make it as the Mayor... well the age old problem is he's got a family to feed and to do that he needs a full time job as the Mayor's position doesn't pay enough.... I as a business owner appreciate that his current employer Deltaware probably look the other way as he grinds out his current duties as a City Councillor and we should all recognize Deltaware for their gracious contribution as I'm sure at time they need him when he may be tied up on City business... but the Mayor's position is a full time job if we want a vibrant City and so we can't expect his employer to "look the other way" to that degree... and this is the dilemma we have with finding good people as candidates... the current Mayor doesn't have this problem as he worked for the Provincial Government... so when the Tories got in and they wanted a mouthpiece they looked the other way while he did his Mayoralty job and if you don't believe me then think about this... as soon as the Liberals got in he was all of a sudden working for ACAO currently controlled by the Federal Tories and they still have a mouthpiece they can control... (and the liberals have been known to do this)... so how do we get good people with leadership skill sets like Rob Lantz to come forward with some progress changes, fresh ideas and a positive attitude something that's clearly lacking now... it's easy to say well let's "bump" the Mayor's salary up but that might not be as appealing to the taxpayers.... we could call on Government to "give" the successful candidate a position that would allow them to do both but then the taxpayer might get the message that the Mayor is working for the Government and signing their tunes... so there has to be a solution as we need people like Rob to be able to take a run at it without the financial consequence. So I'm taking this "dilemma" to our Chamber of Commerce and I'm going to ask them how do we develop a plan to get "people interested in civic politics" and just how do we get them to come forward... I'm going to use Rob as our test case and I don't want people to think "well he'll be the Chamber's man" should he get elected and that is why I'm going to use him as the example case as I think Rob is a good leader and he's "nobodies man" and that is why we need people like him and we need to find ways to get them to come forward... and my guess is that if "you" encourage him and "offer to support him" then he will come forward as he has a great sense of civic pride.... something our City needs...

Tim's Tweets... on Twitter...

Well folks... in an attempt to improve my "blog" I going to try and bring it to another level with "Twitter" but the real truth is I'm getting old and I can't remember from one minute to the next... lots of times I'll be driving in the car and I'll have this great idea for the blog but somewhere between what goes on during the day and by the time I get home I can't remember... I'll be at lunch and someone will come up to me and ask me why I don't comment on something and again I'll get home that night and I'll go blank... other times someone will tell me something that interesting and maybe "juicy" but by the time I get to it the main stream media are on to it... so I've signed up to Twitter and set my blackberry up to be able to shoot off quick bulletins of things I find interesting during the day which I may or may not expand on later in the "blog".... what I'm hoping to do is keep everyone up to date on business and political talk around the Island as it happens so if you "want to hear it first" then hit the "Tim's Tweets" symbol to the left of my blog and sign up and "follow" along... thanks...

Why Not Throw In A House And A New Car...

Hey why not give the guy a new house and a new car while we're at it... he made more money after he was let go and then he refuses an offer of $59,000.00 as he calls it an "insult"... give us a break... the only insult here is to the taxpayers who have to pick up the toll... but I'm sure whatever this guy gets he'll give most of it back to the "Tory" asphalt worker he originally replaced... surely Justice Campbell will see through this foolishness...
MacTavish looking for $300,000 in political discrimination case
The Guardian
A Montague man who was fired because of his political beliefs is seeking more than $300,000 in compensation from the Prince Edward Island government, The Guardian has learned. John MacTavish appeared before Supreme Court Justice Gordon Campbell on Tuesday. His lawyer, Jordan Brown, called on the courts to award MacTavish $127,000 for lost wages. But that is only part of the claim. MacTavish is also seeking $50,000 in hurt and humiliation, $33,000 in lost Canada Pension Plan benefits, as well as unspecified costs for punitive damages. He also wants Island taxpayers to pick up his legal bills, which are now nearing $100,000 as well as his accounting bills, more than $8,000.The grand total — $318,000 and counting. Neither Jordan Brown nor David Hooley, MacTavish’s lawyers, were available for comment on Wednesday. MacTavish maintains that he’ll take whatever Campbell decides. He wouldn’t say whether he considers a $300,000 settlement fair. “As I said in court, there’s no amount that could ever compensate me and my family for what we’ve been through,” MacTavish told The Guardian on Wednesday. MacTavish is the lone holdout in a political discrimination case dating back to when former Premier Pat Binns took office in 1996.Hundreds of similar cases have been settled, some for as little as $1,450. But MacTavish, a former asphalt raker under the Liberals, has refused a series of settlement offers, calling the offers “insulting.” He was last offered more than $59,000 and he turned that offer down as well. If MacTavish gets what he wants, he’ll receive one of the largest political discrimination payouts in Island history. In 1997, Mickey Burge, a well-known Tory, received $197,588. The former beer hauler successfully argued that his connection to the Conservatives was at the root of why he was fired. But MacTavish’s lawyer also cited a 1997 sexual discrimination case in his final arguments. That case centered on Rev. Gael Matheson, who received $600,000 — the largest human rights settlement in Island history. The P.E.I. government’s lawyer, Spencer Campbell, said that case should not be considered because it involved sexual discrimination, not political discrimination. He argues MacTavish should not get that much money, arguing that he had no income loss. Campbell provided evidence to the courts that MacTavish actually made more money after being fired from his provincial government job, which means he mitigated his losses and should not be awarded the $127,000 for income loss. MacTavish said he’s not seeking a specific number, but his lawyers have already attached a number and that number is more than $300,000. “That’s why I went to the courts, to find out what the justifiable about is.”

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"Buy American" Campaign Not Working...

I came across this interesting letter to President Obama from the CEO of the US Chamber of Commerce and hopefully the President will take it seriously as it's starting to impact both sides of the border.
I have been talking to a lot of guys in the steel business and a lot of them have been shut out of some of the projects and markets that they worked hard to establish over the last number of years. As a frequent traveller to the US I also see a big change at the border as there seems to more "grilling" of people as they are coming and going. Add the requirement of a passport and I'm afraid we're going to see a lot less tourists from the States in our market this year. I think it's important to appreciate just how important the American market is to Canada and I'm hoping everyone on our side continue to respect our neighbours to the South and whenever we can encourage free trade and a welcoming attitude...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Spicing Up The Ratings.... the old fashion TV way..

She's got the bodyguard and he's sporting a couple of college co-eds... well so much for this seasons diaper sizzle... I never really got what this show was all about but the Princess often taped it so as part of my marital duties (and the good sport I am) I occasionally "suffered" through it with her... thinking maybe the Princess would reciprocate and join me for a Law and Order or something with a car chase... now that they've added some "spice" maybe this season's new episodes could get interesting after they put the "kids" to bed... hey Jon, how about a car chase too...
'Jon & Kate' spouses say they’re angry at media
The Associated Press
NEW YORK — Reality TV co-stars Jon and Kate Gosselin say they’re struggling with their marriage and they’re angry at the media intruding in their lives. The Gosselins and their eight children returned Monday on a new season of the TLC series “Jon & Kate Plus 8.” But the daily challenges of a super-size family lately have been overshadowed by reports of infidelity. Both spouses deny cheating. On the season premiere, Jon says he hates the media storm, while Kate says it kills her to see the tabloid stories attacking them. But Kate sadly acknowledges she and Jon have grown apart.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Hard To Believe... we didn't give them "enough"...

Well here's a story that I find hard to believe... Mr. McEachern represents a company that gets $800,000.00 in PNP's and they never start up... so he's now out trying to make a fool of the people who ran the program... I guess they didn't get "enough" money but we've certainly had "enough of him"... you have to listen to this story from CBC by clicking here investigates the connection .....funny the Guardian didn't have anything on this story.... awe, maybe Olive could recruit him as one of her "merry" men as I understand there is a rift between her and some of her Caucus....
PNP protester has long history with immigrant investor scheme
Last Updated: Friday, May 22, 2009
CBC News
A CBC investigation has found a connection between P.E.I. Provincial Nominee Program protester Rob McEachern and a company that received money through the program in 2003.
McEachern could be found outside province house during most of the spring session, complaining to MLAs about the program, and asking if they had accepted money from the program. An encounter with Progressive Conservative MLA Mike Currie led McEachern to complain to police that the MLA had assaulted him.
Now, a CBC investigation has uncovered a connection between McEachern and the program.
MDMI, a British Columbia company, set up a branch office on P.E.I. in 2003 with Rob McEachern as the general manager. It was supposed to manufacture a medical device called the Thermablate EAS to deal with heavy menstrual bleeding. The branch office received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the PNP, but closed a few months later without ever manufacturing anything on the Island.
Listen here as Barbara Taylor investigates the connection for CBC Radio's Island Morning.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Boomer... say it's not so...

On June 9th Jim Nunn host and main anchor of CBC Halifax "News At Six" which is the equivelent of our "Compass" is retiring from CBC Halifax and they are now looking for replacements. My Halifax friends tell me that PEI's very own Norma Lee MacLeod who use to be a reporter in Charlottetown before moving to Halifax is vying for the job and is up against no other than our very own Bruce Rainie (a Dartmouth native) who currently anchors the desk for Compass.... Although Norma Lee already had this position at one time she had decided to try her hand at producing the show and now the word is she wants it back (less stress is my guess).... along with a host of others including Bruce... most Islanders have fell in love with the "Rainie Boys" both Matt and Bruce as they are hard working guys with a great sense of humour and certainly fit well with Islanders... poor old Boomer won't know what to do if we lose his "sidekick" and when I suggested Boomer to "say it's not so" I thought about this expression and I near deleted it... as Bruce would vouch for this..... if "Boomer says it's not so" it's more than likely the opposite... something like the weather.... my prediction is that if either of them get the job then CBC Halifax will be the winner...

Nova Scotia Election Blues?... maybe Red or Green...

For those of you with Nova Scotia roots or interests there is a provincial election underway and it appears that the incumbent Conservative government lead by Rodney MacDonald is now running third in the polls... CRA just surveyed 627 people and the general consensus is that the economy is the biggest issue at 40% followed by health care at 33% (very similar to BC) and the environment didn't make a big showing which is too bad... it appears that Darrell Dexter leading the NDP party is polling at the top but the liberals led by Stephen MacNeil have pulled into second and are getting close (see ).... and as we get closer to election day on Tuesday June 9th things could change pretty dramatically as the question will be whether Nova Scotians' will want a NDP government or will they fully abandon the Tories and move their vote to the Liberals... on an interesting note Stephen MacNeil was on PEI in the new year and he dropped by my office to say hello and during the conversation we got talking about families and as it turns out Stephen is the 12th of 17 children in his family and I figure if you can manage your way through family dinner you should have some solid experience... for all you political "junkies" I think this will be a very interesting election so stay tuned for what might be a historic event on election night....

All About Nothing...

It's been about a year since I decided to take up "blogging" and I guess what really got me started was another blogger, Peter Rukavina had been writing some stories about me and my ambitious crusades to develop hideous box stores throughout the world and stamp out our heritage buildings along the way... I would occasionally hear about some of his posts but as I'm a bit illiterate I hadn't paid much attention to them until a business colleague suggested to me that I should have some of the stories pulled off Google as he had done a search on my name and the stories weren't complementary.... initially I was a little shocked at some of the his writings but more importantly was the fact that the first thing potential clients learned of me on the web were Peter's comments... so I decided to speak to my lawyer about his posts and his advice was to meet with him and try and ask him to be a little "fairer" with the comments... so I actually met him at Beans where we had what I thought was a reasonable conversation and I felt I had made some progress... but it wasn't long afterwards that he posted a picture of my Porsche SUV under a "no parking" sign down by the Delta which is a space I usually find very convenient when there are no others around... (and "yes" I have to pay the fine when I get a ticket)... along with the picture he posted the ownership and the value of the SUV, etc... within days I had gotten quite a few calls about the picture as people thought it was funny as it displayed my arrogance quite nicely and it soon made the email circuit... I didn't think it was that funny as he was "picking" on me again... but until then I hadn't realised just what blogging was all about and just how powerful a tool it was as a social media... it wasn't long after Peter's picture post that a client pointed out to me that my "image" was taking a beating... well a few days later I "ran" into Peter at Beans and I expressed my opinion that "you think you're pretty f**king funny" and some coffee spilt and the next thing it was an "assault" but more on the English language than in person... believe me when I say I was brought up in the West-end of Summerside and if I was going to assault him he wouldn't have been typing up his drivel anytime soon... and really that's what this McEachern/Currie story is all about... "nothing" and there is a video tape that proves that...
Crown won't have videotape of Currie confrontation
The Guardian
Charlottetown police have finished their investigation into the recent confrontation involving MLA Mike Currie in front of Province House, but the Crown will not have any video evidence to help in deciding whether charges should be laid. That’s because, although two types of footage were seized, not one successfully captured the actual alleged incident. Currie is alleged to have grabbed Rob McEachern in the face and chest after McEachern asked whether Currie’s wife had benefited from the Provincial Nominee Program. McEachern has been a vocal opponent of the administration of this program for months. He applied for but was denied PNP funds. McEachern filed a complaint with police almost immediately after the alleged incident took place outside the legislature on May 6. Police used a warrant to seize a video from CBC, which showed some footage of the confrontation between the two men. But the camera operator was not filming when the alleged incident actually took place. He captured only the two men exchanging heated words right after the confrontation occured. Charlottetown police also executed a search warrant to seize the hard drive of surveillance footage from Province House, Charlottetown Deputy Police Chief Richard Collins told The Guardian Thursday. But for some unexplained reason, that hard drive was no help.“We got the hard drive, we could not retrieve the images to the quality or to the point where they offered anything to us,” Collins said.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Setback for the "Don't Get Ahead Gang".....

I don't pretend to know a whole lot about this school closure situation but it strikes me that one side appears to be set against any kind of change... I also understand that the somewhere in the Judge's 32 page decision that he actually complemented Superintendent Sandy MacDonald for being forthright and honest with the public and one would think that this endorsement for Mr. MacDonald will certainly be a setback for the "No" side... I don't think I'd be surprised to see a little tweaking of the closures but I'd say this will pave the way for the closures to happen...
Process on school closing OK'd by court

Friday, May 22, 2009
CBC News
The Town of Georgetown, P.E.I., has lost in its effort to have the courts declare illegal a process that could see its school closed.
The P.E.I. Supreme Court decision Friday affects 11 schools on the Island that were recommended for closure by a report by the Eastern School District. The decision clears the way for a vote by the district's trustee's on which schools to close on May 29.
Lawyers for the town argued that the initial reports prepared for the school board by district superintendent Sandy Macdonald lacked necessary information, and that invalidated the process.
But Justice Wayne Cheverie wrote that there was no problem with the board requesting supplementary information.
"Once the board became aware there were some deficiencies in Dr. MacDonald's initial reports, they asked for more information, which was their prerogative under the legislative framework," wrote Cheverie.
Georgetown Mayor Peter Llewellyn told CBC News the decision is not necessarily all bad, and the town's lawyers are reviewing it.

Go Lorie Go.... our Island Pride...

One of the first things I do every Friday night is check where the LPGA is playing and just how our girl Lorie Kane is doing... and this weekend so far she doing GREAT and in fact she was -6 under today and is in 13th place on day 2 of Corning Classic in Corning, New York.... most of us who follow golf know that Lorie has slipped back a bit over the last year and hasn't had that great a start this season.... so I'm hoping she can stay tough over the next few days and make a great showing or even win it as she really needs a boost of confidence... I love Lorie and all she does for PEI as she is one great ambassador for PEI and Canada with that big smile... Lorie's first number of years on the tour she had a lot of "second" place finishes but once she broke the ice she grabbed 4 titles pretty quick.... I can remember one night I was downstairs at the cottage about 4:00 in the morning and I was hooting it up when the Princess arrived down and asked me what the "hell" I was doing on the computer at that time of the morning... I think she thought I was on a porn site when in fact I was following Lorie at a tournament in Japan she was leading and every few minutes I'd have to hit the reset button to update the score... over the past number of years Lorie has raised over $800,000.00 for charities like Kidsport in our Community and I think she had reservations about it this year because of her showings lately but the good news is she is going to continue with the Lorie Kane Classic Fundraiser at Belvedere Golf Course again this summer which is just great as she'll always be a winner here... Go Lorie Go...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Home again, home again, jiggity, jig...

I think it might be part of an old nursery rhyme about Mother Goose.... but since I can remember, back when our boys were very young and the family went for a short drive or a long trip my wife always used this expression on the kids as we entered the driveway "home again, home again, jiggity, jig.." and as they got older and started to be more aware of when we were arriving home they would occasionally blurt it out before she could... it always struck me as a nice welcome home and somehow it always made us appreciate getting home... so over the last few weeks I've been out to the cottage off and on but we didn't move out as the Princess had been travelling the last few weekends.... so this morning we packed a few things and I headed out to work knowing that afterwards I'd be heading to the cottage until the late fall... it turned out to be a beautiful day and on the drive out I was noticing just how nice our Island was and how beautiful the countryside looked... I finally hit the cottage laneway and as I drove myself down towards the water I couldn't help but blurt out... "Home again, Home again, Jiggity, Jig.." and I hope everyone else has a great summer too....

Monday, May 18, 2009

Wrong Again Mr. Bagnall....stop grandstanding on nothing...

When I heard about this story I thought "let's pin a medal on whoever was responsible for the sale" as FoodTrust was bleeding taxpayers money and now it's in the hands of a private company and probably has a much better chance of surviving... don't get me wrong as I think FoodTrust was a good concept when it started and still can be... they took a lot of Island products like potatoes and added "quality standards and marketing value" under the concept of sustainable agriculture and a lot of private producers and marketers made up and advised the board... they worked hard to develop concepts and an infrastructure to go along with it... but as some programs flourished it was obvious they needed more capital to build controlled storage facilities, etc.... all the while with no proof of ever getting an investment return... and this is where Government usually make the big mistake by throwing more money at them at the expense of the taxpayer.... so in this case Government steps in and sells the Company to a proven operator... Mid-Isle Farms, a group of local Queens County farmers (which Minister Webster may or may not be a shareholder as it's in a blind trust) and Jim Bagnall calls a "fowl" when he should have been out there "praising" Mid-Isle Farms for making this investment and showing confidence in our business community and the people who worked tirelessly to get this operation off the ground... in fact Bagnall thinks the Government shouldn't have even sold the business but just let it continue to "bleed more taxpayers money" just like when Bagnall was in charge of the Hog Plant and some Quebec shareholders suckered Bagnall and Olive for millions of taxpayers' dollars... the only story here in selling FoodTrust is Mr. Bagnall grandstanding on something he should be congratulating the Government on... it wasn't long ago I think that Bagnall was in a business in Montague (while he was a Minister) which I now think he may have sold... so let's just hypothetically say he sells the business to someone and not so long afterwards while Bagnall is still in Government that buyer applies for and gets some PNP's... under Bagnall's thinking I would wonder if he would have called the Conflict of Interest Commissioner first but we will never have to worry about things like that because Mr. Bagnall would never have done anything like that.... Mr. Bagnall is a hard working constituent guy but I wish he would stop knocking the business community around…
Minister in conflict: Bagnall
The Guardian
The government’s sale of FoodTrust to Mid Isle Farms places Agriculture Minister George Webster in a conflict of interest, charges Opposition MLA Jim Bagnall.
During question period Friday, Bagnall asked for details about the sale of FoodTrust to the private-sector company, announced last December.
He wanted to know how much in liabilities the government wrote off the company’s books before it was sold and how much Mid Isle Farms paid for it.
Webster said FoodTrust’s total losses amounted to $1.2 million. He also said government did write off the company’s liabilities before selling it off. But he said he didn’t know how much it sold for.
Bagnall asked Provincial Treasurer Wes Sheridan for the final figures, but Sheridan also could not recall what they were.
Bagnall was highly critical of the fact the province wrote off the debts of FoodTrust, then sold it to a company owned in part by a cabinet minister.
Bagnall said he believes the whole deal puts Webster in a conflict because Webster and his brother are both shareholders of Mid Isle Farms Inc.
“Minister, do you think it’s good business practice to write off all the loans, all the liabilities for a company that you, as president of the company, are buying? Do you think that’s legit,” Bagnall asked Webster during question period Friday.
“You were president of Mid Isle Farms, who purchased this. Yet you wrote off all the liabilities and then bought the company. Minister, how can you justify doing this?”
Premier Robert Ghiz stood up in Webster’s defense and told the house that FoodTrust was tendered to the lowest bidder – which turned out to be Mid Isle Farms. He also pointed out that Webster left the cabinet table whenever the issue of FoodTrust came up for discussion.
The sale of FoodTrust to Mid Isle was a government decision, Ghiz said.
“The minister wasn’t there to put himself in that situation. This was a business decision made. All these decisions with regards to the write-offs were made prior to it going out to tender.
“It went out to tender. Bids came back. The honourable minister of agriculture dismissed himself from all these meetings, and plus, everything is in blind trust,” Ghiz said.
But Bagnall believes there is still a perceived conflict of interest.
“I think the premier should have checked with the Conflict of Interest Commissioner before the sale was made,” Bagnall said.
“It could be perceived to be a conflict. There were two or three other proposals but they chose that one, they won’t disclose the final sale price.”
Bagnall believes the government should never have sold the company at all. But both Ghiz and Webster defended the sale, saying the FoodTrust was losing between $500,000 and $700,000 a year.
“It was bleeding terribly,” Ghiz said.
“The best scenario that we could see was to privatize that entity.”
He added that if Bagnall believes a conflict does exist, he is free to bring it to the attention of the Conflict of Interest Commissioner himself.
But Bagnall said he does not plan to do this, because he believes this is the premier’s responsibility.
“I think it’s an issue that the premier should show some leadership on.”

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Hard To Believe.... she's still in charge.....

I guess I must have been South when this news item passed the wire but I was out on the Links on Saturday and a couple of my buddies were laughing about PEI's golf situation... the Minister tries to make the argument that it's not the right time to sell PEI’s golf courses because of the economy but just last month right in our own backyard one of the partners of Eagles Glenn in Cavendish offered to buy out all the other partners.... a bidding war ensued and another partner bid higher and is now the new owner... and guess what "competition and no fire sale" in this market... but Minister Docherty won't even call for proposals to see what we can get for the courses... she taking the word of some "consultants" that say we won't get a fair offer in this market... probably the same consultants the Government engaged for the beef plant, the pork plant, the fish plants, and the "Tech" centre and we know how good a job they did there... Government shouldn't be in private business like golf courses and the last thing they should be doing is leaving the fate of the taxpayer's investment in the naive hands of a Minister and her Deputy who have ABSOLUTELY NO BUSINESS EXPERIENCE and that my friends is what you need before you can get a return on your investment... oh! let’s wind up the meat plant and get “nothing” for the $20 million dollar building but put some local beef growers out of business because it’s losing $200,000 a month…. well guess what… the golf courses aren’t doing much better but "keep them open" so guys like me will have a place to play and they can give away a few more “rounds” to friends… hey, how about a few free steaks for my "barbie"… seriously if you don't "put something on the market" how do you know what you can get and if you "don't get" a reasonable offer then you don't have to sell.... but at least you tried to live up to your commitment...
For sale signs off provincial golf courses
The Guardian
The for sale signs are off the four government-owned golf courses on P.E.I., Tourism Minister Valerie Docherty said Thursday. “We committed to having an evaluation done of the potential salability of the courses,” said Docherty of Dundarave, Brudenell, Crowbush and Mill River. “As well, we had to have legal title searches done because one course in particular, Brudenell, seemed to have property, after property expansions. It was hard to know how many properties were involved. “When the report came back to us this past winter it basically was determined, particularly because of the economic situation, that although the value of the courses were probably acceptable, nobody was going to be willing to pay for it at this time,” she said. “To have a garage sale of our courses just was not in the best interest of Islanders and taxpayers.” Docherty would not say how much the courses are worth, saying the report is being kept confidential “from a competitive perspective.” During the last election, Robert Ghiz promised to sell money-losing provincial golf courses, which are competing against private ones. “Too many Island dollars have been spent on golf,” Ghiz said during a May 2007 news conference. Last year Tim Banks offered $6.6 million for the Links at Crowbush Cove, saying he wanted to put seasonal homes around the course and perhaps turn it into a semi-private affair. At that time Banks told The Guardian that the province had allowed Crowbush to deteriorate from what he predicted could have been a sale value of $20 million or more. Docherty said last July that she was in no hurry to sell and was waiting at that time for the economic and legal report on the golf course sales plan. “If someone came along and made an offer that we could defend very easily to the taxpayers, we would certainly consider it,” she said Thursday. “We don’t have the for sale sign out but that doesn’t mean you can’t come to the table.”

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bagnall Worried... and he should be...

Mr. Bagnall is worried and he should be as he was one of the driving forces that got Government into this business and as everyone knows Government's success as a business operator is not stellar... just have a look at our Provincial golf courses which they claim to be worth $40,000,000.00 (a figure they probably spent building them) and without any debt service they are still losing millions of dollars a year... but they don't want to close them or look for a partner there... they seem to want to protect the golfers and not the taxpayers... it's unfortunate that the plant may close but the business scheme was destined to fail from the outset as every other private beef plant had already shut down because they were losing money hand over fist.... the Atlantic Beef Plant already had a partner in Co-op Atlantic and they bailed without any liabilities so I would be surprised if they could find an "Angel" investor.... Minister Webster suggested the Government was going to stick to their knitting and maybe he should remind his Cabinet members to do the same with the golf courses and sell them....
Cash crunch has P.E.I. looking for beef plant buyer
Thursday, May 14, 2009
CBC News
The only federally inspected beef plant in the Maritimes is still losing hundreds of thousands of dollars a month, prompting the P.E.I. government to look for a private buyer.
Atlantic Beef Products, jointly owned by the province and beef producers, opened in December 2004 in Albany, P.E.I., and has never turned a profit. It has racked up a loss of $30 million, and is burning through $200,000 to $300,000 a month.
Agriculture Minister George Webster told CBC News on Wednesday there's no end in sight to those losses.
"We still have enough revenue stream to sustain the plant for another three to five months, but when that money's burned through, then we are going to have a major challenge at that point in time," said Webster.
Webster said government is in contact with a dozen private investors, to see if anyone wants to buy the plant.
Opposition worries over closure
The only way the plant will make money is if it finds a niche market, said Webster.
A $12-million infusion of cash from the Maritime provinces and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency a year and a half ago was supposed to help with that. Half of that money was from ACOA, but it was never delivered. The federal funding agency changed the money from a grant to a loan, and Webster said no one wanted that kind of liability, so the loan was never accepted.
The talk of cash shortages and deadlines has agriculture critic Jim Bagnall worried.
"Right now I'm nervous because if you go back in history, that's what they floated out when they wanted to close the pork plant," said Bagnall.
"They threw out numbers and said if they don't have things fixed within 90 days, at that time, that they were going to close it down."
The P.E.I. government closed down the pork plant in March 2008.
Despite the significant monthly losses at the beef plant, Bagnall doesn't think government should pull the plug. He said if the plant is closed, that will shut down the livestock industry on P.E.I. as well.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Only In Charlottetown You Say.... "beam me up"

I was heading home tonight listening to CBC and I heard them interviewing a lady from Rogers and when she was asked about how many of these towers their company has installed she indicated that it would be hundreds if not thousands and then the reporter asked if this kind of protest-blockade had ever happened before and she said "No"... only in Charlottetown…. Now from a commercial prospective I can see where Rogers is coming from as a few years ago our business signed up with them Nationally and although they are a great Company we were having serious problems with "dropped calls" in the Charlottetown market to the point that about a year ago we had to switch to Telus who use the "Aliant" towers... and it wouldn't surprise me that others have done the same... the other thing I don't understand is "Aliant" has had a significant tower at their Belvedere Ave location for years and I've never heard of any radiation issues there and probably no evidence of any... so is this really the issue or are the neighbours concerned about property values... on the lighter side I went to the Star Trek movie on Sunday night and when they beamed Scottie and Captain Kirk up at warp speed I was thinking “I hope they don't miss the theatre and end up in one of the neighbouring homes”....
Protest shuts down cell tower construction
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
CBC News
Protesters managed to shut down work on a Rogers cell tower in Charlottetown Wednesday by blocking an access road to the construction site.
Construction on the tower, approved by Industry Canada over the wishes of city council, began earlier this week. It's in a field behind houses along Mount Edward Road, and local residents are concerned about the possible health effects of having a cell tower nearby. Among the protesters were nuns from a convent that is in the area.
"All the cancer it's caused," said protestor Joan McNeill.
"It's in the middle of the city, and I don't think a cell tower should be in the middle of the city."
Health Canada does not share the protesters' view that radiation from cellphone towers causes cancer, and Industry Canada ruled there was no reason for construction not to proceed.
The protest started in the morning. Demonstrators tied chains through a line of chairs across the access road, and waved work trucks away. The blockade was removed at the request of police, but the trucks did not return.
Charlottetown city council voted against the project in 2007. On Tuesday, the city issued a stop-work order because there was no permit to start construction.
Rogers says it intends to proceed with construction, and is working with City of Charlottetown lawyers to get the necessary permit.
Protesters said when work trucks return to the site, they will be there waiting for them.

Parking Problems.... and then some..

On Tuesday I went Downtown as usual for lunch and I parked in front of City Hall on Kent Street and I had to go to the City cashier to get change for the meter. It took about 50 minutes for lunch so when I got back to the car the Commissioner was checking the meter and I was lucky enough to have 10 minutes left so I was sort of watching him as he went to write a ticket for the SUV in front of me but I noticed that once he seen the decal on the vehicle he avoided giving it a ticket and moved on to the next car. As it turned out the SUV belonged to the City and so I checked and the meter was empty so by that time the Commissioner went across the street and was ticket other cars. I decided to go over and ask him why he hadn't ticketed the City vehicle and he told me that "they didn't do that" and he couldn't really give me an explanation why but it didn't make any sense to me. If our commercial vehicles go Downtown on delivery we park them in a loading zone and if we happen to use a regular space then we are obligated to pay the meter so why the double standard? Now it may seem petty but I decided to go find my Councillor Rob Lantz who happened to be in the building and he came out to look at the situation and he couldn't explain why as well and by coincidence his own car was ahead of the SUV and it was ticketed. I'm sure some people are going to say well it's going into the same pocket but how do we know if it wasn't just an employee on his own time doing lunch Downtown as I often see Police cars parked in residential permitted spaces during lunch which also seems odd to me. And further to my point the City under the Mayor's direction "gave away too cheap" the parking spaces that belonged to City Hall where this unit could have been parked and not taking up a "customer space" from the Downtown merchants. As I previously said the City made a huge mistake when they didn't press the Federal Government to put an underground parking lot in the new Federal building and we're paying for it now.... hopefully the new parking study will bring forward some fresh ideas and free up some of the residential spaces during daytime hours…

No Green Here....and not likely anytime soon...

I think for the most part other Canadians see British Columbia as a "Green Province" with a lot of hot button environmental issues which goes way back to episodes of the Beachcombers when young environmentalists would always being popping up somewhere in a fight to save the forest... as a political "junkie" and a small time environmentalist I followed this election with interest as a referendum on the Single Transferable Vote (STV) electoral reform proposal was being voted on and since this system was narrowly defeated in the 2005 election I thought it might have some legs this time particularly if you had listened to CBC Vancouver or the BC Green Party during the election as they were predicting a major victory on this front... and that didn't materialize and in fact the results weren't as good as the 2005 results so I expect this will probably be an end to this referendum question for a while...this vote could have made B.C. the first Canadian jurisdiction to adopt STV, which would have allowed for more proportional representation than the first-past-the-post system and could have led to some "Green" members..... some people may say the "economy" out trumped the "environment" here but that is not how the vote was set up as Campbell pushed the "economy" and the Greens pushed the "environment" but as a voter you could vote for Campbell and also vote in favour of the Referendum but BC voters didn't and I doubt if it will happen in any other Province anytime soon...
Referendum on electoral reform fails
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
CBC News
British Columbians also voted not to change the way they elect future provincial governments to the legislative assembly in Victoria. Less than 40 per cent of voters supported the proposed BC-STV system in the referendum on electoral reform. The referendum required more than 60 per cent support for the proposed system to be adopted.
The campaign for B.C.'s 39th general election officially kicked off April 14, with Liberal Leader Campbell looking to form his third straight government since 2001 and NDP Leader James looking to form her first.
Along the campaign trail, both parties had their share of gaffes, but for the most part, it was a race with few surprises and no major policy shifts that struggled to gain the public's attention.
The B.C. Liberals' campaign focused heavily on the economy, which polls consistently ranked as the No. 1 issue for voters. The NDP ran a more diverse campaign that focused heavily on Campbell's record on hot-button issues such as the collapse of B.C.'s forestry industry, questions about the government sale of BC Rail and funding levels for education, health care and seniors care.
A key challenge for James was her decision to oppose the Campbell government's carbon tax, which led many prominent environmentalists, including David Suzuki, to speak out against her. On the other hand, many environmentalists supported her promise to put a moratorium on the many run-of-river private power projects begun under the Liberals.
For the most part, the two major parties dominated the election, but the Green Party of B.C. ran candidates in every riding, and the B.C. Conservative Party ran candidates in more than 20 ridings.

Campbell... A Carbon Tax Winner... red again..

Funny how things happen... Dion proposes a green shift and a carbon tax and Canadians don't buy it... so Campbell in BC proposes a carbon tax and since it didn't go over that well in the Federal Election in BC the NDP Provincially see an opportunity to gain ground so they oppose the carbon tax and out comes David Suzuki against the NDP.... I believe Suzuki gave Campbell some creditability with the “environmental voters” which hurt both the NDP and the Greens and probably ended up putting Campbell over the top for the win....
Campbell wins third straight term in B.C.
Referendum on electoral reform fails
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
CBC News
B.C. Liberal Leader Gordon Campbell has won an historic third straight term as the province's premier. The results in Tuesday's B.C. election show Campbell's Liberals leading with 45.7 per cent of the popular vote, ahead of Carole James's NDP at 42.2 per cent.
With more than 95 per cent of polls reporting, Liberals were on track for a nine-seat margin, but close races in several ridings remained to be decided.
By midnight Tuesday, the Liberals were ahead in 47 ridings, having been elected in 45. The NDP led in 38 ridings, with New Democrats declared elected in 34 of those. The polls closed at 8 p.m. PT.
Six new seats were added to the provincial legislature in Victoria for this election, raising the total number of seats to 85. That means to win a majority, a party needs to elect candidates in at least 43 ridings.
The victory makes Campbell one of only four premiers in B.C. history to win three terms, alongside W.A.C. Bennett, his son Bill Bennett and Richard McBride.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Great Work Ronnie...

You have to give Ronnie credit... he certainly puts the practical and common sense approach forward and I noticed in the House this week it didn't take him to long to get his increased budget approved.... I must admit that when Ghiz originally gave him the Transportation portfolio I was a little sceptical that Ronnie would be able to handle that large of a Department especially one that requires a lot a dialogue with the other Members... obviously I was wrong as he is doing a great job and I doubt it if there is any member who works as hard... I'm hoping the Premier will now "sic" him on Ottawa and New Brunswick to fix and expand the roadways leading to Prince Edward Island to make it a little nicer and safer for our Tourists and fellow Islanders as they are in a horrible state.... go get them Ronnie…
Road repair to start early on P.E.I.
Friday, May 8, 2009
CBC News
Road work will begin on P.E.I. just after the Victoria Day weekend this year, three weeks earlier than normal.
Serious repairs cannot begin on highways until the weather is warm enough for paving. Asphalt plants have not typically opened until June, but Transportation Minister Ron MacKinley rose in the legislature Thursday to announce the plants would open earlier this year.
"As most Islanders already know, there's many potholes on the roads which left many roads in poor shape," said MacKinley.
"That's why I'm pleased to rise in the house to announce that road patch operations begin this year on May 19th, immediately after the long weekend."
MacKinley said the main highways are always first on the list for patching.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

What Can I Say.... you be the judge...

Have a look at this video clip by Rob MacEachern .... there goes Olive's theory that any Liberal that asked got a PNP.... maybe Olive could recruit him to the Blue Team with any luck....

Friday, May 8, 2009

Give Us A Break.... "and start sticking up for us"...

As I previously said I like Olive but she would certainly make a better leader for "The Bleeding Heart Society" than an Opposition leader... you would think Olive would be out there defending our Island, our Island Business people and our Government employees and setting the record straight when these bleeding heart immigrants start throwing foolish accusations around. There is no evidence to support the immigrant's accusations so why is Olive trying to give them some creditability and making Islanders look like "criminals, thieves, frauds and Pinocchio’s"... if PEI is getting a bad rap it's from all the foolishness coming out of Olive and Bagnall and the local media running with it... maybe they should start thinking about sticking up for our Island for a change.... and while they are at it maybe bring a few fresh ideas to the floor of the Legislature...
Immigrants shunning P.E.I. over investment scandal, Opposition says
Friday, May 8, 2009
CBC News
Disillusionment over the government's handling of an immigrant investor program is beginning to hurt P.E.I.'s reputation overseas, Opposition leader Olive Crane told MLAs Thursday.
"As an immigrant puts it," she said, reading a letter in question period, "Up until now we have no intentions to leave Prince Edward Island. However, much will depend on how Prince Edward Island will handle this scandal. As you can understand, we do not want to be part of a society in the knowledge that a part of our tax money is going to be used paying for criminals, thieves, frauds, and Pinocchios."
The Provincial Nominee Program has come under criticism from the province's auditor general for the sometimes ad hoc way investments were approved and the involvement of MLAs and civil servants. Canada Immigration worried about the quality of the companies approved to receive investment from potential immigrants.
Crane said it's important to highlight the faults with how PNP was managed, and it's equally critical to hear the voices of the people who have made P.E.I. their new home. Immigrants are spreading their disillusionment to their home countries, she said.
Potential immigrants told 'not to choose P.E.I.'
"A European family has told me that because of … what's happening on P.E.I., that they are no longer going to live here. But in addition to that, they have sent the word back home to a family from Europe who were going to emigrate here not to choose P.E.I. Choose any other place," she said.
Innovation Minister Alan Campbell, who is responsible for creating a new immigrant program, said he wants to hear all about the problems people have with the PNP.
"I would encourage any immigrant who has an issue with the program, Madame Speaker, to sit down with staff at [Island Investment Development Inc.] to have their issues resolved," he said.
Campbell said he has already received some great suggestions from immigrants and support groups, and he plans to incorporate many of those ideas into a new program.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Big Mistake Mike...

As soon as I heard this story I knew Mike made a Big Mistake in my opinion as he hadn't hit him hard enough... now that may seem a little crass but it's easy to get frustrated... just Friday night I was watching Compass and Olive Baby was shooting her mouth off about whether or not a certain bureaucrat’s family and friends (and I could just happen to be that friend she was talking about) had got PNP's and implying that there was something wrong with that... I'm glad I had the weekend to cool down... so I certainly know how Mike felt when "crazies" start making allegations about family and friends without any substance... and these "crazies" always seem to be "saints" themselves which makes me wonder if we'd have ever heard of Mr. MacEachern had he gotten the PNP's he had applied for... and it's funny that Olive gets a contract from Holland College a few weeks after she becomes a MLA (wink, wink) something she was also looking for if she ran for the liberals... "so no conflicts there Olive"... but I still like your style Mike...
P.E.I. MLA accused of assault

Assault complaint made
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
CBC News
A man questioning MLAs regarding their involvement in an immigrant investor fund as they entered the P.E.I. legislature Wednesday got into an altercation with an opposition member.
Rob MacEachern was asking each member whether they received money from the provincial nominee program (PNP). MacEachern alleges Tory MLA Mike Currie walked over to MacEachern and pushed him after Currie was asked whether his wife participated in the PNP.
MacEachern said he filed an assault complaint with Charlottetown police.
"He backed out of the door, he said, 'What did you say, you son of a bitch?' He came charging down the stairs, dropped his briefcase on the stairs. Took a full run at me. Grabbed me by the face and the chest, and said, 'You son of a bitch. You don't talk about my wife,'" MacEachern said as he described the incident to reporters at Province House.
It was the second day in a row MacEachern was involved in a disruption at Province House. On Tuesday, he was ejected from the gallery after he started shouting to members below about how the PNP was run.
Currie, a former development minister who was in charge of the PNP under the previous Tory administration, refused to comment on whether he actually assaulted MacEachern. Currie did say he "confronted" MacEachern about how inappropriate it was to ask about his wife.
"I confronted the individual and I told him that the family is off-limits and that's it," Currie told reporters.
Over the past few weeks in the legislature, Opposition Leader Olive Crane has asked MLAs about their families and possible involvement in the provincial nominee program.
Currie said this was different because he has already stated publicly that neither he nor any of his family members ever participated in the program.
Earlier this spring, provincial auditor general Colin Younker criticized the program for approving transactions in an ad hoc manner, and said there was an appearance of conflict of interest in some deputy ministers receiving money from the immigrant investor fund.

What's The Old Saying... a few bricks short...

Well the PNP file appears to be coming full circle... originally Mr. MacEachern starts complaining to the media about the PNP program and why "because he didn't get any units" and so he gets hold of a private Government internal report from "dope head" and starts shooting his face off to the media... the media (most of whom got units) go crazy and can't wait to get the Auditor's Report and see the RCMP arrest somebody and I think they should now know who that might be... as the file seems to be going full circle... maybe they should move him off the Island...
Protester removed from legislature
The Guardian
Security was forced to remove a man from the public gallery at the P.E.I. legislature Tuesday after he started yelling at Island MLAs. Jim Bagnall, Opposition fisheries critic, was questioning Allan Campbell, the acting minister of Fisheries, on the state of the lobster fishery when the man started shouting. “When are you going to deliver on accountability? That’s what you promised when we elected you,” said Rob MacEachern of Priest Pond, in the eastern part of P.E.I. The public is not allowed to participate in the discussions from the public gallery. Speaker Kathleen Casey ordered security to remove the man, who continued to shout obscenities at the Liberal government, members of the media and Island business owners as he was escorted outside of the building. “This is not patronage house, this is the public’s house,” he said. “This party is out of order.” MacEachern has been a vocal critic of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). He shouted out the names of several high-profiled business owners who he said received PNP funds. “Everybody got millions on both sides and we’re not getting any answers from our elected officials,” MacEachern told reporters outside Province House.

Must Be A Full Moon...

No surprise here that the RCMP couldn't find anything against the Government on the PNP's as there is nothing to find... and if you look at Mr. MacKinnon's complaint it appears to be more with the partners he picked out than anything to do with Government... so now he wants to start his own political party because his partners screwed him... well he may as well be howling at the moon as it appears to be full... Back when I managed the Crystals Jr "A" Hockey Team and we would play in Sherwood you could always count on Wayne MacKinnon being there standing behind our goaltender and actually "spitting" on him and it appears that things haven't changed that much...
RCMP drops PNP probe
The Guardian
The RCMP has dropped its probe into a fraud complaint filed by a local businessman involving his participation in the Provincial Nominee Program. Wayne MacKinnon filed the complaint several months ago after he and his business partners received investment money through the PNP. MacKinnon alleges his business partners did not use their PNP funds appropriately, and after realizing this he took his complaint to the RCMP. After months of poring over paperwork and interviewing the people involved, police have decided not to launch an official investigation of fraud into the matter. “The commercial crime unit of the RCMP investigated a complaint from a shareholder of a company, reviewed the allegations made and found insufficient evidence to support that a criminal offence had occurred,” RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Denis Morin told The Guardian Tuesday. MacKinnon was in front of Province House Tuesday to protest the government’s handling of the PNP and to inform the media of his intentions to start a new, independent political party. He confronted Premier Robert Ghiz as he walked into the legislature Tuesday afternoon, asking him for a public inquiry into the controversial program. But Ghiz fired back, saying he believed it was a good program for P.E.I.“If it’s so good then why don’t you have an investigation into the PNP?” MacKinnon shouted to the premier. “The auditor general looked into the program and it worked great and I’m very proud of the program and I’m very happy for everyone who applied . . . it was able to help out a lot of small businesses and bring in a lot of new immigrants to our province — you know it was a good program, you just had problems with it,” Ghiz replied. Ghiz then turned around and walked into the legislature as MacKinnon continued to ask him for a public inquiry. MacKinnon insists he did not hold his rally at Province House because of his case being dropped by the RCMP. “That’s just the spin,” he said. “I got into the PNP program and I got some units and then I took on a couple of partners who had no intention of doing business, they were just going to grab the money and run.” He claims he first went to government with his complaint and that the department had a lawyer look into the details. After no action on the complaint for six months, MacKinnon said he was fed up and took his file to the RCMP. “They took over a year to investigate it and they basically told me last week that there was two guys saying one thing against me saying the other and I don’t have enough proof,” he said. “Unless you have documentation and tape recordings of conversations you can’t do anything — I mean, I trusted them and you thought they were my friends, but that’s where I made the mistake and I’ve got to learn from that.” Now he plans to put all of this behind him and work on forming a new political party that will be a voice for all Islanders. “We want to empower Islanders to say, ‘You can make a difference,’” MacKinnon said.“I can’t stand back and watch my fellow Islanders ask the questions and never get any answers.”

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Olive and the Beaver... sometimes you just have to suck it up...

Back when I was President of the Liberal Party Olive Crane came to my office to discuss running for the Liberals in District 7 Morell. I was quite excited about the possibilities as I had known about her work at the Vet College as I was on the AVC Inc. Board and she certainly had some great credentials. She was a bit naive at our meeting as one of her concerns was making sure that Larry McGuire wouldn't put his name forward at the nomination meeting if she decided to take a run at it for us... and that my friends would have been a miracle in itself. We all know the rest of the story and we've all had a chance to see Olive in action as a MLA and for the most part she has done a great job but obviously on the "Beaver" issue she has completely lost her mind... what possible good is there in bringing a 30 year old matter up in the house that will in the end only embarrass our Province in the National media... how about a few Ideas for Islanders… I understand the likes of Jim Bagnall shooting his mouth off about it as he just doesn’t know any better but I would have expected Olive to at least understand that she is making a laughing stock of our Legislature... she just doesn't seem to know when to "let an issue go" and that's quite evident with the PNP's as there has been a long line up of well healed Tories who have tried to "shut her up" (and that’s the common quote I hear)… she doesn't seem to understand that she needs them if she ever thinks she can go any further in the Tory party... just ask Pat Mella... if most of the guys working around Mike Currie when he ran the PNP program were scooping up PNP’s just think of the number of “well connected and well healed Tory supporters” who were recipients’ during Mike’s reign and they DON’T LIKE ANY MEDIA ATTENTION…. so I'm thinking Olive is "toast" at the next leadership review unless she starts towing the Tory line...and that would be too bad... Olive, sometimes you just have to suck it up.....
Brown won't apologize for blowing up beaver dams
The Guardian
An admission by P.E.I.’s Environment minister that he used dynamite to blow up beaver dams when he was in his 20s has the Opposition demanding an apology. But Environment Minister Richard Brown fired back, saying the Opposition was making a mockery of the P.E.I. legislature. He went on to say that no beavers were hurt by his work, adding they had all been removed before he used the dynamite. “Our office has been getting calls all day from environmentalists, and national (animal) rights groups from all across the province, and all across the country, who have heard this comment,” Jim Bagnall said during question period Thursday. “That the minister of Environment has been bragging about crisscrossing our gentle Island and blowing up beavers, which is our national symbol. “Will the minister stand in this house today and give a public apology to all Islanders for those types of comments.’’ That exchange only prompted more fireworks inside the legislature. “I take offence to that,” Brown replied. “This legislature is here to debate and discuss things and it’s a serious issue. The question was posed to me about this problem, the overpopulation of beavers and the problems they are causing in Island rivers. If this Opposition doesn’t want open and frank debate, if they want to make a mockery of this thing, then they can do it.” The Guardian was the first to tell Islanders about the jaw dropping exchange in the legislature earlier this week. As outlined in Thursday’s newspaper, Brown admitted to using dynamite to blow up beaver dams. He had a permit, but the idea of the Environment minister blowing up dams shocked other MLAs, including Opposition Leader Olive Crane. Brown said Thursday the point he was trying to make is that times have changed and what was acceptable 30 years ago is no longer tolerated. “No, not the sins of the past,” said Brown, responding to a heckler. “That’s the way things were done in the past. Thirty years ago, this was acceptable. It’s not acceptable today.” But Bagnall said it’s time for the province to put more humane practices in place. “Would you please come up with a more humane and compassionate way to remove the beavers rather than blowing them up?” said Bagnall. Brown said that’s already happened. He said beaver dams are now being removed by the P.E.I. Trappers Association using the most humane methods possible. “I didn’t hurt any beavers in my life,” added Brown.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Fish To Fry... it's open season

Well April was a great month... to be down South soaking up the sun and flailing away at a few golf balls and that's exactly where I was... I had decided before I left that I should try and relax a bit and stay away from the "office calls" and also take a breather on the Blog... the funny thing is that after a week of not pounding out a post on the Blog I was starting to miss it but even funnier were the emails from readers who were wondering where I was and what "had happened"... a few of them had a silly notation that I had been given a "Gag Order" and some thought I may be "Sick"... well maybe I am "sick" if the only way I can vent my frustrations with the media and politicians is by posting a response to some of their activities, but on the gag order front, there is nothing further from the truth as the "Princess" is in charge of that and she's just "too busy" running the household to be bothered with my drivel... I did appreciate some of the emails encouraging me to get back to the "posting" and there were a few "demanding" me to respond to some of the foolish things happening back here on the Island... I kind of felt like Dorothy Parker when she was on her honeymoon and her editor sent her a telegram demanding that she look into a story and respond immediately... she "wired" him back that she was "too fucking busy, and vice verse"... well I was busy golfing... so that's the scoop, the whole scoop and nothing but the scoop so once I've had a chance to "catch up" on all the news you can expect to see me back to the Post... as there's Fish to Fry... and I hear it's open season on the "beavers"... seems nothing has changed with Olive and it won't be long before they toss her out.....