Sunday, January 10, 2010

Shame on you Mike.... "knocking" business

It's really disappointing to see a guy like Mike Currie stooping to the level of Jim Bagnall and using members of our business community to grandstand for their own political gain... just because they believe it plays well with Islanders to crap all over business people doesn't mean they should descend to that level... it may appear fashionable to play on Kevin Murphy's success but the audacity of Mike Currie to say "the privileged seem to be getting everything" is way out of line... it could have been easily the “theme song” when Mike was in charge of our Highways and Development departments if you listened to some of our small minded Liberals of the day... and I'm pretty sure when Mike was sporting around Cardigan in his Mercedes or flipping over to Boughton Island in his Sea Ray boat (while hauling in over $110,000.00 as a Cabinet Minister) there were likely some of those small minded individuals in Georgetown who might have thought he was “privileged” but not I... for some reason lately Island politicians think they have some God given license to "call out" a business or business individuals because its popular around the coffee shops and I think it's time our business community started speaking out... we've all heard the old story about the Island fisherman who threw a bunch of lobsters up on to the wharf and a tourist who was looking on yelled down to the fisherman that the lobsters might "get away" and the old fisherman piped up "not to worry boy, they're like Islanders, as soon as one tries to get ahead the others will haul him back"... it's not a very becoming story for us Islanders but my parents never taught us to begrudge anyone from getting ahead and I hope I never catch my kids at it... as my Mom always said it's more likely jealousy or ignorance that these people suffer and while it's easy for any of us to go to that level (I'd love to have Kevin's hair) it shouldn't be at the expense of our precious Island... whether you're a farmer, a fisher, a tourist owner, a manufacturer, a woodlot owner, etc... you're really a business operator not unlike a car dealer, grocer or a retail operator and I'll continue to put out the argument that PEI's biggest industry is really "small business" all of which relies on customers and the commerce of banking... it’s been my experience that banks always want to lend as that’s how they make their money but policies usually linked to global issues or trends sometimes preclude them from doing so... no matter how big or how small the business is the loan requirements to keep the business going don't always meet the criteria of conventional banking sources and that is why (particularly in these economic times) that Governments have to step in and assist big companies like the Irving's, as well as the small lobster fishers and all those in between, to keep our PEI economy vibrant... no one more than Mike Currie should know this and he should also know that "knocking" someone's business success in the public scares the living daylights out of traditional "bankers" to the point that they are less apt to lend here to others if they keep seeing our businesses being bashed.... Mike, you always supported business and you should stick to it as it looks better on you than following the footsteps of your interim leader chasing down the ghosts of PNP....
P.E.I. Opposition cries conflict in board member loan
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
CBC News
There are potential conflicts of interest in a loan provided to a P.E.I. entrepreneur recently appointed to a board that oversees government funding to business, says MLA Mike Currie.
Kevin Murphy was appointed to the board of directors of Innovation PEI in early December. A week later, cabinet approved a $250,000 loan to Murphy Investments.
"It's the privileged that seem to be getting everything," said Currie, the P.C. innovation critic.
"The premier should look at the optics, you know, what kind of conflict is here."
Cabinet would not normally have to approve a loan of this size. That decision would normally be made by the board of Innovation PEI.
Murphy's companies already have loans out with the government in excess of $2 million or $2.5 million, which means any further lending must be approved by cabinet.
Currie is concerned by the conflicts that could occur with someone who already owed so much money to the government, and was looking for more, sitting on a board that approves government loans to businesses. The privileged seem to be getting everything, says Currie.
Innovation Minister Allan Campbell defends the appointment and the loan. He acknowledged some could see a conflict of interest in the situation, but said Murphy, who owns or has interest in a number of tourism businesses in Charlottetown, brings important experience to the board.
"I'm pleased with the expertise that Mr. Murphy brings to the table and, you know, I think he has a lot to offer and we're hoping to tap into that," said Campbell.
Murphy expressed disappointment with Currie's comments.
"I was asked to sit on a board. I accepted. I was honoured and willing to give back to P.E.I. and try to assist the way I can," he said.
Murphy went on to point out he has been involved with both Liberal and Progressive Conservative governments over the last 30 years.
"We have many loans. This one in particular was early fall that it has been going on," he said.
"Mr. Currie has a short memory when it comes to what Kevin Murphy has done for all governments over the last 30 years."
Murphy said he would excuse himself from any discussions at the board where there might be a conflict.


Anonymous said...

Hey Tim ........ not surprising that PEI Provincial and Municipal gov's can't attract 'real' business talent at any board level.

Why bother ?

Tim Banks said...

You're right there... our politicians just abuse people like Kevin for trying to do something right...

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

As usual, your head is in the sand, again.

Anonymous said...

Great article. But you were to easy on him. It is time for him to retire .he offers nothing for the betterment of islanders