Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Great Idea... but put your own money up!!!!

I've listened to Mike McGeoghegan talk about this lobster storage facility for some time and I'm all for new investment... providing the end-users/owners (co-op) take most of the risk and not the taxpayers... What I'm saying here is if this is such a great business idea then like any proposal that would be put forward to a bank then the shareholders should put up "their own equity" of 25% cash and guarantee the Government loan balance... but if this is just another silly scheme that doesn't have a legitimate business plan with no real investor money in the deal like our meat plant or pork plant then I'm out until the fishers put their own money up...

P.E.I. government looking at adding lobster storage capacity

The Guardian
Published on November 4, 2011
Wayne Thibodeau

Fisheries Minister Ron MacKinley says he's prepared to look at adding more lobster storage capacity in Prince Edward Island in an effort to boost lobster prices.

In response to a question by Charlie McGeoghegan, MacKinley said he'd like to see the fishermen come forward with ideas. He said if the idea is feasible, he is prepared to fund the project.

"The way I like to run departments is the way I run the farm," said MacKinley.

"I want people to come forward with ideas. Souris has an idea, the young fishermen down there have an idea. If that group of fishermen can get together and form a cooperative and put a proposal to us I'm 100 per cent behind that."

Lobster prices were stronger during the spring season, but fell again for fall fishermen.

A lobster storage facility would allow access lobster caught during the first two weeks of the spring lobster season, when lobsters are usually plentiful, to be held until later in the season or for the month of July when neither the spring nor the fall fishermen are fishing.

That's also when demand peaks, as more and more tourists visit the province.

Tignish Fisheries has a cold water lobster storage facility, which can hold up to 500,000 pounds of lobster.

McGeoghegan, who is also a fishermen, believes additional lobster storage would improve lobster prices.

"Processors have used this as a leverage point or an excuse for years that they can't pay because there is a big glut of lobster in the spring and that's the reason why the price is down," said the MLA.

"This would take that off the table. If the water is cold enough, it can hold them for two months easily and longer if the water is cold enough."

The MLA for Belfast-Murray River hopes his district can be considered for a lobster storage facility.

"I think there is more than one (cold storage facility) needed. There is a large number of fishermen in my area so it would be a good spot for one."

MacKinley said his department is also trying to develop new markets in western Canada.

He also wants to see more Prince Edward Island lobster being sold in China.

With a population of 1.4 billion people, China holds great potential.

There is currently a group of Prince Edward Island fishermen, including P.E.I. Fishermen Association President Mike McGeoghegan, in China looking at expanding the markets in that country.

"We have financed a group of people over there right now for 15 days to China," said MacKinley.

"I'll definitely be asking these people when they come back to meet with my department and find out what was accomplished by going to China."

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Speaking of "disaster"... the City really has one!

After reading the following story I can't help but think the City of Charlottetown really has a major "disaster" and that's Councillor Mitchell Tweel who can't seem to shut his mouth... here's the City trying to come to terms with what I'm sure is an important issue... so Council decide to have the Chair of the intergovernmental affairs, transit and communications committee, Cecil Villard, act as “spokesperson for the City” to help calm fears among the public... and that approach seems reasonable to me and not unlike how private enterprise would put “one” knowledgeable representative out front to communicate their issue to the public... but lo and behold out comes "Councillor Do Nothing" with his usual grand standing by trying to fear monger the public into believing the world is going to end... if there's anything that really needs fixing by Council then I’d suggest it would be figuring out some way of keeping Mitch's trap shut and that may very well prove more difficult than fixing the City's sewage problem as there's more "shit" to deal with... as a start maybe they could figure out a way to keep him away from his daily visits to the Guardian?

Charlottetown ordered to fix sewage overflow problem

The Guardian
Published on November 4, 2011
Ryan Ross

The City of Charlottetown has no choice but to fix its sewage overflow problem after Environment Canada ordered it to do so.

Coun. Cecil Villard, chair of the intergovernmental affairs, transit and communications committee, said the city is doing what it can to get the necessary funding to move forward on the sewage problem.

"We want to advance this project," he said.

On Wednesday, Environment Canada's enforcement branch sent the city an order to fix the problems that have led to sewage overflows into the city's harbour during heavy rains.

The overflow stems from a portion of Charlottetown's storm sewer and wastewater lines that are combined into one.

That has led to numerous cases of storm water combined with sewage running into the harbour at the Navy Quay lift station near the Queen Charlotte armory, which in turn caused the shellfishery to be closed down for periods of time.

To fix the problem the city will need to separate the lines, which has already been done for most of the system. There are about 12.5 kilometres left to upgrade.

So far the city and provincial government have committed to each pay one-third of the cost to fix the system, which a city employee said Wednesday has been estimated at about $18 million.

Provincial Environment Minister Janice Sherry confirmed Friday the government is still committed to its portion of the funding.

In the order, Environment Canada's inspector listed six incidents of sewage entering the harbour in a six-month span and that the city hasn't taken reasonable steps to stop it from happening.

The inspector also collected a sample from the lift station outfall on Aug. 28 and it tested for levels of fecal coliform higher than what city officials said they usually saw in their own tests.

Under the order, the city has to provide a detailed action plan within six weeks of receiving it to outline the steps it will take to comply.

The city also has to provide the inspector with further reports every 60 days that detail the plan to separate the storm water and sewage lines.

Villard said he doesn't think any level of government wants to sit on a project that has drawn as much publicity as the storm sewage issue in Charlottetown.

"We want to get it underway," he said.

The next step for the city is to follow up with the federal government to get a sense of the necessary process to negotiate federal funding for the project, Villard said.

"The issuing of an order is secondary to the financing."

In response to questions about federal funding for the project, National Revenue Minister Gail Shea wasn't available for comment, but a spokesman for her office said the federal government has already transferred money to the province for infrastructure.

That includes $175 million for a seven-year agreement as part of the Build Canada Fund to meet infrastructure needs, which has already been spent, and $3 million annually to the city in gas tax revenue.

It was a matter of setting priorities, the spokesman said.

Coun. Mitch Tweel said the city spent millions on ditch infilling and he thinks the sewage problem should be the top priority.

"This, for all intents and purposes, is an environmental disaster," he said.

Tweel also questioned the timing of the order because the Environment Department knew the overflow was happening.

"Why did it take so long?" he said.

Water and sewer committee chair Eddie Rice said he didn't think the order was all bad news and agreed the sewage issue should become a priority.

"Maybe in every cloud there's a silver lining," he said.

Friday, October 28, 2011

"Hamburger".... HELP

I'm the first guy who wants to see it done here but "Holy Cow" that's $2,500,000.00 a year it's costing us Islanders (and I suspect even more) and when you're competing against the big guys you really need a "niche" value added product which was what this plant originally started out to try and achieve but OMG they’re now making "hamburger"... Maple Leaf and many other companies like them couldn't make it work here and I'm afraid there's not a snowball's chance in hell that anyone could ever make money at this small of a scale in the meat processing business... the world didn't end when the PEI pork plant was shut down and the world won't end here if this plant suffers the same fate... but if Government continues on trying to be a “business enterprise” then we may as well throw this money out the window as there might be a better chance of more Islanders getting some of it back as it blows in the wind... I know this doesn’t sound good but there really must be better ways for Government to “support” jobs than having $25,000,000.00 tied up in the plant and equipment (now not worth anything) and throwing taxpayer's money away month after month...

Province continues aid to struggling beef plant
CBC News Oct 28, 2011

P.E.I.'s agriculture minister says his government is still committed to keeping the Atlantic Beef Products plant financially afloat.

George Webster said the plant was a doing a little better a few months ago, but is now on a downward slide again.

Management at the facility admit the plant is losing an average of about $200,000 a month. That has fueled speculation about its future.

"There is losses there. There have been losses there. And we're trying to minimize those losses and go forward," said Webster.

"The premier did say … we are going to maintain and sustain the beef plant. You know, we're going forward with it and we've made that commitment. We've trimmed a lot of things and we have a hamburger line in there now and we're trying to find ways for that plant to sustain itself."

But Webster said government isn't planning to walk away and he's hopeful the situation will turn around as new markets are developed

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"attack the man"... really!!!!

When you think about it 100 people aren't really a crowd...  so I'm thinking this story may be news for a few days which is too bad...  the media try to make it a story and unfortunately some of those who really need help think that this "media fix" is really going to help them...  it all sounds great to "attack the man" but really....

Yes we need better financial management by our Governments but that really comes with less demands on Government from the public and that seems unlikely given everyone wants a new school, a new hospital, free drugs,... Governments can't fix everything so we have to stop “asking” for everything... increasing taxes on big corporations sounds great but will do very little to solve this crowd’s problems... giving corporations a tax break for new investments and product development might help stimulate the economy more but developing programs for investing and educating our youth will do a lot more to resolve problems going forward... I feel bad for those who are having it tough and I think the best way I can help is by investing in my Community, which I'll continue to do God willing...

Occupy Charlottetown attracts more than 100

The global Occupy movement came to Prince Edward Island Saturday, and attracted about 125 people to a protest outside Province House in Charlottetown.

The Saturday demonstration was part of a worldwide call to denounce corporate greed and financial mismanagement. Demonstrations were held in more than 80 countries, including at least 15 cities in Canada.

Students, labour leaders, politicians and health care advocates addressed the crowd in Charlottetown. Liberal MLA Richard Brown and NDP Leader James Rodd were both present.

There was also an open mic portion of the event where demonstrators were invited to take the stage and share their thoughts with the crowd. Organizers are planning another demonstration for this coming Saturday.

The Occupy movement started in New York City in September, with protestors setting up in a park near Wall Street. Protests have since spread across the U.S. Saturday was the movement's first co-ordinated international event.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Richard Is Fighting Back...

Here's what Richard had to say at the Halifax Club lunch yesterday, excerpts from AllNovaScotia.com

He accused management at Homburg Invest of mis-using the creditor protection process to protect their jobs.

“This company had lots of liquidity. It’s an abuse of the system,” said the founder of the troubled property company at a Halifax Club lunch.

“The company is not a bankrupt,” said Homburg.

“(It) is more to protect management who did not like the largest shareholder (Homburg) to take over the company and privatize it.”

Homburg was particularly critical of the annual meeting, which was held the same day as the CCAA move.

He said he had given his power of attorney to “trusted people” to vote his 46% shareholding – only to find out later that they had assigned it to “someone else.”

“Business can be war,” said the 62-year-old international financier who was careful not to name any of his adversaries, citing legal issues

After his resignation, Homburg offered $3.25 a share to take the company private. When the board turned thumbs down, he threatened a hostile bid, which he later abandoned.

Homburg Invest responded by cancelling management contracts held privately by Homburg – which has responded with a $27-million lawsuit.

Defending his privatization bid, Homburg said the gathering economic crisis and the difficulty raising money, particularly in Europe, mean Homburg Invest did not have a future as a public company.

He said he took himself out of management of Homburg Invest because he was starting a similar business and wanted to avoid conflicts. He also wanted to start succession planning.

The regulator ordered that Homburg be removed from any positions of influence, due to tax assessment issues with the Dutch government.

Yesterday, Homburg said the regulator had a problem with Homburg Invest, citing a multiple voting share set-up as one issue. Its A and B shares traded on the TSX before the CCAA-related suspension.

Homburg said the regulatory issue occurred after he divulged plans to privatize the company to top Homburg executives – nothing he has other companies which have Dutch trading licenses and there is no issue with them.

“It’s not a personal matter (with the regulator). As we said it was a company we wanted to privatize. That was a well-known plan and no one was surprised about that,” said Homburg in an interview afterwards.”

“It’s ended up going from friendly to hostile. In a hostile fight, dirt gets thrown out, similar to a political fight. It doesn’t have anything to do with whether it’s true or untrue.”

“In politics, 90% of what the opposition says is slander and not true. Well, in business it might be the same.”

Homburg, who parlayed a collection of Dartmouth rooming houses he acquired in the 1970s into a $3.5 billion real estate empire on two continents, wouldn’t comment if his hand-picked CEO and Chairman of Homburg Invest were behind the moves by the regulator.

“I want to take the high road. There’s no sense in pointing fingers and blaming people. If people fight dirty against you it doesn’t mean you have to fight dirty back. In some cases deeds are better than words,” he said.

“Let them judge later. Life is a long road.”

Then he said: “I think the parties should sit around the table and try to see if they can resolve their differences. But I won’t be part of that because I am not part of the company.”

Homburg was relaxed in a pair of slightly faded jeans and a dark sports jacket and no tie.

Looking a bit thinner than usual, he nonetheless came across with his usual ebullience.

“You see me. I am not worried. I am not upset. I feel great and I like the challenges like gives me every day,” he said.

“It’s all part of a job. No different than a politician who has a crisis in his cabinet, country or province.”

“Professionals deal with it in a pragmatic way. To me this is just in a day’s business.”

“You move on. What good does it to do hang out dirty laundry. It doesn’t benefit anybody.”

Homburg declined to reveal his net worth now Homburg Invest has become a penny stock, having once traded above $70 a share.

“You make, you lose,” he offered. He blamed the swirling controversy around him on global economic problems.

He has other privately held companies in real estate operating in 20 different countries, and own a diverse group of businesses in the Maritimes – including insurance firms, a rural Ford car dealership and hotels, plus non-real estate entities in the U.S.

“Homburg Capital still issues real estate security in Germany and the Netherlands, while we speak,” he said.

“We will sell because maybe Europeans can put things into clarity. Homburg Invest is a fund of funds.

“We did 200 funds, 200 partnerships. This is not the only partnership. There’s funds in Germany, the Netherlands, the Baltic states, and some are listed, some are not listed. Not one of those is in trouble.”

He said one of his separate funds sold property in Calgary to a Canadian pension fund, and the rate of return “was exceptional.”

He said his private air rental company is still going strong, particularly since a competitor in the Netherlands was grounded.

Homburg said he has no bad feelings about the Homburg Canada REIT changing its name to CanMarc REIT, saying it was always an option.

Homburg was the inaugural chairman of the REIT, and controls 16.4% of the units via his 46% control of Homburg Invest. Homburg Canada has about 5% of the REIT.

Homburg disputes need for creditor protection
But monitor raises concerns about company founder’s control of assets
By JOHN DeMONT Business Reporter
The Chronicle Herald
Fri, Oct 7 -

Richard Homburg lashed out Thursday at the management of Homburg Invest Inc., accusing it of abusing the powers of the Companies’ Creditors Arrangements Act in seeking protection from creditors for the company he founded.

The timing of the rare public appearance by the high-flying Dutch-born businessman was likely no coincidence.

His remarks at the Halifax Club came on the heels of a report by Deloitte & Touche Inc. that raised concerns that Homburg’s extensive control over Homburg Invest’s assets could make it hard to restructure the debt-plagued real estate investment company, which last month sought protection from creditors.

Homburg told the crowd that Homburg Invest had plenty of liquidity and didn’t need to go to court to keep creditors at bay.

"This was more for people (Homburg Invest management) to protect their own jobs," he said. "And for people who wanted to keep the company public."

Homburg owns 72.5 per cent of the voting shares in the company and has made two unsuccessful bids to privatize it.

Deloitte & Touche has a different appraisal of Homburg Invest’s condition. The company has long-term debt of $2 billion, according to the court-appointed monitor’s calculations, and its equity, which stood at $611 million at the end of 2008, was a mere $57 million as of June 30.

Furthermore, Deloitte & Touche reported, Homburg controls most of Homburg Invest’s roughly $1.5 billion in real estate assets through his company Homburg Management. That entity acts as the general partner in the many limited partnerships that hold most of Homburg Invest’s real estate assets.

Though Homburg Management is not entitled to any profits, it has full authority over what is done with those assets.

Last month, Homburg announced that he had placed his control block and voting rights in Homburg Invest in the hands of a pair of independent Dutch trustees.

But Deloitte & Touche has reservations about Homburg’s influence.

"The control exercised by the general partner and its impact on (Homburg Invest Inc.’s) restructuring process raises some concerns and is currently being analyzed by the monitor to evaluate its impact on HII and the monitor’s ability to conduct an efficient restructuring process," Deloitte & Touche said in its court filings.

The monitor also noted that Homburg Management "has been generally unresponsive to HII’s requests for the use and benefit of the partnerships."

That lack of communication may be understandable. Homburg said Thursday that he made a mistake by bringing in the wrong managers when it came time for him to step down as chairman of Homburg Invest last spring.

Since then, the board of Homburg Invest has twice rejected his takeover bids.

Homburg also owns Homburg Canada Inc., which is suing Homburg Invest for $27 million in damages over the cancellation this summer of a lucrative property and asset management agreement between the two companies.

Please Look After These Small Contractors... "NOW"

This is not a great situation but it shouldn't be another Minigoo Fisheries where everyone gets stuck and they didn't get a cent because there was no recourse on Indian owned land and there was no conscious on the part of the Minigoo directors... so the little contractors got screwed...
In this case there should be a bunch of backstops to protect these hard working sub-contractors...

The lender (in this case the Province) surely would not have disbursed all of their loans on this building until they had evidence in the form of a statutory declarations stating that all contractors were paid up to date... the lender would have had a project monitor reviewing the loan advances to see that the project was on budget and the contractors were paid... in addition to that I understand Homburg had their own independent Project Management Company on site who would of or should have been monitoring the progress advances and insuring things didn't get out of hand...

I also understand the contractors were working for Dyne Holdings and being paid by Dyne Holdings... as Dyne is owned by Homburg Canada REIT a sound financial company then the "boys" at this REIT should come clean and immediately Pony-up some money to all these contractors who pushed hard to see the project finished... and they need to do it now... the REIT's management group seem more interested in changing their name to "Canmarc" then they have in getting out front and helping the small contractors get this thing sorted out...

Bottom line here is these contractors carried out the work in good faith with the understanding the project was on sound financial footing as our Province as the lender was there to monitor things... these small contractors don't have the time to wait for the accountants, lawyers and courts to settle this mess out... they need action "NOW" and that should come from Canmarc Real Estate Investment Trust who I understand is ultimately responsible for the hotel debt... Canmarc and Dyne shouldn’t be out there trying to “hide” behind some legal “mumbo jumbo” while the little guy sits out in the wind... I’m damn sure if Richard Homburg was still at the wheel he’d be doing everything to look after the little guy first... I'll have more on this later....

Charlottetown hotel contractor fears bankruptcy
CBC News Posted: Oct 7, 2011 1

P.E.I. electrical contractor is worried the financial troubles of Homburg Invest will take down his company too.

Aubrey MacLeod says his company will go bankrupt if he is not paid. CBCHomburg Invest, an international real estate company, filed for creditor protection on Sep. 9. Aubrey MacLeod, owner of DBA Solar Electric told CBC News Thursday Homburg Invest owes his company hundreds of thousands of dollars for work it did on the Holman Grand Hotel in downtown Charlottetown.

MacLeod was contracted for all electrical work on Charlottetown's new 10-storey Holman Grand Hotel, the largest contract for his company ever.

"It was always my biggest fear when we got in business, that some big company or corporation would do this exact thing," said MacLeod.

MacLeod is not the only contractor worried about collecting a big debt from Homburg Invest. Seven other Holman Grand Hotel contractors have filed lien claims against Homburg Invest and an affiliated company, Dyne Holdings, for money owed.

MacLeod filed a lien for $458,000.

"We want to get paid. We want to get the money that's owed to us," he said.

Dyne Holdings paid MacLeod's company throughout the hotel project, on time and in full, until shortly after Homburg Invest filed for creditor protection. He now finds himself on a long list of creditors seeking payment.

The province provided a loan of $16.3 million for the building of the Holman Grand Hotel. CBCThe creditors on P.E.I. are hoping the provincial government will step in. In 2008, the province loaned Dyne Holdings $16.3 million to build the hotel.

"Staff have been asked to write Dyne, Homburg, and the monitor Deloitte and Touche expressing our concern over the situation," Ron Ryder, communications officer for the Department of Innovation told CBC News in an email.

"The provincial government expects them to pay suppliers as their bills come due."

"To us it's a private matter. We will deal with our suppliers," said a representative of Dyne Holdings.

For MacLeod's company the issue is a matter of survival.

"Our lines of credit and stuff are maxed out, and we won't be able to continue doing our day-to-day business without borrowing more money," he said.

If more payments don't come through, he said, DBA Solar Electric will go bankrupt.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Steven Myers Should Apologize... "simple as that"

It didn't take long for the Tories to find another Jim Bagnall...

P.E.I. premier takes issue with ‘hate’ comment from Conservative victor
Tue, Oct 4, 2011, by Canadian Press CHARLOTTETOWN

Premier Robert Ghiz expressed shock Tuesday over comments made by a newly elected Conservative who said he won because the people in his district “hate” the province’s leader.

Ghiz said he’s afraid comments like that could set the tone for how politics will be played on the Island in the days and weeks ahead.

“If you want me to be brutally honest with you, I have never seen words like ‘disgrace’ and ‘hate’ used so freely,” he said.

“We’re Islanders. We respect one another. I respect the role of the opposition. I really hope that’s not the approach they are going to take. If they do, there is nothing I can do about it but it would be unfortunate.”

Ghiz said he was equally surprised when Tory Leader Olive Crane called him a disgrace during a televised leaders’ debate.

“I’ve never heard that language used, the same as I’ve never really heard of calling the leader of another political party a disgrace,” he said.

Steven Myers made the hate comment after winning in District 2, Georgetown-St. Peters.

“My win had more to do with the premier,” he said Monday night. “I was hearing at the door that people hate Robert Ghiz, and I believed them and they showed that tonight.”

Contacted Tuesday, Myers said he was just repeating what he was hearing at the doors.

“I’m not going to apologize for it,” said Myers. “It’s the truth. If his feelings are hurt over that, I guess he’ll have to live with it.”

Ghiz said if any of his members used language like that, he’d ask them to apologize.

He said he campaigned throughout eastern P.E.I. and always received a warm welcome from voters.

“A lot of the shenanigans that were going on during the election, I would never allow them to take place under my leadership,” he said.

The next big task for Ghiz will be selecting a cabinet and getting ready for the fall session of the legislature. The house needs to be called back within 30 days after declaration day to elect a Speaker.

Declaration day, or the day the election results are declared official, is Oct. 19.

Ghiz said he’ll announce his cabinet within two weeks. He lost two members of his inner circle Monday — Innovation Minister Allan Campbell and Fisheries Minister Neil LeClair.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"please give them a chance"

Here comes Olive again grandstanding on "business" something she doesn't know the first thing about... she just wants to "call someone out" at the first sign of a perceived trouble, without the facts... if she could read a balance sheet and the public record it wouldn't take her long to figure out that Homburg REIT, now Canmarc Canada REIT, and owners of Dyne Holdings, the Government’s guarantor, are a sound financial public company with lots of equity and strong market support... she probably could have had this confirmed by any of the local Tory branded accountants but it's my understanding that she's alienated most of them through her persistent questioning of the PNP files, whom a lot of them acted for as agents...

She should have called the Auditor in when her Government built the meat plant in Borden, or when her Government built the Atlantic Tech Centre in Charlottetown, or when her Government purchased Dundarave, or when her Government gave out the crab loans, OH SORRY OLIVE... they were Tory initiatives which you seem to forget about!!!!    and the list goes on and on for "all" Governments trying to be business people...

Bottom line here is the hotel is built and open...  Olive... “please give them a chance before you try and drive their reputation into the ground”... the receiver has a public responsibility and their report will be a public record, which may or may not see some liability put back on the Province, but I doubt it...

The CP Hotel (now the Delta) got in major trouble back in the days, and guess what... it's still there operating, employing people, paying taxes and doing all the great things that private businesses do and maybe Olive will appreciate this when she looking for something to do on October 4, 2011... 

Auditor general should investigate provincial Homburg deals: Crane

Published on September 28, 2011
Teresa Wright
the Guardian

PC Leader Olive Crane says she wants the auditor general to investigate the government’s dealings with the Homburg group and its corporation entities.

She issued a statement Wednesday saying if elected, she will call on auditor general Colin Younker to review all involvement of the provincial government with the numerous Homburg companies in order to get answers on exactly what liability may exist for Island companies and taxpayers.

On Sept. 9, Homburg Invest and several affiliate companies applied for creditor protection in order to avoid bankruptcy.

Homburg Invest's Class A and Class B shares were also delisted by the Toronto Stock Exchange last week.

According to a list of the company’s creditors, Homburg Invest owes the P.E.I. government $13.2 million, and millions more to 29 other companies with addresses on P.E.I., as well as the provincial tax commissioner and the Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I.

Innovation and Advanced Learning Minister Allan Campbell has said the province is protected if a division of Homburg Invest Inc. defaults on its government loans.

But Crane doesn't believe the millions Homburg borrowed from Island taxpayers is as safe as Campbell says.

“We’re getting conflicting information from Allan Campbell about what the risk is to taxpayers,” Crane said in an interview.

“This company has been delisted by the Toronto Stock Exchange and yesterday we found out that one of his companies is now dropping the name ‘Homburg’ all together so there’s a number of red flags that should be brought to the attention of the auditor general.”

On Tuesday, Homburg Real Estate Investment Trust changed its name to Canmarc Canada Real Estate Investment Trust after receiving approval from its board of trustees.

Canmarc owns Dyne Holdings, which has three loan offers from the province worth $30 million.

The Homburg REIT was spun off from Homburg Invest.

Crane said the whole file needs an immediate forensic audit, not only because of the taxpayers' dollars tied up in the Homburg group, but also due to other P.E.I. companies that are also owed money.

"There are a number of Island businesses that are owed a considerable amount of money," Crane said.

"All in all, the file needs an audit."

Here's What I'm Thinking...

Someone told me in the past couple of days that Teresa Wright from The Guardian has been calling Robbie Vessey in District 9 and saying that “The Guardian thinks it’s going to be a close one in district 9” and they want to do a story about it, so he obliged… I presume Ms. Wright must have met with Martie in the barn and sniffed a few too many fumes as I’ve been told she’s hinted around that she’s getting a feeling it’s a “tight” race.. In fact Ms. Wright was boasting on her twitter that the story would be in print by Tuesday but my guess is the geniuses at the top of that Rag have finally got the CRA poll in their back pocket and she’s been put on a rewrite…

I can’t even imagine why The Guardian would even spend the gas money to head out to Stanhope (especially near the end of the campaign) when anyone with a pulse knew from the start that this one was “never close”

I don’t know what they’re smokin’ down at the Guardian but after reading the Editor’s column a few days ago on the PNP’s its obviously some very “crazy” stuff… it’s time the boys took some time off and got out in the fresh air and play some golf as this election is history, along with the PNP’s foolishness…

Here's what I'm thinking...  you pick any candidate against any Liberal candidate you want on PEI at even odds but you must also bet me Martie Murphy against Rob Vessey and I'll give you a bonus 3 to 1 odds on Vessey to win.... if I’m lucky enough to win, then I'll donate half my winning proceeds to the QEH... $100.00 minimum bets only and you can officially place them at my office at 3 Lower Malpeque Rd. up until this Friday... CRA will be out tomorrow with Liberals down but still in double digits so here's your chance to wack me...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

This Is "Fracking" Funny...

For some strange reason I got a copy of Martie's latest press release today and I couldn't help feel sorry for her as she's obviously "fracking" losing it if she thinks this silliness has any traction in Covehead or Brackley... Vessey could end up with the largest majority of victory on PEI if she continues the PNP and school closure debate as she "beating a dead horse" and you'd think she'd know a little about that...

September 26, 2011


PC Candidate for District 9, Martie Murphy attended the Liberal announcement for the day in her district at the North Shore Community Centre and expressed disappointment in the Liberal promises on the environment. “All the promises they made have already been announced and it means nothing for the Friends of the Covehead and Brackley Watershed Group, which is in my district.”

Murphy went on to indicate that she was extremely disappointed that the Liberals took no stand on fracking. “We have a fragile water system in this Province and unless we prohibit this practice outright as the Progressive Conservative Party will do there is no way that we can maintain the purity of our water.”

The unusual move by Murphy to attend the Liberal announcement was an effort by Murphy to make sure the Liberals knew that she was there to look after the interests of her district. “I wanted to look Robert Ghiz in the eye so that he knew that he was not going to get away with anything when he comes in to the York-Oyster Bed district.”

Murphy continues to campaign door to door in the district and indicated that she is getting a very positive reception. “People are angry with the arrogance of this government.”
- 30 -


Martie Murphy, PC Candidate for York-Oyster Bed
(902) 629-5125

Saturday, September 17, 2011

"Unite or Divide"... Well Said Premier Ghiz

Contrary to popular belief I don't really like kicking someone when they'll already down so I'm not going to say anything about “Olive's desperation” campaign...   But I will say that the Premier's approach in sticking with the positive will resonate much better with voters than Olive’s pitting rural Islanders against urban Islanders... 

If Olive has achieved anything with her negative campaign then I'd say her success has been in "firing-up" the workers in the Big Red Machine and I smell a huge "backfire" there Olive...

Liberals will rise above Tory slander: Ghiz

The Guardian
Published on September 16, 2011
Ryan Ross
MONTAGUE – The PC party will do anything to win the election, says Premier Robert Ghiz.

Ghiz was referring to reports of an investigation into the provincial nominee program and said the Conservatives will do or say anything to score political points.

“Well let me tell fellow Liberals and fellow Islanders that the Liberal party will rise above the Tory slander and make sure that we offer a better and more prosperous province for each and every one of us,” he said.

Hundreds of Liberal supporters gathered at Montague Regional High School Friday night for the party’s second rally of the 2011 election.

Each candidate marched in to the room with a small group of supporters leading the way and waving signs until the room was packed with people in every available space.

Ghiz was the last to make his entrance and had to wade through the crowd as he walked to the stage, shaking hands along the way.

During his speech, Ghiz said voters are going to send the PC party a message on election day that they’ve had enough of their negativity.

The partisan crowd drowned out the rest of what he was saying and one person yelled “bang on.”

They booed when Ghiz said he has never seen a more negative and divisive campaign.

“They want to drive a wedge between Islanders, to create an atmosphere where one Islander is pitted against another Islander,” he said.

Ghiz didn’t spend his whole speech attacking the Conservatives and turned his focus to the Liberal government as he listed some of the projects it undertook in Kings County, including a new manor in Souris and the school where the Liberals held their rally.

After listing some of the party’s recent campaign announcements, Ghiz turned his attention back to the Conservatives and said his party believes Islanders share common values.

He finished his speech by saying there is going to be a clear choice for voters on Oct. 3.

“The choice is gonna be do you want the Liberal party that unites or the Conservative party that divides?”

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Business Falls Over The Cliff... but not news to CBC

I got quite a few out of province calls on my cell phone earlier today talking about the "Homburg" turn of events and the impacts it may have on our Charlottetown marketplace...  so when I arrived home this evening I thought I'd search The Guardian and our local CBC News web to catch up on this breaking story...  "Not A Thing" but I did learn that a Puppy was saved after he jumped off a cliff...

These egar Island reporters must be to busy following around all those important power wheedling politicians and little puppies... surely they'll pick up on this story with some local scoope or will they just take the lazy way out and "clip" it from the news wire?  My guess is the hell with the local ecomony and the scoial impacts of a business story as it's a nice drive to Borden and puppies don't bite back...

Homburg Invest Inc. to restructure under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act

Published: 2011-09-09

MONTREAL, September 9, 2011 - (TSX: HII.A & HII.B and NYSE Euronext Amsterdam: HII) - Homburg Invest Inc. ("HII" or the "Company") announced today that it and certain of its subsidiaries applied to the Court for protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act ("CCAA").

Deloitte & Touche LLP is the proposed Court-appointed monitor that will oversee the proceeding under the CCAA (the "Monitor"). Deloitte & Touche will periodically post the applications to the Court as well as the orders issued by the Court on its website.

HII is hopeful that the appointment of the Monitor will address the primary concerns of the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets ("AFM"). In addition to the duties and obligations of the Monitor as prescribed by law, HII has requested that the Monitor be afforded certain additional powers that will facilitate its ability to cooperate fully with the AFM, including the right of the Monitor to communicate directly with the AFM with regard to any matters concerning the HII group of companies.

"The purpose of the application is to allow us to restructure our activities in an orderly fashion in the best long-term interests of the Company and all of its stakeholders," said Hartmut Fromm, Chairman of the Board of HII. "The CCAA application enables the Board of Directors and Management to take measures to enhance the balance sheet of the Company."

The CCAA is a Canadian federal law allowing insolvent companies that owe their creditors in excess of $5 million to restructure their business and financial affairs. CCAA is not bankruptcy. The main purpose of the CCAA is to enable financially distressed companies to avoid bankruptcy or foreclosure or seizure of assets while maximizing returns for their creditors and preserving both jobs and the company's value as a functioning business. CCAA proceedings are carried out under the supervision of the Court.

Additional information, including how bondholders, creditors and shareholders in the Netherlands and in Canada can contact the Company, will be available shortly.

The Company's CCAA filing does not affect Homburg Canada Real Estate Investment Trust, which is an independent entity and distinct from the Company and its subsidiaries.

About Homburg Invest

Homburg Invest Inc. owns and develops a diversified portfolio of quality commercial real estate including office, retail, industrial and development properties throughout Europe and the United States, as well as an interest in Homburg Canada Real Estate Investment Trust.

Friday, September 2, 2011

"Free Kays" makes "Top Ten Most Endangered Places"

On September 1st the Heritage Canada Foundation designated the Kays Brothers property on Lower Queen Street in Charlottetown as one of the "Top Ten Most Endangered Places In Canada" and you can see their listing at http://t.co/TQqyFH9 

Hers's some background for the record....   at our very first meeting (held at Rory Beck’s office) with the Province to discuss our hotel concept it was clearly indicated to APM that both the Province and CADC were only in favour of a development on the Kays property if the development involved “the preservation of this heritage structure”. 

At that meeting it was agreed that if our scheme of preserving the fa├žade was acceptable to Heritage Board and the City, then it would be acceptable to all parties.  Furthermore, it was explained to us that CADC’s purchase of the Kays property was “predicated” on the fact that CADC could tap into sources like the Infrastructure Program to see that the heritage designation was preserved and that the Province had already earmarked $1,000,000 towards this. 

We also have InnovationPEI’s written development offer, which clearly states that “CADC’s intention is to see this building preserved and restored.”  The same "presevation story" was represented by CADC to the public at their development “open house” in early 2011.  This begs the question why did CADC consent to the demolition application recently present to the City????

This is an important stucture for Downtown Charlottetown and CADC should find a way to see the building preserved as "tearing down" and "delisting" the building is just going to become a "National" issue and a blight on Charlotteown's "historic" reputation...  It appears the Campaign "Free Kays" is starting to mobilize now and for good reason... 

Why it matters
from Heritage Canada Foundation's website

HCF’s 2011 Top Ten Most Endangered Places List

The Heritage Canada Foundation released its seventh annual Top Ten Most Endangered Places List on September 1, 2011.

The selection—presented here from the West to East Coast—was compiled from the results of HCF’s call for nominations as well as those stories and news items followed throughout the year.

Constructed in 1872 for prominent politicians, merchants and shipbuilders Lemuel Owen and William Welsh, the Italianate Commercial-style building on Queen Street (later known as the Kayes Bros. Building) played an important role in the commercial history of Charlottetown. The large, four-storey structure with decorative brickwork, round-arched windows and row of three storefronts with large plate glass, wooden piers, and signband, it is one of the most impressive along the historic streetscape.

Over the years it was home to prominent newspapers and important local retail and commercial activities, but it is best known for its wholesale grocery businesses (J.T. Peardon’s, R.E. Mutch and Company and later the Kays Brothers). It suffered three fires that have damaged the interior, but left the exterior walls intact.

In 1962, the Kays Brothers purchased the building where they ran their wholesale company until 2009. The opening of Confederation Bridge, which made it easier for customers to shop out of province, was cited as the primary reason for its closure. It was purchased by the Charlottetown Area Development Corporation (CADC) that year for $750,000 and has been vacant ever since.

The building is included as a Designated Heritage Resource as per Appendix A in the City of Charlottetown Zoning and Development Bylaw.

Why it’s endangered

A new owner, island businessman Danny Murphy, wants to develop a $15-million hotel on the site that would require the delisting and demolition of the historic building. His engineering report, that states the building is structurally unsound, contradicts a report by J.M. Griffin Engineering Inc. prepared a year ago for P.E.I. developer Tim Banks. Based on that report, Banks had planned a hotel redevelopment that would incorporate part of the historic building.

Where things stand

Tim Banks is encouraging CADC and the provincial government to provide funding to Murphy to help restore the building as part of a hotel, instead of demolishing it.

The municipal Heritage Board has recommended that City Council not approve the demolition at this point and uphold its designated status. Murphy withdrew his demolition application before the vote in council could take place. The final decision has been delayed until an independent engineer assesses the building’s structural integrity.

Murphy has not made any progress on his proposal since he withdrew it several weeks ago, but in a media interview made it clear he will be moving forward with the project.

In the meantime, questions have arisen about how a listed heritage property was allowed to deteriorate to the extent that it has.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mike Arnold Steps Down From Homburg...

This is a very interesting turn of events in the recent saga of the various Homburg enterprises and I'd suggest in the long term that the Company's continued investment in Charlottetown may slide a bit with Mr. Arnold now taking a smaller role in the business...  Richard and Mike had a lot of confidence in Charlottetown and PEI and let’s hope it continues under the new regime...

Homburg Invest provides update on recent developments
§  Published: 2011-09-01
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia. September 1, 2011 - (TSX: HII.A & HII.B and NYSE Euronext Amsterdam: HII) - Homburg Invest Inc. ("HII" or the "Company") announced today two resignations from its Board of Directors and the appointment of a new chairman of the Board.

Michael H. Arnold, C.A. has resigned as a director and as Chairman of the Board.  He will continue to provide special advisory services to the Board.  Dr. Trevor A. Carmichael has also resigned as a director.  Neither Mr. Arnold nor Dr. Carmichael will stand for re-election to the Board at the Annual Meeting of Shareholders.
Mr. Hartmut Fromm, a director of HII, has been appointed by the Board to the position of Chairman.  Mr. Fromm is Co-Founder and Senior Partner of Buse Heberer Fromm in Berlin, Germany. He is also Chairman of the Board of IMW Immobilien SE.

As a result of the foregoing, the Board of Directors currently consists of four directors, of which three are independent.

Update on Recent Events

On August 26, 2011, Homburg Canada Inc. ("HCI"), a company controlled by Richard Homburg, issued a news release stating that it would not follow through on its announced intention to make an offer for all outstanding shares of HII not already owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by HCI.
HII wishes to make it clear that it never received a formal binding offer from HCI or Richard Homburg to purchase the shares not already owned by them in the Company.  As disclosed on July 25, 2011, the Board of Directors of HII has only rejected a non-binding proposal made by Richard Homburg to privatize HII (the "Proposal") because the Proposal was not in the best interest of HII and its stakeholders.
To the knowledge of the Board of Directors of HII, the financing required for the implementation of the Proposal was never committed. Furthermore, the Proposal involved the use of HII's most liquid asset, namely the units of Homburg Canada Real Estate Investment Trust that it holds, as a means to finance the privatization, and if implemented would have seriously impaired HII's financial flexibility.

Relationship with Netherlands Authority for Financial Markets (AFM)

The Company strongly believes that it has acted in good faith to fulfill the requirements of the Instructions issued by the AFM previously disclosed on May 26, 2011, and continues to work diligently to resolve the impasse with the AFM and to avoid the loss of its licence as a financial institution in The Netherlands.
The AFM has granted a two-week extension to HII to allow the Company to submit reasons to the AFM as to why the Company's licence as a financial institution in The Netherlands should not be revoked.  HII reminds investors that the letter from the AFM conveys an intention to make a decision and is not definitive.

HII to Vigorously Contest Claim for Damages by HCI

On August 30, 2011, HII announced that it had received a claim for damages totalling approximately $27 million from HCI as compensation for the termination by HII of the master property and asset management agreement between the Company and HCI. 
HII maintains that it terminated the agreement as a result of breaches by HCI of its obligations under the agreement, and as such holds the position that no compensation is payable to HCI.  The Company rejects the claim for compensation and will vigorously contest it, should the matter come before the Courts.

Communications with Stakeholders in the Netherlands

Due to the increasing number of enquiries from shareholders and debt holders in the Netherlands, HII is in the process of setting up a Netherland's based communications channel.  Additional information will be announced shortly.

About Homburg Invest

Homburg Invest Inc. owns and develops a diversified portfolio of quality commercial real estate including office, retail, industrial and development properties throughout Europe and the United States, as well as an interest in Homburg Canada Real Estate Investment Trust. The head office of the Company is located in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Why Not Save Some Of This Heritage Structure....

I don't understand the issue why the Kay's Buildings has to be totally knocked down.  We had no problem finding engineers that felt the exterior walls could be saved.  Simply put CADC wanted $798,000 for the building and it was going to cost $1,638,268 to save the building and there was a government grant of $1,000,000 to save the structure... that left the base land cost at $1,436,268 which would have allowed us to develop 53,310 square feet of space over the land base at a cost of $26.94 per square foot, which is slightly less per foot than we paid Kevin Murphy years ago when we bought the Kirkwood Motel site to build the original Superstor....  a similar heritage restoration project is underway in downtown Halifax so why can't it be done here...  This is a great project for Charlottetown and it should be done right and I'm hoping it goes ahead...

Here's the engineer's design www.apm.ca/Kays restoration design.pdf

City wants to determine whether the Kays Bros. building can be salvaged. Developer says it needs to come down.

Published on August 3, 2011  
Dave Stewart

Jason Coady says the wise move is to delay a decision on a proposed downtown hotel in Charlottetown by a few more weeks.

The chair of the city's economic development committee said Wednesday it would be very difficult to reject an application by businessman Danny Murphy to build a 124-room Hilton Garden Inn.
The $15-million project would encompass the property at the corner of Queen and Water streets and the old, vacant Kays Bros. building.
"Personally, I'd like to see a $15-million hotel down there with the convention centre and drive the tax base from an economic development point of view,'' Coady said.
Murphy's application was scheduled to go before city council on Monday.
In fact, no one The Guardian talked to Wednesday was opposed to the project but there is a problem.
Murphy's proposal would involve delisting the Kays building as a designated heritage property, something the heritage board doesn't want to do. The board was expected to recommend council reject the application based on that before Murphy withdrew his application late on Wednesday.
Murphy said he's had two different engineering companies examine the interior and exterior of the Kays building and both said the same thing.
"The engineers are telling us it's not safe and, financially, it would not be feasible,'' Murphy said. "I mean, anything can be done but it would just drive the cost of the project to a place where it wouldn't be feasible to build a hotel.''
Murphy's plan is to demolish the building, including the two exterior brick walls.
Coady said Murphy withdrawing his application before Monday's regular public monthly meeting of council will give the city time to have an independent body look the building over and see if they agree with Murphy's engineers. Murphy can then resubmit for the September meeting, or a special meeting before that.
Coun. Rob Lantz, chair of the heritage board, said it's great news that Murphy wants to redevelop the property but there are other things to consider here.
"It's just a very important piece of heritage and a prominent location in our city so we need to step back and work together to achieve the best possible outcome,'' Lantz said.
"We'd like to co-operate on this project but before we start making decisions we need an independent structural review of the building to determine what is possible and what is not.''
Coady is vice-chair of the heritage board, noting that he appreciates their concerns.
The city did have a report done on the Kays building but that was four years ago. The structure has been vacant since 2007 and there's been no heat on inside.
Murphy made it clear he wants to recreate the historic look of the old building with a new structure.
"Oh, in a huge way, a huge way,'' he said. "You are not going to go into old Charlottetown at the corner of Water and Queen and put up some (building that doesn't fit with the historic streetscape). That is just not our intention.
"We want to recreate a historical looking hotel that is very, very attractive, that fits in there. (The city) can rest assured a commitment on our part to respecting that historical part of the city. That is absolutely paramount in our plans.''

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

PEI's On-Line Support Sold $78.16 Million... "Big Bucks"

On-Line Support Inc. was founded by Jamie Hill of Charlottetown, PEI... a remarkable deal!!!

August 03, 2011

IST Share Hinduja BPO Arm Acquires Canada-Based On-Line Support For $78M

OLS is a leading contact centre provider, servicing customers across verticals like media, telecom, technology and BFSI.

Hinduja Global Solutions (HGS), the BPO arm of the Hinduja Group, has acquired Canada-based customer relationship management company On-Line Support Inc. (OLS) for C$ 74.85 million ($78.16 million or Rs 343 crore) in an all-cash deal. The acquisition has been made through its wholly owned US subsidiary HGS Inc., Hinduja Global Solutions has stated in a filing today to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Post this acquisition, Hinduja Global Solutions will have 21,300 employees worldwide and its consolidated annual revenues will cross $300 million on a run rate basis, the company has said. However, the CEO and the senior management team of OLS will continue in their current roles after the acquisition.

The acquisition will enable both companies to cross-sell and up-sell to their existing clients while OLS will benefit from the global network of HGS delivery centres. HGS services more than 100 customers through its 42 delivery centres across India, the USA, the UK, Canada, the Philippines and Mauritius, with offerings in more than 25 different languages. The synergy will manifest the most in the telecom space where both have strong capabilities.

Shares of Hinduja Global Solutions were trading at Rs 356.05 per scrip at 3:18 pm on the BSE, up 2.27 per cent from the previous close.

OLS is a leading contact centre provider, servicing customers across multiple verticals such as media, telecom, technology and BFSI. It offers technical support, inbound & outbound sales, customer care and customer retention in English and French languages, and features over 1,650 seats at 10 sites in Canada. In FY11, OLS posted a turnover of C$63.4 million ($66.20 million or Rs 294 crore) and currently employees about 1800 people.

In June last year, it acquired 100 per cent stake in the UK-based customer relationship management company Careline Services for an undisclosed sum. Careline employs over 1,000 people across three locations in the UK.

HGS provides outsourcing solutions including back-office processing, contact centre services and customised IT solutions to several Fortune 500 companies.

Incidentally, Hinduja Group-promoted IndusInd Bank struck a deal in April this year to acquire Deutsche Bank’s loss-making credit card business in India for an undisclosed sum. Under the agreement, IndusInd will get access to nearly two lakh credit card customers of the German bank in India and the entire operating platform of the cards franchise, including talent and technology.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


July 25, 2011



– Martie Murphy, business woman and community- minded
advocate has announced her intention to seek the Progressive Conservative Party
nomination in District 9, York – Oyster Bed.

Martie lives in Stanhope with her husband Danny and their six children. Martie,
Danny and their family have had the pleasure of working with so many
organizations and amazing volunteers. “When good people have the opportunity to
come together, good things always happen”, says Martie.

“As a mother and wife, a business leader and a committed community volunteer, I
believe this province is the best place to raise a family, and it’s the best province in
which to live, work and play. Our people are the Island’s greatest resource. We
must work hard to ensure all people are treated with dignity, respect, and fairness.
I believe the residents of District # 9 need and deserve someone who will work
hard to make our district and our Island the very best it can be”, says Murphy.

Martie believes Islanders deserve better. The people of York-Oyster Bed deserve
to have an MLA and government that gives all Islanders a voice, a chance to
participate, and a government that makes decisions that are in the best interest of
all. “In four short years our current government has increased our provincial debt
to a point of bankrupting our future. “We simply cannot afford this irresponsible
spending and lack of fiscal management. Proper fiscal management can only be
achieved if elected officials understand the people, their needs and the needs of the
communities that they represent. This current administration has failed to deliver
on that”, says Murphy.

Martie believes promises are commitments that need to be honoured. “Islanders
deserve a government that is transparent, fair, and can be trusted. I am invigorated
by the generosity and good will of Islanders. As part of the Progressive
Conservative team, I want to work hard to ensure that Islanders are repaid for that
generosity by having access to quality health care, that they may continue to learn,
grow and achieve well in our education system, and that we can work together to
build vibrant communities across our Island. We can do better and we will do

“Our communities have been the landscape of our economy and we must do more
to support each and every community to create greater success and vibrancy. We
need a government that is implements policies that are sustainable for Islanders.”
Martie knows the struggles rural PEI has and continues to have with uncertainty in
the farming and fishing industries. She has seen PEI’s greatest natural resource,
young Islanders, emigrating to other Canadian provinces to find employment.
Martie will be part of a forward-thinking Progressive Conservative government
that will develop policies ensuring PEI attracts industry to set up and stay, provide
jobs and revitalize rural PEI.

Martie is truly excited to put her name forward as a candidate for the Progressive
Conservative Party. “I am eager to talk with the people of District # 9 York-Oyster
Bed, to hear their concerns and their vision for our Province.”

For additional information contact:

Martie Murphy
Phone: (902) 629-5125

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Using seniors as pawns...

The following is my response to a letter which was published in the Guardian over the weekend... normally I wouldn't respond to this kind of garbage but when Ms. Ward is playing on a group of seniors then I think it's time someone called her out... here's my response and you can see Ms. Ward's original letter below that.  There soon will be a public opening for the new building after the seniors move in and I'm hoping everyone will come and speak to each of the tenants as I'll be shocked if they don't see a significant improvement in their units...

The Guardian,
Wed, June 8th

I would like to respond to a letter written by Ms. Shelley Ward, President of the Union for Public Sector Employees, published on Saturday, June 4th.  This letter was in regard to the Charlotte Court Seniors’ Housing Project, in which she implicitly maligned the credibility of our company APM, the builder of the project.

Whether deliberately or otherwise, Ms. Ward appears to be totally unaware of what is happening in the new Charlotte Court development.  Every occupant will have their own storage unit with access by elevator.

The building plans are a matter of public record and have been on our website, apm.ca, since the commencement of the project.  Of course, had Ms. Ward had taken the time to review the plans prior to writing her uninformed letter, it would have been far harder for her to represent her fiction as fact.

Rather than being positive and progressive in this climate of change, Ms. Ward has chosen to use our seniors as pawns to promote her message of fear in our Community.

APM is proud to deliver a project “far superior” than what was called for in the public tender process.  I believe that once the residents move into this beautiful new facility, the only people paying any heed to Ms. Ward’s rhetoric will be the “Don’t Get Ahead Gang”. 

In closing, I invite her to tour the property with me to compare the existing sadly inadequate facilities against what will be the best quality Seniors’ facility on Prince Edward Island for many years to come.


Tim Banks

Letters to the Editor, The Guardian
Saturday, June 4, 2011
The Ghiz government should not be too quick to pat themselves on the back for a job well done when it comes to building P3 housing on P.E.I.
In a press release dated June 2, 2011, the government announced the near completion of the Charlotte Court P3 housing project. This new unit replaces the old Charlotte Court building, and contains 48 units, 36 of which are for low-income seniors.
Unfortunately, the government's arrangement with the private contractor building Charlotte's Court will only guarantee affordable rents for seniors for a 10-year period. After 10 years, the private sector landlord can freely jack up rents.
The Ghiz government is refusing to protect our low-income seniors within this type of P3 arrangement. Further, the union has seen the building plans that were provided to the seniors at Charlotte Court. From what we can tell, these plans do not accurately represent what has been built. One of the big items the seniors had asked for was storage units and access to those units. We have been told that there is no elevator to the basement where the storage units are located, which seriously limits seniors' access to them.
Minister Sherry publicly assured these seniors last year that they would be consulted with and that she would ensure that the new facility would be properly equipped to meet their needs. So not only are our low-income seniors being jeopardized by the threat of unaffordable rents in their future, their needs have also been ignored by government regarding the physical requirements of the new building.
As the P.E.I. Union of Public Sector Employees, we know exactly what consultation means to this Liberal government. Consultation means to them - this is the way it is, like it or lump it. And ultimately, this is what happens when governments move away from the ‘affordable public housing' model and enter into P3 agreements where the private contractor builds, designs, controls and profits from the most vulnerable, in this case our senior citizens.
Shelley Ward,

Saturday, June 4, 2011

"no penalty" here...

Forbie Kennedy once told me that when he first entered the NHL he took a little run at Gordie Howe and later in the same game he was going along the boards when all of a sudden there was an elbow (Howe's) dragging his face across the boards... after he went down, he looked up and there was Howe big as life offering him a hand-up off the ice... Forbie was a bit dazed but he remembers Howe saying "welcome to the NHL kid"...   Forbie told me he learned a lot about tangling with some of the old pros after that incident...
Well I'm thinking if CAO Terry Murphy isn't dazed by how Serge Jr "worked him over" here then he soon will be when Serge Sr makes it a "one" market Province and ends any hope of Summerside getting a Major Jr "A" team... It's tough in there trying to work the corners when you're up against an old pro like Serge Sr and you can appeal to all the referees you want but there's "no penalty" here!
City cries foul in failed QMJHL bid

Published on June 3, 2011
Mike Carson
Journal Pioneer

SUMMERSIDE - City management is complaining the owner of the P.E.I. Rocket hockey club is determining what businesses the City of Summerside can attract - and it's doing it with provincial money.

Summerside Chief Administrative Officer Terry Murphy said the city's recent failure to land the now defunct Lewiston Maineiacs is directly attributable to the P.E.I. Rocket and its president and governor, Serge Savard Jr.

"The issue is with Savard manipulating the situation to prevent a second team from coming to Summerside," Murphy said. "That is wrong. I'm saying that Savard should not be allowed to use taxpayers' dollars to determine what business comes to Summerside especially when some of those are Summerside taxpayers' dollars. That's the principle of where we're at."

The province contributes $100,000 to the Rocket. Finance Minister Wes Sheridan said $50,000 comes from Tourism and $50,000 comes from Innovation and Advanced Learning.

The CAO said in talks with league Commissioner Gilles Courteau he learned Savard had spoken to Premier Robert Ghiz and that the premier informed him this money would have to be shared if two QMJHL teams were allowed on P.E.I.

"We learned later that the premier did not speak to Mr. Savard and thus the information he provided the league owners was incorrect," Murphy said.

Savard's reply to Murphy's statement yesterday was "He's in left field."

Savard said he was told there was a deal in the making to bring a Q team to Summerside and it wasn't cheap.

"I would like to know what the taxpayers in Summerside think when they guarantee $1.4 million in revenue to a Q team," Savard said.

He said he was told the gate guarantee was more than $1 million with sponsorship ranging from $300,000 to $350,000.

"A city with 14,000 people guaranteeing $1.4 million in revenue? I don't think it went through the council. My understanding - and I'm pretty well connected on P.E.I. a lot of my close friends know some of the people on the board (council) in Summerside and I was told that this was just going 'under the blanket' - it was a deal done under the blanket to guarantee those revenues and even at the (league) table the people couldn't understand the city would do that. I don't know another city that can do something like this, promise something to a Q team or a company or a franchise at the league without having it approved by their city board (council)."

Savard said the city management put the league in a situation to vote when there was no consensus from city council to do so.

"I am not responsible for not having a team in Summerside. In the Q, I am a member, I am a governor. I represent one-seventeenth of the league now that Lewiston is out. When we had a governors meeting, which Mr. Murphy did not attend, the number 1 purpose of every owner is to protect the existing markets. I made it clear from Day 1 that I knew if it would go to a vote it would be unanimous (against it). I know Summerside worked hard to get a franchise, but as long as the P.E.I. Rocket is on the Island there will never ever be two teams on P.E.I."

Technically the two cities are far enough apart by league rules to have two teams, but the market is the question.

"They had the right to ask for it, but the governors all looked at the logic. Logic came into play," Savard said. "I'm probably going to ask the league to rectify this and make it official that this is just a one-market province so that this situation never occurs again."