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,, 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."

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Summerside "Coyotes"... you heard it here first!!!

Lots of talk in the hockey world these days...  Summerside got "outmanoeuvred" by Serge Sevard Sr. and their hopes for Lewiston playing in the "Palace" (Credit Union Place) are all but foiled for now...  but I'm thinking a strategic move for Basil and the "boys" would be continuing to always think big and take a run at getting the Phoenix Coyotes to move to the City of Summerside...  think about it!!!  we just heard the news that the Atlanta Thrashers are moving to Winnipeg and the Manitoba Moose are off to Newfoundland so why not the "Coyotes" to S'Side to help "fill" the Palace... 

Phoenix is not that far out of the way from the concert law suit in San Jose, Calf. so the boys could save some air fare while they're doing the negotiations... remember, you heard it here first!

Maineiacs saga comes to end with yes vote

Published on June 2, 2011
The Guardian

A league buyout is a strange way to dismantle a franchise, but the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League voted to purchase the floundering Lewiston Maineiacs on Tuesday.

A new expansion team will be awarded to Sherbrooke, Que., for the 2012-13 season.

Those interests are spearheaded by Jocelyn Thibault, former QMJHL and NHL goalie.

The league will release later this week a 17-team schedule for 2011-12.

A dispersal draft of Lewiston's players goes Friday at noon, a day before the main entry draft on Saturday in Victoriaville, Que.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

The action came after a board of governors vote on Tuesday.

It all was good news for Serge Savard Jr., P.E.I. Rocket president and governor, because it ended months-long speculation and rumour Lewiston planned to relocate to Summerside and the 4,400-seat Credit Union Place arena.

“Obviously, I voted for (the purchase). I think it’s OK. We said all along two teams wouldn’t survive on on the Island. And it was clear the franchise couldn’t keep operating in Lewiston,” said Savard from Victoriaville, Que., where the 2011 QMJHL entry draft is being held on Saturday. “It protected Charlottetown. Owners will always protect their markets. That’s their first mandate.”

The near-unanimous yes vote puts to bed an odd, gossip-filled saga that kept alive talk of Lewiston relocating even after an informal conference call between the governors and league commissioner Gilles Courteau in late May drew little support for the move from the franchises.

The Rocket re-upped with the City of Charlottetown in April for another three years.

That move closed off the odds of a team choosing Summerside at its home base.

But since December 2010, Lewiston, with Summerside native Bill Schurman as a management consultant, and lured by Credit Union Place, and disappointed by its awful gate returns at the Androscoggin Arena in Lewiston, wooed Summerside repeatedly.

The Maineiacs even toured CUP, current home of the Maritime Hockey League’s Summerside Western Capitals, during a two-game road trip to P.E.I. in early March.

But the franchise, which moved to Maine from Sherbrooke in 2003, couldn't survive its poor attendance that flagged even after winning the President’s Cup in 2007.

Last season, Lewiston averaged just over 2,000 spectators per game.

“I am truly sad for Maineiacs fans,” said Mark Just, Lewiston majority owner, in a release. “For those that supported the team over the past few years, I would like to thank you. Nonetheless, mounting financial losses became too much to bear for our ownership group.”

So, Sherbrooke will get a team again, the third time around since 1969.

Next season, it will play at its old home — the 46-year-old, 5,000-seat Palais des Sports Léopold-Drolet - once arrangements are made with the current tenant, the Sherbrooke Saint-Francois of the Ligue Nord-Américaine de Hockey.

“Sherbrooke is not ready to accept a team right away,” said Savard. “We (the board) were on the same page. We would like a franchise in Sherbrooke. It was no-brainer for us.”

A board vote was expected Wednesday to determine in what order the teams will pick in the dispersal draft.

Some of the players available Friday are defenceman Samuel Finn, Columbus Blue Devils prospect Michael Chaput, New York Islanders pick Kirill Kabanov, defenceman Dillon Fournier, the top selection in the 2010 QMJHL draft, and Étienne Brodeur, the league’s only 50-goal scorer this past season.

The Rocket pick ninth overall in Saturday’s entry draft.