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,

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