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August 29, 2018

Opinion: Committing $366 million over next 10 years to keep Liberal Party and friendly construction companies viable in P.E.I.


The recent announcement by the provincial government, proclaiming that there will be a $366 million transfer of funds from Ottawa to the Island over the next 10 years, is a big surprise to many; it is also unprecedented. The money is divided into four categories: green infrastructure, $228 million; community, culture and recreation infrastructure, $29 million; rural communities’ infrastructure, $83 million; and, public transit, $27 million.

Being infrastructure money, we already know how it will be spent and who will be the greater benefactors. More new money for roads naturally, and all those large projects such as the construction of sewer and water mains in the new municipalities, public transit and private sector projects. But no money for health care, the needy, the under-privileged.

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ust money for more construction by government-friendly companies. It also explains the rush to pass the Municipal Government Act – an act which firmly entrenches the authority of the minister of communities, land and development to regulate all development, and the rush to amalgamate our municipalities.

What it boils down to is Ottawa is committing to $366 million in infrastructure money over the next 10 years to keep the Liberal Party and the construction companies owned by Liberal party supporters viable. Some may say the Liberal supporters don’t own all the construction companies. True, but they own the most prominent and the biggest.

Regardless which government is in power, there are only two or three companies that receive most of the work on the Island. We might even get a chance to spend more money on digital infrastructure again. A competitive bidding process is wishful thinking in this province.

The other thing that stands out in this announcement is the greater possibility that the next government on P.E.I. will not be a Liberal majority government and the provincial Liberal Party is making arrangements with their good friends in Ottawa, to stay afloat for the next decade. Transparent, yes. Underhanded, more so.

Keep reading in The Guardian


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