Liberal critic demands answers on tourism inquiries going to Maine

Wayne Thibodeau
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Atlantic magazine has card asking people to write to Calais for kit on P.E.I. trip

Liberal critic demands answers on tourism inquiries going to Maine

Tourism Minister Philip Brown appears to be at a loss to explain why an advertising campaign for P.E.I. tourism in a Nova Scotia-based magazine asks readers to send a reply card to Calais, Maine.
The reply card is part of a full-page ad promoting The Gentle Island in Saltscapes Travel magazine.
The glossy 96-page magazine is "prepared especially for Atlantic Canadians,'' it says. It features stories and pictures from the four Atlantic provinces and Maine.
Inside the magazine is a reply card that readers can fill out to receive a free 2007 vacation planning kit to Prince Edward Island.
The return address is Tourism Prince Edward Island, P.O. Box 375, Calais, Maine.
There are cards in the magazine for the other Atlantic provinces.
New Brunswick's cards are returned to Campbellton, N.B. Nova Scotia's cards are returned to Halifax, N.S.
Carolyn Bertram, the Liberal tourism critic, said she's astonished P.E.I. tourism is using a U.S. postal address.
"This is an Atlantic Canadian magazine, why are we sending our inserts to Calais, Maine, U.S.A.?'' Bertram asked.
Brown said it is more cost-effective to have the reply cards sent to a U.S. postal office. He said there are a number of editions of the magazine and the Calais, Maine, reply cards are only included in the U.S. editions.
"We have a post office box in Maine that the American visitors can respond to with their own postage and then from that post office box they are forwarded to Prince Edward Island,'' said Brown.
But that is not the case.
The Guardian obtained a copy of the Saltscapes Travel magazine that was delivered to a home address in Charlottetown. It contained the Calais, Maine, reply card, meaning anybody who wanted to use the reply card in that magazine to order a P.E.I. tourism guide would have to send that card to Maine.
Magazines at local bookstores also contained the Calais, Maine, reply card.
Following question period, Brown tried to clarify the situation. He came with a magazine to show that other Atlantic Canadian provinces also use U.S. reply cards.
But Brown had a U.S.-based magazine in his hands - not the Saltscapes Travel magazine.
Bertram also questions why the P.E.I. government doesn't pay for the stamp.
Both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have postage paid cards which means readers can return the cards without putting a stamp on the card.
But the P.E.I. reply cards have a box saying "Place Stamp Here.''
Since it is being sent to a U.S. post office box, Atlantic Canadian readers would have to pay 93 cents for a stamp instead of the regular 52 cents for a Canadian stamp.
"This individual that brought it forward to me said it is going to cost the potential visitor even more to send it to Calais, Maine, if they are mailing it from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia or Newfoundland,'' said Bertram.
Brown didn't see the lack of a stamp on the reply card as a big issue.
"If people are going to spend $1,500-$2,000 on a vacation mostly they'll spend 50 cents on a stamp.''

Organizations: Saltscapes Travel magazine

Geographic location: Calais, Maine, Prince Edward Island, U.S. New Brunswick Campbellton Halifax Nova Scotia Charlottetown Newfoundland

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Recent comments

  • Ray
    June 21, 2010 - 20:43

    What a great PEI ambassador Philip Brown is. To paraphrase some of his most triumphant observations:
    'It's wonderful that Paul McCartney and Heather Mills are protesting on PEI.'
    'We've created revolutionary new package options for tourists on PEI, only 10 years after every other province had done the same thing.'
    'Let's host the Legends of Golf event in the midst of mosquito season, at the most mosquito ridden course on the Island.'
    'It makes sense for Americans to mail Maine for PEI info, as well as to pay for the postage.'
    Keep up the great work.

  • Mike
    June 21, 2010 - 20:41

    I would honestly hope that we are NOT paying the Minister to oversee where the replay cards are sent from a magazine.
    I hope that somewhere in the Government Buildings there are employees who are supposed to look after this. It is them who should either be fired or reprimanded.
    If the Minister of Tourism is overseeing the return addresses on a reply card than I have have NO DOUBT as to why Tourism continues to fumble in PEI.
    While Bertram makes a valid point...I would hope that if she is ever Tourism Minister she is not in the mail room making sure the address is correct on the reply card.

  • A
    June 21, 2010 - 20:40

    Philp Brown has done nothing but basically destroy tourism on P.E.I. I don't know how someone who cannot even speak could be a politician. I can just imagine what his response to this one was. Well, Uh, I, Ah, and spit out a broken response of some sort with that big grin on his face. It is no wonder that tourism on P.E.I. is losing money, and that Cavendish and many other Tourism based places on the Island will soon be Ghost Towns.

  • A
    June 21, 2010 - 20:37

    Well MIKE, Philip Brown said If people are going to spend $1,500-$2,000 on a vacation mostly theyll spend 50 cents on a stamp. So obviously money is not an issue for him. Him and the rest of the Fat Cat Tories have filled their boots and obviuosly do not understand the working person anymore. Maybe take Philip Brown's Government Credit Card away from him and see if he still leaves his car idling outside the post office for hours while he helps his wife clean inside.

  • 5th Floor Jones
    June 21, 2010 - 20:37

    The Struggle Continues.

    Oh goodness, that was funny.

  • tp
    June 21, 2010 - 20:34

    -If people are going to spend $1,500-$2,000 on a vacation mostly theyll spend 50 cents on a stamp- Philip Brown.

    Phil, my man: Of course 50 cents isn't much compared to the cost of a vacation. But that's not the point. Its a competitive world out there and the little things count. What about those who are on the fence as to their destination? Its not about the money. A postage paid reply card makes it so easy to just toss the card in the mail for the heck of it. Then when the person gets the package in the mail, hopefully the material will do its job and convince the tourist to come here.

  • Bernie
    June 21, 2010 - 20:30

    If this Missy from Maine has no interest in PEI, what is she doing on the Guardian web site?

  • jack
    June 21, 2010 - 20:27

    here is a super off season tourism idea..offer americans an oppertunity to come here in the dead of winter to kill our seals ! They can pay a $1000.00 fee to wallop all the seals they can find. They would come by the thousands and the resulting dead seals could be divided among the licensed fishers to process. All our hotels would be full and the americans would go home happy and less inclined to wallop their fellow citizens at home ! Talk about win win.

  • kent
    June 21, 2010 - 20:27

    also that very little of the seal hunt actually happens near PEI - only 22 fishermen from PEI take part in the hunt

  • Missy
    June 21, 2010 - 20:25

    Does it matter that much?? When we see a gentle tourist ad for the Island, we cringe at the real image we see on t.v. The smashing and slaughter of the seal hunt.

    Don't blame the ineffective ad campaign because we already have made up our minds where not to go .

  • Helen
    June 21, 2010 - 20:22

    This is another example of a tired old government that has lost interest and doesn't pay attention anymore.

  • N
    June 21, 2010 - 20:19

    I think can pop would attract alot of people over there.... ha ha ha,

  • Missy, Missy, Missy
    June 21, 2010 - 20:18

    Missy, Missy, Missy! Please come on. I hardly think that people are not going to come to the Island because of the seal hunt. Have you ever been to Prince Edward Island? We are well known for other things like our beaches, golf courses, and warm hospitality. Although I respect the fact that your concerned about the seals around the province of p.e.i. you need to get a little more informed on the issue. Do you realize that only 22 fisherman on the island are involved in the seal hunt and that the very little of the seal hunt actually occurs even near the island. Please get informed before you so ruthlessly claim that all Islanders are abusive people because of the seal hunt. Geez.... I bet your one of those people that claim that the seal hunt is bad but have no problem eating hamburger that comes from cows! Typically American... thinks they know everything

  • C
    June 21, 2010 - 20:18

    Well I guess we should just thank God and be sure to pray lots and go to church to praise and worship the great God of the USA.

  • kent
    June 21, 2010 - 20:17

    missy, you'd be ok, we don't smash and slaughter tourists yet...

  • E.T.
    June 21, 2010 - 20:17

    Missy from Maine please watch the News and see the trouble the seal hunters are in with pack ice, boats sinking, possible loss of life all to try to make a living for their families. This may not effect you but it does to families to these fisherman as they are at home wondering if their husbands, fathers are going to make it home. You keep eating your hamburgers and enjoying life in Maine. Don't worry about other people in the world for gods sake. Maybe it would be a good place for Paul McCarthy and people like Paul Watson and any more of these people who are so hard against the seal hunt. Wonder how they would like to be there.

  • SHAW BUILDING (5th)
    June 21, 2010 - 20:08

    Like I said, as a 'Tourism Policy Staffer', I have no accountability to industry or the public. I do whatever suits my fancy irrespective of tourism numbers, my job is safe even if I post all inquiries to a competing tourism market in Maine. Yes, it is a niche existence for someone unqualified and unable. I especially enjoying leaving my minister in the dark. The struggle continues.

  • Kay
    June 21, 2010 - 20:07

    This is just ONE of MANY STUPID things Philip Brown has done. I think its time for a change!

  • erich
    June 21, 2010 - 20:06

    Most likely the magazine erred. What is the cost of sending an employee to NS to oversee the mailing versus the cost of the advert? How many replies do you get from the ad? What is the postal cost difference between the two addresses? Are we talking about more than $20?

  • Netty
    June 21, 2010 - 20:06

    Okay, so maybe Phil doesn't have to check out the mailroom, but what else exactly does he do? Don't be too hard on the commentor from Maine, as he/she probably doesn't even know where PEI is.

  • tom
    June 21, 2010 - 20:05

    Missy please keep your word and not come here we dont want people like you .
    Maybe you could take Philip Brown and Pat Binns to live with you.

  • Missy
    June 21, 2010 - 20:03

    What I am saying is that is does not make people inclined to visit an area that has images splashed all over the internet and press, of ice running red with seal blood and animals clubbed to death.
    Are you not aware this is the greatest slaughter of sea life in the Americas. . And we are not talking fish here!! Many stores no longer serve Canadian seafood and millions are lost to the fishermen.

    I cannot believe you cannot make the connection. Would you want that slaughter image on a tourist poster????? People speak with their feet and their money. Some choose to seal and others to stay away.

    Because, with the web as it is today, that is the picture tourists get. It may as well be on a tourist poster and most tourists don't care if it is winter or summer, it is just not where they choose to leave their money.

    Have you noticed the decline in tourists with the awareness and these images on the web.

    I do not depend on the tourist industry. However, the Island does and I sympathize with them.

  • Missy-could you clarify ?
    June 21, 2010 - 20:01

    Hmmm. Missy! I really don't understand how a comment about a problem with P.E.I. tourism advertising relates to the seal hunt! Come on do you really think tourists are not going to come to P.E.I. because of the sea hunt. Please come on. Do you realize that the majority of our tourists come in the summer time not during seal hunting season.

  • Clair
    June 21, 2010 - 19:57

    This is what happens when unqualified persons are put in a Ministers. I wonder how often the Minister of Tourism even sits in on decision making meetings. If this entire situations wasn't so serious, it would be laughable.

  • Chester Field
    June 21, 2010 - 19:51

    Would it not be better to just have a 800 number for potential tourists to call and actually speak to a live Islander....Tourism could then mail out any material they would be requesting, not to mention, this would provide some more employment...

  • missy
    June 21, 2010 - 19:47

    Hey Tom Tom,

    We know you could live without any of us tourists. You just want our money. It is nice however, that he who laughs last, laughs best!!!We are discriminating where we spend it.


    . By the way, it is a fact that those who abuse anamals end up abusing people. Appropriate news today!!!!!! .

  • Paul
    June 21, 2010 - 19:45

    Would Pat Binns wake up and get rid of this guy. He is an embarressment to the people of PEI.

  • Missy
    June 21, 2010 - 19:44

    Dream on, Dream on. We are living in a marketing, media society. Grow up and be aware. It is not what you think. It is how the world percieves. . Marketing is everywhere. It is about your/mine money and how we choose to spend ours.

    When you go to the mall, they have those wonderful displays and window dressing to separate you from your money.

    Everything is image. Trying buying a lipstick and note the surrounding display. We buy what is beautiful.

    Likewise, the image of the Island and the seal slaughter. Someone wrote that there were only 22 sealers on the Island.

    The world saw the arrest of a prominent California Heart Surgeon, leader of the Shepards of The Sea, a respected organization, devoted to saving the environment and sea mammals, thrown in jail in Charlottetown for over a week for being on the same waters as the sealers. Obviously Prince Edward Island had jurisdition. So please don't say you don't have a dog in that fight.

    We saw and we took our tourist dollars to a more enlightened place. We don't want to convert you. You have to do that to yourselves.

    Like the old hillbilly song says, What part of image don't you understand!!! Don't attack me. I don't need your tourist dollars. I have a choice.....but remember, there are very few sealers from NFLD spending big bucks around your Island.

  • SHAW
    June 21, 2010 - 19:39

    ***Makes one wonder who is asleep -unfortunately, again - at the switch in the PEI Tourism Dept.

    What type of PEI Tourism policy official could allow an oversight of such magnitude? I pity the operators who blindly rely on the Torism Dept. to increase their lot in life. PEI's loss is Maine's benefit as free advertising and greater brand recognition wil assit our southern neighbour.

    For a moment think of Maine having potential tourists write to PEI for a Maine vacation guide. Daahh.

  • jack
    June 21, 2010 - 19:36

    How this imbicle got elected, let alone given a Ministers position is a sad reflection on the state of Island politics.
    Philip Brown makes Ronnie MacKinley sound like Churchill.

  • kathy
    June 21, 2010 - 19:35

    It appears that the Island Goverment gave the contract to the lowest bidder. How do we not know if this contracter who has won this bid does not use sweat labour in sweat houses!!
    The goverments of the Atlantic provinces should be ashamed of themselves for not hiring their own people therefore creating jobs and promoting small business who can provide this service with knowledge and expertise. History seems to be repeating it self over and over again,the youth of the island have been leaving for the past 50 years and more. The Goverment is focus on contracting companies from outside the province to do work for the island, wake up islanders..your goverment is even giving your work to Alberta.It sounds like their is no respect for you.
    Even your popular potato grower who is ruining the land and water table is growing potatoes out in Sask. So as soon as PEI's land and water table is ruin this business will have moved out west, leaving the Island with the cleanup.
    So instead of nit picking with each other and calling each other down as in some of the previous notes look at the source of the problem, make your leaders accountable.