Informants accuse Ghiz of 'dirty politics'

Teresa Wright
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From left, Cora Plourd, Susan Holmes and Svetlana Tenetko gathered at the Delta Prince Edward Friday for a news conference outlining their allegations of fraud and bribery in the Provincial Nominee Program, PNP.

Three former provincial civil servants who sent allegations of bribery and fraud involving P.E.I.’s Provincial Nominee Program to Ottawa spoke out Friday.

Cora Plourd, Susan Holmes and Svetlana Tenetko held a news conference Friday morning to address statements made by Premier Robert Ghiz Thursday in which he called their allegations ‘crazy.’

They each took a turn in front of reporters’ microphones to defend themselves against what they believe have been personal attacks made against them by the premier and the Liberal party.

“As a registered psychotherapist, I take umbrage with the premier, Ghiz, using the word callously ‘crazy’ to describe information provided by the three of us,” Holmes said.

“I feel it was an intentional attempt to undermine Ms. Tenetko in particular’s deposition, and it takes us down a path, as he described, of dirty politics.”

On Wednesday, the Department of Citizenship and Immigration called in the RCMP and the Canada Border Services Agency to investigate allegations it received regarding the controversial P.E.I. PNP from Plourd, Holmes and Tenetko.

The three sent statements of testimony to the feds, alleging bribery, elicit activity and outright fraud by numerous senior government officials, bureaucrats and directors of the nominee program.

Allegations of scandal and wrongdoing have swirled around this program for the past three years, mainly thriving in the realm of coffee shop rumours.

P.E.I.’s auditor general investigated the PNP in 2009 and did raise concerns about the way the program was run - especially where he found rules were broken or sidestepped by program administrators and senior officials.

But this is the first time government employees who worked on PNP files have come forward and publicly told their stories. It is also the first time criminal activity has been alleged by anyone directly involved in the nominee program’s administration.

Tenetko worked directly on immigrant applications. She was one of a group of employees who travelled to Hong Kong in the summer of 2007 to process nominee files for the province.

Tenetko told reporters Friday she saw envelopes and rolled wads of cash being given to senior PNP directors by Chinese applicants during this trip. These same people would then be approved for the program, which ultimately granted them a Canadian Visa.

“I can swear on the bible. What else do you want me to tell you?" Svetlana Tenetko

“I saw white envelopes. I saw cash covered with elastic. I did not take pictures but I saw what I saw,” Tenetko said.

She said she has nothing but her word to go on, but despite them being called ‘crazy’ by the premier, she stands by her claims.

“I can swear on the bible. What else do you want me to tell you?”

Plourd, like Tenetko, was also a PNP program officer. She made sure to clarify she submitted her own separate testimony to the federal government and was not claiming criminal wrongdoing. But she does claim PNP rules were blatantly broken.

She told reporters she was directed by PNP managers and directors to approve immigrant files that did not meet provincial requirements of the program. She also alleges files she didn’t approve were signed off on by senior program managers.

She would not name the senior staff she is accusing.

“I would write on mine that it was under duress or against my better judgment that I’m being asked to change this to a nominated file,” Plourd said.

“These files were not good files. They were very suspect. And we denied them for a reason.”

Plourd admitted the timing of the release of the information was indeed timed to coincide with the provincial election. But she said this wasn’t to help anyone gain or lose political points.

They believed releasing their information during the election would be the only way to gain national attention to this issue, Plourd said.

“We knew if we came out now, we would get this issue out there.”

She added that her and Tenetko have been trying for the past three years to get their stories out.

“This didn’t just start this week. That is what the Ghiz government is trying to say. That we’re doing this for political reasons. It isn’t. For three years we’ve been trying to get this forward, and it’s gone nowhere,” she said.



Organizations: Department of Citizenship and Immigration, RCMP, Canada Border Services Agency Canadian Visa

Geographic location: Ottawa, Hong Kong

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Recent comments

  • CFA
    September 19, 2011 - 11:31

    Yes, but they have not been.............. instead they are the ones in a position to sue - over breach of privacy!

    • Islander
      September 21, 2011 - 06:57

      Just read the list of Island businesses that received money from the PNP. It's a list of "Who's who" on the Island. MPs, family and friends. If this was a Federal project, It would be international news by now and a lot of MP's would be going to jail. We all know that on the Island, the "good old boy network" is part of our everday political life. Time it was stopped and the guilty are held responsable for their actions. I'm not particularly interested in throwing mud at those 3 whistleblowers and I don't care whether you are Conservative or Liberal. I want to see an independant inquiry into this mess. Any and all politicians caught with a hand in the public till should be punished. Everybody seems to be getting sidetracked about the little details, Let's deal with the crooks and get them out of our political system.

  • Interested
    September 19, 2011 - 10:25

    Why are you all getting defensive ,is it because you know the rest of Canada is watching the Island politics now . This Island NEEDS a good clean up ,it has been run by the same groups and families for years . time to blow the whistle on this and whatever else might come out . lets have a good cleaning and start new. We know there is corruption here ,we all know it but we turn our heads ,why? because people are afraid to speak out .they would lose their jobs (with another reason of course ) so they dont speak up and the crooked politics are happy with the knowledge that they have a strangle hold . so it goes on and on and on ,generation after generation .then again most people here are related so they cant say too much as it is usually a cousin or relative of some kind you are blowing the whistle on so you dont .Why not just let off island take care of this and other crooked matters and start new and honest if that is possible . i dont think though we should trust the island RCMP to look into anything . they probably also play footsies with govt.Wink ! Wink! Nudge ! Nudge !Just my thoughts .

  • Tired of the same old parties
    September 18, 2011 - 20:16

    It is time to consider something different than the same old tired parties. Thankfully there are three other parties with candidates in much of PEI. While they may be small, they are at least untouched by the backroom dirty dealings of these two old parties - both Tory and Grit. I am going with a new fellow this time and he's our local NDP fellow.

  • concerned
    September 18, 2011 - 20:11

    Finally we are going to have a real investigation into the PNP program. Let's get the truth out regardless of what that will be.

  • Immigrant Supporter
    September 18, 2011 - 18:43

    This is something that never should have been made public until the RCMP concluded their investigation since some people are assuming these allegations are true before they have been proven to be true by the RCMP. It is damaging the reputation of PEI across Canada as this story is being picked up nationally. It is also potentially tainting the immigrants who have and will come to PEI - just as people look at their neighbour wondering if their business received PNP units, some people will start wondering which immigrants made these alleged bribes. I encourage all of you to do what I will do in terms of both immigrants and government officials - assume they are innocent until proven guilty. All that you have to do is look at how many times people have been charged with a crime only to be later released or found innocent at trial to know that not everybody is guilty of what they have been accused of.

    • Noname
      September 19, 2011 - 11:45

      Most people didn't need these charges made public before they knew it was true. Most people were already smart enough or knew enough to know.

    September 18, 2011 - 18:22

    OK so think about this,. You have 3 people (gender doesn't matter) who have publicly identified themselves on PEI. They have made charges to the RCMP, not just going "public". Think about how serious a matter this is and what consequences they face, both publicly (on PEI they are going to be ostracized by 50% of the population) and privately (it's a crime to lie to the police). Does any person seriously think that they would do this solely for the purpose of getting the Conservatives elected? WOULD YOU??? They had the courage to put their names behind their allegations. That doesn't make what they said true but it sure adds credibility. And Mr. Ghiz, you weren't in Hong Kong so YOU DO NOT KNOW FOR SURE!!!

  • Thaddeus Sholto
    September 18, 2011 - 17:35

    Bill A Taxpayer, you are absolutely right. We do need whistleblowers, but we need the ones who have even a shred of proof and not just allegations that we are asked to believe on face value. Whistleblowers are important to our democracy and keeping government honest, but in this case you would have to agree that it is difficult to believe three women who call a news conference and offer no proof. Nothing except their word. Who are they really and what is their agenda and who is pulling their strings? They did not do this on their own. That is the question. There is no doubt there were abuses with the PNP, but it has been investigated. It is now time to investigate the women whom I really do not consider whistleblowers. They have their own agendas and have people or parties supporting them.

  • MM
    September 18, 2011 - 13:42

    And theres still folks around who think a certain Dr was innocent of sexual acts even though he was found guilty. The women who came forward on that one were ostracized by some and looked on as liars and trouble makers. People beleive what they want to and denial remains alive and unwell.

  • Wilkins Micawber
    September 18, 2011 - 13:40

    Don't Think So, please find and show us in any of there stories where it says Robert Ghiz said he is concerned and afraid of an RCMP investigation. He never said he was. As to calling the women crazy, he actually never did that either. He called their allegations crazy. Please find for us in any story where Robert Ghiz is quoted as saying he thinks the women are crazy. You nor anyone else can find a quote where he called the women themselves crazy. This is what he said: He publicly called them ‘crazy allegations’ and said they offer no credence. “Accusing a Supreme Court justice on the appeals division of covering things up… accusing the auditor general of being in a conflict of interest, accusing myself of stealing $100 million… it’s just a little too out there for me to give any credibility to any of these allegations,” Ghiz said in an interview with The Guardian.

    September 18, 2011 - 12:47

    If Mr. Ghiz and Liberals have nothing to hide, why is he so concerned about having the R. C. M. P. do an investigation?????????????? Ghiz stated that the statement the three ladies gave to the press was " CRAZY " These three ladies are NOT CRAZY, one of the meanings of crazy is demented, Ghiz should publicly apologize to those ladies for insinuating that they are " CRAZY " or their comments are ' CRAZY ' not a very professional comment for a Premier to make.

  • CrazyTalk
    September 18, 2011 - 11:50

    Ok - Then show us the corroborating evidence. No legal system in the western world takes the claim of individuals without the evidence to back it up. And it appears that all these women can do is swear on a bible. That only works for honest Christians. So I hope that Islanders think hard about the actual validity of these claims and the evidence these women don't have before they make a decision on how to vote. This is all really dirty both at the Federal Conservative clan and my guess (without any evidence by the way) at the Provincial PC clan.

  • Motivation
    September 18, 2011 - 11:22

    How is this motivation for you, a certian person who works in Olives office also worked at and has close ties to The Delta where the press conferance was held, who also rages about The Liberals on his twitter account. The motivation is hatrid and winning the election by using dirty political tactics, and I hope the PNP file is investigated from the start as this is the only way to clear the air once and for all. Start at the start when the PC's ran the program. Is there anything that they want to hide and will resort to dirty tactics to win and hide for another 4 years at least. Start from the start.

  • Independant
    September 18, 2011 - 09:23

    Okay this PNP scandal can be removed from PEI if the liberals would just open the books and all of them. just be wide open and transparent , If all of these Chinese immigrants are so great for PEI then why wouldn't the liberal party and all those who benefited from the PNP be proud to shout there names out loud? Islanders do not care if The Tories got them or the Liberals all they want to know if who benifited from over the HALF A BILLION DOLLARS that was given to the select few including our elected officials.

  • mm
    September 18, 2011 - 09:19

    Personally I could give a fig who drove them to where. In a spaceshop? By the wings of a eagle? On the SS Enterprise? Who cares? Turning this into a SHOOT THE MESSENGER is low. If the Premier and whoever are being honest they have nothing to worry about. If theres any dirt to be uncovered I would predict mud slinging against these women and doing everything to cast them as the wrong doers. By naming names,amounts, and reasons forreceiving PNP money asap then this can be put to rest easily .

  • Don't shoot the messenger
    September 18, 2011 - 08:58

    Wow, I guess when you can't dispute the accusations, you attack the messenger. That seems to be what's going on here. Calling people "old bags" and "crazy" and saying they should be deported!? Deported where, for heavens sake? Their credibility will be determined by the RCMP and possibly the courts. And eye witness testimony is considered evidence, the RCMP will determine if other facts back it up. One thing I noticed is part of their story is similar to what the auditor general said "The auditor general's office also found seven instances where eligibility concerns were raised by PNP staff and the deputy minister, and the transactions were approved by a senior bureaucrat, whom the report did not name."

    • Points To Ponder
      September 18, 2011 - 10:48

      Hey DON'T SHOOT THE MESSENGER, the 7 files that were overruled were overruled when the TORIES were in power. There was lots of media coverage on this at the time. Get your facts straight.

  • motivation
    September 18, 2011 - 08:33

    Where is the story on the motivation. Thursday evening these three women were picked up in a cab at the parkdale irving (cab paid for by D.P. Murphy Inc.) They were taken to Dalvay by the Sea Motel and had a meeting in a cottage on the property with Tory candidate Martie Murphy along with others. So a meeting with Tory candidate Martie Murphy on Thursday evening and Senators Duffy's assistant Friday morning.... This sounds political to me.

  • Hold your Horses
    September 18, 2011 - 08:23

    Don't gloat just yet. Or gleefully rub your hands together. A lot of people are going to know what 'crow' tastes like before this is over. The Tory paranoia has gone way over the top!

  • David
    September 18, 2011 - 00:47

    Well I want to know is what is Martie Murphy a PC Candidate in this election doing in the middle of this? Also why is a Former Eastern School Board Trustee who was Fired from the Board also involved in this? Did Murphy and This Former School Board Trustee also get money the PNP money? Like why are these people involved with these 3 women making these wild claims with no evidence.

    September 17, 2011 - 23:09

    These allegations are as believable as the stories in the tabloids at the checkout counter at the grocery stores! Really, do they expect us to believe that Robert Ghiz received between $50 million and $100 million when they cannot provide any proof?

  • Thaddeus Sholto
    September 17, 2011 - 22:47

    The story has now move away from the allegations and the fact the RCMP has the file. The media has to now start investigating the three women, their background, histories and political affiliations and so on. They are no longer private citizens and are fair game to fair investigation from the media. What is their motive, why now during an election campaign and not during the auditor general's investigation, what kind of Tory job did one of them hold, is it true Senator Mike Duffy or his employee drove them to the news conference. If that is true the the story takes a new twist.

  • settle down boys
    September 17, 2011 - 22:41

    after a few drinks we have some liberal hacks sitting down to the keyboard, these posts are really getting "crazy", this is Ghiz's word not mine, you can tell the wheels are coming off the bus when the clowns start posting, happened in 07 with the Tory clowns and not the Grits are sending out their finest!!!!!!

  • Wiggins
    September 17, 2011 - 22:40

    John Gonsaga, how on God's green earth can you smear someone like the three women who just called a news conference and levelled all kinds of charges with no shred of proof. They even said so themselves. They want us to take them at their word. One of then worked for the Tories and one tried to blackmail Allan Campbell into giving her a job. How can you smear people like that?

    September 17, 2011 - 18:20

    HEY HEY HEY GOOD BYE!!! NA NA NA NA!!! Robert Ghiz.

  • Checker
    September 17, 2011 - 17:45

    If anyone out there thinks these ladies are off their rocker...think again. They are bang on the money (pardon the pun). If you think this is a joke simply ask youirself "Where did the $550 million dollars go?" Not to the ratepayers of PEI. This money was pocketed by our politicans and their friends. Plain and simple. Where is the money???

  • Wilkins Micawber
    September 17, 2011 - 17:31

    What bothers me is how the local Tories had print and broadcast ads ready to go the day the story ran in The Globe. Without advance knowledge that the story was going to run Thursday there is no conceivable way the party could have had ads written, produced and ready for air and print within hours of the story being in the Globe. It is obvious from the tone and nastiness of their ads, the local Tories are getting help from the federal party which is the master at divisive, nasty and untrue negative advertising. It is quite strange why the women are coming forward now and not when the actual investigation was proceeding three years ago. They claim it is to get more attention during an election, but would it not have been wiser to go to the auditor general when he was doing his work in the file. Of course they would have to have some proof and not just their say so which they themselves say they do not have. And don't forget that one of the women used to work for the Tories and another tried to blackmail Allan Campbell into giving her a new job. Wanna bet if the Tories happen to win the election these women will not find jobs either in the civil service or with the provincial party?

  • The Federal Tories approved the files in the end
    September 17, 2011 - 17:14

    The feds, IE the PCs in Ottawa had final say. The PC commentators on here can come at Ghiz all they want to but in the end the feds had the final say. You can spin it all you want to, but your party in Ottawa had the final say on every file. I would be dollars to donuts there are things wrong from the start of the program, not just from 3 years ago.

  • CrazyTalk
    September 17, 2011 - 14:59

    I am so glad that these ladies decided to have a press conference. I think that they have pretty much put this issue to rest for the Liberals. These women clearly proved to Islanders that they purposely did this during an election and that they are to say the least not the most believable accusers. I really do hope that once these allegations are proven to be baseless, the women involved are charged.

  • wasteofpaper
    September 17, 2011 - 13:42

    Globe and mail story, guardian ad. How do these three women get the attention of a writer in the globe n mail in the first place not to mention a convienient tory ad on the same day. wouldnt be help from a local PEI/Ottawa senator former news man would it who i am sure would have relationships at the globe n mail. This doesnt pass the smell test. Even TMZ wouldnt report this. Maybe the media on PEI and the globe n mail should report the news not the smut. why do the tories spend money on attack ads instead of a vision to make the future better for PEI. I think I will hold a news conference to say someone stole my cat even though it ran away cant wait to waste more paper

  • SG
    September 17, 2011 - 13:32

    Yes I agree it is very unfortunate that these allegations have come forth just before Islanders go to the Polls. However, I also wonder if the Liberal Party had dealt with the PNP issues brought forth by Islanders and by Opposition Leader Olive Crane in the house,on behalf of Islanders, if we would be dealing with this issue now? I believe Alan Holman made a good point re: the Video included with this report. Mr. Holman stated there are reports both on Provincial Government Websites and via the Media about Island Businesses receiving grants from ACOA and/or our Provincial Gov. quite frequently. These reports most often also include the Business Name and the amount of such Grants and Funding. Hence why is information regarding the PNP confidential? If the information on ACOA and Gov. Grants and Funding can be made public why can't similar information regarding the PNP be made public? If that had been the case would we be having this discussion now in the midst of a Prov. Election?

  • nitpicker
    September 17, 2011 - 13:06

    I look forward to finding out if all these allegations are true. And if any of it is true, I look forward to seeing those guilty dealt with appropriately. As with a previous poster, however, I also struggle with the comment that the timing of the accusation was not to gain political points. We are talking about corruption and fraudulent activity, not to mention giving people Visas to enter the country. Is she really asserting that the RCMP, Ottawa, Immigration, the Globe and Mail, etc. would not pay attention to these activities had it not been for a PEI election? Does anyone really care about a PEI election outside of PEI?

  • Joe from the far west
    September 17, 2011 - 13:05

    How in the world can these women make accusations of criminal activity agaisnt dozens of people and then participate in a crazy press conference in the hallway at the delta, and have absolutely no evidence to the point where they got defensive when pressed for a proof? are they crazy? If i did that, I would have already been called out for a lawsuit.

    • CFA
      September 19, 2011 - 11:49

      Yes, but they have not been.............. instead they are the ones in a position to sue - over breach of privacy!

  • give me a break
    September 17, 2011 - 12:52

    Wake up people...first some of your comments are out to lunch...I for one like to see the rcmp looking into the pnp you remember brooke macmillan got pnp money and ghiz asked him to pay it back...this is a program that could have help out the little people and not the rich's been reported that these women tried up get this looked into a few years ago, so don't be so quick to judge them....ghiz was pretty quick to attack these women....I heard the stories of people that got pnp units and didn't even have a let them come clean on who all got the units..could be a shocker for us ISLANDERS....

  • Sandra Boswell
    September 17, 2011 - 12:50

    Former Islander wrote on September 17, 2011, "Just a bunch of old bags and sour grapes. I encourage you to give a name to all the so called, 'those in authority, and responsible for our money. What would be a good name for people mis-appropriating your personal money. It is disrespect to use the term 'old bags'. What era are you from. Do you have a more compass for yourself or only nasty names for people trying to do what is right. What would you call them if these people coming forward were men, "sleze bags'? You know when you make comments like this it does not make you look smart. Maybe reframing your words would be more helpful. If you have any truths, and not just hatred for women then we'd like to hear from you otherwise you are not credible.

  • Patronage Pat
    September 17, 2011 - 12:41

    I'll buy what there are selling. . And I believe in the cow jumping over the moon, the Easter Bunny and Olive for Premier.

  • Mark
    September 17, 2011 - 11:57

    It is time to vote in a new party to lead the province. Both PC's & Liberal's have proven how corrupt and underhanded they really are.

  • Gerry
    September 17, 2011 - 11:53

    The PNP scandal is definitely about politics and to think otherwise is ignorant. Money buys power, influence and patronage. PEI is not anymore foreign to this behaviour than any other province. After three years of questioning, not only by the Opposition, but Islanders in general, it has finally hit the fan. If it required the backbone of three women to finally get some action, then kudos to them. Hopefully, this will be the beginning of the end. Onward and upward folks!

    • doug
      September 17, 2011 - 19:01

      The hypocrisy is incredible. Has anyone asked Olive how her candidate developed her back yard? Martie Murphy was supposed to get $500000 for her backyard in Stanhope from the Tories but the Liberals didn't allow it. And then she got tons of PNPs. Didn't follow process either. Felt she was above the rules. Perhaps when everyone is throwing dirt they should be careful. There is a lot more to that story and perhaps they all should be answering about taking advantage of government programs including Olive herself.

  • Mell
    September 17, 2011 - 11:40

    Oh come to the Gentle Island if you have enough money to buy your way through and over the red tape- this should not surprise anyone. People from other countries have been paying huge sums of money as a means of entry to PEI and it should have been stopped years ago, but it basically a source of income to the island, whether legal or not. The Newcomers Association has been a big fan of these paying immigrants, but come from away from another province and you are a nobody. Money and greed always takes over common sense and good sense and behaviour. They are in bed with the devil!

  • Points To Ponder
    September 17, 2011 - 11:23

    Come on guys, they were driven to the Delta by Sen. Mike Duffy's assistant, who had breakfast with them before they spoke to the media.

    • What a silly comment
      September 18, 2011 - 08:38

      What a silly comment. They happen to be friends - small island and all. What, did you think they were bribed with scrambled eggs and toast?

  • Fact Check
    September 17, 2011 - 10:49

    The 3 ladies were driven to their press conference by Sen. Mike Duffy's assistant and then had breakfast with his assistant at the Delta before doing their press conference. Politics or just a "coincidence"?

  • Karl Proude
    September 17, 2011 - 10:12

    Sandra Boswell,,As like most Police investigations, you will only see the clean politicians coming out with the truth when the jib is 3/4 of the way up.Then and only then, they know for sure that the boys at the top are going to fall and can no longer cause them pain or suffering in their lives. I am thinking that many are scared behind closed doors and in both parties I stress, that may or may not be able to handle the pressure that this situation has put on them. Give it time it will come out.However to regain faith if ever in Politics, will take me a very long time .

  • John Gonzaga
    September 17, 2011 - 10:03

    There's another very important issue in play here now and that is the tactics used by the Liberal government to smear these three people. They revealed a private government email in a press release to help their cause, and this is clearly illegal on their part. First of all there is no sitting government at the moment so they had no right to use that email in any way but more importantly all government emails are tagged with a confidentiality note to receiver saying they are not to distribute it in any way. For all you partisan Liberal naysayers, how would you like to work for an employer that carelessly rummages through your emails and makes them public in order to defend it itself against fraud charges? Is this the kind of employer you'd want to work for? It's no wonder no one currently employed in government has come out to speak against the PNP corruption since the first thing the Liberals would do is call you 'disgruntled' (a throwback to Gordon Cobb) and then try to discredit you by any means possible. After that, they would choose to not renew your contract, a fact they like to point out with these three individuals as if it's some sort of mark against them when in fact it is very common especially when politics is part of the equation. If the RCMP do in fact see enough in these women's claims to launch an official investigation, people who had first hand knowledge of PNP wrongdoing will have to tell the truth under oath. How will you like your sitting Liberal government then when PEI is on the national stage for this stinking foul mess? Bet you won't be wearing your red Ghiz pins then will you?

  • Wow
    September 17, 2011 - 09:59

    These ladies are brave. Good for them. Robert really messed up. He could have made a difference. We hoped he would. He could have been re-elected multiple times if he just worked for the people. When I voted for him I thought this guy has the gift to speak, to be heard and will not hide behind closed doors. He didn't. He really messed up and it's a shame he'll go down in Island history like this.

    September 17, 2011 - 09:44

    On the street an informant is also known a " rat " and informants or " rats " quite often bend or twist the truth or untruths to appease those who have requested their talents as an informant or " rat ".The ice cold death glare by Ms.Holmes speaks volumes.Truth,partial truths or out and out lies...these " informants " are out for blood at any cost.

    September 17, 2011 - 09:16


    • wow suspicious islander
      September 18, 2011 - 11:12

      an 'all caps' post is screaming! Simmer down....nobody will listen to you when you scream.

  • Charles Doyle
    September 17, 2011 - 09:14

    As read all these comments about these three women,I can understand their anguish.I work in an industry where workers are terrified to come forward about issues.They fear losing their jobs, they fear disiplanary action.Most workers have families to feed,bills to pay and homes they don't want to loose.People in positions like the Premier and his staff all know how to manipulate workers with fear tactics.I see this every day in my position and it is time these people are held accountable.If this was an ordinary JOE and convicted he would be sent to prison.

  • Fact Check
    September 17, 2011 - 09:01

    The story today omits some important facts: 1. The 3 ladies were driven to the press conference by Senator Mike Duffy's assistant. 2. The 3 ladies had breakfast with Senator Mike Duffy's assistant prior to making their statements (does anyone doubt this is about politics)?? The story also fails to mention some of Tenetko's other allegations: that the Premier stole 50-100 million, that a senior public servant stole 20-50 million, that every MLA got 600k and on and on. Readers need this context in order to fairly assess the allegations. On the other hand, the press coverage does confirm (1) that one of the three did not work in PNP; (2) that the second is not alleging anything criminal occurred, and that (3) the third has no proof of her allegations. It also confirms that the complaints were intentionally made in the middle of the election campaign.

    • cora plourd
      September 18, 2011 - 12:21

      Senator Duffy's assistant and Cora Plourd have been close friends since 1994 - she was there supporting a friend - not as Senator Duffy's assistant - and she was driving because Plourd's vehicle was in for repairs.

  • Hostile Response
    September 17, 2011 - 08:53

    The interview I heard on the radio yesterday that included testimony from these three women seemed very fishy to me. Two of the women seemed quite hostile in their responses, to what seemed like pretty straightforward questions a reporter would ask in such a case. In my opinion, this showed character in that perhaps these women have something to say, but don't want to give away too much information as they might have something of their own to hide. I understand that much of the evidence that these women claim they witnessed is "locked away" at the Industrial Park, but claiming that you saw money switch hands simply and that you saw forms from family members multiple times just doesn't cut it. Prove it with hard evidence. If you can't and become upset when probed about this, don't expect the media to just walk away and not wonder why you are making these allegations with no evidence. In the end, whether I vote Liberal or Conservative, Robert Ghiz wins this one as he is the cooler head that will prevail and these three ladies don't have a collective leg to stand on.

  • singlecougar
    September 17, 2011 - 08:49

    Where were these women for the past 3 years? According to them .. they were trying to get the story out. Hard to get the story out when the media works so hard to control what, we the public, hear. Look at the leaders debate, only inviting 2 of the Island party leaders .... I can see why the timing is happening now. The reign of the Liberals over controlling the media and government offices is easier to get through during an election. The timing was not brought about by these women, it was brought about by the handling of PNP .... and that, my dear Island voters ... falls at the Ghiz governments feet. Right or wrong, at least now a proper and fair investigation shall be done and the truth will be known to all. Don't shoot the messengers, at least they are making sure we have an opportunity to know the truth.

  • Joe Smelt
    September 17, 2011 - 08:29

    Is anyone having a problem figuring out which of these comments are coming from a Liberal supporter, or a Conservative/NDP/Green supporter? Let the Mounties do their work, let's get rid of this smear on our home province!

  • bj
    September 17, 2011 - 08:11

    Mr "Three Musketers", the fourth "Muskateer" is in Halifax getting legal advice. He has no connection to these three, I met him 2 nights ago. Wait til Tuesday! It is absolutely ridiculous what your government is doing over there. Vote "Rhino" Party. Forget both the Blue and Red! The problem with PEI is you simply keep swiching back and forth, back and forth, back

  • Bill a Taxpayer
    September 17, 2011 - 07:50

    Come on "people" think for a change . Reading these comments makes me sick . Here we go putting down the whistle blower again when we need a lot more of them to come forward if we are to get our monies worth from our tax dollar. And yes I agree , coming forward any time in the last few years would have been swep under the rug by this Gov or the previous one . I agree that any one found to be lying - stealing - commiting fraud or bibery should be punished & I believe Crane has stated in the past that includes people from both parties past & present . Really ; you should read this post carefully .

  • C'mon.....
    September 17, 2011 - 07:49

    These gals have been trying to get this story out for three years. Really? And no one would cover this until now? Seriously? If you believe that I have some swamp land for sale at a great price. I'll also throw in the Confederation Bridge at no extra cost, and trade you two quarters for every loonie that you can come up with.

  • Beautyisland
    September 17, 2011 - 07:44

    PNP had been run under both PC and LIberal party so do not only blame one but forget the other touched it as well. These three ladies are not only crazy but dishonest. If the RCMP claim no wrong doing, these three should be sent to jail for what they are doing!!!

  • This is terrible
    September 17, 2011 - 07:24

    This PNP issue has been dividing friends, neighbours and families since 2008. We are a daily feature in the Globe and Mail and other National news outlets. This has got to be fixed or we will suffer serious consequences. Robbie Ghiz looks like a "deer in the headlights" when asked about this. Come clean! We all pay big taxes for this kind of treatment. It is insulting to all Islanders.

  • Checker
    September 17, 2011 - 07:22

    Thank you ladies, for coming forward on this one. Islanders have a right to know just how corrupt this administration has been and it starts with Ghiz and Dow and carries on down through the ministers and MLAs to their friends and relatives. Thank You..Thank You !!

  • unbelievable
    September 17, 2011 - 07:00

    These women acuse Ghiz of dirty that's rich!

  • haha
    September 17, 2011 - 06:26

    there you go ----three more women in politics - they remind me of guergis,catherine callbeck, kim campbell,and palin

    • Come From Away
      September 19, 2011 - 10:42

      Can you count? That is 4.....This is not about those woman. It is about accountability in Government. Period. And PLEASE do not ever put Sarh Palin's name in the same sentence with any Canadian women. Kim is worth 10 of her!

  • are the wheels coming off
    September 17, 2011 - 04:29

    The Liberal hacks are in full damage control now, blame others, it is never your fault. How about a quick review of the facts we know, in 2007 the applications go up from 400 to over 800, feds become concerned and close the program, during the period it takes the provincial government sends employees to sell (almost 2000) as many Canadian visas as possible, all that is required is 200k. Then the Premier's friend and deputy minister tries to help himself to the funds, gets caught and the lid comes off the whole scheme. Certain connected people have to admit to receiving money, one businessman had over 30 units (at over 50k each for a take of 1.5 million) to connected companies, and it get ugly. Instead of calling an investigation and getting the mess sorted out, Ghiz goes into denial and defends the indefensible, blaming everyone else. Do I think this is because he has something to hide, yes he is part of this, what else could it be.

    • You need to start from the start
      September 18, 2011 - 19:30

      There are only so many business men in Charlottetown, if you recieved units under the PCs you prolly did under the Libs as well. Some business men change party loyalties like the tides, they have to so they can still receive the goods and connections that they need and want in business. Both parties prolly have skelletons in the closet over this, and both need to come forward and have a fair and transparent investigation. And do it right next time instead of linning your own pockets. BTW how many never heard of this program for years until the Liberal fiasco of pushing almost 2k people through, I bet barely anyone.

    September 17, 2011 - 02:37

    "Allegations of scandal and wrongdoing have swirled around this program for the past three years, mainly thriving in the realm of coffee shop rumours" and if the Guardian had done it's job of investigative journalism then maybe we would be well past this fiasco....a bush league newspaper if there ever was one..

    • Swing Voter
      September 18, 2011 - 18:31

      Here here!! Perfectly said.

  • Sandra Boswell
    September 16, 2011 - 22:43

    This women are very brave. Let's cleanup this mess and move on, hopefully being more wise. All politicians need to step forward from both the Liberal and Conservative parties, and be honest with Prince Edward Islanders. All documents surrounding, indirectly or directly related to the PNP need to now be given to the public. People will never believe a word that a politician tells them, or promises them until this serious situation is cleared up. Wrong doing was not only occuring under the Liberal, but the Conservatives had their hands in the cookie jar as well. Let's give the Greed Tree another shake. Perhaps we need a 'think tank' to come up with ideas of how to run our province, not just take any newcomer for CASH. The past two governments, and the people who took the money as an investment in their business need to also come clean with Islanders. You see by the low key response by local media that there is a whole lot more to this story then is being told.

    • Brian Francis
      September 17, 2011 - 08:52

      Well said Sandra!

  • the general
    September 16, 2011 - 22:35

    Let's thank this government and the previous Conservative Government for want to take all these new immigrants that appear to be rooted and well padded in cash? How did all these people make their money? Honesty and within the realm of law? Let's thank the Liberal and former Conservative Government for giving Prince Edward Island, a GLOBAL black eye. These governments have disgraced us, changed our way of living; tried to change our value system; spend our money foolishly; and for what GREED. Let's ask Ottawa to do away with this financial pig, the PNP. If we looked at the debts and receivables of the program we would probably see that Island Taxpayers are in the red because of this program.

    • Michael Gallant, Sackville NB
      September 17, 2011 - 05:54

      As an PE Islander "living away", I try to keep up on the hometown news. I concur with "The General's" commentary and amplify his disgust. Others that have stood up on their hind legs in outrage, have obviously (conveniently) forgotten the taxpayer funded cash grabs during the previous administration with regard to golf courses and fish factories. It would seem if these current allegations contain any truth, nothing has changed on my beloved homeland.

    • The Redneck
      September 17, 2011 - 06:08

      RedNeck General, it is people like you that give the Island a GLOBAL blackeye. So you are walking around with an assumption that "all these new immigrants" did not make their money honestly or within the law. The right wing don't care about PNP they don't like the fact "them people" are here. A week can't go by without witnessing some of the most disgusting racist comments or actions from the Gentle Island residents.

    • johns
      September 17, 2011 - 12:04

      selling yourself for money -maybe -pnp fits the definition of prostitution !!! guess who the pimps are !!!!

  • former islander
    September 16, 2011 - 21:56

    Just a bunch of old bags and sour grapes...surprising how the Guardian even prints this garbage! Gee..they didn't get their contracts renewed! What a joke!

  • mceachern
    September 16, 2011 - 21:56

    Young Ghiz is falling apart, you can see the guilt, you can hear the quiver in his voice and he is almost arguing with himself as he attempts to deny and deflect, much like a child. No experience, no life skills. We gave him a chance and now he has messed in his pants, denying his friends grants. The final days of a politicians career are upon Mr. Ghiz. He will be flippin pizza soon, cause thats the kind of job you get with an arts degree from Bishops. Surely Olive will turf Broken MacMillan

  • Really
    September 16, 2011 - 21:56

    Quote" Plourd admitted the timing of the release of the information was indeed timed to coincide with the provincial election. But she said this wasn’t to help anyone gain or lose political points." Like we didn't all ready know that. I for one will now vote Liberal to show I do not condone BULLY tactics and do not support Olive Crane.

    September 16, 2011 - 21:56

    Gentle Island? Dirty politics???? Kettle,Pot Black? Yes I firmly believe people should be going to jail,these three women,election tampering.

  • Important note
    September 16, 2011 - 21:54

    quote"Plourd, like Tenetko, was also a PNP program officer. She made sure to clarify she submitted her own separate testimony to the federal government and was not claiming criminal wrongdoing. But she does claim PNP rules were blatantly broken." On the news she stated She did not see any criminal activity. At least one of these ladies is smart enough to denounce some of the claims made. Dirty politics at its best. If no wrong doing is the RCMP conclusion these ladies need to be charged. I hope the cbc is suing them for slander since at least one called them "corrupt"

  • jimmy buffet
    September 16, 2011 - 21:30

    If these allegations turn out to be false or unproveable these three people should be imprisoned...maybe deported....after their imprisonment .Interfering in a Provincial election should carry prison sentences for both fools AND federal MP's.

  • Three Musketers
    September 16, 2011 - 21:29

    This story is really bizzare. Here we have the three musketers at a news conference saying trust me not them in the middle of an election. The only thing missing was the fourth musketers their boss Olive. I wonder if we had a chance to see their phone bills would we see their coaches being members of Olive Cranes team? I expect so and if that is the case then this is all about politics.

  • Regular Joe
    September 16, 2011 - 21:21

    I would like to thank these 3 brave ladys for coming forward! Its about time the RCMP was brought in! Lets finally get to the bottom of this so we know what took place.Pretty sure there will be some Torys not wanting this to come out-but pretty sure theres a lot more Liberals scrambling to shred some papers!

  • missed opportunity for leadership
    September 16, 2011 - 21:20

    the Premier is such an immature person, he could have responded to this with a comment like "there remain many concerns with this program, I welcome this investigation and have instructed Ministers and departments to cooperate completely, the investigation will give the issue closure" instead he rants on about political interference, his stooge Spencer Campbell rails against the federal government, releases government emails and tries to discredit the brave women who had the courage to break the silence.

  • Fisherman
    September 16, 2011 - 21:19

    Something smells fishy here and its not the tuna. I want to believe but I just can't do it. These three have got payback written all over them and in my view they are simply vengeful gals that have a payday waiting forf them from their poltical bosses if they help them win the election.I'm sorry but when I read this I am reminded of Anna Anderson.

    • That's a funny comment
      September 17, 2011 - 12:31

      That's hilarious. Although I have to say Ghiz reminds me more of an imposter claiming to be Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia.

  • Astalavista
    September 16, 2011 - 21:18

    Some politicians may have the ability to change into a variety of identities according to the situation. The wounded inside may choose to present a front as a “bad ass” and tough individual. He/she may look, by appearance, intimidating and scary to the average person. He could also play the “nice guy/person” whom everyone likes. A corporate type version can be one that is diplomatic, proper, and appearing to care but in reality does not. Another very likeable extreme politician can be the one that chooses the comedian role, perhaps Richard Brown? He/she is usually the life of the party and has everyone in stitches, making them laugh constantly. Everyone wants to include this person because they are a lot of fun.

  • Start at the start
    September 16, 2011 - 21:12

    All you need to do to get easy cash with this is to incorporate a something, like a holding company, get your 50k, and whether it works out or not you can then bankrupt said company and not have to pay the investor back like you are supposed to in 5 years. Easy cash. That being said I am also sure that many people would do this right, not everyone would be out to make a quick 50k.

    • I'ld start here
      September 17, 2011 - 09:22

      PEI has the highest bankruptcy rates in Canada according the a CBC news report that was on years ago, it was like 2 hundred percent higher than anywhere else. Start from the start of the PNP program and cross reference those names with bankruptcies and then determine what kind of buiness or corporation they were then cross reference that with PNP to see if their name comes up to look for any smelly companies. Make 2 piles, companies that aren't smelly and had to close up shop and companies that are smelly, like rotten fish. This is what I would do anyways.

  • Swing Voter
    September 16, 2011 - 20:59

    At the beginning of this campaign, I had misgivings about the Ghiz Liberals, but I was still planning to vote for them. The past two days have opened my eyes to the disgusting corruption of this party and this premier. They no longer have my vote. I eagerly await their defeat so that we can get a full inquiry into the PNP scandal. This government must be defeated if our province to move forward.

      September 17, 2011 - 05:36

      So much for going by the comments of the people for the 'undecided' voter, such bitter attitudes. Who needs to vote anyway in hte midst of all this pile of wrath?

    • Ijuht
      September 17, 2011 - 08:00

      You meant you believe what she said Ghiz got 100million? Hahaha......she said I do not have picture so she must dreamed?

  • OMG
    September 16, 2011 - 20:55

    After watching these women on Compass and then reading here from the lady who tried to run for the PC say that they planned to release this allegation during the campaign but didn't want anyone to gain or lose political points, unfortunately makes me think Ghiz is right... these women are crazy.

    • Garth Staples
      September 17, 2011 - 06:41

      The word crazy seems to be cropping up in the Liberal vocabulary lately. How funny is that!

    • Seriously
      September 17, 2011 - 07:41

      I saw this online last night, I'm also a trained counsellor and can spot a liar a mile away. Robert Ghiz was telling the truth here. Did I hear right that one of the accusers is from Russia? What a bizarre story. Not the Island way.

    • Crazy for You
      September 17, 2011 - 10:18

      I think you have a point here. Islanders can join in with Robert and attack these women and call them 'crazy'. Heck, they are even entitled to vote Liberal and keep this gentleman in the Premier's chair.But all of this anger towards courageous people and complicity with cover up does not change the fact that a ' large package' of information from CIC in Ottawa landed at RCMP L Division in Charlottetown.You may find some of the findings of the RCMP and Canadian Border Services a little difficult to spin as' crazy' talk.But you are welcome to try.