Ghiz has put P.E.I. in a ‘desperate situation,' says Crane

Wayne Thibodeau
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The Opposition Conservatives are calling on Robert Ghiz to show leadership when it comes to getting the provinces financial books in order.

This comes after the Ghiz, in his year-end interview with The Guardian, announced every government department with the exception of health is facing a three per cent budget cut.

That cut will mean up to $30 million sliced from the provincial government's overall budget.

"It is truly unfortunate, but indeed the reality, that this government's poor fiscal management and overspending has put our province in a desperate situation," Opposition Leader Olive Crane said on Thursday.

Crane said her caucus has been raising concerns for the past five years with the out of control spending of the Liberal government and recognizes that Islanders will be the ones to pay the price for their fiscal mismanagement.

She pointed to the Liberal government's poor track record for job creation and inability to generate sufficient revenue for the province, as two additional reasons why P.E.I. is facing such deep financial trouble.

"Had this government not overspent during tough economic times, and had their Prosperity Plan created the jobs it said it would, government services would not have to be sacrificed at the expense of Islanders," Crane added.

"It is truly unfortunate, but indeed the reality, that this government's poor fiscal management and overspending has put our province in a desperate situation," Opposition Leader Olive Crane

In his annual year-end interview with The Guardian, which will be published Dec. 27 and aired on EastLink TV Dec. 28-Jan. 3, Ghiz confirms he ordered a three per cent budget cut across the board with the exception of health.

He said most of the money will come out of program spending.

Ghiz said he hopes to be able to make the cuts without handing out pink slips.

"There's going to be job eliminations, we've already said that. If there's two people retiring and we believe there's a chance you can combine those two positions, then that will become one position."

Earlier this month, the P.E.I. government announced its deficit had jumped to $73.4 million, an increase of more than $30 million.

Ghiz said he's going to do all that he can to ensure no program gets completely axed.

"Let's say there's a program that gets $200,000 a year now. You ask them for three per cent less next year so they get $194,000."

 

wthibodeau@theguardian.pe.ca

 

Organizations: The Guardian, Opposition Conservatives, Islanders

Geographic location: P.E.I.

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Recent comments

  • Lori
    December 23, 2011 - 09:35

    Uncle Wally - you are the sharpest knife in the drawer. Help us by running for political office. PLEASE... signing off - your wannabe niece.

  • Townie
    December 23, 2011 - 07:13

    I wonder how much it costs each time they shuffle divisions around to different departments and rename departments. Think of all the letter head they had to throw out and purchase when the names changed. Business Cards. Envelopes. People time to update the websites. There's their 3% right there. This government does nothing but waste waste waste. And now they are going to take it out on government employes and islander services.

  • Uncle Wally
    December 23, 2011 - 07:08

    All of us, especially elected governments, have to be more aware of how entitlements are manufactured. Once we legislate a "right" to a service, funding, or a social value, we deliver it to ourselves. If we don't, we put legislation as a whole in jeopardy. Just glance at the world news to see how fragile the rule of law is in other countries; especially the laws that govern the distribution of wealth. When we make entitlements, we all inherit the responsibility to make them work. Time to stop our wishful thinking; time to stop our "them and us". Ghiz and Crane ain't Mommy and Daddy. Time to grow up and tackle the hard question: How do we all work with our governments to identify and solve our own problems?

  • Jon
    December 22, 2011 - 21:06

    PEI will be communist before you know it. The PEI Elite will ruin the 75%.

  • nota good situation
    December 22, 2011 - 21:05

    Actually the situation is worst than what they are saying...between overspending,and trying to make up for being of power for 10 years they have put the province at risk........on top of over governance....

    • What
      December 24, 2011 - 09:27

      Who has been in power for 10 years.

  • bob Macdonald
    December 22, 2011 - 20:49

    Ironically the department most out of control had not cuts!

  • Mike
    December 22, 2011 - 19:39

    Fact Government has to much Management. and every last one of them are political Hacks!

  • Just Wondering
    December 22, 2011 - 17:51

    Just wondering how 30 Mil stacks up against 400 Mil from PNP that we still don't have answers for ...

    • Townie
      December 23, 2011 - 07:09

      400 Million??? It is 525 million.

  • omg
    December 22, 2011 - 17:39

    And Binns leaving us that surplus and all?

  • Brownie
    December 22, 2011 - 17:09

    TAXPAYOR- In 2011-12, all Islanders want to pay better attention to ALL levels of Government with Your money. IMO - Today's politics is about - get elected, get, take what $$$ you can, do whatever they can to stay elected long enough to get a pension. Do You think government actually 'care' about You, Your Family? God help Our most vulnerable people. 1994 a newly elected MLA faxed my employer saying they're disposable, nothing but a drag on 'the system.' PEI foolisly got what they voted for. 4 more years of PNP Libber government. Unreal. Island NDP get cozy with Nova Scotia NDP, LEARN from them. we'd have 3 choices. Insane flip-flop GOV., RIDICULOUS!

  • yo olive
    December 22, 2011 - 15:58

    I agree, the finances need to be looked at, but why werent you spouting off back when binns was in power and they were running deficite? short term memory? I hope its as short as your leadership ambitons/politcal career.

  • charlie brown
    December 22, 2011 - 15:38

    I see jobs gone ,longer waits for services etc. How much did it cost taxpayers to redecorate offices when the ministers played musical offices? love to know how many jobs that cost?attrition through retirement still means frontline jobs gone ,in health care as well, so i see a real need to retire some politicians. Man the money we could save.

  • Islander
    December 22, 2011 - 14:52

    ...hope S Dow loses his job too!

  • Quiet Observer
    December 22, 2011 - 14:15

    Both this article and the previous one sound like they were written by Liberal spin doctors. reality is, our futures, and our children's futures have been sold down the pipe by Ghiz's financial mismanagement. Of course, he and Wes blame it on everybody else, as they always do, rather than having the integrity to face up to their messing everything up.

    • joe blow
      December 22, 2011 - 15:30

      Maybe it's about time to live within our means...this goes way beyond partisan red-vs-blue politics. We are a joke of a province...any given rural (farming) county in Southern Ontario or Quebec has as many people (or more) than we do, and yet we have an outrageous amount of schools, hospitals, MLAs, MPs etc. This Island has way too many services for its population, and if the rest of Canada won't subsidize us any longer, we certainly can't pay for it ourselves, given the mediocre economy. It is time to slash and burn, to balance the books.

  • taxpayer
    December 22, 2011 - 14:01

    OMG I did not know the province was in such a state how did this happen...???

  • Joe Blow
    December 22, 2011 - 13:27

    Just another reason why Islanders need to wake up and vote for any other party besides the Ghiz Liberals. They are slowly destroying our great little province!! Wake up people!!! Stop voting for the Liberals!! There is a reason why the Conservatives and NDP are way ahead of the Liberals across Canada...the Liberal party has fallen apart nationwide....time for Islanders to wake up and get with the times.

    • Stone Cold Steve Austin
      December 29, 2011 - 12:22

      The issue Joe, is that 70% of the PEI voters just vote for the same party over and over, because they and their familes are on "Team Liberal" or "Team PC". There's no critical thinking at all, and this ideology comes from the still existing issue of political patronage. The 30% swing vote that we do have determines our governments. It's a damn foolish way to elect our governments, that's for sure.