Published on December 19, 2011
Premier Robert Ghiz's Year-End interview with The Guardian will be published Dec. 27 and will air on EastLink TV Dec. 28-Jan. 3. Check local listings.
Guardian illustration by Paul Pettipas
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."