Little detail in throne speech, say opposition parties

Ryan Ross
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Opposition leader Olive crane speaks to reporters after the speech

It's a document that's supposed to lay out the government's plans, but for the province's third political parties there are details missing in the government's throne speech.

NDP leader Mike Redmond said he didn't hear enough in the speech about how the government was going to create jobs, how it was going to work with small businesses and how the HST will impact all Islanders.

"Those are concerns," he said.

While Redmond said he was glad to hear the government talk about hope, engaging Islanders and improving the government's fiscal responsibility, there is still a lot to be done.

Among the announcements made in the speech was the implementation of the HST, which the government announced as part of its spring budget.

Redmond referred to it as an unfair tax.

"We're concerned how that's going to affect all Islanders," he said.

When it comes to job creation, Redmond wondered what the government's economic model that focuses on small business will look like.

"Is it creating minimum wage jobs or is it creating jobs that are actually a livable wage," he said.

In his response to the speech, Green party leader Peter Bevan-Baker said there are a lot of Islanders who are aware of P.E.I.'s economic problems.

Among those problems are underfunded public sector pensions, which the throne speech addressed.

Bevan-Baker agreed the government needs to move away from defined benefits, which see retirees get a specified regular payment after retirement.

"That's going to be a very tricky thing to do," he said.

Those defined benefit pensions are not sustainable, Bevan-Baker said.

"It's one of many, many moves that we have to make to make our fiscal situation more sustainable."

When it comes to pensions, Bevan-Baker said the government could show leadership in the form of MLA pension reform legislation to share in the fiscal restraint.

"I would love to see that," he said.

Island Party representative Paul Smitz said a lot of what the government included in the speech was a repeat of what has already been talked about before.

"I don't think they're really serious about any of this stuff they're talking about," he said.

Smitz said Islanders are supposed to believe the HST is good for them because the government is telling it is.

"It's just smoke and mirrors," he said.

rross@theguardian.pe.ca

twitter.com/ryanrross

Organizations: Island Party

Geographic location: P.E.I.

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  • No Details?
    November 14, 2012 - 10:38

    Somebody should tell Redmond that a throne speech is not a document to have details. Displaying your lack of understanding of something so basic as this is not helpful for your party. Details are found in items like a budget. Beven-Baker did make some strong points on issues that I feel Islanders can rally behind.

    • Bertie
      November 14, 2012 - 11:26

      Thanks for the civic lesson but Mike Redmond will probably just continue to hold government accountable, as he is doing now, better than all the other party leaders. Bevan Baker is recommending a pretty good DETAIL I admit. But leadership is about overall governance which the NDP is directly adressing. We want jobs with decent incomes so people can live. Does that sound OK??????

  • SG
    November 14, 2012 - 10:24

    Jocelyne Lloyd, web editor: Thank you for your reply.

  • SG
    November 14, 2012 - 10:17

    (Islanders need to get engaged right now..thanks eh?) Just how should Islanders go about that feat? Ask questions? Why? When has our present Government ever answered Islanders questions?

  • SG
    November 14, 2012 - 10:10

    Why is the only coverage from Opposition Party Leaders restricted to the NDP and Green Party Leaders? If Olive spoke to reporters after the Thone Speech why didn't the Guardian include Olive's statements in this report? Olive Crane isn't even mentioned in this Report!

    • Jocelyne Lloyd, web editor
      November 14, 2012 - 10:18

      Hi SG, The Guardian did speak to Olive Crane, and her comments are in our main story by Teresa Wright on Page 1 of today's print edition of The Guardian. Oftentimes our stories are written first for the web, then updated with more information for the next day's print edition. We'll look at updating Teresa's web story to more closely resemble the print edition article later. Thanks for your question. Jocelyne Lloyd, web editor

  • alfredd
    November 14, 2012 - 09:55

    What stupid contradictory garble, -- who writes this stuff? Certainly not Ghiz, he is not bright enough to be that confusing. It is impressive is it's avasiveness . Has the Province not 'let' the private sector do its thing all along. And now that he is going to 'let' the private sector lead, what is annouced but all kinds of government initatives and support, --- more travel mission etc. My God the --- what kind of brains are behind all this b.s?. Unfortunately, one has to question what kind of brains are behind the oppositions remarks as well. --- smarten up if you are going to aspire to run this show, -- the only one that had sense was the Island Party, -- all the rest of you, - grow some brains and gonads---

  • Wayne MacKinnon
    November 14, 2012 - 08:50

    The representatives from the Island Party and the Green Party are the only ones who are speaking the truth. The statements from the Premier are plain and simple;"its just smoke and mirrors." Islanders better soon wake up from the Illusion they are living in;the two party system here with the Liberals and the Conservatives is bankrupting our Island.Due to the level of corruption and the sense of entitlement for our Chosen Few. Just look at the PNP list to see who is on it; http://ruk.ca/sites/ruk.ca/files/pnp_people.csv . This model is not sustainable,the Ghiz model is similiar to what is occurring in Spain,Greece and Portugal,it is an anti-austerity budget. Cut spending and slash social programs like health and education budgets. If Islanders don't wake up to change this corrupt government -two party system; they will be unable to afford the basics- like toilet paper.

  • Carver
    November 14, 2012 - 08:07

    Let's turn the page from this bad dream, Islanders. Vote NDP! Forty five elections of this same old same old back and forth is enough. More than enough. Do we need forty five more????????

  • Tom Paine
    November 14, 2012 - 06:08

    the NDP is concerned about job creation and small business? Now THAT'S news!

    • Tobias
      November 14, 2012 - 10:03

      Oh I am so glad you stopped your comment there. As it is the message is quite a bit stupid and ignorant. But at least you did not make any claims about job creation on PEI by the Ghiz Liberals and the Harper Conservatives. I mean you both collaborated to enrich a few dozen fellas through PNP, Plan B and HST but have made no successful job creation actions on PEI for years. Quite a team you guys are. Thanks for not making any big claims. The usual out of date anti-NDP prejudicial banter is no problem. You old fashioneds always take a while to encounter reality.

  • Ghiz does not have immunity as dictator
    November 14, 2012 - 01:43

    Although Ghiz and Harper both operate as if they are above the law, they are not above the law. The electorate has got to demand accountability, starting with Public Accounts which Gizz runs as a total mockery of democracy. Why would he give details he feels he can get away with anything he pleases in his majority. He has doubled our debt. It took 120 years to hit 1 billion and Ghiz doubled it in 5 years. Why should be give details????Islanders need to get engaged right now..thanks eh?

  • Good Old Guardian
    November 13, 2012 - 22:10

    Why Give Redmond and Bevan Baker so much press time? You might as well go down to your local Tim Hortons and interview Johny and Jimmy-because they are closer to sitting as MLA's then these two....thanks for humouring us Ryan Ross....why no comment from Olive Crane?

    • Aaron
      November 14, 2012 - 06:50

      I think you'll ding that the NDP get a lot more votes that Johnny or Jimmy at the local Tim's this year. A lot of people who usually vote liberal aren't happy with the the liberal party these days and will go to NDP rather than PC.