UPDATED: NDP calls for release of PNP details

Teresa Wright
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NDP Leader Mike Redmond speaks to reporters.

P.E.I. NDP Leader Mike Redmond is calling on government to release details of how companies that benefitted from the Provincial Nominee Program spent their immigrant funds.

Redmond held a news conference in Charlottetown Monday, saying he believes the public has a right to know whether investments made through the PNP were used appropriately.

“Without transparency, there is no accountability. Otherwise, we are open to a system that allows payouts to party supporters,” Redmond said.

He accused the government of using the immigrant investor program as a means of patronage to allow those with ties to the Liberal party to benefit financially.

He pointed to one company in particular that benefitted from the program – a numbered company registered federally that includes on its list of directors Liberal MP Sean Casey and Spencer Campbell, who worked on Premier Robert Ghiz’s 2011 election campaign.

Casey was not yet a member of Parliament when this company received PNP funds and the company in question has since been amalgamated into another business.

“We demand that the government explain, in detail, why huge amounts of money seem to have ended up in companies with close affiliation to the Liberal government.”

Casey’s office issued a statement later in the day Monday in response to Redmond’s remarks.

It pointed out the numbered company, now called South Shore Villa Inc., received PNP funds in 2008 – well before Casey was elected MP for Charlottetown in 2011.

Also, because his wife is a provincial MLA and the speaker of the House at the time, he disclosed information about his involvement in the PNP to P.E.I.’s conflict of interest commissioner.

Casey said he has never attempted to withhold this information.

“I would have been happy to discuss my business interests with Mike Redmond had he given me a call,” Casey said.

“I take my job very seriously and have worked to bring transparency to my job.  I want to assure my constituents that South Shore Villa received funding before I ran for office in 2011 and that I own a minority share in the company.”

But Redmond says he believes there is still a great deal of information that continues to be withheld regarding the controversial Provincial Nominee Program.

He highlighted a recommendation from auditor general Colin Younker’s 2009 investigation into the PNP. Younker noted no follow up procedures were in place to ensure businesses were spending their investment funds as stipulated in the Use of Proceeds Agreements they signed.

Younker recommended Island Investment Development Inc., the agency that ran the PNP, develop a strategy to follow up on businesses that received PNP units and to include the results in its annual report. He also pointed out the initial files subject to the Use of Proceeds Agreement would be due in the fall of 2009.

Redmond said Monday he is highly concerned that years have passed and this information is still not available.

He also raised concern over the lack of attention to the PNP in the legislature this session.

So far, the issue has only been alluded to briefly and the Opposition Tories have not raised questions about it during question period, as they have in the past.

Redmond called this a ‘conspiracy of silence.’

“The silence on PNP has been deafening,” he told reporters today.

“The legislature session is now two weeks old and there’s been no real debate on the Provincial Nominee Program... the NDP will not stand for this silence.”



Organizations: NDP

Geographic location: Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • Fed-up
    November 29, 2012 - 19:12

    Wow. You people deserve what you get. If you think Mr Redmand is going to be any different if he get's into power I have one word for all of you,Gullable. Islanders seem like the biggest suckers in Canada. People get into politics for one reason. It's not to help people or make life better for people or make the Island a better place,this may be there reasons before they get into power,but all they want is just that, Power. They could give a rat's ass about anyone outside there little bubble. I have news for all of you,nothing is going to change. If you don't know this by now I really pity all of you. Life 101. I will write slow so you can understand this. It's not the people you vote in that run this Island or Country,it's the People running them and it's not us voters. As for the PNP, if it was you getting the Money,all would seem fare and Square.

    • Carver
      November 30, 2012 - 09:12

      Yeah sure lump in the NDP even though they have had no hand ever in governing PEI. It is a basic tactic of the red and the blue. Suggest everybody is as bad natured and greedy as those who lead and back the old parties. Pretend it is the way of the world and send out the sons of the powerful to say it is OK. Forty five elections is more than enough thanks. Vote NDP!

    November 29, 2012 - 05:48

    Bravo comment from Joe Blow- yes, islanders need to get involved- no this issue is not going to go away because it is criminal and as much as these islanders think they are above the law they are not and it is time to come forward and come clean and take your punishments.

  • Busted islanders
    November 29, 2012 - 05:21

    No one is going to get off with this crime- Islanders are stupid to think that they can committ crimes and then walk away- someone is going to have to take the fall- the news over the past several years has been hard criminal charges over and over against islanders ripping off government funds and organizations- over looked in the past but not anymore- And the islanders not involved in criminal activity and scamming SHOULD take a stand and show some morals and DEMAND that the government PROVE that they have not misrepresented themselves and stole from islanders and immagrants- Think about the next generation...what are we teaching our children? Its time- the time is now to put an end to all this. And the guilty brought this on themselves- It is not the responsibility of the rest of us to protect them

  • Bill Kays
    Bill Kays
    November 27, 2012 - 18:33

    Mike, it will not do any good calling on the government to release the names. You can beg, ask, plead, try to convince, twist their arm even, but it will do no good. Yes you are correct in that both of the biggies are pretty well equal in blame as both Liberals and Conservatives raked in the easy money. When they phoned me and talked me into applying for 1 unit on 4 separate occasions they called it easy free money. Of course, I never received any of these pnp units but the accountants and agents etc. all made money on my applications. Who are they? They would be the accountants, lawyers, and one of the six agents who all perpetrated this fraud on the citizens and potential citizens of this province. Do you really think they are going to tell you that they are crooked? Do you think they will admit to gaming the system? But I guess it makes for a good headline. I understand that the NDP has already been infiltrated by Libs and Cons because that is how the parties become controlled by the big guys. As soon as one of the small parties starts to get some momentum they get infiltrated or co-opted by the opposition. This is why there is never real opposition. During the next election why not ask what all the parties have in common instead of looking at their differences. You will quickly see that they all believe in the same basic things. This is why our country keeps going down the wrong road, no matter what political party holds power. The Council on Foreign Relations is the real political power in this country.

  • pumpkin
    November 27, 2012 - 13:18

    All information regarding the PNP should be made public, no exceptions.

  • i know
    November 27, 2012 - 12:58

    Some payed off there mortgage just take a look how many 80.000 corvettes are driving around

  • Garbage in, Garbage out . . .
    November 27, 2012 - 11:05

    Actually measuring pre-formulated performance indicators, appears to be invisible to this government. It's easy tell us how PNP, HST, Plan B, Tourism Contracts, Corporate Investments will benefit Islanders. However, when it comes to actually measuring and reporting on those performance indicators? Cricket . . . cricket . . . cricket. But you know what? Almost everything Premier Ghiz says and implies about Islanders is correct. There's no evidence that we will demand those reports. He knows that Islanders, generally speaking, don't want participatory governance - it's just too much work. What we want is a mommy and daddy who will take care of us and tell us what to do. So, aside from a pathetically simple vote once every four years, unless we show them that we do demand accountability, we'll only get out of our government what we put into it. And that's next to nothing. So, the next time we get planb'd in the back of the head, and it will happen again, let's not just blame someone else. The blame really rests with us.

  • Gabriel
    November 27, 2012 - 09:01

    I have read this story, watched the Compass spot and reviewed the original NDP press release. Essentially Mike Redmond is stating that the government should fulfill its obligations regarding PNP to the Auditor General and that the opposition should be pushing them to do so in the Legislature. I don't get all the angst and the ' move on' stuff. Redmond is advocating proper public administration and should not be faulted for that. Information generated through program evaluation and use of proceeds reporting would be helpful to future policy making and the work of the RCMP probe widened last week in light of the publication of the PNP list of recipients by the PEI Government as per Justice Wayne Cheverie's ruling. Proper reporitng to the AG on the points stressed by NDP leader Redmond seems to be a natural fit to these other institutional and judicial processes. I do not know why anybody would be uncomfortable with any of this. It is basically the way things are supposed to be done.

    • GABRIEL you're right
      November 27, 2012 - 12:08

      There is certainly a "move on" mentality that undermined calls for accountability. Move on from the HST issue, the Plan B issue, the Corporate Patronage issues, the Bootleg Tourism Contract issue, the PNP issue. It's as if a call for the next story implies the previous stories have been resolved. Hmmmm, wonder whose interest that mentality serves?

  • me
    November 27, 2012 - 08:04

    I can't believe that the opposition or the leader of the NDP isn't inquiring into just how much of each application actually flowed to small business. Each application was approximatley valued at 200k but after flowing through the lawyers, accountants and mediators whom were involved with the program, there wasn't much left, about 50k actually went to small or medium sized business. I think the public should be brought up to speed on things.

  • concerned also
    November 27, 2012 - 05:49

    Maybe I am missing the point . A businessman told me he received $39,000. from a total of $150,000 .Where did the other $111,000 go ? That is the real question ..All that $111,000 charged to service each one of these units . I would dare say we have some new multimillionaires living on PEI, The names of people that received this service money are the ones that should be published . Where is our RCMP , and our taxation people ?

  • don
    November 27, 2012 - 04:43

    A new government must ensure that our public service is freed from political taint." - Robert Ghiz End political patronage. thats what ghizzy dizzy said back in 2007 how truthful was he?

  • don
    November 27, 2012 - 04:33

    CONCERNED. well concerned if you can do any better then run in the next election. or button up. we have a dizzy government here that is KILLING PEI and bankrupting it. all in the name of patronage. and to help his useless friends make more money on the backs of honest islanders.maybe small business should close up shop let all there employees go and then there would be no tax's going to government lot more welfare,and dizzy would have no money to get his big fancy pay.what dizzy and his gang does not know is with out the small guy his buddies us useless big money will not make with out the little guy but some day when he grows up he will know this maybe.

    November 27, 2012 - 00:23

    Just turned NDP, I love you Mike and love that you have a backbone to at least ask but continue the "asking" and publish the results xoxoxoxo

  • pogey guy
    November 26, 2012 - 23:11

    why couldln,t fisherman or farmers get in on the gravy train,,,,,see there is a few on each side ...not many though...see a couple that are a complete joke ...good for one fisher should be good for us all....guess it depends on who you know or..

  • NDP Bob
    November 26, 2012 - 22:42

    Those leaving comments here are as uninformed as possible about Mike Redmond's release. He clearly stated at the conference that there were MANY companies who used the PNP properly. He is calling on the GOVERNMENT WHO ISSUED THE MONEY to prove that ALL OF IT was used PROPERLY. Isn't that what a government should do when called into question? If they have nothing to hide release a full, detailed report about how it helped stimulate our economy and clear the air surrounding these companies.

  • Joe Blow
    November 26, 2012 - 20:09

    Good for Mike!! Everybody on PEI needs to get involved with this scandal one way or another until the WHOLE truth comes out with all the details. Government officials cannot continue to misuse money that doesn't belong to them for personal gain and then hide all the evidence from the public. We have a right to know when the government does something illegal and fraudulent!! The PNP program was a great program for the people that NEED the money, like the small businesses that our government continue to ignore. The program was not created so politicians can pocket thousands of dollars that isn't meant for them. They done something very wrong and now its time for them to fess up to it and take the punishment whether it means losing political power or if it means fines and fraud charges....either way....the MLA's, their friends and family members who took PNP money when they shouldn't have...they need to come clean to the people of PEI. Its the only way to save face.

  • John W.A.Curtis
    November 26, 2012 - 19:51

    There are some prominent people who received PNP units and then closed their business. Premier ghiz's wife has shares in a company which is an agent for the PNP yet the government ramped up the PNP, this is what was wrong with the program.

  • Disgusted
    November 26, 2012 - 19:41

    I am disgusted with some of the comments by Mr. Redmond and some of the comments related to the story. First it is important to know that legitimate companies with owners that support different political parties received units in 2008, it was not just companies who's owners support Liberals that received units. Secondly, for Mr. Redmond and others to contend that companies involving Mr. Casey or Mr. Campbell received units only because they are Liberal supporters is disgusting. If they had businesses that legitimately qualified for PNP units then they should not be burned at the stake. PEI deserves to be represented both Federally and Provincially by intelligent people no matter what part of society they are from and if successful business operators are going to be attacked and accused of wrong doing strictly because of their political affiliations then they will not run for office and we as Islanders may end up suffering for not having some of these business owners represent us.

    • redmond made a reasonable call
      November 27, 2012 - 10:45

      I disagree. All Mr. Redmond is calling for is complete transparency with the PNP. This should be a no-brainer for the majority of Prince Edward Islanders.... at least those with nothing to hide and who have no connection to PNP, nor the 2 big political parties. This was a PUBLIC program administered by the GOVERNMENT. Every single dime that was transferred to companies and then how it was spent by those companies should be public, including the dates and amounts of the cancelled cheques. And likewise, fees charged by companies like the accounting firm owned by Mr. Ghiz's father in law which provided services to the PNP, should be made public. And the names of every single person in the government who worked on the PNP file, as well as the names of every single person employed by companies that provided services for the PNP file who worked on it (including all the ones who went to Dubai, Hong Kong, etc.) should be made public too. Complete and utter transparency throughout is the bare minimum standard that we taxpayers of this province demand and should receive. Anything less from OUR government is disrespectful and brings to mind the Family Compact of the 1800s.

  • PeopleWatcher
    November 26, 2012 - 18:58

    To Jennifer .... sorry to inform you Redmond does have a backroom. Some of them had close ties to Richard Brown and Olive Crown before they stabbed them in the back. Wonder when they will do Redmond in!

  • In Business
    November 26, 2012 - 17:04

    It didn't receive any attention because the names of the businesses that received the units were released. End of story. I was able to get 2 units for my business and have lost at least 5 regular customers because it's public knowledge I received the units. Stop beating this drum Mike

    • islandwoman
      November 26, 2012 - 18:17

      Less than 25% of the "PNP Money" actually went to any businesses. We're far from the end of this story.

    • Tobias
      November 26, 2012 - 18:41

      Besides the Guardian the story has already been on CBC Compass, the private radio and will most likely make it to the Graphic. Your story of 5 lost customers sounds bogus.Were you not able to show what you did with the money? Or did your customers not liking you paying off your personal line of credit with monies intended for business development? If so can't blame them, really. Well done Mike Redmond. Whatever it takes to show that knowing a few big shots is NOT the most important thing in life. We need that message on this Island big time.

    • PEIslander
      November 26, 2012 - 20:00

      what's wrong with people that live in these giant glass houses and think everyone that took advantage of a legit govt program are crooks? anyone who decides to score points with this making pei look like a joke...i bet there are a few more ndpers on that pnp list that Mike Redmond thinks. In Business is right...stop beating the drum Mike. the ship has sailed....let these poor businesses serve the island as they should.

    • Hopeful
      November 27, 2012 - 09:57

      To In Business. I am sure your customers would never have left after you used the money to expand your business and made their experience with you even better. If that was not the case, perhaps you should ask them why the felt having foreign investors made you less of a good business. Wasn't the money supposed to be used to expand or improve business? interesting.

    November 26, 2012 - 16:37

    This is not going to fade away quietly as so many have hoped that it would. But, it is obvious that the public is going to have to fight for the information is needs to know what our government and 'connected' upper echelon has been up to. There is no denying that the public is a stakeholder in many ways regarding how this program was implemented. As the ELECTORATE - we have a right to know how our politicians behaved and to judge their ethics; as CITIZENS - we have the right to complete transparency of a program that basically marketed our birthright; as a TAXPAYERS - we have the right to to complete transparency of a program that was, to some degree, managed, administered and regulated by government staff. Now... I'm ready for another good laugh this week when the Liberal Commentator on CBC's Island Morning's Political Panel says 'the public is tired of this story'... NO!!! YOU ARE WRONG. The public is tired of the government's STONEWALLING and EVASION tactics meant to keep the public in the dark.

  • concernedislander
    November 26, 2012 - 16:01

    Ones got too laugh the people off PEI are more concerned about the PNP money and where and whom benifit from it then those who invested into it,its pretty cut and dry that the conservative followers got ah big piece off the pie the list showed the big seceret,quite amuzing how someone could think off any political party as off not having any back room affiliation good luck with that, would be great when we as ah province will wake up and want the same for all islanders and not be worried about how much more everyone has such ah waste off good energy oh well dare too dream i guess

  • Keep it coming
    November 26, 2012 - 15:54

    You can't fault Olive for not bringing up PNP. She flogged this horse til it nearly died. Every time she brought it up she was either berated by the premier, called a one issue winer by the electorate, or a few beneficiaries of the program in her own party even tried to force her out, but she's still there hangin tough and I have no doubt she will continue to try to force the issue. I am however glad to see Mike jumping on the bandwagon. There is strength in numbers and Ghiz can't stonewall everyone indefinitely. He is on the run, between all the questions on the PNP, the Homburg deal, dirty tourism contracts and plan B. We'll soon see PEI's version of Rob Ford and Gerard Tremblay. Also congrats to Teresa for plugging away. Sooner or later all your hard work will pay off!

      November 26, 2012 - 17:37

      Agree with your last post. Years ago I had a conversation with OC, and told her it was simply a matter of time before she was as corrupt as the rest of the Conservatives & Liberals. I was wrong...OC has proved herself as a representative of the people she serves, and despite the forces within the party that she is now forced to face, I will always believe she is an honest broker. I am "positive" the wrongdoers are going down, and I apologize to OC for having not believed she was made of the right stuff! OC, and Teresa for that matter, you are on the right course and you will prevail. The wrong-doers will be exposed, of this I am certain.

  • a real member of the NDP
    November 26, 2012 - 15:43

    I really hope that this party doesn't get caught up in this sensational headline hunt. The Torys tried to make issue with this PNP thing but failed. I know that Mr. Redmond is new to this political game and he will be given advice like this from people who care not what is good for the Island rather how can they take people down. There are lots of things that matter to Islanders ,like health, education,housing jobs and so on . I would hope that Mr. Redmond doesn't fall into the trap that Olive Crane did and be come a one issue person. What happened with the PNP affair was bad and left a bad taste in a lot of peoples mouths , I say let the courts deal with it and concentrate on things like putting food in the mouths of those who need it on the economy and things that matter to most Islanders. So I do hope that Mr. Redmond gets his focus on the future and not the past or we members of the NDP will never form a government.

    • "REAL" NDP
      November 26, 2012 - 17:21

      Real NDP members don't throw each other under the bus, sounds like you're likely a Con. Either that or you're part of the fringe element of PEI who pretended to be NDP because you wanted to point fingers at those in power. Kudos to Mike Redmond. Using facts, sensibility and tact to "go after" those who need going after.

  • Quiet Observer
    November 26, 2012 - 15:00

    Those with nothing to hide hide nothing. A tad harsh to be angry at the Tories for not bringing it up in the House yet. The Tories have been leading a barrage of questions on the Liberals about PNP for years now. The problem is the Liberals make a mokery of Question Period and the House by refusing to answer any questions. Really, Question Period is just a theatre for politicians to shout Party propoganda. But then, it is called "Question Period:, not "Question and Answer Period".

      November 26, 2012 - 15:30

      Surprise! Greatest abuser may be a Tory!

  • The Silence is Deafening
    November 26, 2012 - 14:14

    It is disheartening that the PC party has gone relatively silent on the PNP fiasco. Sadly it has become obvious that their current camp has at least one opportunist who benefited immensely from PNP proceeds. I was hoping Olive would do the right thing.

      November 26, 2012 - 15:21

      TRUST ME...he will go down, along with his handler! Cannot wait for justice to prevail.

  • jimmy buffet
    November 26, 2012 - 14:03

    Every new story just makes PNP look ever more dirty.How do some of these people show their face in public?Teresa Wright should receive an award for her coverage of this story and a long soak in a hot tub to feel clean again.Government won't give any answers,thank God someone is digging them up! Give this lady a raise she is selling your paper!

  • Darrin Deveau
    November 26, 2012 - 13:25

    And not just he companies whom received funds but the intermediate legal and accounting firms!! They took the bulk of the funds...or milked shall I say How hard is it to produce a paper trail? I've been audited 2 years in a row by Revenue Canada and all was great. Of course if you don't have an audit trail on what you spent funds on well...you are up the creeek without a paddle!!! If you have nothign to hide, stop talking and produce the proof

  • jennifer
    November 26, 2012 - 13:10

    To Anne & Gilbert....Mike Redmond has no backroom boys! You will see he wants all the information put on the table and let the RCMP do their jobs. If there is wrong doing then people need to be dealt with to the full extent of the law. Finally we have someone speaking to the 95% of Islanders.

  • PNP Follower
    November 26, 2012 - 13:07

    Great for NDP and Mr Redman, this whole PNP mess has been buried many times over and yes why aren't the PC'S screaming about this in the house. There are many involved in this massive sceme, liked staed previous the only way is to have a public inquiry. Keep digging Mike and Teresa, you have alot of them on thr run.

  • PNP Watcher
    November 26, 2012 - 13:05

    The 'mighty' are about to fall...

  • Old Lady
    November 26, 2012 - 13:00

    Bravo, Mr. Redmond! Please continue to focus on this cesspool of patronage and corruption. Govt insists PNP money was good for our economy, yet they neglect to mention it came at the expense of immigrants it exploited and cheated. That's not the Island way. Like a boil that must be lanced, this rampage of greed and fraud must be exposed. Until it is, too many Islanders will continue to believe corruption is a permanent part of Island politics.

    • dm
      November 27, 2012 - 20:27

      what islander doesn't think corruption is a permanent part of Island politics

  • SheilaK
    November 26, 2012 - 12:47

    FINALLY! The Cons are just as crooked as The liberals on a good day

  • Anne and Gilbert
    November 26, 2012 - 12:44

    I see where one of the key back room boys of the Redmond NDP team didn't mind getting PNP units for his Anne and Gilbert show.

  • Well Well
    November 26, 2012 - 12:37

    It's hardly surprising that the PCs haven't brought up PNP when their new president was one of the agents doing the match ups for PNP. The agents probably benefited most from the looting that took place in it's final months. And they're are the ones who will get away scott free no matter what the outcome.

    • PNP Watcher
      November 26, 2012 - 13:13

      NO THEY WON'T! Start running boys, its all over but the crying!

    • Close one
      November 26, 2012 - 19:07

      You all are just as guilty, you all hide behind the guardian

    November 26, 2012 - 12:33

    This is what is wrong with the PNP. These connected people abused the system and by not releasing pertnent information, the get off scott free. Two Liberal lawyers who it appears abused the system, one gets elected to Ottawa and the other gets to try and stifle any inquiry into this sad affair that has made PEI the laughing stock of Canada. Casey has the temerity to try and chastise the Honourable Gail Shea. You may notice that Casey can't refer to himself as the Honourable Sean Casey.

    • Concerned
      November 26, 2012 - 13:16

      Upwester, the Not so Honorable Gail Shea is only Honorable because she was the only PEI Conservative MP and they basically had to give her a cabinet spot. When she was Fisheries minister she screwed up! So they switched her to revenue. She is not Honorable what so ever considering she has done nothing to show the interest or concerns of all or any Islanders! Shame on her! If your oblivious to this well you can become a cabinet minister in the Harper government!

    • huh
      November 27, 2012 - 06:08

      What homework have you done on HST? You offer no facts, just your own opinion.