P.E.I. Senator Mike Duffy calls for Maritime union

Teresa Wright
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P.E.I. Senator Mike Duffy, left, chats with members of the Charlottetown branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.

P.E.I. Senator Mike Duffy is floating the idea of amalgamating the three Maritime provinces – an idea the P.E.I. government firmly rejects.

Duffy said he and a group of senators have been discussing the notion of Maritime union and decided to try to create a public discussion on the topic.

Maritime union could help ease many of the economic difficulties facing all three Maritime provinces, Duffy said.

“I think we need to have a very health, frank and open discussion about how we can make our economies more efficient,” he said in an interview with The Guardian.

 “We’ve got an aging population – 14 per cent of the population is over 65 and in 20 years it’ll be double that. We’ll need more hospitals, more manors… why aren’t we using our buying power together?”

The idea is getting a big thumbs-down from the P.E.I. government.

Deputy Premier George Webster said in the legislature Tuesday he was ‘shocked and dismayed’ by Duffy’s statements.

“I feel it’s quite inappropriate for a person that’s representing us at the national level,” Webster said.

“He is supposed to represent Prince Edward Island and the views of Prince Edward Island in the federal government system in Ottawa… Without question, we do have a great relationship with our sister provinces, but we need our leadership here on Prince Edward Island.”

Duffy’s comments also elicited a strong reaction from his federal counterparts.

Malpeque MP Wayne Easter said he is ‘incensed’ Duffy is suggesting Maritime union.

“Here’s the senator who’s supposed to be representing P.E.I. now encouraging our demise,” Easter said.

He accused Duffy of using the idea as a diversion tactic on behalf of the Harper government to shift focus away from unpopular employment insurance reforms and federal public service cuts currently affecting the region.

“What we really need to be talking about is Maritime cooperation and cooperation of the prime minister of this country in building this country as a greater economic powerhouse from coast to coast, not downloading costs onto individuals and cutting services to Canadians,” Easter said.

Duffy says he knows the idea of Maritime union is a controversial one, but expressed surprise local politicians would reject it so immediately.

Other senators will be coming out publicly on this issue over the coming days in an effort to create a ‘multi-partisan’ dialogue on the issue and elicit opinion and public pressure, Duffy added

“Somebody’s got to blow the whistle and say ‘This can’t go on’, with our aging population and our shrinking tax base,” he said.

“Look at what we see around the world, we’re in chaotic times and there’s strength in numbers, so let’s go for it.”

 twright@theguardian.pe.ca

Organizations: Maritime union

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Maritime, Ottawa

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  • Kenny
    December 01, 2012 - 15:02

    After witnessing this grown man take the mother of all temper tantrums at the Charlottetown Airport this afternoon, I have no idea how anyone in their right mind could take this man seriously. He absolutely flipped out at the poor fella at the Air Canada counter- the poor guy had stepped away to help someone and Senator Duffy demanded to be served first. Apparantely Senator Duffy's time is more valuable than the lowly people he serves on PEI since he butted in front of the whole line. We were absolutely appalled at his behaviour and treatment of the counter attendant. This guy is a joke!!!

  • former islander
    December 01, 2012 - 10:11

    With Maritime union, potentially PEI would no longer be constitutionally guaranteed four Senators. I propose the first senator to be cut would be the Puffster himself for raising the idea. Then maybe Downe could go.

  • whaa
    November 29, 2012 - 13:22

    soon we may all be an addition to Quebec?

  • Atlantic union
    November 29, 2012 - 06:46

    Here is an idea I always supported. I've suggested this through the years. Why not take PEI, NB, NS, and NL and separate from Canada. NL had enough resources to support all of us to create our own separate country. If Quebec ever decides to seep rare, where does this leave the Atlantic provinces? Separated from the rest of the country and eventually forgotten about. People driving from here to Ottawa would require a passport to enter Quebec and to exit just to get to Ottawa. Ottawa would just consider selling us anyways to America so why not just beat them to the punch and make our own country where we could create our own government and make our own laws to benefit us instead of a government who could care less about us to begin with. A good portion of NL is still upset over the fact they they joined into Canada to begin with instead of creating a republic which was the original plan.

    • yes but
      November 29, 2012 - 15:55

      I agree on Atlantic Union but I think there needs to be some sort of formula that balances public services with a specific region's (e.g. PEI) ability to pay for them. I'm pretty sure that Newfoundlanders, as kind and nice as they are, wouldn't want to see their natural resource revenues and other wealth subsidizing a place like PEI that just can't seem to get its poop in a group financially. PEI needs to learn to do with a LOT less government going forward. That means radically downsizing what we currently have (a provincial government, 74 municipal governments, 10,000 public sector employees, inefficient school boundaries, inefficient hospital and health services, economic development monies wasted, etc. - much of which can be traced to trying to preserve some ''rural'' way of life). That means running all of PEI as a single municipality (get rid of all the current 74 municipalities - this island becomes a municipality) within that single larger province. That same single PEI municipality means a single PEI police force (and likely not RCMP) and a very downsized fire service (ie going from 34 fire departments down to say 1 or 2 stations per county with a single chief for the entire fire service). And that same single PEI municipality might end up doing without nearly so many paved roads as they're expensive to maintain, or even have some roads removed altogether. All of this is doable and in my view necessary, but will ordinary Islanders, many beholden to the 2 usual parties and the current big government (I am an NDP supporter) buy into such a revision? Probably not. But what we would get out of this is a more sustainable way of delivering public services that we deem necessary - health care and education. An interesting debate nonetheless. I'm sort of surprised and then again not surprised that Harper's henchmen are stirring the pot on this subject though. I'm sure Alberta would love for all of Canada to disappear so they could have their oil wealth to themselves and since they hold the reigns of power, that might still happen.

  • kyle
    November 29, 2012 - 02:39

    A member in Ottawa is worth his weight in pelf in the long run.There can be variations in the short run. But overall when the pie is sliced the Island's cut will reflect its overrepresentation. This comes from a basic: All votes are equal in Ottawa. So why kill a good thing? The provincial status allows for more local oversight and tweeking. The bigger the agency the less responsive it will be. Why trade a sovereign right for a sliver? It is easy to see the shortcomings in the way the Island is run, but is the grass really greener elsewhere? If it is, it is news to the folk of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador.

  • WISE ELDER
    November 28, 2012 - 22:20

    IF THIS MEANS I WOULD HAVE TO SHARE ANYTHING OTHER THAN INSULTS WITH NEW BRUNSWICKERS COUNT ME OUT.

  • HMMMMMMMMMMM
    November 28, 2012 - 17:13

    Why are p[eople assuming that Halifax will be the capital of a maritime union.I always thought maritimew union was good idea, but forget about Halifax,Fredericton and Charlottetown. Start a new province with a new capital. I would suggest Moncton the hub of the maritimes

    • jeremy
      November 29, 2012 - 07:18

      Even more central would be Amherst, N.S. or Sackville, N.B. Then it would be central to every region in the Maritimes.

  • S-P McDonald
    November 28, 2012 - 16:11

    Yes this does sound like it could be part of Harper's grand plans.... Unite the maritimes into one province and then he could give us to the USA as their 51st state when he also tells Quebec to take a hike.... then Harper's perfect vision of Canada would become a reality.... that man, and I use that term loosely, have never cared about anyone east of Ontario.

    • Garth Staples
      November 28, 2012 - 18:31

      Frankly sir your comment is ridiculous. Typical Liberal partisan.

  • Oyster
    November 28, 2012 - 15:13

    Perfect......A Maritime union will make it that much easier to join New England and put the oppression of 1867 behind us. Now that the Obamaland is loading up on social programs like we did under Trudoo the switch will be that much easier....about time we grew off the Ottawa tap

  • Dan
    November 28, 2012 - 14:45

    Exactly. No chance of another Ghiz or Crane because we'll have no chance of having another leader at all. Ever. We'd make up like 4% of the Maritime union population. We'd get 4 or 5 MLAs in a legislature of 100. None of us would ever pop up on anyone's political radar. I would also point out that because we are a province we are entitled to health care funding and provincial transfers from the federal government that make up 50% of our provincial budget. That's about $700 million being spent in PEI because we're a province that would simply disappear. Then all of our tax dollars would go to Halifax. What do you think they'd do with the money? Very little for us.

    • Captain Canuck
      November 28, 2012 - 15:38

      Understood. I even see your point. However, you say it like a bad thing. We'd be one county in a large province - no different than, say, Hants county in Nova Scotia. We're over-taxed to pay for baloney patronage and we have no one remaining in politics worth voting for. If it weren't for the mere fact that Mike Duffy is the one publicly calling for it I'd back the move. On principle it should be an elected official, and not an embarassing one like Duffy or Ghiz.

  • Did I Miss Something?
    November 28, 2012 - 14:12

    Did Mike Duffy run for government office at some level and get elected by the people? Until that happens I don't know why his opinion is even news.

    • A.G.Gillis
      November 28, 2012 - 21:21

      I question Duffy's motives and his loyalties. While I love my sister Provinces, I don't want to move in with them..

  • chris
    November 28, 2012 - 14:09

    Ya, well so how's that whole Union thing working out For Europe these days???

  • John Malone
    November 28, 2012 - 13:16

    Come on people . Just add up what three goverments and the support staff cost 2.000.000 people.

  • Dufferdon
    November 28, 2012 - 13:08

    Alberta should take it over,nice place for them to come in the Summer and they would have an abundance of workers from here.

  • Dan
    November 28, 2012 - 12:36

    As if the unelected Senate is the right place for such a conversation. Sounds like Upper Canadian arrogance coming down here telling us little folk why we're so ignorant again. How many times are we going to put up with this nonsense? Mike Duffy should resign. He isn't even an Islander anyway.

    • Captain Canuck
      November 28, 2012 - 13:09

      Mike Duffy is born and raised in Charlottetown PEI. He also is a bit of an embarassment by times, but this is a great idea. Imagine: no chance of another Ghiz, Crane etc.

  • Garth Staples
    November 28, 2012 - 12:30

    During the past ten years I wrote letters to the Editor, the Guardian, in support of Maritime Union. In the 1960s a commission recommended union with general support from NS and NB. PEI's Liberal Premier rejected the idea without benefit of an open discussion with citizens. Hopefully Islanders will have an open and courteous discussion as well as an open mind to change and all its challenges. The failure to do so will be chaos. The Bridge was built . Who would have ever thought!

  • what's missing is meaningful conversation.
    November 28, 2012 - 12:23

    It appears what what we've dismissed here is discussion. Then again, the Island has little to no tradition of authentic inclusion in the decision making process. Evidence of this swings both ways. For example, Islanders have been forced to pay for a multi-million dollar road that few want and nobody needs. What's more absurd is that Vessey still claims it came about via a transparent process - wilful delusion. And then there's things that nobody seems to disagree with that we don't have: sufficient health care, a working poverty reduction strategy, a relevant education system. In all cases, what's missing is meaningful conversation. So, is Duffy right? Until we're given a way to talk to each other, is there any way to know?

  • alfredd
    November 28, 2012 - 12:12

    Imagine that choosing the wrong PREMIER CAN HAVE SUCH AN EFFECT AS TO ELIMINATING PEI AS A PROVINCE, - WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT, -----if we had had strong efficient leadership, this idea would never have surfaced, - or found any support. But here we are broke and disillusioned and suffering anciety about the future reduction in our lifestyles, -poverty. That said, if we were to elect effective government a large number of benefits perceived in Maritime Union, could be achived without giving up our autonomy. It is a matter of imagination, thought and carry through. Long term to avoid repetition of our current dilemma, a fine start could be found in the Island Party's Constitution for PEI idea, although the public and media appear to ignore this excellent proposal. It could be a start. OUR IMMEDIATE NEED AND CHALLENGE is where to find a brilliant, visionary mind with a strong sense of integrety, commitment and compassion to lead us our of this and into a solid future?? That is our challenge ---

    • reality check
      November 29, 2012 - 07:24

      I wouldn't give Ghiz that much credit. This has been a long time coming (Maritime Union that is)..... Having PEI run more than a century of structural deficits is quite the track record. If we had our fiscal house in order, perhaps we'd have a better bargaining tool but I see us being forced into this. And no, I don't like Duffy or Harper or Ghiz or Binns or Rae or any of the other idiots around here.

  • SG
    November 28, 2012 - 11:27

    No Sale Here. Maybe Senator Duffy should try to convince the Federal Gov. to cut back on the number of Senators and MP's in Ottawa! The savings on that move might provide PEI and the NWT with needed resources. PEI is 2nd re: the Highest Cost of Living in Canada.The NWT 1st. Given the problems we have now just imagine the problems such a Union would encounter! PEI would have no advantage. As far as all Maritime Provinces having the same Health Care if we joined forces, Dream On. Regardless of any Union Health Care will depend on Population numbers. We're losing our population now at record numbers due to Nil Job Opportunities. Alberta is gaining while we loose. Many Islanders are now contributing to Alberta's tax revenues. Ever hear the old saying, The Rich get Richer while the Poor get Poorer. The Larger Provinces will always get the Best Bang for the Buck. A Maritime Union won't change that fact.

    • Garth Staples
      November 28, 2012 - 13:19

      You help make the case for Maritime Union !

    • UPWESTER
      November 28, 2012 - 13:28

      SG....... Regardless of any Union Health Care will depend on Population numbers. We're losing our population now at record numbers due to Nil Job Opportunities. Alberta is gaining while we loose. Many Islanders are now contributing to Alberta's tax revenues. Ever hear the old saying, The Rich get Richer while the Poor get Poorer. The Larger Provinces will always get the Best Bang for the Buck. A Maritime Union won't change that fact............... You just made a very good argument FOR a Maritime Union. PEI with it's population of around 140,000, is about 2/3 the size of the TOWN OF OAKVALE. WE just don't have the population to be considered a province. Get used to it.Why do we need 27 MLA's, a premier, 4 Federal Mp/s and 4 Senators. Don't you think that's a bit of overkill?

  • Sylvia
    November 28, 2012 - 11:09

    I don't know if maritime union is a good idea or a bad one. I do know that we have too many M.L.A.s and M.P.s. P.E.I. is top heavy with administration and there's too much money being wasted by government. I've seen a lot of provincial governments come and go but I've never seen one more incompetent than this one or more out of touch with Islanders. I've never seen so much money being wasted by government. If we handled our personal finances the way this government handles taxpayers' money, we'd be out on side of road without a roof over our heads.

    • andy
      November 29, 2012 - 07:33

      That's exactly the point. For our population and landmass and proximity to Halifax and Moncton, PEI would function much better as a regional municipality within a larger province. We don't need 27 MLAs, 3000 civil servants, 4 MPs, 4 Senators, and over 500 municipal politicians. What we need are about 15 municipal politicians for the regional municipality, 3-4 MLAs in a new Maritimes legislature, 1 MP, 1 senator. We would still need about 1000 teachers as we have now in a PEI Regional School Board (within a larger Maritimes province). We would still need about 3000 health care workers in a PEI District Health Authority (within a larger Maritimes province). There would still be a need for transportation workers to maintain roads and bridges and water and sewer services, etc. The operational services would remain more or less the same. It is the bureaucracy that is triplicated among the 3 provinces so we wouldn't need so many civil servants. And the resulting bureaucracy in a larger Maritimes province would have much more capacity.

  • Question
    November 28, 2012 - 10:47

    What makes us think that NB and NS would want us?

  • ponytailjones
    November 28, 2012 - 09:30

    Considering the attitudes the other Atlantic provinces have about Islanders (we're snobbish, exclusionary and moochers) PEI would always be treated as the redheaded stepchild of any Atlantic Union.

    • ED GALLANT
      November 28, 2012 - 13:42

      PONYTAILJONES.......Are you suggesting that we remain snobbish, exclusionary and moochers? Redheaded step-child? Nice touch. LOL

  • From Kings County
    November 28, 2012 - 09:17

    For all of you who are saying "Halifax Will be in the universe and we will be forgotten"...its really no different for us in Kings County or those in Prince County getting forgotten about by the Ghiz Government....and we are still managing.....imagine if we could get rid of the 17 or 18 mlas....the millions over time we would save would be astronomical

  • mej
    November 28, 2012 - 09:03

    In 1769 PEI which was part of Acaida became its own Colony and joined confederation in 1873. Now an unelected Senator who is supposed to represent this province in the Senate, wants to go backwards and give up our governing body to a maritime union. So we have NDP in power in NS, Conservatives in NB and Liberals in PEI. We have a conservative Senator who wants to form a union with the three and a conservative MP who won't stand up for her constituents. Remember Harper believes we in Atlantic Canada are a "Culture of Defeat" If we give up our governance now, we will be setting ourselves back 100s of years.

    • DITTO
      November 28, 2012 - 09:22

      Ditto, and our tax money goes to where? Halifax?

  • From Away
    November 28, 2012 - 09:00

    In regards to B's comment, I was borned and raised on PEI and see this as a good idea. Generally change of any kind is frowned upon on PEI and I'm aware of this all to well growing up here with the backward "don't change anything for the love of god, everyone just nod their head and agree, don't think for yourself" thinking so prevalent here. But this would be a great opportunity to steer our ship away from the financial iceberg we are headed for...

  • fred
    November 28, 2012 - 09:00

    Talk about waste in government; we all know p.e.i. could do with about 5 m.l.A's . Mr Duffy ; go back in the legion ; take a good look in the mirror and come back out and tell the public that they could do with a lot less senators that are a drain on the tax system. P.S. Do we even need any ?

  • andy
    November 28, 2012 - 08:53

    I have no issue with Maritime Union. In fact I think we would do better as a jurisdiction being a regional municipality in a larger province with more resources for ''provincial level services'' as opposed to the current situation. And we would guarantee that we'd never have a non-talent like Ghiz or Binns being our premier again (although they could be mayor). And we would have EQUAL health services across this region, access to specialists in Moncton and Halifax without worrying about different provincial health cards. Women would have full reproductive rights (like they do in Nova Scotia). And we might actually have a decent ambulance system (like they do in Nova Scotia).

  • spud
    November 28, 2012 - 08:49

    Mr Webster has no problem with three potatoe farms amalgamating in the Kinkora area!!! Why so quick to shoot this idea down?

  • a non mouse
    November 28, 2012 - 08:48

    This is all just part and parcel of Harper's effort to turn Canada into the USA's big backyard (full of resources)

  • Islander By Choice
    November 28, 2012 - 08:36

    I am not a Duffy for senator fan as he has no idea of what life on PEI is anymore. Yes he was born here, but he is not in touch with the people of the Island at all. My questions are simple and straightforward. I suppose the centre of the universe will be Halifax, which will have the provincial government jobs and the legislature and the money. I suppose the bridge fees will disappear (as it...) and the ferries will disappear too. I suppose Islander Day will disappear. I just take a quick look at how Halifax (I mean NS) government treats their own in Cape Breton to see this is a negative move. All we really need to do is reduce the number of MLA's to about 6 and elect a premier that listens to the people...perhaps one who was raised in a way that puts him/her in touch with real Islanders. Mike Duffy, you are so far out of touch with Islanders, I don't know how you can say you are our rep in the Senate and keep a straight face. I love PEI so much, I chose to live HERE.

    • andy
      November 28, 2012 - 09:11

      I'm a born and bred Islander with 10 generations under my belt here. And I would never vote for Duffy's party, nor do I like the guy's personality and think it's a joke that he's a senator. Then again, I also feel the same way about Easter and Casey and a few others on the red team as well. I value the social programs that are delivered by provincial governments but I have long recognized that PEI is not able to deliver them as well as neighbouring provinces with larger tax bases and more resources. And if you just look at health care alone - which is 45-50% of provincial budgets - the nickel and diming in PEI is pathetic and it incenses me. There are specialists and services that our neighbours get in NB and NS that we cannot get access to because our nickel and diming provincial government is too busy rejecting those requests in favour of paying off its corrupt supporters through asphalt and new buildings and the like. Our days as a separate province are numbered and to me, that is a good thing. If anything positive comes out of Maritime Union it will be having a single common health card and enabling me in PEI to ask my doctor for a referral to a specialist in Moncton or Halifax or Saint John and upon getting that referral, being able to go to that specialist without having Health PEI rejecting the doc's referral. A single health care system for the 1.8 million Maritimers (including complete reproductive rights for women) and a single education system for the Maritimes would be the 2 best things that could come out of Maritime Union. Bring it on! And don't let our distaste for Mike Duffy's personality obscure the logic behind this idea.

    • Nitpicker
      November 28, 2012 - 10:54

      ANDY - 10 generations eh? 250 years. I stopped reading. If you want to be taken seriously, don't over exaggerate/make things up. especially in the first line. Loss of credibility inevitable.

  • Resident
    November 28, 2012 - 08:33

    It's the right thing to do, but it will hurt us all economically. Our standards of living on PEI solely depend on parasitic nature of our relationship with the rest of Canada...

  • Lorne Perry
    November 28, 2012 - 08:29

    I've known Mike since I was at CFCY and he would stop his bike by me as I was walking to talk about broadcasting. Mike is intelligent and always witty and friendly. Whatever he tried to do he succeeded. His goal was broadcasting. Deifenbaker was his first real break when he was a novice announcer. His success with Mike's Notebook was due to a close association with polticians in the federal member's cafeteria. An opportunist? Maybe. He became a senator after doing a hatchet job on a rising Liberal star. His reason for this new move is likely known only by Mike and one other individual,his boss.

  • Great idea
    November 28, 2012 - 08:25

    Super idea,Mr. Duffy!!!! We may get rid of at least half of these 27 people,drawing huge salaries,and then huge pensions. The rest of P.E.I. is living in near--poverty,and it is only going to get worse as long as Ghis and Sheridan are running the show!!! Go for it!!!

  • Common Sense
    November 28, 2012 - 08:14

    Finally, some common sense from our Senate. PEI's identity will not be diminished by amalgamation with NB or PEI any more than Cape Breton, the Magdalen Islands or Vancouver Island are by being tied to the nearest mainland. In fact, our standard of living, as Senator Duffy suggests, would actually increase as would opportunities for growth for Island businesses. By 'outsourcing' the management of our government resources, we could focus on all those things that Islanders seem so hell-bent on maintaining while, at the same time, allowing the needed growth in our economic capacity.

  • benbarr
    November 28, 2012 - 08:11

    anything that will upset the status quo would be helpful as this group are really dancing to their own music

  • B
    November 28, 2012 - 08:07

    Duffy Go Home - PEI isn't your home - GO AWAY.

  • Ulfric
    November 28, 2012 - 08:01

    You may have a hard time convincing me this is a good idea. Yes the numbers will double in 20 years, but what 10 years after that when the baby boomers are nearly all gone. The new hospitals and manors will be empty. Heck, we can't even keep doctors here. This might be a good idea, but we need more reason than that. Put an actual proposal on the table and I might get interested.

  • John MacInnis
    November 28, 2012 - 07:59

    Been thinking about a Maritime Union for quite some time, and I think the idea of an Atlantic Union, which would include Newfoundland in a union with the Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, is also a viable idea. The Island is a beautiful place, and Islanders have a reputation of being really nice people, but how will double-digit unemployment on the Island ever improve, and how will close to $2 billion in public debt on the Island ever be paid ? It would be really nice if somebody took a shot at a coyote or fox with a rifle, and up through the ground came some bubblin' crude, because Alberta sure didn't have much to offer anyone before they struck oil in 1947, and 65 years later many Islanders are going out west to work, and they're all making good wages out there, which is wonderful, but it really makes me wonder about the Island's economic future, because there's virtually no industry here, and I thought the advent of the Internet and the Confederation Bridge would improve the Island's economy, but that hasn't taken place, and I wonder what life on the Island will be like in 2112. I think an Atlantic or Maritime Union is the only option for the Island.

  • Adam Martell
    November 28, 2012 - 07:44

    Let's do it!! We as a very small province are over governed at every level. I do not think that we can sustain our needs going forward without the help of a larger group or population. Right now anything is better than what we have, just saying.

  • Go for it
    November 28, 2012 - 07:41

    Here is to the the union. In this day and age where there is no money we cannot afford to have a provincial gov. Lets get real 140,000 persons for a province we are a world class Joke we will soon have HST makes us the same gas will be up an extra 3% to tack on the tourist. we gould do away with 27 patronage pushers we cold probably tie into NB Power or NS power get rid of Maritme elecrtic.

  • Like it or not
    November 28, 2012 - 07:40

    I'm not Big on Duffy-but you know what-we have 27 MLA's in PEI-we need about 5...do people have any idea how much retired MLA's alone are costing us? I dont like Duffy but he makes a good point here-Wayne Easter-keep whining

  • Makes sense
    November 28, 2012 - 07:33

    "The idea is getting a big thumbs-down from the P.E.I. government.". This line was cause for a good laugh. Of course they would be against it as Maritime union would see an end to many of their cushy jobs! There is no need of 27 MLAs on a province with our population. Completely ridiculous. Amagamating our 3 tax bases and getting rid of a lot of unnecessary drift wood in government makes complete sense. Since it makes sense, the government will likely do the opposite and add 10 more MLAs and driftwood, try to jack our provincial debt up to 3 billion dollars instead of the current 2 billion.

  • eric
    November 28, 2012 - 07:23

    It is true that government is too top heavy in this province and perhaps some services can be shared. One thing for sure , we don't need all the bodies presently in Province House to run a province of 140,000 people. But, amalgamation would most likely place the center of power in a place like Halifax and then you would really see PEI turned into a "backwater". We joined Confederation as an equal partner and for our benefit let's stay that way.

  • Hannah Rivers
    November 28, 2012 - 07:22

    Let me get this straight, an unelected Senator that is unable/unwilling to challenge his great leader on issues that will negatively effect all of Canada for decades to come such as FIPA and CETA wants us to listen to his ideas. If you want to help us poor Atlantic Canadians Challenge Harper not us Mr. Duffy.

  • Rob McEachern
    November 28, 2012 - 07:21

    The fix is in, Harpers coming down to straighten out the greedy Maritime elite who have run up so much debt, the Maritimes are the Greece of Canada....PEI under its debt may be forced into a jurisdiction with some CONTROLS ON DEBT. Ghiz has racked up debt to fill the party faithful pockets, the party is over and too PEI is finished.Poor Duff is just the messenger.

  • Not a Surprise
    November 28, 2012 - 07:12

    It is not a surprise that our local politicians would be greatly against this . Image the saving we would get with most likly 4 members rather than the 27 we are supporting now . I believe this would be great , I have always believed that when the property vote was done away with that the seats assocated to it should have gone as well . I will gladly support this move in order to leave PEI as a place that my grandchildern can afford to live in . The way we are going now , no one except crooks & rich tourists will be able to afford to live here .

  • Aaron
    November 28, 2012 - 06:06

    Fire Mife Duff and the Harper government. I can't believe there are still people who call themselves Islanders yet support these politicians who want nothing more than to sweep this island under the carpet.

  • Upwester
    November 28, 2012 - 06:03

    Greater buying power? So the government can stop supporting the island companies that they deal with now for national companies? Give you head a shake Duffy!

  • James MacGoo Lakeside
    November 28, 2012 - 05:38

    Maritime union or maritime cooperation, A union is sometimes referred to as a confederation of individuals for some common purpose. Cooperation is sometimes referred to as the process of working together for the same common purpose. Mr. Duffy has identified common issues facing the maritimes and uses terminology that others see as an opportunity to critcize and attack. Instead of focussing on the subjects raised by Mr. Duffy, they ignore them and politicize the idea of a discussion. Someone once told me a story about a group of men who met to discuss important issues. Eventually they formed a confederation and seperately governed provinces emerged. Imagine if our current leaders were around back then and were able to say, the only reason you wish to meet is to divert attention from other activities and take away our power. Gentlemen, please check egos and politics at the door. For the sake of your constituients begin discussing these serious issues with all available participants. The eventual findings will determine if federal or local government is best suited to address.

  • John W.A. Curtis
    November 28, 2012 - 04:55

    P.E.I. is as polically corrupt as Quebec and can't balance its' budget under any government so I support a singlr Maritime province

  • Mary McKenna
    November 28, 2012 - 04:45

    As if this idea were new! It was proposed by Tom MacMillan quite a few years ago - just for the record(his only fault being a bona fide Conservative!) but didn't fly any better then.Since we have been Ottawa's orphan since the Great Develpoment Plan in the sixties, we have had to swallow wharever pill it has doled out so indeed this little diversion of Duffy's only serves to highlight the fact that we predictably will always remain on that 'in hock" list! Not having nearly a fraction of the natural resources (our greatest being our citizens who leave for greener pastures) of even our sister provinces, it remains an unfortunate fact that to remain as a separate entity we must certainly rely upon the magnanimity of every federal government since then to keep us afloat. Sometimes geography plays cruel tricks, and the only councel that comes to mind is that of the late Angus Maclean whose solution was to think and act in accordance with our real assets . In this day and age , even those are now under the thumbs of big business and this strategy tends to become of less relevance as time goes by(evidence the farm and processing plant closures for example). It is a challenge to ponder how this dilemma may ever be stabilized - let alone solved but I don't see it happening by becoming an adjunct of the other Maritime provinces; again, when individuality is lost, there also goes renewability and slef determination.

    • i'm not insecure
      November 28, 2012 - 09:03

      I don't need to live in PEI as a separate province to feel that this place is unique. It can be a regional municipality like HRM or CBRM in Nova Scotia and still be the same old PEI. The only thing that changes is we actually get a decent provincial-level government with adequate resources and tax base. Why are you so insecure Mary?

  • Patrick
    November 28, 2012 - 02:01

    Pork barrel politicians like Ghiz and his ilk generally reject the notion of Maritime Union as governance "from away" would remove the ladle from his greasy hand. But the facts bear out the inescapable conclusion: for most of it's history PEI has demonstrated an amazing inability to govern itself appropriately.

  • Angus
    November 28, 2012 - 01:41

    Wouldn't we be wel.l represented if the capitol was in Halifax and our measly 6 seats would be worth what? We know how little they care for rural residents now with the seat of government in Charlottetown, just imagine if it was further away. We would be like Napoleon on the Isle of St. Helena. Mike Duffy can shove that notion.

  • Billy Public
    November 28, 2012 - 00:19

    This is obviously an idea from the mind of Stephen Harper!!! Harper doesn't care enough about the Maritimes to even come to a meeting of all Premiers to discuss finances and the economy and politics in general. That shows how little he actually cares about us!! He is totally focused on the West and if he can find a way to kill the Maritimes and give us even less money so he can give more money to the West...then he will do it!! Harper needs to be stopped and Mike Duffy needs to be removed. Its very obvious that he doesn't give a rats ass about PEI either!!

  • Joe Blow
    November 28, 2012 - 00:15

    The only way we need to strengthen the economy is to prevent crooked politicians from stealing tax dollars. We need to make sure they stop wasting tax money in stupid business deals where the taxpayer ends up paying even more in taxes. And finally....we need to make sure that all the tax money that the public pays, actually goes towards the services that we need the money to go to!!! I see nothing wrong with making progress but I'd much rather see governments maintain everything we currently have instead of constantly coming up with a new scheme to spend money on when we don't actually have enough money to do it. Maintain what we have for a year or 2 and the money that will be saved can be used down the road for new ideas.

  • cLARICE ELLIS
    November 27, 2012 - 23:52

    One othe wrost ideas I ever heard no way bad enough you have the copnfederation link I do not live on the Island but I will always be a n Islander

  • Wade Mason
    November 27, 2012 - 23:50

    Maybe we could get rid of the Senators like Mike Duffy and use that money as well to help with the running of the Island for the little good he is doing there any way might as well have no one there

  • Pius from BC
    November 27, 2012 - 23:13

    Would the new name be "New Prince Nova"?