Homburg Academy calls for apology from Crane

Ryan Ross
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School president critical of Opposition in letter

Opposition Leader Olive Crane in the halls of the P.E.I. legislature recently.

The head of the Homburg Academy is calling on Opposition Leader Olive Crane to issue a public apology for comments she and members of her caucus made about businesses related to Richard Homburg.

The Guardian obtained a copy of a four-page letter Jarrod Wiener, the school’s president, wrote to Crane that was critical of the Opposition for giving, what he suggested, was a misleading impression about Homburg’s investments in P.E.I.

Wiener said Homburg has been involved in Island businesses for decades and he wondered how the people who worked for those businesses felt about attacks on those investments.

“Ms. Crane, it is difficult to love your job when opinion leaders in society say they hate you,” Wiener wrote.

The letter came after several days of comments and questions in the legislature about Homburg’s business dealings in the province and with the government.

Those comments included a recent Opposition motion calling for a forensic audit of the government’s dealings with Homburg, his companies and any other related entities.

Homburg’s name has a visible connection to several businesses in Charlottetown, including the Holman Grand, which its owner Homburg Invest Inc. closed last month.

Although Homburg Invest Inc. bears his name and he is a shareholder, Richard Homburg does not control the publicly traded company.

He also has other investments in P.E.I. that include the Dundee Arms Inn and the Redwater Rustic Grill.

In his letter, Wiener asked Crane to apologize to the people who work for the businesses Homburg has invested in and for her to recognize both the legitimacy of the businesses and further investments in those companies.

Wiener also wrote about the Opposition’s comments related to the Homburg Institute, which offers real estate courses.

In speaking to the motion, Tignish-Palmer Road MLA Hal Perry said Premier Robert Ghiz and then innovation minister Allan Campbell were sneaking behind then UPEI president Wade MacLauchlan’s back to make a backroom deal regarding the institute.

Perry also called into question a memorandum of understanding between UPEI, the government and Homburg Education.

But Wiener wrote in his letter that everything was done in the open with numerous reports in the media about the memorandum’s signing.

He also said the Opposition has never asked him for a copy of the agreement.

Wiener said the memorandum of understanding put to rest differences between the university and the institute.

It is irresponsible for elected officials to try to divide members of the community, to try to open old wounds that two sides have settled and to drive a wedge between Islanders, Wiener said.

“That kind of politics is the darkest kind, as it sacrifices ordinary Islanders for the sake of perpetuating a climate of fear and anger to be exploited by politicians who have otherwise nothing constructive to contribute.”

Wiener called for Crane to apologize for what he said was attempting to re-open old wounds for political gain.

“Ms. Crane, the privilege of members of the legislative assembly is a shield to protect the truth; it is not a sword to be wielded recklessly for political gain,” Wiener wrote.

Crane was asked about the letter but refused to comment.

rross@theguardian.pe.ca

twitter.com/ryanrross

Organizations: Homburg Academy, Homburg Invest Inc., Dundee Arms Inn Homburg Institute

Geographic location: Iceland, Charlottetown, P.E.I.

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Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • Robert Ghiz
    January 15, 2013 - 19:09

    HAHAHAHAHA Jarrod Wiener, what a funny name!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ashamed to call myself an ISLANDER
    December 05, 2012 - 05:12

    Wiener whiner,Ghiz fizz, where's our money.We have disgraced ourselves by naming a theatre afer Homburg. We are the laughing stock of the rest of Canada.We should have named our JAIL after him. Remember that Sleepy Hotel was called the Hilton Hotel a few years back, due to another fiasco. The Homburg Hotel has a nice ring to it. .Just my opinion.

  • Advice for tricky dick
    December 04, 2012 - 20:43

    If misters Homburg and Weiner are concerned about all the negative press surrounding the Homburg name and businesses, all they have to do to solve the problem is to pay the people that built the Holman Grand, approximately $3.7 million, as well as the taxpayers of PEI that hold a $16 million dollar mortgage on a hotel valued at $9 million that doesn't even own the land it sits on. If he does those two simple things I'm sure most islanders will think he's a real stand up guy. I know I sure would.

    • Not fooled by mudslinging
      December 05, 2012 - 08:04

      "Advice ..." You missed the point. I don't know if he is a stand up guy or not but he is a businessman creating jobs here on the island. The Homburg guy actually was prepared to pay all those bills Islanders, contractors and assume the loan. HE WAS TURNED DOWN ! The PCs in doing their mudslinging made the Ghizverment change their direction. Now it is likely the govt and us taxpayers will be on the hook for the loan which will cause the hotel to foreclose at the reduced amount and likely there will not be any payments made. Thanks to both these bumbling parties, yep the taxpayer will probably lose.

    • ED GALLANT
      December 05, 2012 - 11:16

      NOT FOOLED BY MUDSLINGING-- Homburg Canada has $3.7 million ready to pay the 39 contractors who are owed money and the company was ready to start writing cheques as of Dec. 1, the source said. It also would have re-opened the hotel as soon as possible and the source said Richard Homburg would still follow through on the deal if the government changes its mind. This is a direct quote from the original story. It is now Dec 5th, how many contractors have been paid? The story says Homburg Canada has the money (3.7 Million) and it isn't contingent upon the government agreeing to EXTEND the financing already in place, like he is asking them to do. If the government agreed to the extension,how does that put money in PEI's coffers? Olive, under no circumstance should you apoligize!

  • WTF
    December 04, 2012 - 19:07

    To finish my tirade, where is the accountability in all of the mudslinging that is going on? There needs to be some responsibility when these politicians start spewing lies. If I were to stand up and accuse Richard Homburg, or anyone else for that matter or wrongdoing on a suspicion, I'd be slapped with a libel suit faster that I could say, "Shut the front door". What we have here is the importation of CPC style politicking where truth doesn't matter, nor do people reputations. All that matters is the win. I am not at all impressed with Ghiz and his Liberals, but do you really want people with the mentality of the opposition Conservatives running the government? Their collective IQ's do not exceed their collective shoe sizes, James Aylward exempted... I want my government to be intelligent, respectful and effective not ignorant, corrupt and juvenile.

  • WTF
    December 04, 2012 - 17:57

    The comments here are something to behold. Who in their right mind honestly believes diving straight for the bottom of the pool in an attempt to score political points is an acceptable practice? These lies and smears are simply Plan B of Olive and co. because she has been told to shut her mouth in regards to PNP. You want to talk about dirty deals and palm greasing? The PNP list that was published would have much easier to compile had they listed the companies on PEI that didn't accept PNP units. Folks, you wonder who the crooks are? Look around, they are all around us. While we sit here and talk about the merits of bashing one guy with a megalomania complex, the heist of the century has been pulled off and EVERYONE in the Provincial Legislature, both Conservative and Liberal, are implicated, yet here we sit lapping up this latest diversion. They take us for fools, and given what I see here I have to agree.

  • WTF
    December 04, 2012 - 17:55

    The comments here are something to behold. Who in their right mind honestly believes diving straight for the bottom of the pool in an attempt to score political points is an acceptable practice? These lies and smears are simply Plan B of Olive and co. because she has been told to shut her mouth in regards to PNP. You want to talk about dirty deals and palm greasing? The PNP list that was published would have much easier to compile had they listed the companies on PEI that didn't accept PNP units. Folks, you wonder who the crooks are? Look around, they are all around us. While we sit here and talk about the merits of bashing one guy with a megalomania complex, the heist of the century has been pulled off and EVERYONE in the Provincial Legislature, both Conservative and Liberal, are implicated, yet here we sit lapping up this latest diversion. They take us for fools, and given what I see here I have to agree.

  • Credit where due
    December 04, 2012 - 15:18

    Wade MacLauchlan is the one who deserves a thank you for asking questions about this deal,. Not Olive Crane. If it weren't for MacLauchlan speaking out Ghiz and Homburg were going to shove this real estate school deal onto UPEI. MacLauchlan saved us more wasted tax money. Crane is pointing fingers after the fact.

  • Not Fooled by Mudslinging
    December 04, 2012 - 14:29

    An apology is right. there are islanders being hurt by comments you others are putting here, and those by the politicians . You are no better than the opposition who forget that real people are affected by these issues. If the PC gang think there was a crime call 911 dont raise a bunch of noisy villagers to burn down the local business and put more people out of work. You should be ashamed.

    • Bobandy
      December 04, 2012 - 18:15

      ...They have. They've already got the RCMP investigating the PNP scandal. It's the job of the "PC Gang" to raise questions about the misdeeds of the current government. That's why they are called "The opposition".

  • Peiguy
    December 04, 2012 - 14:21

    There a few mistakes here.1. Islanders and politicians recklessly lumping people together with little linking them. 2. Restaurant - academy have little to do with the Hotel. the fact one guy has invested in all of them does not mean there were any taxpayers $ involved. 3. A loan is a loan it does not transfer ownership. the province does not own the hotel that Homburg used to run until a couple of years ago when it was finished opened and run into the ground. by the Invest company. 4 the fact that the opposition is not helping to better govern the island with their antics, it is driving people away. I should have signed this used to be PC.

  • Joe Blow
    December 04, 2012 - 13:50

    Keep up the great work Olive!!! You are obviously doing the right thing if people like Weiner and Homburg are starting to cry for apologies because you simply ask the questions that the tax paying public want answers to!!! Don't change a thing Olive...you are doing great and the more articles like this that are posted of rich cry-babies begging for apologies....the stronger your popularity wil grow amongst Island tax payers!!! It might be a nasty job to fight for the truth sometimes....but it is a job that needs to be done....don't back down and don't apologize for your actions.....the Liberals haven't apologized for sinking this province into debt with all the bad business deals they have made or all the patronage that has gone on....so you who are fighting for the truth certainly are not required to apologize for anything!!! Way to go Olive!

  • Joe Blow
    December 04, 2012 - 13:32

    Olive Crane doesn't own anybody an apology...she is simply doing her job. If he wants an apology...he should be asking the Ghiz government for one...it is them that forced Islanders against Homburg because of the crooked and bad business deals they have made. Mr Weiner....you are asking the wrong people for the Homburg name being tarnished....Crane is simply doing what Islanders want her to do. Bad business deals are what gave Homburg a bad name. I don't care if Homburg funded things or donated money for decades or not.....many ISLANDERS have donated money and done great things for Island businesses and they don't get the recognition that Homburg has gotten. Mr Weiner....get off your high horse!! Just because the Liberals called in a favor and asked you to write a mean letter to Crane asking for an apology...doesn't mean Islanders are going to be on your side!!

  • Get with the program
    December 04, 2012 - 13:10

    Anyone, and I mean ANYONE who takes a single cent of taxpayer dollars to do ANYTHING with MUST be required to give us an inside look to the finances and plans of that company. If you don't agree with this, don't take the taxpayers money! We are taxed to death here. I think we more than deserve to know what Mr. Jacka...err...Mr. Ghiz is spending our tax dollars! We have a RIGHT to know! Olive, while I have a fundamental issue because she's a politician, seems to me to be the best and most trustworthy of the crooks out there. No offense Olive. ALL government is self serving and until proven otherwise I'll never think different. But I applaud you for doing what you can to show the corruption Islanders are forced to take. If you REALLY want to help though, start advertising the legal rights tax payers have to make Government accountable! Put your money where your mouth is!

  • Quiet Observer
    December 04, 2012 - 13:05

    I wonder if Ghizzy called Homburg or Homburg called Ghizzy to get this letter issued. From reading this article, there is a striking similarity between what is said and how it is said in this letter to the way Ghizzy has been attacking Crane in the House. Way to go Olive, you are striking a nerve with them.

  • Jaw Dropped
    December 04, 2012 - 12:46

    Mr Weiner has more nerve than a toothache!! How dumb do they think Islanders are? Please don't call the Confed Centre Theatre the Homburg....please.

  • Apologize for What?
    December 04, 2012 - 12:35

    "In his letter, Wiener asked Crane to apologize to the people who work for the businesses Homburg has invested in..." I don't believe it is Olive Crane who should be apologizing to all of the trades people who didn't get paid for work and materials they delivered in good faith. But you are right Mr. Wiener, they are owed an apology from someone!

  • Seriously
    December 04, 2012 - 12:01

    Jarrod Wiener should back off and get his own sandwich. We the taxpayers are fed up with the way we have been treated by Homburg and the Ghiz government. We are taking a stand, and Olive Crane is standing up and asking questions we the people want answered.

  • max
    December 04, 2012 - 11:50

    amazing how important some people think they are, -- is there really a firm, or is it just a name, - is there really a president of it, --- is there really a Wiener, - or is it a hot dog,- or is it all smoke and mirrors, - figment of somebody's imagination, --- with a debt of $ 16mill. plus unpaid trades people out there, one would , if of sound mind, not call attention to a name, --- we are dealing with dangerous un-reality here , good luck Ghiz

  • Justine Thyme
    December 04, 2012 - 11:49

    Sometimes a job is just a job Mr. Wiener, suppose your paycheck came at the cost of Island taxpayers?Careful asking for an apology when your job is likely funded of the taxes I pay. Any goverment funding go into the Dundee? Certainly government money was at play to get the Confederation stages name changed to Homburg.And that fancy restaurant selling Alberta beef, yeah ... as an Island taxpayer ... I have a beef with that too.

  • mike
    December 04, 2012 - 11:36

    Does anyone else find it funny that they do a real estate course but are really poor when running there own business. They expand to fast and take to many loans. You think you could learn anything from them. I don't think so.

  • Gordon Gallant
    December 04, 2012 - 11:08

    When Island Taxpayers money is being sifted around in relationship to government deals concerning Homburg Investments . And, when well established businesses who have been the backbone of our Island economy may now be going bankrupt. Why then, does Jarrod Wiener feel he has the right to be shieled and not have to disclose any and all information concerning the many business deals that Island taxpayers monies were used for inpart . The only solution here is full disclosure by Richard Homburg. Thankyou Olive Crane and your new Opposition team to get to the bottom of why our economy is falling fast . As, the government of the day is not listening to their employers, we the Taxpayers. Thankyou Gordon Gallant.

  • Dear Mr. Wiener
    December 04, 2012 - 11:02

    Dear Mr. Wiener, ........... Sometimes the truth hurts. We islanders have millions upon millions of reasons($$$) to question the sincerity of Homburg et al.

  • Taxpayer
    December 04, 2012 - 10:57

    Thank you Olive for calling a spade a spade...my hard earned tax dollars have been wasted in this mess-not to mention I have friends who have not been paid for their services

  • Marie
    December 04, 2012 - 10:54

    To the Wiener ( or is that whiner): The purpose of the legislative assembly is to protect the voters from the liars and to put the truth on the table whether it be good or bad. It allows voters to see the truth and to make honest choices based on an honest government....something PEI seems to be sorely lacking at this point thanks to a premier selling out the Island for a buck. I hope Olive Crane drives the whole lot of you crazy with transparency!!!