Fall House session closes

Teresa Wright
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Lt. Gov. Frank lewis in the P.E.I. legislature.

The fall session of the P.E.I. legislature closed this morning – a session that will now go down in the history books as the one that paved the way for the HST.

Premier Robert Ghiz said he realizes the harmonized sales tax is not a popular measure among all Islanders, but he maintains his belief that it is ‘good public policy.’

“While it is somewhat controversial, we believe it is a step in the right direction and hopefully it will help our province grow into the future.”

Government eventually passed their HST bill, the Retail Sales Act, after a brief delay by the Opposition Tories.

They filibustered the bill for a few days in protest against the fact their questions about how this new tax will affect Islanders were not being answered or acknowledged by government.

Opposition Leader Olive Crane reiterated her censure of the Ghiz government over their bringing in the HST after saying before the 2011 election they would not. She believes Islanders should have had the opportunity to vote on this tax.

“This is the government that promised there was going to be exemptions on electricity and home heating costs, that was never the case,” she told reporters.

“The bottom line is, the HST is here because the Liberal MLAs chose not to vote with their conscience.”

This 16-day sitting of the legislature saw a total of 25 bills passed, including the HST legislation, as well as the premier’s Speech from the Throne.

The 2013-2014 capital budget was also passed this session, which totals $83.9 million to be spent in infrastructure expenditures this year.

This budget was a smaller one than capital budgets of recent years and included no projects that had not already been announced.

Sheridan’s five-year capital plan shows the province plans to return to what he calls ‘traditional levels’ of infrastructure spending. The budget document shows a gradual reduction year by year, ending at $51 million net expenditure in 2017.

But the HST was the main focus of attention and debate this session.

The legislature will resume for an unscheduled sitting in March to bring in the last piece of legislation to make way for the HST roll out on April 1, 2013.

This legislation will dictate how gasoline and tobacco taxes will be impacted by the HST.

Ghiz said today gas prices will likely increase about eight cents when the HST is introduced in the spring.

Finance Minister Wes Sheridan says this will bring P.E.I. up to the Maritime average in gasoline prices.


Check back to The Guardian website later for more details on the fall sitting of the legislature. Full details will be in Saturday’s print edition of The Guardian.

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Recent comments

  • Let me know, quick.
    December 09, 2012 - 15:53

    Okay, I'm going to open my eyes for just a second and somebody tell me if it's time for the next election. Okay, ready? One, two, three . . .

  • concerned citizen
    December 09, 2012 - 02:18

    Mr Ghiz has obviously forgotten that he was elected to speak for us. He certainly knows very well that most islanders are very opposed to the hst, but he goes ahead anyway. Is ther no way to stop this men from destroyiny our economy? lets face it we are in pretty bad shape already. has anyone seen the lineups at the furnace fuel tanks at the Queens motel corner rEsso . They are there because they can only afford to get 29 -30 $ worth at a time . Ghiz needs to get his head out of the sand and see whats really going on. His arrogance and ignorance are certainly not hidden anymore.

  • angela
    December 08, 2012 - 17:38

    There is a grey cloud hanging over us all, -- we are mired in hopelessness and helplessness, and will by so until the happy day we are rid of Ghiz.. Hope can hold up until such time. I am glad somebody brought to our attention that we can join together and accept the invitatiron to his new years levee.Perfect idea, I will set time aside and be there, as should all you sensible bloggers. Let's band together, let the message hit home.

  • opra
    December 08, 2012 - 17:31

    TO 'WATCHED': you are absolutely right, not only is the Ghiz classless, - he is vicious and mean and blinded by self -obsessions . He is a small minded man, or should we say 'boy', it is like he never grew up.

  • lolita
    December 08, 2012 - 17:26

    hej, great idea with the Levee visit. I will be there with bells on, and so will all my friends. IT will be a hoot.

  • watched
    December 08, 2012 - 14:06

    Wathhed Ghiz and his tirade against Olive Crane in the House the day she announced her decision to step.He showed no class,and certainly does not deserve the word Honorable,as he showed he is far from it.No other Premier in this Country would have acted as he did.The more I see of him,the more I see his arrogance.

  • Uncle Wally's Lament
    December 08, 2012 - 11:50

    Since re-elected to represent Islanders, the Liberals have been accountable, transparent, fair and balanced. This government has identified, prioritized and addressed our most pressing problems. Also, to meet the requirements of Islanders most in need, our elected officials have placed corporate and even their own personal interests aside. Finally, this government has provided Islanders with a model of inclusive democracy, a model that consistently teaches our children what civility and positive social interaction looks like. We should be thankful, we should be proud. We should be. Shouldn't we?

  • RPD
    December 08, 2012 - 08:42

    Kudos to the idea people behind the New Years Levee attendance, -- great idea, --- we might even create a few jobs, as the Premier might have to hire more people to keep the crowd in line. Note of caution, let's keep our ear to the ground, they may change venue in the last minute, they are pretty cute.

  • arnold
    December 08, 2012 - 08:36

    I see in the various bloggs that there is a move a foot to make a group visit to the Premier's Levee. Excellent idea. After all we are invited, not crashing , and this is a perfect venue to respectfully get the message across by dropping a note, that we don't want the election delayed, but rolled forward, among other things. Plan to be there for all our sakes.

  • alfredd
    December 08, 2012 - 08:12

    The spirit of Islanders have been broken,- our sense of security, fairness, and decent interaction has been abused by Mr. Ghiz and the liberal MLAs. I hope that every one that can , will join in the group visit to the Premier's Levee on New Years day. We need to bring our concerns there, and in a dignified way bring our notes to deposit with the Premier as we greet him. We need to be heard, while showing respect,-- an art the Premier is devoid of.

    December 07, 2012 - 20:43


  • Seaman
    December 07, 2012 - 19:24

    Another great session by our Liberal government. lots of questions asked and answered by the liberals them selves. I was exteremly impressed with my MLA. I asked him a question and he told me he would ask Wes in the legislature. the question about HST and he did ask and they answer was clear. its to bad the conservatives did not ask any questions that would matter to real people guess guess they were lost in the deep blue sea and couldnt decide if they were in a sinking ship or vessel.

  • louis
    December 07, 2012 - 18:20

    This man, this government is dispicable, -

  • willow
    December 07, 2012 - 18:17

    "WHILE IT IS SOMEWHAT CONTROVERSIAL" says our dud premier. My artistic mood struck me: "The HST has hit us now, - so please, you s.o.b. go take a bow. Our struggles have just started, we hope from you we soon be parted."

  • paul
    December 07, 2012 - 18:03

    Don't call Ghiz stupid? He may be stupid in the general sense , but has a talent for ruthless, wreckless politics, a sense of survival and entitlement, -- The stupid ones are the ones that voted this excuse for a man in as Premier.

  • abraham
    December 07, 2012 - 17:56

    If this was good public policy this year, why was it, as Ghiz stated, bad public policy last year? Was he lying last year or is he lying this year? This man is not suited to be premier, his stupidity and deceit is overwhelming. Now he is forcing us to wait an extra 6 months to exercise our democratic right, --- while he will have all the HST play-money, -----.

  • arthur
    December 07, 2012 - 17:52

    I am actually in pain seeing and listening to Premier Ghiz. He is so stupid and pompous, I can hardly stand it.

  • Time to go
    December 07, 2012 - 16:29

    It's well past the time to move Sheridan away from our money! How did being an assistant manager of a Credit Union in Malpeque qualify him to handle the books for our province anyway? He doesn't even have a Master's Degree! It's no wonder we're in dire straits financially.

  • don
    December 07, 2012 - 15:23

    now they can sit back and do all the back room deals with out cameras. next spring i'm sure dizzy will have a for sale sign at the bridge.

  • johnny cash
    December 07, 2012 - 15:19

    The wus and whiz show are going to cost us dearly,not sure why they are still up in any poll as they alone are responsible for me giving up voting and thinking of the west to get away from this dying province. Ol' wus once stated "if you don;'t vote you can't complain". We are complaining but to the deaf and dumb .

  • Really, could they do any worse?
    December 07, 2012 - 14:39

    I still seriously maintain that we ought to hire any high school student council and put them in power for one session. Really, could they do any worse? I am dead serious . . . think about it! There's absolutely no argument that the student council would be more civil and principled. And, since virtually every contentious issue is defaulted back to the high level civil servants it's clear the MLA's do next to nothing other then "mitigate" - to use the newest overused cliche. Also, at least the student council kids could at least spell patronage; most likely understand the damage it does much better than those we voted to represent us too. Just use common sense and re-play this last session and imagine how the kids would have handled Plan B, HST, PNP, under the table tourism contracts, partisan corporate subsidies and health cutbacks. Would we be better or worse off? Scary, eh?