© Guardian photo by Brian McInnis
Allen Roach, centre, innovation minister, speaks to a legislative commitee Wednesday in Charlottetown. The meeting was held to discuss the auditor general's report on Skills Canada. At left is Patrick Perry, Skills Canada and Birt MacKinnon, Skills Canada.
The province’s public accounts committee will be calling officials from P.E.I. 2014 Inc. to testify on how they approve and plan to monitor $5 million in grants awarded to individuals and organizations across the Island.
During a meeting Thursday, Opposition Leader Steven Myers raised concerns over money granted to the Confederation Centre of the Arts under the $5-million P.E.I. 2014 Fund.
The Centre says it was given $240,000 to mount two musicals next year a remount of Canada Rocks and a new work called 1864: The Musical.
The theatre is now raising eyebrows as it has decided not to go ahead with the 1864 show but still wants to keep the full amount it was granted by 2014 Inc.
“We need to deal with issues accountability and transparency… and ensuring the money is spent properly,” Myers said Wednesday.
“I think it’s good idea that maybe we bring the 2014 people in and have them explain to us how they’re going to ensure any dollars spent on 2014 will get spent with their intended purposes in mind.”
P.E.I. 2014 received $5 million from the provincial government to fund projects that will celebrate and commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference next year.
Fund offers three levels of funding: large grants from $25,001 to $250,000; medium grants from $2,015 to $25,000; and small grants up to $2,014.
Projects are funded on a cost-shared basis and must be implemented between Jan. 1, 2014, and Dec. 31, 2014.
A total of 550 applications seeking $28 million in funding were submitted.
Deputy speaker Paula Biggar said she too wants to question P.E.I. 2014 Inc. officials.
“There’s a lot of groups getting funding across P.E.I. so I think it would be interesting to find out what process the committee used to approve those applications,” Biggar said.
The committee, which has the power of subpoena, plans to issue an invitation to P.E.I. 2014 officials within the next week.