Ghiz under fire for giving Moyse Order of P.E.I.

Teresa Wright
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Healther Moyse with Premier Robert Ghiz during rally in Summerside Feb. 28, 2014.

Premier Robert Ghiz is facing criticism for bypassing legislation and unilaterally naming Prince Edward Island’s Olympic gold medalist Heather Moyse to the Order of P.E.I.

Charles Curley, chair of the Order of P.E.I. Advisory Council, says the proper procedures were not followed.

“There is a committee of nine people. We evaluate every nomination that is received based on their merit and then after that we make our selection,” Curley said.

“There is a process.”

Every year, the committee calls for nominations from the public, which are accepted usually until the end of March.

After careful assessment, the committee choses three recipients every year. Those three names are then forwarded to the premier and lieutenant governor, who automatically approve them.

The process is enshrined in legislation.

Curley says the advisory council was aware Ghiz wanted to give Moyse the award, but in a meeting last week decided against it, as it would have gone against the legislation.

“It takes away from the process of regular people who nominate someone. It’s not fair to them because they’re going through the regular process, but then the premier steps forward and says, ‘I want to give this person one,’” Curley said.

“It kind of puts politics into the Order of P.E.I., which we’re trying to take the politics out of it.”

But Ghiz makes no apologies about his decision to give Moyse the award.

He says he will change the legislation in the upcoming spring session of the legislature.

“There’s going to be exceptional circumstances,” he said, remarking that the current legislation for this award is too stringent.

“Under the current legislation you can’t do any special provisions for any events that may occur outside of the norm, such as winning back-to-back Olympic gold medals, so we’re just going to make sure we fix the legislation.”

But Opposition Leader Steven Myers says he believes it was a political decision and one Ghiz should have left alone.

“I have no dispute at all as to whether or not she’s deserving of the award, because quite frankly she is,” Myers said.

“But it’s a little disheartening to see that the premier would take an Island hero like Heather Moyse and throw her into the middle of a complete turmoil by not following the process that’s laid out by a volunteer committee.”

Myers noted nominations for the Order of P.E.I. are still open and that the committee will not make its selections until May.

“We don’t want this to become a political process... the premier has injected himself into a process that never needed him, and he’s dragging a great Islander and an Olympic champion in with him. And it’s really unfortunate that he would do that to somebody like Heather Moyse.”

But Ghiz said he says it is others who are making this political.

“Let’s remember, (Moyse) is an extraordinary ambassador for Prince Edward Island, she’s had an extraordinary accomplishment and people should probably keep their eye on the ball here and be celebrating this the way it should be celebrated.”

Organizations: P.E.I. Advisory Council

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island

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Recent comments

  • Jumbo Jim
    March 05, 2014 - 15:44

    Rule of law....I recall reading in a Quebec newspaper 10 years ago where a young "non resident student at Bishops U " voted in the Quebec Referendum, apparently the laws didn't quite suit at that time either. A pattern has emerged? Poor Heather.

  • Islander
    March 05, 2014 - 12:22


  • yolanda
    March 05, 2014 - 08:10

    Some commentators here seem to think It is Mr. Curley, who thinks Ghizy is out of line. From the number of comments in the Guardian and on CBC on this issue, it would appear that a large cross section of Islanders find Ghiz's action distasteful, - it is not his medal to give,- it is a medal given to deserving people as recognized BY the people, not the Premier. Amazing how stupid some people are regarding the workings of a democratic society, including the Premier.

  • David
    March 04, 2014 - 23:50

    I would ask Charles Curley how he got on the committee? He was appointed there by Ghiz so really unless anyone of these committee members can says politics was not part of the reason they are sitting on the committee then they should be quiet and stop looking like hypocrites. It is nice to see someone like Moyse get one of these awards because up until now you had pretty much have white hair and be over 60 to even be considered.

  • sipowicz
    March 04, 2014 - 20:13

    she didnt receive the award yet? Can the Premier not nominate in the legislation. Mr Curley is concerned about the process being followed. So if the Premier nominated someone the committee would reject them no matter how deserving the person is because of the Premiers nomination? This makes no sense. sounds like there are deeper problems here. I say give her the award dismantle the board and revise legislation to allow the board to present the award when an islander deserves it not when the board members think they deserve to present it.

  • And really?
    March 04, 2014 - 19:58

    Not to downplay Heather's accomplishments, because I find it hard to get through Zumba, let alone win two Olympic golds, but do we not have a lot more people deserving of recognition? Every day there are nurses, doctors, teachers, social workers, therapists, counsellors, educational assistants, volunteers, etc, etc, etc who go above and beyond to help the sick and the struggling. Most times, they are not given a lot of respect from the people they help and are not recognized for the times they do more than expected. They are overworked and underpaid, often trying to do more with less. There are plenty of other jobs, some that pay more with a lot less balogna to deal with, and even so, these people stick around because they actually care about the welfare of others. Most of these people are hired by the Province to do these jobs, and I don't see Ghiz (or any of the opposition, for that matter) taking the big steps to give the Order of PEI to any of them. Seriously, do we really want to live in a world where winning two Olympic golds (again, not to diminish the accomplishment because it's completely awesome) is held in higher regard than saving a life? Or teaching a child to read? Or saving a child from abuse? Or supporting someone to overcome addiction? Not only do those programs not get near enough support or funding to do the job properly or to the extent they would want it to be, but those workers continue to push through to try and get the job done. Perhaps that's where the accolades should really be going.

    • candrayo
      March 04, 2014 - 20:33


    • Concerned
      March 05, 2014 - 09:37

      You are so right!!!!!

  • Mae
    March 04, 2014 - 19:58

    Quite frankly I am tired of listening to all of the hype about Heather Moyse. So she jumped in the back of a bobsled and won a gold medal...good for her. She does not deserve the Order of PEI for doing is a sport! There are so many more important things Mr. Ghiz should be worrying about! Shame on him!!

  • don't really care
    March 04, 2014 - 19:42

    I don't really care one way or another if legislation was followed. This is a relatively silly thing to get worked up over in the grand scheme of things--we really actually have bigger things to worry about. If this is really the "complaint of the day", the liberals are actually looking pretty good.

  • me
    March 04, 2014 - 19:03

    Ghiz has tainted the process.He said he would change legislation in the spring to allow the special appointment. Why didn't he wait until then to make the appointment? He knows Heather is a hot commodity now and want to capitalize politically. It's typical of the ghiz gov. they continue to show now respect for citizens of pei

  • Disappointed Joe
    March 04, 2014 - 16:56

    Ghiz is to PEI what Harper is to Canada - a narcissistic dictator. Heather Moyse is being used for a photo op. She's very deserving of the award, but in the interest of rules and fairness to others, she should tell Ghiz to stick his award.

  • Charlie
    March 04, 2014 - 16:48

    He says he will change the legislation in the upcoming spring session of the legislature. you not have advisors to assist you in these decisions.....or, are you just not listening?!!!!! Yes Robert.....just like you made the changes to our pension!!! You go ahead and make your dammed changes. Hope your ready for your change in 2016!

  • Ralph
    March 04, 2014 - 16:28

    I thought the criteria for the Order was to have done something for fellow citizens on a volunteer, philanthropic basis. Not for having done well at one's hobby? Ghiz's attempt to steel the show is despicable , - but then again associating yourself with success is a knack, people with little to claim as their own, often learn to make use of .

  • Alma & Kevin
    March 04, 2014 - 16:19

    Sorry mess, but this reminds us of the Premier announcing, before the ballots were counted, that he would reward defeated candidate Allan Campbell with a $100.000 a year job in his office,. same arrogance and ignorance. Some Premier we voted ourselves in that election, he is prize.

  • Really
    March 04, 2014 - 14:31

    I don't know if Heather is more deserving than someone else for the award or not! The fact of the matter is it was February, there was still 10 months left in this year! There are three awards given per year and there is a chance there could be others contributing to their communities in ways more deserving of the awards than Ms. Moyse. Bad form Mr. Premier.

    March 04, 2014 - 14:04

    I totally agree that Heather deserves the award but not the way Ghiz did it. If they change the award system then I can see him giving it to all his party flunkies, All the millionaire buddies he has made since taking office, and probably himself and Wes before he he turfed out of office. T he Order of PEI was an houour to have bestowed on deserving people after selection but you have taken that away as you have taken away many things from the people of this province.

  • Joe Doe
    March 04, 2014 - 13:09


  • jACK
    March 04, 2014 - 12:54

    She is well deserving of the award. Why delay the inevitable? In his defence, the majority voted for his party to run this province on their behalf and he is simply acting on that role.

    • Just The Facts
      March 04, 2014 - 13:14

      To extend your runaway train of thought....therefore whenever Robert Ghiz encounters a LAW that he doesn't like, as duly-elected Premier, he can ignore it!?

    • You are Kidding Right?
      March 04, 2014 - 14:22

      Do you honestly believe that this elected official (or any elected official for that matter) should have the power to ignore any legislation they don't happen to like? I hope you are just being sarcastic because if you actually believe that you are frighteningly stupid.

  • Sorry Heather
    March 04, 2014 - 12:43

    As an Islander and Canadian I would like to apologize to heather for all of these rediculous comments about Ghiz. People have looked past the politics and look at what the award represents and how much she really deserves it. Heather Moyse has accomplished something truely amazing and is one of the greatest embasadors of sport and hard work our little province will ever have. Please people put your politics aside, give her the real recognition she deserves, embrace and celebrate our islands double golden, flag bearing Olympic hero.

    • bigdaddy
      March 04, 2014 - 13:27

      I believe all people with the Order deserved this honor as well as Heather.Please change the law and then make it legal to appoint a person to the order. I would not like to be a board member and wake up to see Mr. GHIZ APPOINTMENT ON the news.Would you. By the way we are trying to keep people from breaking the laws. The Premier should show some leadership.

    • No
      March 04, 2014 - 13:44

      You do not have the right to 'apologize' for 'other' peoples opinions. No one is questioning whether or not Moyse should get it. They are giving their opinion there are rules & regulations put there to be followed. If anyone should apologize, it is Robert Ghiz for embarrassing Moyse, & also for not following protocol.

  • Newly distant observer
    March 04, 2014 - 12:27

    Once again, Mr. Ghiz is showing his narcissism, inserting himself smack into the middle of the fame and accolades deserving of others rather than himself. This behaviour reminds me of him putting himself and his wife into the carriage ride with the royals. He is a "wannabe" star, and it is painfully obvious to observers. PEI (and all Canadians) will always remember Moyse, but I doubt that Mr. Ghiz's leadership will be nearly so memorable, aside from his arrogant shenanigans.

  • Darryl
    March 04, 2014 - 12:16

    It's one of those situations where "you're damned if you do, and you're damned if you don't". Had our Premier NOT given her the order then someone certainly would have been griping about it. As for legislation... what sort of wonderful system has the Lieutenant Governor and Premier automatically rubber-stamping (approving) a recommendation ? That can't possibly be fact. Perhaps "that's the way we always do it" but come on.

  • wondering
    March 04, 2014 - 11:52

    Seems a bit odd that most of the comments here and most of the people I talk to agree that Bobby should not have put politics before legislation. Yet 100% of those voting in the poll with this story say it was wonderful! I'm wondering how much that's costing us?

  • peter
    March 04, 2014 - 11:46

    If this well deserved overwhelming disapproval of Dictator Ghiz get carried to the voting booth, we would finally put a stop to the abuse of power he has and will continue to perpetrate. We can only hope this is the straw that breaks the camel's back.----

  • Concerned
    March 04, 2014 - 11:33

    I'm very disappointed in our society today... People are hungry and our neighbours can't fill their oil tanks....Families who can't afford oil...going days at a time without heat...Working families are going to food banks...we have mental illness issues...addiction issues on this little island that are not getting addressed... I'm happy for Heather and her gold medals....but we are living in a day and age where our egos are getting in the way... I'd much rather see a person dedicated in making a change in their neighbourhood , helping feeding the poor...volunteering their time...making a difference...I don't see how a person travelling 100 miles per hour in a bobsled, would be best suited for a ORDER award. We are living in a time where we are worshipping our athletes...time and money would be better spent on helping thy neighbour ...

    • man of time
      March 04, 2014 - 12:42

      Amen brother. Amen.

  • Observer
    March 04, 2014 - 11:06

    While I think Heather Moyse is an excellent candidate for this honour I am dismayed by the premier's indifference to rules and laws. Why, if it gets in his way, he will just change it! This is another example of his very dangerous attitude. He seems to think being premier is all about him. Is this attitude part of what has driven us into such a huge provincial debt?

  • MFH
    March 04, 2014 - 10:39

    It means nothing anyway. Look at the Order Of Canada. It was given to Brian Mulroney after his term as P.M and nobody with the exception of Stephen Harper did more damage to the country than he did. The order of P.E.I is just another photo op in most cases.

    • AMAZED
      March 04, 2014 - 13:11

      You stole the words out of mind . KUDOS!!! Do not forget his Lordship Conrad Black ,the Prima Donna of Canterbury not Canada .

  • fred
    March 04, 2014 - 10:29

    Well; Congratulations Heather!Great job / But all islanders deserve some type of medal having to listen to all the B.S. that comes from big daddy puppet and his back stage gang. Hurry up 2016

  • Melanie
    March 04, 2014 - 10:07

    Robert, you are damned if you do; damned if you don't. Congratulations Heather.

  • Islander
    March 04, 2014 - 09:59

    I agree Robert should have nominated Heather and she would win it hands down anyway as she certainly deserves it but it should have be done the right way by using everyone most deserving of this award the same.

  • For the love of
    March 04, 2014 - 09:57

    For the love of all that is holy!!! What an insane uproar!! Premier Ghiz is human and most likely wanted to recognize Ms Moyse in a special way. Quit flapping your gums over this/ it will get resolved. For now it isn't Ghiz who is embarrassing Ms Moyse- it is all you mean spirited people commenting here!

    • Just The Facts
      March 04, 2014 - 12:26

      Bestowing the Order of PEI on ANY person is not the right of Robert Ghiz, no more than it is my right or yours. There is only ONE way to become a member of the Order and that is enshrined in the law, debated and voted upon in our Provincial Assembly. End of story!

    • To: For the love of:
      March 04, 2014 - 15:05

      You are a died in the wool Liberal; who will vote for this inept Ghiz government again! His government has doubled the debt of this tiny province to 2 billion dollars in only 8 years, despite breaking a promise and introducing the hated HST, and by rewarding his Liberal supporters with millions of taxpayer dollars.

  • Fed up
    March 04, 2014 - 09:51

    Ghiz thinks he is above everyone else and doesn't have to follow the rules...IN ANYTHING!!! Someone should take him down a peg or two! We see that in majority of his decisions!

  • Arrogance again!
    March 04, 2014 - 09:40

    Heather Moyse surely deserves the award; but PLEASE follow the protocol which has worked well for the previous award winners! Ghiz was caught up in the celebration; and wanted to receive some praise for himself, and decided to award the award without consulting the advisory committee. Now; he says he will change the legislation to suit fix this on the moment decision! I think that this will diminish the honor associated with this prestigious award to the previous winners. What an inept Premier and government we have!!!

  • don't accept it !!
    March 04, 2014 - 09:24

    i am sure this person will do the right thing and not accept this political perk especially since it is already tainted by ghiz' EGO !!

  • Quiet Observer
    March 04, 2014 - 08:45

    The proper thing for the Premier to have done is to nominate Ms. Moyse for the award. That is what the law says. If he has gone against the legislation, does that not mean he has broken the law?

  • Karen
    March 04, 2014 - 08:41

    Let's not forget this premier was politically trained under Chrétien .

  • Billy
    March 04, 2014 - 08:37

    If anyone deserves the medal, she does but not the way the premier is doing it. Leads one to believe there are other policy's overlooked by him.

  • At Least He is Consistent
    March 04, 2014 - 08:10

    Can this man do anything without screwing it up?

  • Just The Facts
    March 04, 2014 - 08:09

    Robert Ghiz has displayed a Machiavellian streak with this arbitrary appointment. "The ends justify the means". Ms Moyse's induction to the Order is deemed by most Islanders as a laudable goal....therefore Prince Robert will trample on the Provincial Emblems and Honours Act and make up new rules where none have been needed since the inception of this award 18 years ago. This behaviour smacks of arrogance. Sadly, Robert Ghiz has embarassed Heather Moyse, the Advisory Committee volunteers and every member of the Order of PEI. When his Yes-Men in the Legislature approve his amendment to the Provincial Emblems and Honours Act, the prestige of this award will be irreparably damaged and its luster greatly diminished.

  • Bob Easter
    March 04, 2014 - 08:01

    Its time for you mr. ghiz to keep your eye on the ball. Just like everything else, your government bypasses all rules and regulation to feed your egos. There is a non political process that needs to be followed. Heather, do not accept this tainted award.

  • North Shore
    March 04, 2014 - 07:53

    it is truly sad that Ms. Moyse is put in this position by our Premiere. She is truly deserving (In my humble opinion ) of this honour. Mr. Ghiz's decision comes from either ignorance or arrogance...either;it's a pity

  • Ron
    March 04, 2014 - 07:41

    Once a leader and a government think they are above the law - that is when they are on their way out. The hubris of Ghiz once again is on display at a time when all Islanders celebrate Heather Moyse 's outstanding performance. what was he thinking? Another photo-op?

  • New Rules
    March 04, 2014 - 07:40

    How can one person be permitted to unilaterally make the decision to grant someone the award? Processes exist precisely so that this abuse of power can not happen. The award recipient, I think, would much rather know that a committee evaluated their merit and all agreed. In this instance, it is one guy pulling a power play to craft his own image. Heather is most certainly deserving, but this political move cheapens the award, in my opinion.

  • candrayo
    March 04, 2014 - 07:33

    How we idolize athletes is ridiculous!! How we let Ghiz and his narcissism run wild on the Island is equally as ridiculous. Oh to have money, power and influence on PEI…. must be nice…….Karma is a wonderful thing…thankfully I believe in Karma!

    • Optimism
      March 04, 2014 - 11:59

      You try devoting your whole life to a sport and see how much work it takes. That's why we idolize athletes. An islander won an Olympic gold medal. Karma is great, so go work hard and good things will work for you. Stop complaining about everyone else and all the good they do.

    • Optimism
      March 04, 2014 - 12:00

      You try devoting your whole life to a sport and see how much work it takes. That's why we idolize athletes. An islander won an Olympic gold medal. Karma is great, so go work hard and good things will work for you. Stop complaining about everyone else and all the good they do.

  • real canadian
    March 04, 2014 - 07:16

    its just another holier than thou liberal thinking they can do whatever they want keep voting them in and the will keep it up [ps} if that was a conservative all hell would have broken loose 2 faced liberals

  • Paula Dixon
    March 04, 2014 - 07:03

    Hey , Our premiere followed his heart, and forgot protocal, Well I take that over political rules anytime. It shows our humanity, we need more of that in our system, We criticize politicians for wearing teflon suits and nothing sticks to them, Today is not that day! Lets take the fight to where it really needs to be and that's not with our Premiere Ghiz's decision with the Order of PEI. its the fight to help our youth to strive for excellence, and maybe seeing people like Healther will light that spark1

  • yolanda
    March 04, 2014 - 07:03

    Nothing is sacred from political interference from Vladimir Ghiz, ---everything to his Glory His action on this has bastardized the whole concept and process, --- has he other appointments up his sleeve?? If only hope his MLAs had any balls to vote against any changes to the legislation, and leave well enough alone. So sorry Heather that your medal has been sullied, it could have been a great honor.

  • But I Have Legislative power to right wrong
    March 04, 2014 - 06:32

    I can do what ever I want, I have a majority of barking seals in the legislature and I can ram through what ever I want. Like Harper, I can do what ever I want. Canada is being betrayed by political parties and patronage debts..

  • vICK
    March 04, 2014 - 06:11

    Good choice Robert well done!

  • voter
    March 04, 2014 - 04:53

    she devoted her life to a selfish goal - HER GOALS AND ALL THE RESOURCES INVESTED INTO HER SINGULAR VIEWPOINT ---call it the "odour" of pei

    • candrayo
      March 04, 2014 - 09:48

      EXACTLY….and being selfish makes her a "Hero"….funny that eh…..

    • Sandy
      March 04, 2014 - 10:28

      She worked unbelievably hard and honored her country by being the best in the world. What part of that don't you understand. Your remarks are those of one who never walked in her footsteps. She prevailed where others did not. I am embarrassed for YOU!

    • candrayo
      March 04, 2014 - 20:44

      I would be embarrassed to be called a HERO just because I won some sport……and that is my two cents….Period….and I can speak for myself Sandy…thanks though for caring!

  • Whine about everything
    March 04, 2014 - 04:45

    Really,she has giving pei two gold Medals.c'mon he Is the premier this is probably the only decision he has made on his own that made sense.I say leave the Olympian alone congrats heather

  • Unacceptable Skirting the rules
    March 04, 2014 - 04:41

    A lack of respect for rules and laws is prevalent since he got a majority. Never helping the poor with one nickel? Eh? Wearing the Canada Sweat shirt is so embarrassing for our sweet little island. Throw out the rules and re legislate any "broken laws", what no shame what so ever