Crane pleads for more house time

Teresa Wright
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Olive Crane. FILE PHOTO

Independent MLA Olive Crane says she needs more airtime in the legislature to be able to do her job.

Crane says she is frustrated with the brief amount of time she has been allotted, and feels she needs more time to discuss and debate issues that are important to Islanders.

She has formally requested more time during question period and for motions.

“I’m in Opposition, I take the job seriously and I’m hoping the speaker will give me more time.”

Crane has been granted time for one oral question and two supplementary questions on Tuesdays and Thursdays when the house is in session. She also gets one half hour for motions for every eight weeks of a sitting.

Meanwhile, all MLAs can submit written questions to cabinet ministers at any time during the year.

Crane has used this privilege to her advantage by tabling written questions every day, directly after question period. She did so during the fall session too, and never misses a day, despite the fact she has no paid staff.

As a result, she has tabled over 200 written questions and approximately 100 supplementary questions over the last year, covering every government department and the premier’s office.

Her questions cover a wide variety of topics, such as travel costs for off-Island health services; water quality testing; physical medicine needs for special needs children and the removal of propane tanks in Charlottetown.

But although government has been providing brief responses to her written questions, Crane says she is finding it difficult to get the issues she raises out into the public.

“It’s so frustrating when you think of some of the different issues that you’re trying to raise,” Crane said.

“A lot of my questions, if you go through the written material, they are absolutely good questions for Islanders from tip to tip and we need answers… I’ve actually had people call me up and say either, ‘Why did you not raise the issue?’ or ‘Have you got an answer yet,’ so I have to try another vehicle, so I’m hoping the speaker will give me more time.”

Speaker Carolyn Bertram has the final say on how time is allotted in the P.E.I. legislature. She said Friday she would consider Crane’s request and discuss it with her and the legislative management committee.

But since an agreement was made prior to the current sitting about time allotment for members of the assembly, nothing will change for the current session, Bertram said.

twright@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/GuardianTeresa

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

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Recent comments

  • At this point
    May 03, 2014 - 23:32

    At this point, the only real honest leader on PEI is Olive Crane & she's on her own. Ghiz & Wes & Liberal govt have screwed those of us who voted them in first & second time (I voted the first time but wasn't fooled second time)...& Conservatives are trying to save their asses...I've voted Lib & I've voted Conservative & once I even voted Green because I believed in the rep. Myers get a grip - grow up & really be there for us (voters) islanders or you are all toast. Get the truth out there Myers re PNP, stand up & be there for the people, & get Olive Crane back into the fold, even if you have to public acknowledge you need her to save the island. It is time PEI had a few politicians who come out and say -yes we are there for the people, and these are our sins...let'er rip & let us get PEI back in the fold. If not, God help the island as it is going down hill fast. And if PNP bothers anyone on the Conservative side, or Liberal side, too damn bad. It is time we got honest govt on PEI to get us through this terrible time.

  • voter
    May 03, 2014 - 18:50

    LOOK!!! Mackinley is asleep in the picture Why don't independent politicians like CRANE ask RELEVANT questions to test these peoples inteGRITy LIKE --Who got more PNP money - GHIZ, MYERS or ALL POLITICIANS & their groupies ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  • Sandra
    May 03, 2014 - 14:22

    Don, try not to be so sensitive about your love for Olive Crane. It's pretty creepy as it is.

    • don
      May 03, 2014 - 16:54

      sandra you need help really you. olive is a true islander. tell me how many generations has ghiz family been here? or wes? or ronnie?

  • ricepointer
    May 03, 2014 - 10:04

    Olive Crane killed our EI system, I still cant figure out how rice point is part of charlottetown when our commute is more than 20 mins. Messing with EI when a good 75% of work on this island is seasonal is wrong. she had enough time to speak and screw things up now its time for her to shut her mouth and maybe we can mend what she did

  • supporter
    May 03, 2014 - 09:54

    Olive is one of the few MLAs who has lived like most islanders do and she has our best interests at heart. It'll probably never happen now (she was booted from the conservatives for being too leftist, ie caring), but she would have made a wonderful premier.

  • Billy
    May 03, 2014 - 08:24

    Had she stayed as leader she would have her time. Can't have both. Tell her to speak to the guy next to her and wake her.

  • amazing
    May 03, 2014 - 07:07

    WHY, she had unbelievable media attention for 4 years and what was achieved, now she is not getting as much of the limelight so she wants more attention, how would the legislature work if there were 5 independent MLAs, would they all need special attention?

  • Sandra
    May 03, 2014 - 01:15

    Crane is already getting more speaking time than independent MPs get in the House of Commons. If she wants more speaking time she should demonstrate value to the legislature. So far she seems content to read the scripts Robert Ghiz's staff have been writing for her. That's pointless. The last thing we need is an MLA pretending to be independent while doing this government's bidding.

    • don
      May 03, 2014 - 11:32

      Sandra if you can do any better then we will see you running in the next election?

    • huh
      May 04, 2014 - 16:54

      dare I ask the same of you, Don? you seem to have everything all figured out.

  • don
    May 02, 2014 - 22:58

    During the 11 years they've spent as Ontario's governing party, the Liberals have raised public ire many times over a series of high-profile scandals. ghiz just think all the stuff you guys have done over he years may come back and bite you guys just like this newspaper info. as i have said what goes around comes around. During the 11 years they've spent as Ontario's governing party, the Liberals have raised public ire many times over a series of high-profile scandals.

  • don
    May 02, 2014 - 22:40

    we need mrs crane as premier of PEI. then i know she will lead us as a true islander. and open the books on the PNP to show how some of the blue team came rich. at least she had the back bone to bring it up at the last election but she was stabbed in the back and a phone to put her out. to shut her up. and both sides do not want the books opened. so there must be a lot of names in it. olive we need need to be the next PREMIER.

  • rob ford
    May 02, 2014 - 19:41

    Ah, the Ghiz-Myers muzzle. Mustn't let the masses actually find out the dirty secrets of the oligarchy run by the 2-headed red-blue monster now, must we? The blue blood wannabes of PEI are quite content with keeping everything in check so they can keep raking in the millions through patronage, while this province stagnates and dies.