Green Party leader calls for more government integrity

Teresa Wright
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Peter Bevan-Baker says Islanders feel 'shame at how inept and how crooked' P.E.I. appears to the rest of Canada

Green Party of P.E.I. Leader Peter Bevan-Baker

Green party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker is calling for conflict of interest rules to be brought in for lawyers and consultants who advise government and for whistleblower legislation to be enacted in P.E.I.

He also believes response times for freedom of information requests must improve.

Bevan-Baker says this three-pronged approach would improve governance in P.E.I. and eliminate “collusion and greed” as well as “insider deals and impropriety” at the government level.

His concerns stem from the province’s failed attempt to become an Internet

gambling regulator for the country — an attempt that ended with some officials close to and inside government investing in a

company that became embroiled in a securities investigation.

The fact this e-gaming initiative was recently chronicled on the front page of a national newspaper has been the cause of embarrassment across the province, Bevan-Baker said.

“Many Islanders may feel today, as I do, shame at how inept and how crooked we appear to the rest of the country,” he said.

“I am as upset as everyone at our tarnished reputation, but rather than further denigrate ourselves with glib criticism, I want to offer constructive proposals to the way government functions and put an end to patronage once and for all.”

That’s why he is calling for stricter rules for individuals and agencies that advise government, such as lawyers, accountants and consultants. He wants the Legal Profession Act to be reformed.

Bevan-Baker also pointed to the weeks, months and even years of backlog at the privacy commissioner’s office.

Freedom of information request response times must be improved with strict time frames established, he stated.

He also believes those who wish to come forward with information should be protected. P.E.I. does not have any legislation to protect whistleblowers, and that must change, Bevan-Baker said.

He believes the e-gaming file is just one of several examples of government getting involved in questionable endeavours that rewarded a few insiders, pointing especially to the controversial Provincial Nominee Program.

“It is time to re-establish integrity in government on Prince Edward Island and to once more govern ourselves with pride and care.”

twright@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/GuardianTeresa

Organizations: Green Party

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Canada

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Recent comments

  • AGREED
    March 06, 2015 - 18:17

    Cool your heels bud , MacLaughlin is way ahead of you on this . I feel no shame from this as I am not a crook and also received NO PNP dollars . Lets get the names of anyone who received PNP and now is running for politics out there for voters to see . That will bring more openness to government !

    • Lloyd
      March 07, 2015 - 07:48

      Agreed I agree 100% All the names not numbered companies. Libs cons, everybody let the people know who got what. Then we decide who we want to vote for. Wade is already starting to cover things up. Just another ghiz? We will see.

  • Informed Voter
    March 06, 2015 - 12:07

    The Green party is not just a one issue party. If you look at their website they have their entire platform laid out. Some of it is very well thought out.

  • Heidi Litke
    March 06, 2015 - 09:40

    What a breath of fresh air. We need Peter Bevan-Baker to lead our island in a new direction for the people.

  • Heidi Litke
    March 06, 2015 - 09:39

    What a breath of fresh air. We need Peter Bevan-Baker to lead our island in a new direction for the people.

  • Roy Johnstone
    March 06, 2015 - 08:52

    Green party leader Peter Bevan Baker presents thoughtful, rational and well articulated arguments to reform our democratic institutions and to bring pride and care back into Island political institutions.

  • Bill Kays
    Bill Kays
    March 06, 2015 - 08:40

    I'll be voting Green or NDP, for sure, as they are the least corrupt of the 4 leading parties. I believe both the Green and the NDP leaders to have some integrity. Integrity is something that always needs updating, similar to the Windows Operating Systems. Both Libs and Conservs need to clean house. Don't bother trying to come back for at least 12 or 16 years.

  • Tania
    March 06, 2015 - 08:28

    These are all very good suggestions. Aside from the current issues, the amount of legal fees paid for by taxpayers is astronomical. This is partly because lawyers play such a big role in both the old parties, and MUST be rewarded once the parties are in power. Deputy Ministers are instructed recignize this, and departments hire specific lawyers to call on when needed. Case in point, and this is no secret, Ghiz's campaign manager William Dow became department lawyer for Innovation. If it was ever possible to get any information out of this government, the fees paid here would floor the taxpayers.

  • Jeremy
    March 06, 2015 - 07:30

    Wow, that's really well thought out. I thought the Greens were just about the environment. This guy may well be the one to watch in the election.

  • Hear This
    March 06, 2015 - 07:15

    We need Mr. Bevan-Baker's voice in governing this province. The Greens likely don't have a chance of getting elected but Peter deserves a seat. He's a good man with honesty and integrity and makes some very good suggestions here.

  • reality
    March 06, 2015 - 06:01

    why worry about the rest of the country - Imagine how crooked we Islanders think you politicians are !! Nothing personal but if you are a politician, you take the whole package that comes with the job !!!! You know -- at least GUILTY BY ASSOCIATION