P.E.I. taxpayers will likely pay for e-gaming loan

Teresa Wright
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

P.E.I. taxpayers will likely pick up the tab for a $950,000 government loan that funded the province’s now infamous e-gaming scheme, Premier Wade MacLauchlan conceded in his year-end interview with The Guardian.

MacLauchlan was questioned on where this money went and what will happen with this loan, which remains outstanding and has been accruing interest of approximately $3,000 a month.

The premier sidestepped answering detailed questions about the loan, referring instead to the auditor general’s ongoing audit of the province’s failed e-gaming venture.

When asked whether taxpayers would be on the hook for this $950,000 loan, MacLauchlan suggested that would indeed be the likely outcome.

“Yes, I expect so, but we’ll just have to find out what the outcome (of the auditor general’s investigation) and, in fact, to respond accordingly.”

RELATED: E-gaming loan unpaid to P.E.I. government from Mi’kmaq Confederacy

The Guardian obtained a copy of the $950,000 loan contract signed between the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of P.E.I. and Innovation P.E.I. through a freedom of information request, and published details of the loan last month.

According to the document, the money was to be used to finance work done in 2011/2012 to try to make Prince Edward Island an Internet gambling regulator for the whole country.

The proposal was estimated to be worth upwards of $85 million a year in new tax and licensing revenues for the P.E.I. government.

The terms of repayment for the loan contain two unusual provisions - the Mi’kmaq Confederacy was not obliged to pay any money back.

Only future gaming revenues would be used to repay the loan.


The contract also stipulates the Confederacy would be off the hook if e-gaming did not go ahead.

Government scrapped the e-gaming proposal in February 2012.

Economic Development Minister Heath MacDonald confirmed last month the $950,000 loan remains outstanding.

What we’ve said all along is that we are bringing a new way of doing business and Islanders will have the auditor general’s report. Premier Wade MacLauchlan

But questions raised since, notably by the Opposition Conservatives in the legislature, about who would be responsible for repaying this loan have been left unanswered.

MacLauchlan now concedes taxpayers will likely be on the hook, but says he is looking forward to the auditor general’s findings and has committed to take action on issues that may arise from her report.

“What we’ve said all along is that we are bringing a new way of doing business and Islanders will have the auditor general’s report,” he said.

“We intend to take that to heart and act on it and to square up to any issues that are pointed out by the auditor general.”

The premier expects the auditor general’s report on e-gaming will be delivered “in the first three or four months of the new year.”



Organizations: Opposition Conservatives, Islanders

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page



Recent comments

  • James
    December 24, 2015 - 14:51

    One Minister every seems to forget was is an X RCMP Sgt. I know he has memory loss from his prefrormance in the last session. Having said that he for one would know what is legal or illegal over the PNP, egaming scanals. Yet, he sits their as a new Minister scared for the day of truth and Justice that may come sooner than he thinks

  • AK
    December 23, 2015 - 19:50

    Are we going to be on the hook for the 25 million if CMT wins there lawsuit?

  • Dear Mr. Sentance
    December 23, 2015 - 18:59

    Are you serious with this comment. I'll add the disclaimer you didn't as the current Premier is your former employer at the university. I am actually shocked you are "surprised" that people are upset at this and your dismissiveness of the outrage. Can I assume you think we should just lie down about the millions in cancelled and written off loans by this and the former government. This wasn't "risky" as you say- it was a group of elected individuals and staff they employed trying to circumvent the criminal code and by investing their own funds at the same time in what can only be described as blatant securities violations in any other province. Shame on you Professor.

  • Kim Petrie
    December 23, 2015 - 13:49

    (and by area I mean the Maritimes).

    • Kim Petrie
      December 24, 2015 - 07:20

      The CMT (defamation) lawsuit is not a public matter. No tax payer interests are being represented. CMT / Paul Maines were sidelined to protect the "secret" investors in the e-gaming plan. I guess they should have paid CMT / Simplex their $60,000 for its commissioned in writing report ...

  • totally disgusted
    December 23, 2015 - 13:32

    Thus is disgraceful. Since when should the working poor in the poorest province in Canada be forced to pay for yet another boondoggle.

  • sentance
    December 23, 2015 - 13:20

    I'm a bit surprised at the shock being expressed over the notion of a conditional or forgivable loan being made by government. Governments across the country have a variety of programs large and small that involve forgivable loans. They are in particular common in cases where government is trying to attract or stimulate entrepreneurial efforts that might be a bit risky in nature. I highly doubt that this is the only forgivable loan of this size PEI governments have made in the past couple of decades.

    • martin
      December 24, 2015 - 06:39

      Please have some common sense. If it was a legitimate business and aloan or grant was provided , then went belly up we can live with. Providing a questionable loan when they already had a legal opinion that e-gaming was against the Federal laws is down rifgt corrupt. I hope you are not teaching your students your perspective on this subject.

  • Erik T
    December 23, 2015 - 10:50

    Ontario's McGuinty wastes more than a BILLION for crass political purposes. PEI flushes a MILLION away for absolutely nothing. Surely there must be a taxpayer line in the sand somewhere. The incompetents responsible for this utter waste must be held accountable and punished.

  • dawn
    December 23, 2015 - 10:45

    Shameful..... A new way of doing business, bull the same double talk as the last government! I didn't throw my hard earned money at a pipe dream So,why does my taxs dollars have to be used to clean up their mess....Those taxs dollars should be used to help islanders not to fixs Ghiz and his Bandits mess!!

    • martin
      December 23, 2015 - 15:57

      Remember most of the bandits are still representing the taxpayer; Brown, Mitchell, Currie, Sherry, the Minister of Finance, Perry, the former Minister of Tourism. Nothing has changed until this bunch is chased.

  • Fed up
    December 23, 2015 - 09:42

    A new way of doing business? Yes....borrow money but don't have anyone responsible to pay it back. That's brilliant! The ones who stupidly made an agreement like that? THEY should pay it back - NOT the taxpayers! No wonder they dropped the idea AND RAN!!

  • New Way of Doing Business
    December 23, 2015 - 09:17

    The tax-payers are on the hook for the million dollar loan. Just like we all said we would be, so we don't need an audit to tell us more. This is called "business as usual" in politics. Promising to fix something after it was found broken, but doing nothing in the first place to fix the issue. Same old, same old.

  • Got a question
    December 23, 2015 - 08:55

    If the loan is accruing interest, then to whom shall the the interest be paid?

  • enough already
    December 23, 2015 - 08:07

    Same old ,same old , smile and laugh it off . The suckers that are liebril voters on P.E.I. just shrug their collective shoulders and wait for Justin to save them.

  • Peter Johnsson
    December 23, 2015 - 07:46

    I'd suggest, clawback from Ghiz/Sheridan severance/pension packages!

    • Regular Joe
      Regular Joe
      December 23, 2015 - 12:08

      Yes all assists should be frozen for those involved , until investigation or auditor generals report is finished . We all know that will never happen in the meantime they sit back and laugh about it .

  • martin
    December 23, 2015 - 06:48

    Why is the Premier saying that the taxpayer will likely pick up the tab for this so called loan. Anyone with common sense would know that we are responsible for this loan . The Premier shouldn't have to rely on Auditor to tell him who is responsible for payment. More importantly, we want to know where every nickel of this loan was spent and by whom.It is the taxpayers right to know Mr.Premier. This will be transparency and we will see if you do business differently.

  • don
    December 23, 2015 - 06:21

    well all you dumb liberals you wanted ghiz,wes,and the rest of the ghiz gang in so now our grand children has to pay for your vote that means less money for health care,schools,etc..............but i would like to see some one from out of canada go thru the books etc and see who has gotten money out of the deal and i'm sure there is a few liberals that has a lot of extra cash............