Opposition MLA wants full accounting of how e-gaming loan money was spent

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James Aylward

Opposition MLA James Aylward says he wants a full accounting of how the $950,000 e-gaming loan was spent and will not stop asking until this information is released.

Aylward was reacting Tuesday to the release Monday of a one-page document outlining the "Proposed Budget" of the controversial e-gaming initiative.

The document was released thanks to a successful challenge by The Guardian through freedom of information law for the full loan contract signed between the Mi'kmaq Confederacy of P.E.I. and Innovation P.E.I.

But the document contains only a generalized list of proposed deliverables and dollar figures. Only one recipient is specifically referenced – the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of P.E.I. (MCPEI) is listed as being owed $100,000 for “expenditures already funded.”

Aylward notes questions about e-gaming have been raised in the media, the public and in the legislature for the last several years, yet many of these questions remain unanswered.


“I want to know what the actuals were. I want to know where the money was spent, who were the recipients of these funds, keeping in mind that this is taxpayers’ dollars,” Aylward said.

“Wade MacLauchlan was elected on a platform of openness and transparency… it’s time for him to step up to the plate, and once and for all do what they campaigned on – be open and transparent.”

NDP Leader Mike Redmond agreed.

“Where did the money go?” he said Tuesday.

Redmond believes a judicial inquiry into e-gaming is needed to restore the public’s faith in the provincial government.

“Here we are again talking about e-gaming — a secret deal, no one was privy to it, there was investors and along the line $1 million was spent — and we can’t get any information about it,” Redmond says.

“People want to know what happened to this money… and when media agencies like The Guardian or CBC have to go and fish and FOIPP information, that’s not a good example of open and transparent government. And that’s where people lose confidence with our legislative process and our political institutions.”

That’s why both he and Aylward hope government will release a detailed accounting of how the e-gaming loan money was spent.

The loan funded the work of a secret gaming committee that worked on a proposal to make Prince Edward Island an Internet gambling regulator for Canada.  

The plan was scrapped in February 2012 after legal and technical challenges were identified.

Premier Wade MacLauchlan sent the entire e-gaming file to the auditor general for investigation after taking office last year. That investigation is ongoing.

When asked whether taxpayers would be on the hook for the $950,000 loan, MacLauchlan suggested in December 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.”


Organizations: The Guardian, CBC

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Canada

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Recent comments

  • Jimmy
    March 17, 2016 - 09:26

    I agree with amazed. I would also like a full accounting of when James knew about the money paid out to the former opposition chief of staff.

  • Aongasha
    March 17, 2016 - 08:24

    This issue, like PnP and others are jokes to governments in power. They laugh at you because you the sheeple keep on electing them, while their friends pick up the dough. The media goes crazy and wonders how guys like Trump get the support they do. It's stuff like this from the elites and politicians that drives many folks crazy and POs everyone. There will be a day of reckoning and you will wonder no more.

    March 16, 2016 - 21:04

    You know the truth is not going to come out. It never has in the past and will not now. Just add it to the 191 million in other LOANS they have given out without explanation and slim chance of getting back.

    March 16, 2016 - 20:12

    I would like a full accounting of Binns government Polar Foods , Dundarave and Brudnell Golf Academy and the costs of his human rights abuses . When can Aylward make that happen ??? .

    • Matilda
      March 16, 2016 - 20:57

      You must be living in the past. We want to know how this present Liberal government is looking after us because, as Prime Minister Trudeau would say ....."because it's 2016"

  • laurent Beaulieu
    March 16, 2016 - 15:26

    Given that there is a full investigation going on now under the Auditor General am sure we will know everything once that investigation is done. So patience is of the essence here. As for the Opposition clamouring it is nothing more than grand standing and partisan politics. Let's keep cool heads.

  • Fed up with politics
    March 16, 2016 - 14:57

    Our provincial government is a pot of deceit and corruption. We're looking at $950,000 here...what about all the PNP funding??? Look at the millions that was 'given away'. It's time for this so called government to come clean. I feel like we're being governed by the mafia.

  • John
    March 16, 2016 - 12:26

    What is happening in the world. Here we have almost a million dollars of taxpayers money given out, and nobody in the public has even one comment to make. Have we become so used to this kind of deceit that we don't even raise a hand in objection to this. Pretty sad really. No wonder people clammer to become politicians, the public have become so complacent they can do what ever they wanted. Ghiz banked on that, and he was right. We have become stupid zombies.

  • KP
    March 16, 2016 - 11:38

    Reserves are federal. Internet e-gaming outside of provincial lines is an indictable offence under the Criminal Code of Canada. The province cannot tax - and could never tax - any loophole by an Aboriginal group, via constitutional Aboriginal rights nor via a claim of sovereignty -- like Kahnawake. Kahnawake seceded from Canada twenty years ago. There is a Memorandum of Understanding negotiated between the two states. They pay for their own hospital, police, schools, and civil services. After twenty years of such an arrangement, they pushed into e-gaming (allegedly with the Montreal mob). The RCMP was contacted; but, due to the long standing fully functioning sovereignty, it was determined that it was 'gray' that the Criminal Code of Canada applied to Kahnawake as an independent state. Sovereignty is "not" abstract or notional. Kahnawake claimed it and then negotiated over decades with the federal government. Again, reserves are federal. The Criminal Code of Canada is ... federal. Plainly, the federal government has jurisdiction, and not the province, and that is lay knowledge. There is also zero legal opportunity for provincial revenue, either regarding the yields of Aboriginal rights (like fishing) nor certainly regarding the income of a separate, sovereign state. The only potential beneficiaries were the internet server company and the Mi'kmaq Confederacy. And the superintendent of securities - upon a tip by Yousef Hashmi - fined the server company for an infraction ... and then sealed the names of all of the investors despite there being a statutory presumption in favour of public disclosure even in private corporate matters. /

  • Donnie
    March 16, 2016 - 08:41

    Is the opposition in on this whole thing or what? Wasn't this asked for 2 years ago? Is the Liberal party just playing games? Where is the transparency in this government? I can't believe PEI politics. It is a real joke and we don't deserve to be called a province if this is what our government and opposition parties are.

  • martin
    March 16, 2016 - 08:15

    James and Mike don't stop until they come clean . oh by the way , where does the leader of the Green party stand on this issue?