Wade MacLauchlan on hot seat for three weeks

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 Premier Wade MacLauchlan. Guardian photo by Brian McInnis

Premier Wade MacLauchlan continues to make reforms on how the P.E.I. government operates, first with wider conflict of interest guidelines and this week with stringent expense claim forms. Expenses will be posted online each month for public scrutiny, which has earned the praise of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. Also this week, he moved to revamp his staff on the fifth floor of the Shaw Building, saying goodbye to Ian (Tex) MacDonald and Allan Campbell. Several days earlier, he appointed a new conflict of interest commissioner.

Friday, he announced the release of Auditor-General Jane MacAdam’s report for Monday, March 16. The report is usually withheld until the opening day of the spring sitting of the legislature in early April, but with an election pending that month, the report might not get released until late May. It was a pre-emptive strike by the premier to release the AG report ahead of schedule to blunt Opposition suggestions the government is trying to be secretive or hide something.

He had earlier referred the e-gaming file to the AG for a full review and recommendations. That report isn’t expected for several months.

In between, he had to fend off a call for judicial inquiry into e-gaming and its suspected connections in PNP, and a demand for an emergency recall of the legislature on the conflict of interest commissioner issue.

Yes, it has been a tumultuous three weeks in office for the new premier who certainly had a rude welcome to the bruising battle of P.E.I. politics since being sworn in Feb. 23.

These decisions are attempts by the premier to regain control of the political agenda which came close to derailing following the explosive Globe and Mail story in late February on the failed attempt to bring e-gaming to the province. All Opposition parties used that story and various spin-offs to score damaging political points at the expense of the Liberals.

The overdue reforms are not the fault of this premier, but he is taking criticism for the sins and omissions of previous premiers and governments who let things operate much too loosely.

With a stubborn series of crises seemingly abating, all parties will get down to wrapping up a blitz of nomination conventions for the real battle of a pending provincial election campaign. Time is rapidly running out for all parties, with an election call expected at any time.

Talking points ring true

No government or political party is going to criticize the contents of a manifesto unveiled this week by the Vision Initiative. The 17 guiding principles endorse some broad idealistic strokes toward a non-partisan vision for the province - although not warmly endorsed by columnist Alan Holman. Group spokesman David Weale said the idea is to promote a more creative public discourse about what is possible for the future of the province.  

A number of talking points ring true for most Islanders, such as clean water and air etc. But a number of others hint at corruption, patronage and integrity concerns. They seem to suggest the current or recent administrations are taking the province on a hazardous course. The new group is intent on reversing that course although it stresses it doesn’t support any party and did not take form to affect the outcome of the pending election.

Governments have always benefitted from citizens and groups with lofty ideals and principles to help steer it with a sound, moral compass. We all need a regular reaffirmation - like going to church on Sundays because we all lapse and we all sin - to get back in the right direction.

Organizations: Shaw Building, Globe and Mail

Geographic location: P.E.I., PNP

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Recent comments

  • Head Spin
    March 17, 2015 - 07:06

    Nothing is ever going to change on PEI until the people change. It has nothing to do with who's running, or who's in office, or what party, or what gender. If people keep voting the way they always have they will keep getting the same old results.

  • tom clark
    March 16, 2015 - 08:29

    Artfull dodger, about explains how Wade has governed so far. Time for a change in PEI, a real change.

  • Dinky Dalton
    March 16, 2015 - 07:38

    Wade is trying too hard to sweep all the Ghiz vomit under the rug but it won't work because there'll always be a stench emanating from beyond. Instead of protecting all his party friends, he should be ridding himself of all the baggage...then Islanders would take him serious. You can't make chicken soup out of chicken droppings.

  • What a load of crap
    March 15, 2015 - 22:12

    Holey crap.... This is journalism? I could get greater facts from the local corner store tabloids. This story is beyond.... I notice that T Wright who writes facts, wouldn't associate her name to this sensationalism.... Next up on a slow news day will be an in depth fact finding mission to Area 51, written and hosted by Winston Churchill and Lady Gaga , who will be dressed by Winston Churchill.... awesome reporting, The Guardian... This story is now viewing for the West Kent sensationalist "Report of the Day". Sheesh... What aload of crap....

  • pei voter
    March 15, 2015 - 21:51

    Time for all of you to leave wade alone he is starting to so show that he is in charge. The start is here good job with the firing of MR IAN TEX MACDONALD but wade please dont stop there one down many to follow.Wade keep up the good work getting rid of the big heads with all the promises you will be the winner at the polls in the next election.

    • mc
      March 16, 2015 - 09:41

      Ahhhh, is Wade getting his feeling hurt :'( He's not a use to have people say hurtful thing to him?? boo boo hoo...

  • so sad
    March 15, 2015 - 15:11

    Who wrote this. It was a pre-emptive strike by the premier to release the AG report ahead of schedule to blunt Opposition suggestions the government is trying to be secretive or hide something. I thought the premier was blindsided by the speaker of the house.

  • Voter
    March 15, 2015 - 15:09

    Hidden transactions, fake companies, PNP, eGaming, 22 million to Rodds, appointments, patronage, arrogance, mismanagement of funds, paying out large fees to party favors and family, and the largest deficit in Island history. How can Islanders possibly support another Liberal government? I didn't think it was possible the last election but somehow it was.

    • sentance
      March 15, 2015 - 18:53

      Not to argue the rest of your points but I have a thing about facts. The largest deficit in PEI history was in 2003-04. If you meant the largest debt, you could say that about every government every year but perhaps two or three for the past 25 years

  • To Mike
    March 15, 2015 - 14:50

    Blindly following a party will never allow you to grow and expand as a human being. It's childish. Lantz and Redmond have very good qualities and they make some very valid points. Trashing others is a selfish way of saying absolutely nothing. I suggest you grow up, consider all the parties involved and then make in informed decision instead of voting the way your daddy did.

  • Al
    March 15, 2015 - 14:41

    We are all ready to volt liberal now ,bring on the election.we believe everything wade is telling us

  • Bill Kays
    Bill Kays
    March 15, 2015 - 14:17

    If we cannot tell ourselves the truth, corrective choices are not possible. If government REFUSES to tell the people the truth, government should be thrown out. ACCOUNTABILITY.

  • mike
    March 15, 2015 - 05:11

    For a guy who has been only on the job for a few weeks he has been doing an amazing job. He has basically silenced the Tories and even ankle biter Mike Redmond seems have gone silent. I can't wait to see him up against Lantz and Redmond in a debate it should be quite a show and we will see Lantz and Redmond leaving with their tails between their legs.

    • Really??
      March 15, 2015 - 11:20

      It will not be as bad as Justine Trudeau trying to read a piece of paper when Harper and Mulclair finish him off in National tv debates!

    • Clown
      March 15, 2015 - 13:00

      Ankle biter. Pretty obvious you are nothing more than a liberal troll who would vote for the party no matter who was running. Typical low information Islander that is a product of the failed school system.

    • Observer
      March 15, 2015 - 14:07

      It is just very probable, that this esteemed PEI academic; just may follow in the exact same footsteps as another esteemed academic and Harvard graduate-- Michael Ignatieff, remember him!!!!

    • Amazing degree of deflection will lead to his downfall
      March 15, 2015 - 17:23

      an amazing job???what dodging controversies,changing his mind on calling the AG in,advising the public accounts committee to refuse the request from the opposition for a review of the gambling file....he went from "optimist leader" to the "Artfull dodger"....avoiding debates on the gambling fiasco, and retaining staff from the old Ghiz regime in positions of power..yes it is an amazing in YOUR eyes........but those of us who are dealing with the realities of life on this island don't agree.....

    • mike
      March 16, 2015 - 06:13

      Anyone who reads knows Mike Redmond is basically an ankle biter who just says anything to get his name and face in the media. The comments ideas Redmond has been coming up with are an embarrassment to the NDP who has had some very credible leaders in PEI. Dr. Herb Dickieson, Jim Mayne, Larry Duchesne, all credible leaders who done much to advance the party and make it a credible alternative. So really while MacLaughlan has done a lot for the province in his short reign so far the NDP really has no one to blame but themselves for not having better ideas or people proposing them.

    • Anyone
      March 16, 2015 - 17:07

      Anyone who reads your drivel knows you are a pathetic liberal troll who should not be allowed to vote little mikey. Failures like you are the problem with PEI. You have accomplished NOTHING and you try to tear down those who have.

  • bert
    March 14, 2015 - 21:27

    Poor old Wade, just like, just like Robert trying to change the tire with no wrench. Same old same old. Still has Spenser, Tim Billy and boys behind him, when is Brooke going , pretty soon.

  • long
    March 14, 2015 - 19:10

    We have long memories and the new premier is has doing nothing to make us think he's nothing like the one that just high tailed it out of town!

  • Jimmy
    March 14, 2015 - 16:45

    "The overdue reforms are not the fault of this premier, but he is taking criticism for the sins and omissions of previous premiers and governments who let things operate much too loosely." - - - - - - - - - - It's the same party.

  • Ramsay
    March 14, 2015 - 16:42

    Amazing that people still can only see LIBEERAL or TORY after the rotten way both parties have treated the taxpayers . But no, - it is either one of two evils. How about teaching both A lesson and voting NDP or green, --- your grandfather will NOT turn over in their graves, they will applaud you for finally having the ball.

    • Not
      March 14, 2015 - 20:12

      That makes me laugh Ramsay. You give Islanders FAR too much credit for intelligence.

    March 14, 2015 - 15:51

    I would say Wade MacLauchlan is doing an exemplary job so far . Good riddance Tex , now if we could get rid of the lawyers that were too close to Ghiz (Good grief ... some of these lawyers were also tight with Binns ! ) who were feathering their own nest . This man is PEIs last hope , God help us if we revert back to the Tory days ...all the same faces in the Tory backroom , there is no hiding that !!!

  • who wrote this??
    March 14, 2015 - 09:54

    From the sound of this editorial its all the PC fault! When is this government going to take ownership of their mistakes and stop blame everyone else!! You did wrong own up to it !

  • Greg
    March 14, 2015 - 08:07

    HE DID NOT SAY GOOD-BY TO ALAN CAMPBELL, - HE SAID: He will be working temporarily on a 'special project'. READ: Until we can we quietly can slip him into an other trough job, without the taxpayers noticing it. The Guardian should make an effort not to mislead the public.

  • Harold
    March 14, 2015 - 07:39

    You failed to mention that the population was out-raged, the opposition parties did not merely score political points, they echoed the the disgust Islanders felt of such blatant corruption, and still do until McLauchlan show the gory details. Putting such off until after the election are likely to cost him the election, if I read the situation right.