© Guardian photo
Community Services and Seniors Minister Valerie Docherty
Editor: Your May 1 editorial criticizing ALERT for cancelling a recent meeting with Community Services Minister Valerie Docherty is wrong.
The Guardian is missing two key points. First, due to financial pressures including the imposition of the HST and fee increases in the provincial budget one year ago, many more Island families are finding it much more difficult to make ends meet. Secondly, Minister Docherty must be fired because she has failed to recognize this trend and move effectively to help thousands more Islanders who find themselves in need today.
Last year Minister Docherty let $2.3 million slip through her fingers, and this year she let Wes Sheridan take almost $2 million from her budget. Even with resources at her disposal, her ministry did not conduct a P.E.I.-based food cost study. Last year, a report from the University of Toronto determined 27 per cent of Island children live in homes where adequate, nutritious food is unaffordable. Not having done her homework, Minister Docherty has no idea how many needy children she is failing to help.
Gas prices and electricity costs are soaring because of the HST. With the weakest rebates in the country people are getting hit hard. With her useless social action plan, Minister Docherty was nowhere to help Islanders when the poorly planned HST was established. And she was still missing in action for the last budget. Instead of fighting for resources to help people, she gave up $4 million.
ALERT is expressing a crisis of confidence in Minister Docherty. The Guardian is wrong to defend her. For the good of Islanders in need, she should be replaced.
Leader, P.E.I. NDP