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Opposition accuses P.E.I. government of allowing DME to 'crumble'

Economic Development Minister Chris Palmer is shown prior to Tuesday's question period. Palmer fielded a number of questions about the closure of Diversified Metal Engineering.
Economic Development Minister Chris Palmer is shown prior to Tuesday's question period. Palmer fielded a number of questions about the closure of Diversified Metal Engineering. - Mitch MacDonald

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - The closure of a large P.E.I. employer dominated the first half of question period Tuesday.

PC MLA Steven Myers criticized the provincial government for not doing enough to help Diversified Metal Engineering (DME) stay afloat.

Steven Myers
Steven Myers

It was announced Monday that DME is under receivership and that 140 Island jobs would be affected.

Myers criticized Economic Development Minister Chris Palmer for not offering assistance to keep the company afloat once he learned of the possible closure.

“We just watched a local grown company crumble into the ground and he didn’t even lift a single finger,” said Myers.

Palmer said the province only became aware of the situation over the weekend and also accused Myers of making a “political show” of the issue.

“This is a difficult situation for the workers and we’re here to help them,” said Palmer.

Green MLA Hannah Bell also noted that, on a per capita basis, the economic impact of DME’s closure on P.E.I. is about seven times that of Monday’s announcement of the GM plant closure in Oshawa for Ontario.

Palmer said the announcement was still in its “early day” and the province is working with the receiver to “get an understanding of what the impacts would be.”

Palmer also said the province was contacting other employers to help affected workers find another position. He also said the province was open to assisting another company with an acquisition of DME.

Related: Diversified Metal Engineering under receivership in P.E.I., affecting 140 workers

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