Governing is complicated and involves difficult decisions every day on such things as spending priorities. Meeting unlimited needs with limited resources requires that hard choices be made, but the recent revelations regarding $5 million left unspent by the department of community services and seniors at a time when one in five Island children is food insecure, is inexplicably shameful.
"This situation reveals many distasteful things about our current administration," said Peter Bevan-Baker, leader of the Green Party of PEI. "It shows how uncoordinated and dysfunctional intergovernmental communication is, it demonstrates a very warped sense of priorities of the government as a whole, and it reveals just how ineffective Valerie Docherty has been in managing of her portfolio.”
“Not only does this unspent money mean that the neediest and most vulnerable Islanders - many of them children - will have suffered needlessly, it will have had a long-term negative impact on things like health and well-being, causing further government expenditures in the future."
The Green Party notes that a similar amount of money is at jeopardy due to the Minister of finance's decision to invest in gambling businesses.
"If we needed a clear example of how the Liberals have lost their way, it is right here. They have quite literally gambled the welfare of PEI's poorest children away. PEI must adopt a co-ordinated approach to alleviate poverty, and make this of utmost importance for the good of the Islanders involved and also for the long-term economic and social well-being of the entire province," continued Bevan-Baker.
The Green Party observes that there seems to be an all out assault on the poor; HST applied to the basic necessities; clothing, boots, electricity; a Basic Personal exemption that is the lowest in Canada and hasn't increased since the Liberals have been in power, and a Minister who seems unable to stand up for her department.
"Every volunteer on the Island who has donated, collected or harvested food to try and help Island parents feed their children, every person who has knit or purchased hats, mitts and socks to warm the homeless, everyone who has cleaned and donated coats to keep out the cold or been to a benefit or a fundraiser should be just furious with this Minister,” concluded Bevan-Baker.