P.E.I. Premier Robert Ghiz says he did not overstep his authority in his surprise announcement naming Heather Moyse to the Order of P.E.I.
Ghiz announced Moyse would receive the Order at her welcome home party after her return from the Olympics in Sochi with a second gold medal. He was criticized for overstepping his authority when he announced the award. The premier is not allowed to select who receives the Order.
"A misunderstanding, plain and simple," he said.
"There's some people out there that thought, Robert Ghiz bypassed the committee and gave her the medal that evening. I didn't do that. They thought that I chose her to get the medal. I didn't do that."
Ghiz said he consulted with the committee but due to limitations in the legislation the award could not be given to Moyse immediately. The current rules say only three awards can be given out each year.
A bill to change that completed debate in the legislature Thursday evening. It will lift the current limitation which allows only three recipients to be named in a given year. It would also allow recipients to be named at any point throughout the year.
The changes will still not give the premier or cabinet the power to select who receives the Order of P.E.I, but the premier must approve anyone put forward.
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