A P.E.I. business owner is coming to the defence of her company's use of immigrant investment money through the Provincial Nominee Program, and of the program itself.


Cavendish Figurines was able to expand with the help of the Immigrant Partner program of the Provincial Nominee Program, says Jeanette Arsenault. (CBC)

Earlier this week the province released the list of more than 1,300 companies that received money through the immigrant partner program, complying with a court order in a case initiated by the CBC.

The government had argued negative publicity around PNP involving allegations of political patronage would harm the companies involved.

Jeanette Arsenault, co-owner of Cavendish Figurines, applied for immigrant investor money in 2003 to help pay for an expansion. She said her company followed all the rules.

At first she did not like the idea of the names being be publicly released, but she now sees no reason why they should be withheld.

"It is like with any program. It is a great program but there is always a few that abuse it," said Arsenault.

"Because of those few bad eggs it kind of puts a damper on the program. But the program was great. It helped us when we needed the help."

Arsenault said she was surprised by the number of companies that did take advantage of the program.

Opposition Leader Olive Crane has continually questioned the PNP program, and just who received units. The Liberal government believes that fueled suspicion around PNP.

Citizenship and Immigration shut the old PNP program down in 2008 over what it called P.E.I.'s mismanagement of it.