PEI

Voices still missing from P.E.I. growth and recovery committee, says Opposition

Premier Dennis King has added three new members to the Council for Recovery and Growth, but the Official Opposition says there are critical voices still absent.

'In this business, you have to admit sometimes you don't get it right all the time'

Opposition MLA Lynne Lund questions Premier Dennis King about how he went about selecting members of the Council for Recovery and Growth. (P.E.I. Legislative Assembley)

Premier Dennis King has added three new members to the Council for Recovery and Growth, but the Official Opposition says there are critical voices still absent.

During Wednesday's sitting of the legislature, King announced that Michele Oliver with Holland College, Adam Binkley of the Boys and Girls Club of Summerside and Moyna Matheson with Samuel's Coffee House would be added to the council.

Binkley and Matheson are from Summerside, while Oliver is from Tignish. 

King added that other sector leaders would be invited to join the committee.

"In the interest of undertaking a broad and innovative effort to tackle the huge issues facing Islanders today and tomorrow, it was important to bring together a broad group. But that can always be improved," King said.

"In this business, you have to admit sometimes you don't get it right all the time."

Groups still left out

But the premier would have to answer questions from Summerside-Wilmot MLA Lynne Lund about those still left out.

Lund said the premier failed to include important groups like Community Sector Network of P.E.I., the Advisory Council on the Status of Women and the Early Childhood Development Association of P.E.I.

I do think this is one of the issues where we don't need to be overly concerned about our geography.— Premier Dennis King

Even with the new additions, Lund also said the council still included too few representatives from western P.E.I. 

"What criteria did you use when deciding whose advice you wanted on this new economic recovery council, and whose advice we could do without?" she asked.

'Opportunity to take the very best'

In response, King said the council was "an opportunity to take the very best of the brightest minds of Prince Edward Island."

"I do think this is one of the issues where we don't need to be overly concerned about our geography," he said. 

"I think the issues that are important to West Prince are important to East Kings and so on and every place in between," he said.

But King added he doesn't want to exclude any voices in the process.

"I think we could all go through our own networks of constituents ... to generate ideas and to come up with what we say are the bold aspirations that we should aspire to try to meet."

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