Island Morning political panel talks e-gaming
Finance Minister Allan Roach recently told Dennis King of Island Morning's political panel that he was enjoying a quiet fall session of the P.E.I. Legislature. What a difference a week makes.
Roach's refusal to answer questions on financing of the province's failed attempt to get into e-gaming was the main topic of conversation on Friday's edition of the Island Morning political panel.
"There's so many questions that Islanders have that need to be answered," King, a consultant and PC Party member, said Friday. "During the election and the lead-up to it, they were promised answers, and that business was going to be done differently.
"I think it is easy to look right now and say that those words were spoken and the actions haven't followed.".
The Liberals have brushed aside questions on e-gaming, saying the province is in court right now answering a lawsuit on the plan and the file is also being examined by the auditor general.
"I don't think in the election that they promised to give answers," Eastern and West Prince Graphics publisher Paul MacNeill responded. "I think they promised to deal with it in some way that would take it off the table.
"Al Roach as a bit of Teflon personality ... He doesn't say anything regardless of what the question is."
MacNeill went on to say the MacLauchlan government does have the luxury of saying it was the previous Liberal government, with a long-gone leader and finance minister, who came up with the e-gaming plan.
Islanders 'deserve' an answer
Charlottetown lawyer and Liberal Party member Mary Lynn Kane defended the finance minister.
"For him to be speaking or answering any questions in the House might look like he is trying to influence what the outcome of what those, those processes are," she said.
"So he's quite appropriate in not answering questions at this point."
Guest panelist Lynne Lund, who ran for the Green Party in the recent federal election, said dragging the issue out does not help Islanders.
"The sooner this comes out for people and we know what we are dealing with, the better off it is going to be for this government," said Lund.
"Islanders rightly deserve to know an answer, so the sooner we get to that the better."
King agreed, saying the longer Islanders wait the more it will hurt the current government.
"There's a whole bunch of theories and people commenting on things that happened," he said. "No one knows if they happened but they are easy to believe because no one has told anything different."
Kane told the panel everyone needs to stand down until the review is over.