FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Charlottetown, PE (April 24, 2014) – NDP Leader Mike Redmond was shocked to hear Community Services Minister Valerie Docherty admit on CBC radio yesterday that her department did not do a Prince Edward Island based food costing study.
“Minister Docherty let two million dollars go unspent in her budget without using some of it to find out what Island families have to pay in order to have adequate, nutritious food. That is truly disturbing,” stated Redmond.
Media reports in November indicated that Minister Docherty had an internal departmental working group looking at information from other jurisdictions. It was also reported at that time that the Ghiz government had refused to fund a cost analysis that UPEI professor Dr. Jennifer Taylor had been advocating for the previous four years.
“After all the time Minister Docherty had to work on this problem the best she can do is use data from other provinces. That is irresponsible,” added the NDP Leader.
The recent provincial government budget cut the social assistance program by over $1.8 million for 2014-2015. “This Minister went into the budget cycle without knowing what Islanders needed to help feed their families. She has failed thousands of Island children and still does not know what she is talking about in terms of real food costs for Islanders,” concluded Redmond.
Leader, NDP PEI