FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Charlottetown, PE – (April 8, 2015) – NDP PEI Leader Mike Redmond announced today that a new, independent PEI Fiscal Accountability Office will prevent big money scandals like PNP and E-Gambling and end the manipulation of Islanders in regard to budgets and public finances.
“The innovation of a PEI Fiscal Accountability Office is a very positive and exciting change in the governance of public affairs in Prince Edward Island,” stated Redmond.
The PEI Fiscal Accountability Office will have three major functions.
- Forecast impacts of government programs and expenditures independently of what government says these impacts will be.
- Predict impacts of government budgets and major initiatives on the Prince Edward Island economy.
- Produce annual reports on the overall impact of government policy on Prince Edward Island society using the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI).
“It is time to prevent scandals, scams and messes around spending, use of government revenues, contracts, loans and other areas. It is time to stop the PNPs and the E-Gambling misadventures BEFORE they start. It is time to stop the manipulation of the public by government in regard to our public finances. The people of Prince Edward Island have the right to know what is going on with public finances and the PEI Fiscal Accountability Office will play a major role in communicating with the public about our own finances,” added the NDP Leader.
In his presentation, Redmond linked the announcement of the new PEI Fiscal Accountability Office and the NDP announcement of the Cleaning up Government Operations Judicial Inquiry initiative from March 2nd. The NDP Leader further stressed independence from the ruling government powers as the key feature differentiating NDP proposals on handling corruption and abuse from those of the Liberal and PC parties.
“It is this point about independence that is crucial in understanding the difference between the NDP approach to accountability and everything said in the last few weeks by the Liberals and the PCs. For the two old mainstream political parties, it is still about politicians policing politicians,” Redmond continued.
The PEI Fiscal Accountability Office is modeled on the Parliamentary Budget Office in Ottawa, and to some extent on the new Financial Accountability Office in Ontario. But the PEI Model is differentiated by the innovation of the citizens’ assembly in creating and managing the new accountability structure.
“A citizens’ assembly of Prince Edward Islanders will finalize the specifics of the structure, hire the first PEI Fiscal Accountability Officer, and renew contracts as time goes on. Politicians will not do these things. Private citizens will,” the NDP Leader explained.
Redmond concluded his presentation by stating it was great the debate over corruption and abuse is finally happening in PEI politics.
“Yes there is no longer a debate on the existence of corruption. It is a given. What we are now debating is the way to get rid of it. And the NDP has the two best possible solutions. A judicial inquiry…with teeth… to clean up the past. And a new PEI Fiscal Accountability Office to carry us into the future,” concluded Redmond.
Leader, NDP PEI