DME: Fairness and Openness needed

   It is disturbing to see Diversified Metal Engineering be put into receivership.  At this stage it is unclear what has caused this and what is happening to handle the situation.

   DME has appeared to be a poster industry for Prince Edward Island: innovative, light manufacturing with a small carbon footprint; a smartly chosen niche market, with a reach which literally goes around the world.  It has been a real success, and an important strand in our Island’s economic development.  This enterprise should have a healthy future.

   Disturbing as it is that the company should stumble, our stronger concern now is for the 140 employees and for other workers who may be affected by connection with DME.

   Our hope, naturally, is that the business can be given fresh life so that people can get back to work quickly.  But through whatever legal and commercial intricacies there may be in the process of receivership, we want to see workers treated with fairness and dignity — in recognition of their contribution of skills, energies and loyalty to making the company grow as a source of wealth for the owners and for the province.

   Let us ensure that it is the workers who are first in consideration as settlement arrangements get made.  As we’ve seen when other corporations have failed and cut their losses, it is the workers who are often most vulnerable.

  In this case, though, we see that the public purse is also vulnerable.  It is sensible that the Province consider how to aid the business, which is an asset for PEI.  Our point is that this should not happen behind closed doors.  This is a matter of the employees’ interest, but also of the public interest.  Let us work quickly to see DME sustained, and do so in a responsibly transparent way.

Here on PEI, Joe has worked on numerous social programs in rural communities. He has done field work on issues faced by university and college students, has been Director of Youth Ministry, and has also coordinated pastoral planning for the diocese. He remains active in the Latin American Mission Program, and is President of the Cooper Institute, a grass-roots collective for community development. He also counts among his volunteer and community work Charlottetown Abbies soccer, church Youth and Music ministries, Voluntary Resource Council, Peace Vigil Group, Atlantic Council for International Cooperation, Canada World Youth, and Katimavik hosting. He keeps up his interaction with young people as a part-time instructor for the Abegweit Driving School. All of this, he does in addition to his work in the NDP. His vast array of church and community experiences have helped him cultivate his skills in communication, organization, and consensus building, and also brought him the joy of forming hundreds of friendships.

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