Full details of all future loan write-offs and cancelled debts from crown corporations in P.E.I. will be soon be available to the public to allow for greater transparency.
Government tabled legislation Wednesday that changes wording within the Financial Administration Act to enshrine into law that all loans or debts written-off by any agency of government will have to be approved through cabinet.
This will create an order-in-council document, which are regularly posted on the province’s website.
This will allow details, such as the debtor’s name, the amount being cancelled and other relevant information, to be available for the public to view.
Finance Minister Allen Roach said these changes are happening as a result of concerns flagged by the auditor general in her 2015 annual report.
“Before, we had varying recommendations and opinions from lawyers, and this certainly clarifies that,” Roach said.
“We simply had to go in, on the recommendation of the auditor general, and change really a very small piece of the Financial Administration Act to allow this to happen. And that bodes well for what our premier has been saying that his government is going to be open and transparent.”
Auditor General Jane MacAdam found crown corporations have been cancelling and writing off millions of dollars every year without public scrutiny.
Up until 2005, all debts written-off or cancelled by Crown corporations were fully disclosed in executive council orders, which are published and available to the public.
Sharon MacNeill went through a series of emotions when she learned she is dying of cancer.
One that stuck with her for a long time was denial.
MacNeill was told in 2013 she had less than two years to live.
She believes the only reason why she is here today is because of the targeted therapy she received, which was funded through private health care.
MacNeill, of Lot 16, is on Perjeta and Herceptin, which are two stage four metastatic cancer drugs.
Perjeta was just added to the provincial formulary in April.
She says these two medications work well together in blocking the cancer cells and help give people a little more time.
There is no cure for this diagnosis.
“I’m doing well,” said MacNeill. “I’m very lucky I have drugs that are very specific to my pathology.”
A recent study by the Canadian Breast Cancer Network shows P.E.I. has the worst access to stage four cancer drugs in the 10 Canadian provinces.
A metastatic patient in Prince Edward Island only has access to one of the four recommended drugs by the pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review.
New Brunswick covers three of the drugs, Afinitor, Perjeta and Kadcyla, while Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador cover all four.
Judy Donovan Whitty, who is on the Canadian Breast Cancer Network board representing P.E.I., said it is unethical to have these inequities across the provinces.
“It’s devastating to families and the patient to know that there is a drug out there that is…