Further to the suggestion in your Nov. 28 editorial that I am criticizing the provincial Liberals on the outmigration issue out of a spirit of political expediency, I, in fact, have agreed with Innovation Minister Roach that employment insurance changes are contributing to population loss.
It was Minister Roach who made the first public statement on the issue. He stated that EI reform was the sole cause of the significant net loss of almost 1,100 people to other provinces last year. In so doing, the Innovation minister was negligent in his ministerial responsibility to do careful analysis for the purposes of establishing good job creation policies.
I called him on that narrow interpretation. The minister is not taking responsibility for weak and failed economic policies. Nor is he in any way acknowledging the current impacts of HST, increased small business taxation, and much higher fees on almost every government service introduced in the last budget. I suggest that because of these negative policies we have not yet seen the worst of population loss in this province.
P.E.I. has the lowest wages, the highest unemployment, and the worst standard of living in Canada. Meanwhile Minister Roach pretends the Ghiz government is competent in financial and economic management, which is clearly not the case.
We do not have enough good paying jobs on P.E.I. The cost of living is going up. People are leaving.
Minister Roach does not have a clue which Islanders are leaving in terms of age groups, skill levels or family size because he is not doing proper analysis. Instead of doing his job, he is blaming everybody else except himself.
I will leave it to the people of Prince Edward Island to judge who is being politically expedient in this debate.
Leader NDP P.E.I.