Provincial governments to blame for P.E.I.'s reliance on EI

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Editor,

Has our premier been inhaling too much smoke from the barbeque circuit this summer? His statements indicate he has.

He cried "Wolf", lamenting the devastating effects EI reforms would have, then pulled in his horns indicating they were not so severe after all.

A released report stated the Atlantic provinces were too reliant on EI. Why? Thank all P.E.I. governments. They hire party faithful (patronage), gave them mediocre jobs, pay them well above minimum wage, ensure they get their stamps, then wipe their hands clean and put them on EI at the expense of all Canadian taxpayers.

One wonders where the statement "I'll not take that low paying job as it will ruin my stamps" comes from, and why so many foreign temporary workers are required. Thank all of your elected provincial governments, past and present.

Our astute leader then stated that deputy ministers were underpaid and required a substantial raise - possibly $50,000. He brilliantly deduced this by checking salaries of off-Island deputies.

Deputy ministers in P.E.I. presently make between $122,000 and $148,000 per year, get two years' pension for each year worked at no personal cost (taxpayers foot the bill), and receive a $750-monthly subsidy for the cost of a vehicle.

Our premier reasoned we were not attracting the best people. All deputy ministers are appointed by the premier (patronage) so why is he suggesting weakness? Perhaps job applications and interviews by independent groups would find better candidates.

These patronage appointees have us $3 billion in debt and still no one is held accountable.

As the barbeque season winds down and with the possible approach of a breath of fresh air, one hopes our premier will try to think more rationally and intelligently correct abuses created by present and past governments, instead of always attempting to buy his way out of trouble.

Gary A.O. MacKay

Birch Hill, P.E.I.

Geographic location: P.E.I., Iceland

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