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UPDATE: MacLauchlan says he stepped down in 2014 from company that received home care contract

Premier Wade MacLauchlan gets ready for yesterday’s proceedings of the legislative assembly ahead of the oppositions questions about his connections to a company that received a contract to provide home care in P.E.I.
Premier Wade MacLauchlan gets ready for yesterday’s proceedings of the legislative assembly ahead of the oppositions questions about his connections to a company that received a contract to provide home care in P.E.I. - Maureen Coulter

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Premier Wade MacLauchlan’s connection to a company that was awarded a contract for home care was one of the issues raised during the first question of the spring sitting.

Georgetown-St. Peters MLA Steven Myers questioned MacLauchlan about how long he was a director of Medavie Inc.

MacLauchlan responded he served as a director of Island EMS for six or seven years and resigned from its board as well as chair of the Medavie Health Foundation when he entered public life.

It’s part of the responsibility and the price people pay for participating in public life, MacLauchlan said.

“I’m very happy to do that and that was where my relationship with Medavie ended.”

In February, the province announced two rapid bridging programs and a seniors check-in program with federal funding going to Medavie Health Services for paramedics to take on a greater role in home care.

Rapid bridging is meant to fill gaps that can happen when patients are discharged from hospital but still need professional medical support.

Medavie Health Services owns Island EMS.

As Myers continued his questions, he said former premier Robert Ghiz joined the Medavie board of directors in 2016.

“Did Medavie’s close business ties with you and Robert Ghiz help or hurt Medavie score an untendered contract for a multi-million dollars worth of home care work on Prince Edward Island?” Myers asked.

MacLauchlan responded that he ended his business relationship with Medavie in 2014.

“Further, I played no part in the determination of this contract,” he said.

Along with MacLauchlan’s history with the company, opposition MLAs focused on various parts of the home care plan throughout question period.

That included the suggestion the government violated procurement rules by giving an untendered contract to Medavie.

It’s an allegation the government denied, with a spokeswoman saying the $495,490 contract didn’t require a request for proposals because Treasury Board procedures allow for selection that doesn’t incur loss of continuity, time or economy.

Work has started to soon post three nursing positions and once they are filled the programs can be rolled out, the spokeswoman said in a statement.

The contract expires March 31, 2019.

After question period, Opposition Leader James Aylward spoke to the media and said the government should show Islanders the contract with Medavie.

“What’s the secrecy?”

Aylward said MLAs need to remember the contract involves taxpayers’ money.

“Taxpayers have a right to know how their money is spent,” he said.

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