Ghiz and Crane debate PNP scandal

crane

Opposition leader Olive Crane, answering questions for the media. Conway photo.

 

    Action can not be taken against two former deputies who accessed money under the PNP program under the Conservatives but one of his own deputies will be punished, said Premier Robert Ghiz after Question Period April 2.

     The Provincial Nominee Program was put in place to increase the number immigrants coming into the province and stimulate economic growth.

      Brooke MacMillan, deputy minister of Innovation and Advanced Learning, and two other deputies under the Conservatives, accessed this program and put money into businesses they had investments in.

       Ghiz said when it came to the MLAs who were involved, they acted in good faith and because of them, the legislature is going to create stronger guidelines for the program.

       “We were assured that they acted in good faith, they want us now to look at the guidelines and that is what we are going to do.”

       MacMillan was asked to give the money back and that is what he did, Ghiz said.

       However, money accessed by two deputies was given during the time the Conservatives held government had not been given back.

       “It is not my juristiction.”

        The party is working on strengthening the rules when it comes to deputy ministers and conflict of interest, he said.

      “In fact, when the original investigation took place, into an actual conflict of interest, I went to our executive council and ask him to start working on new guidelines when it comes to conflict of interest and deputy ministers.”

      Ghiz said he called MacMillan the previous night and informed him about the auditor general’s assumption that there is a conflict of interest regarding the funds which MacMillan received because he was a deputy minister.

      “I said it would be reasonable and fair if you returned or reverse the transaction and he said that is what he would do.”

       Opposition leader Olive Crane said MacMillan should resign from his position as a deputy minister.

        “I would also take it step further. Yesterday when I found out about the two previous deputies who had done this, I had started an inquiry to look into the matter and Premier Ghiz should do the same.”

       When asked about whether or not the two deputy ministers who had invested with PNP money under her administration should return the money they had taken, she said there are questions about MacMillan’s investments that have to be answered first.

        “How many units did MacMillan give himself? How many units did Brooke MacMillian refuse to give other people? How units did Mr. MacMillian give to other companies?”

         “There was no paper trail, there is a select crew making decisions and again there needs to be a public inquiry and the inquiry should make the decision of what happens to those involved.”

         “We need to hold a public inquiry, that way everyone will be treated equally.”       

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