Liberals shield firms receiving immigrant investment
Last Updated: Friday, October 23, 2009 | 9:10 AM AT
P.E.I.'s governing Liberals used their majority on the public accounts committee Thursday to block the release of the names of some companies that received immigrant investment.
Olive Crane said the issues surrounding PNP need to be settled.Olive Crane said the issues surrounding PNP need to be settled. (CBC)
Opposition leader Olive Crane was looking for the names of three companies that in 2007-08 received more than was allowed under the rules of the provincial nominee program, which administered investment money from people looking to immigrate to Canada.
Up until January 2008, PNP rules limited the amount of investment a single company could receive to four units, that is, money from four immigrants. Auditor General Colin Younker told the public accounts committee Thursday at least two companies received 12 units, more than $650,000 each, and another received eight.
Crane wanted Younker to reveal the names of the companies. On more than one occasion, the Liberal majority on the committee voted her motions down.
Crane argued all the questions about PNP need to be answered.
Companies should not be embarrassed for their efforts to grow tCompanies should not be embarrassed for their efforts to grow the Island economy, says Janice Sherry. (CBC)
“If we deal with this now, we have an opportunity to work on getting a new and better program for all the people of P.E.I.,” she told the committee.
“We'll never get there if we don't get all the information out and clear.”
But Liberal MLA Janice Sherry and the other four Liberal members of the committee voted against all the motions to name names.
“When it comes to this program, people who accessed it and utilized this program, did so, and it provided a great economic spinoff in our communities from one end of the Island to the other,” said Sherry.
“People who actually took part in this program are now almost feeling embarrassed that they did.”
Crane also asked for more information about seven companies approved while the Progressive Conservatives were in power, even though they did not meet the criteria, and was again denied.
Liberals also blocked an Opposition request for Younker to sample another 10 per cent of the businesses that received PNP money in 2007-08.