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Canada - NDP Demands Judicial Inquiry in PEI Debacle

March 3, 2015

Mike Redmond, the leader of the NDP, has seen and read quite enough about the scandal that has enveloped Prince Edward Island and its efforts to establish itself as a major center of online gambling activity. And he would like a judicial inquiry, covering not just that but a wide range of potential corruption in the province.

Redmond was obviously in a fiery mood at a press conference as he called for an investigation into the provincial nominee process, as well as the standards that are attached to the granting of government grants and loans.

Redmond says he was shocked to see how PEI officials used their position in order to enrich themselves or associates. And he is insistent that the NDP will be in a position to stop it. "This is truly a shameful period on PEI history," he said, "and it has to stop."

One NDP candidate for office, Jacqueline Tuplin, who is a member of the Lennox Island First Nation, said that she was not aware of the $1 million appropriation on the part of the province toward the Mi'kmaq Confederacy for the purposes of online gambling, and that she is appalled at the idea.

Redmond probably couldn't campaign strictly on a platform that involved e-gambling, but he certainly hopes and expects to find that it is just a part of a corrupt culture that he pledges to change if his party is to assume office when the elections are held. He says, "Our political institutions have lost the confidence of the people."

As most people are aware, the Mi'kmaq Confederacy was granted the loan as part of an elaborate plan in which it would become a "regulator" of online gambling. The provisions of the loan were that they did not have to pay the money back unless and until they started to generate some revenue, and that has not happened.

Finance Minister Wes Sheridan is under fire, and it has become perfectly clear that he is stuck for a straight answer as far as the decisions that were made during this process. It is the posture of Redmond that there is something "fishy: going on. He also knows that the money has all but been written off. And since anyone outside the tribal council was even aware of what was supposed to happen, many are left wondering as to what has ultimately happened with the money.

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