Opposition statement on AG Report into eGaming

 

Charlottetown  – Stratford-Kinlock MLA and Public Accounts Committee Chair James Aylward today issued the following statement on the release of the Auditor General’s investigation into the eGaming scandal:

“Islanders are finally starting to learn some of the details of how this government abused taxpayer dollars on this ill-considered scheme that has cost at least $1.5 million so far that we know of. I want to thank the Auditor General and her staff for their exhaustive work on this important file.

This report paints a picture of a government that plays fast and loose with taxpayer money and breaks the rules when it sees fit. The Auditor General was crystal clear in the report that the common theme was ‘inadequate protection of taxpayers’ interests’, along with multiple cases of conflict of interest by senior government officials. The Auditor also clearly explains and highlights the limitations of her audit scope investigation as directed by Cabinet's reference of the file to her office.

I am further troubled the Premier would task Finance Minister Al Roach with leading the cleanup on this mess which extends deep into the bowels of government. Minister Roach was a key player in the file from 2011-2015 in his former portfolio as Innovation Minister and since 2015 as Finance Minister. Islanders would be right to question the impartiality of Minister Roach given his previous public statements in the House on this file, which have been proven to be false. It is also concerning to learn from the Auditor General that the Premier’s own Justice Department was less than cooperative with the development of this report. That flies in the face of the Premier’s comments about being open and transparent.

Given those factors and the ongoing resistance of government to get to the bottom of this file, I am renewing our call for a Public Inquiry under the Public Inquires Act to conduct an investigation of this eGaming scandal, to complete the work the Office of the Auditor General was unable to do."     

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