Opposition seeks crown asset disposal review
CHARLOTTETOWN - The Official Opposition is seeking a review of how government disposes of crown assets.
“Government owns many assets like equipment and property that it disposes of from time to time. This can generate revenue to help support the delivery of services to Islanders or lower the deficit,” said Borden-Kinkora MLA and Opposition Transportation Critic Jamie Fox. “I’d like to see us review what our current procedures are and if we have a plan to get the highest return for taxpayers on these public assets in a fair, open and transparent process.”
Fox noted that government owns property and buildings that are vacant and being maintained to some degree, pointing to a local example of partially vacant seniors housing units in Kinkora being under maintained that are becoming a liability and increasing long-term costs to taxpayers. Fox suggested that if these buildings are not going to be put into use then they should be disposed of or sold off. Fox also noted that currently when a property is deemed surplus all departments must be notified to see if it can be used elsewhere by government and that this process can drag on for months and even years.
Additionally, if government owns equipment which no longer are being properly utilized then Fox feels that these assets should be disposed to the private sector in a fair, open and transparent process so that the equipment can contribute to economic growth and generate extra revenue for government rather than laying idle and losing value.
Fox has written the Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Energy to request that the committee undertake a review of current policies around crown asset disposal as part of its work.
Photo cutline: A piece of surplus government equipment lays idle.