This is a response to the Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, Hon. Chris Palmer’s Guest Opinion. It was sent out to the Guardian and Journal-Pioneer newspapers on April 18, and appeared in the J-P April today (April 19).
Palmer’s article appeared in the Journal-Pioneer and Guardian newspapers on April 18, 2018. His article was a response to a Guest Opinion I wrote about Cabinet-approved loans to two high-profiled Liberal families which appeared in the Journal-Pioneer, (April 12) Guardian (April 10) and Eastern Graphic (April 18) newspapers.
Liberal MLA Chris Palmer’s Journal-Pioneer article (April 18) stated: “After reading Kevin Arsenault’s opinion piece regarding our provincial lending programs, I’m compelled to respond. In his piece, Mr. Arsenault asserts that our lending programs are ‘for Liberals only’.” I asserted no such thing!
My article was only about the really big government loans requiring Cabinet’s approval, noting in particular that: “Premier MacLauchlan and his cabinet approved just five loans to Island businesses so far in 2018, totalling $13, 997,935 and that all that money went to just two well-known Liberal families.” That’s a fact.
Because there were no public announcements accompanying those loans, I provided some details; then expressed the following opinion: “I believe the provincial government should be doing far more to encourage and support other Islanders to start businesses by offering more and smaller loans,” pointing out that if the same amount had been disbursed in $100,000 increments: “The $14 million which the Liberal government just doled out to two families could have potentially launched 140 new businesses.”
Palmer “quotes” me saying something I didn’t even write, then accuses me of using “loans to Island businesses” as a “political bludgeon by claiming some sort of partisan bias.” Some “sort” of partisan bias? There’s only one kind of partisan bias, and anyone who compiles a list of recipients of Cabinet-authorized mega-loans under Ghiz and MacLauchlan will see exactly what “sort” of partisan bias that is: Liberal. Warning: have defibrillator handy….these facts could be heart-stopping!