The very first question during the very first Question Period of the 2021 Spring Sitting of the PEI Legislative Assembly was directed to Premier King by the Leader of the Official Opposition, Hon. Peter Bevan-Baker. He zeroed-in immediately on the secret “online betting” scheme that we only recently found out about from a December 23, 2020 Executive Council Order.
Listen attentively to the carefully-scripted lines from Premier King as he tries to sell his scheme as something ethical. Bevan-Baker hit the nail on the head: it’s a cash grab, plain and simple.
Who’s positioning to grab the cash? Well, that’s the million dollar question isn’t it?
King makes a whole raft of claims in his answers, most of which are patently false and meant to confuse the issue. His attempt to convince Islanders that his government only passed that Executive Order to ensure a safe gambling environment for Islanders pretty much crashed on day one of Question Period, especially when my own MLA, Sidney MacEwan, drove an equally-difficult set of questions at Finance Minister, Hon. Darlene Compton. She wasn’t breathing normally at all while answering: it sounded more like she was “taking sighs” rather than breaths. And rightly she should have been so as to be in empathetic union with the rest of us!
King’s statement that he would much prefer if Islanders didn’t gamble at all, calling it a “sin” tax, was an offer to Merriam-Webster of a first-class definition example for the word “disingenuous.” To his credit, Hon. Peter Bevan-Baker called-out King for using that designation, aptly redubbing it more appropriately as a “misery” tax.
Now listen to a very good question followed by a very deceptive and error-ridden answer:
Premier King seems to be going down the same path that Wes Sheridan travelled during the Ghiz egaming era. He said that to compare this online gaming project with the egaming project was preposterous. What’s preposterous is that Premier King wants us to believe that they are not similar!
Let’s take a look at what former Minister of Finance under Ghiz, Wes Sheridan said in the House about his egaming efforts on November, 2014 :
Mr. Sheridan: Madam Speaker….We were working on an online gaming project for a number of years. We’ve talked about that in this House, and we’re trying to do what’s right for Islanders. There is online gaming taking place all around this globe where Canadians, Islanders, are playing. We’re trying to find a way where we can police, protect them, regulate that game, and tax it. That’s what we’re doing. There’s nothing to be hidden here whatsoever.
Sheridan thought, or at least tried to convince us, that he was doing a great job. The Auditor General didn’t think so:
“The P.E.I. government’s controversial e-gaming venture was riddled with inappropriate secrecy and an overall disregard for taxpayers’ interests, says the province’s auditor general. Jane MacAdam’s special audit into the province’s e-gaming scandal was released Wednesday. It is a scathing indictment of the venture pursued by the former Ghiz administration, which aimed to make Prince Edward Island an Internet gambling regulator for the country.”
“Throughout this report, there are numerous examples of non-compliance with legislation, policies and controls,” MacAdam says in her report. “A number of decisions and actions demonstrated a lack of due regard for transparency and accountability.” [“Secrecy was the name of the game in the e-gaming scandal,” Guardian, October 5, 2016].
Unfortunately, Premier King is now picking up where the Ghiz gang left off for one simple reason: money! He’s also trying to do what Sheridan did when challenged in Question Period: hide behind a “good-guy” veil with false claims that the purpose of the government’s involvement is to keep us safe by regulating online gambling. Nothing could be further from the truth.
King’s claim that the purpose of his Cabinet approval of EC Order EC2020-784 was to create a regulated online gambling environment. That line is the same sleight-of-hand that Ghiz and Sheridan used. It’s a story told to deceive. By the way, does everyone still remember that the King government got into power by bashing the Liberal egaming corruption over and over and over in the same Legislative Assembly? More on that later. That early Christmas present to we’re not yet sure who in that EC Order makes no mention of regulating anything, and would have zero consequence for gaming companies operating in PEI.
There was one difference between the Liberals and the Tories regarding their online gaming plans: Sheridan actually wanted to “regulate” off-shore gaming companies; King wants to “compete” with them. Let’s be clear: any regulation under the King EC Order would only happen if and when he gets you as a client on his new gambling platform, only then will he be able to regulate your betting. Like I said earlier, this EC Order has no consequence for the regulation of other gaming companies.
What the Order does do is authorize the PEI government to issue a licence for a new “made-in-PEI” online gambling internet gaming “start up”. Read what the EC Order says exactly (“exactly,” yet without any real detail, so also “obscurely”):
Again, no where does the word “regulate” appear. This authorization is solely to have a new “digital platform” start-up launch in PEI, a gambling, gaming website with a PEI logo – built and operated in PEI.
The question is: “WHY?” Why a new company and a new digital platform now? The answer is found in Bill C-218 (legalization of single-event online betting).
1. ALC Regulates Gambling for PEI Now: Why a New PEI Gaming Site?
The Order in Council authorizing the PEI Lotteries Commission to “…organize, undertake, conduct, and manage an enhanced digital platform” was approved on December 23, 2020. That was less than a month after the Liberal Government gave first reading to an Act of Parliament to change the Criminal Code of Canada to allow provincial governments to regulate single-event online betting. The key phrase in that is “single-event”:
“Justice Minister David Lametti unveiled legislation to legalize single-event sports betting in Canada, marking a change in direction for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government. The planned changes would allow provinces to issue licenses for companies to accept wagers on all sporting events except horse racing, which will remain under a separate system. It is currently illegal to bet on single games under Canadian law. “The goal of the legislation is simple: it is to bring a common practice out of the shadows and into the open. To make it legal, regulated and safe,” Lametti told reporters Thursday in Ottawa.” [“Trudeau Government Moves to Legalize Single-Event Sports Betting,” ].
This was the catalyst for the EC Order on the eve of the eve of Christmas. Insightful information about how the new Act affects the Criminal Code of Canada is provided in a Backgrounder, a section of which is as follows:
This legislative change to the Criminal Code, when finally enacted, will allow PEI to impose regulatory measures on gaming companies that want to operate within the province. But that’s not what Premier King authorized in this Executive Council Order. He’s chomping at the bit to finally do what he personally has been a player in trying to do in PEI for nearly 20 years: enable the backroom that he fronts to get into the online gambling business.
Premier King likened the world’s largest gaming corporations to “bootleggers” in one of his answers to Hon. Peter Bevan-Baker. He and his government were, apparently, providing an ethical [gag] alternative. All he was doing, apparently, was jumping into the lion’s den to protect Islanders from thieving, unscrupulous bandits – that’s what he told us his EC Order was aiming to achieve: provide a much safer “regulated” way for Islanders to gamble online. Every word was like a different facet on a diamond forged from the black and dirty coal from which it came: highly-pressurized lies, and that pressure showed in King’s laboured, repetitive and worried delivery of those scripted words.
Consider the precise definition of “bootlegger” in the dictionary [not that there’s likely many adult Islanders who don’t already know the definition, and the location of at least one or two of them]:
The defining quality here is “illegal” for the point I’m making. Ponder that for a minute: Premier King likened PokerStars and DraftKings to bootleggers! Yikes! I’ve caught myself asking myself several times since: “Did he really do that?” and after replaying the video, yep, he did that. Wow!
That was at about 11am last Friday morning [February 26, 2021]. The CEO of DraftKings, Jason Robins, must have been tuned in the PEI Legislative Assembly proceedings and heard his company being likened to a pariah. I’m just assuming that, but something made him issue a news release less than 3 hrs later [when you factor in the time difference, actually less than 2 hours later], perhaps in a bid to let Islanders know that his company was not only “reputable,” but eagerly looking forward to collaborating with provincial governments to forge agreements on how to establish new regulatory frameworks for gambling with the introduction of single-event online betting in Canada:
When the PEI Government wrote into the recruiting package given to CMT/FMT that a key element of the plan was to have Paul Maines and Paul Jenkins bring bona fide, international gaming companies like DraftKings to PEI, the Kingpin of the egaming scheme, Wes Sheridan, was quick to extol the virtues of those gaming companies as nothing but professional, legal, well-established, reputable and successful companies. Here is what he said about PokerStars in the Legislative Assembly on November 26, 2012 when discussing his plan to recruit this international gaming companies to PEI.
Wes Sheridan: “…we get the goodness of what’s taking place from these good reputable corporations, as I said, such as PokerStars, that would transmit many millions of dollars into all of our coffers.”
Bootleggers are people who sell liquor “illegally” – deliberately circumventing the law, hiding in dingy basements, and gouging desperate alcoholics afterhours with crippling prices.
Gaming companies such as DraftKings and Pokerstars operate within the law and regulations currently established in Canada. What’s different now is that law is almost certainly about to change allowing single-event betting with egaming. But the new Federal Act does something else as well, which will help to answer the following question I’m using as my next heading.
Why Now Premier King?
It seems certain that single-event betting will happen, given both the show of support in the votes on first and second reading of the Bill introduced on November 26, 2020, but also because there are apparently there are 2 separate Bills currently working their way through the parliamentary process toward enactment which contain provisions that would legalize single-event betting in Canada. As explained in a news release by one of the largest Canadian egaming companies, theScore:
“Private Members Bill C-218 and Bill C-13, to legalize single event sports betting in Canada. [headline]: Today, Private Members Bill C-218 was voted on and passed overwhelmingly at second reading in the House of Commons. Similar legislation in Bill C-13, which was previously introduced by the federal government, would legalize single event sports betting at the federal level in Canada and is anticipated to be taken up by the House of Commons in the near future.” [“Statement from theScore on the Status of Legislation to Legalize Single Event Sports Betting in Canada,“].
Less than a month after the legislation was introduced on November 26, 2020, Premier King and his Cabinet approved the EC Order effectively announcing [with zero details however] that the PEI Government was about to set up an online egaming website and compete with companies like DraftKings and theScore!
The Criminal Code change will remove a long-standing barrier that has frustrated the PEI Insider Club members and Backroom Bonanza Boys for many years by preventing them from getting their hands on the teats of the BIGGEST CASH COW imaginable: online gaming.
King – clearly speaking for an anonymous group of not-yet-identified characters – has (by approving EC Order 2020-784) just pulled the trigger on the starter pistol while shouting: “Let the milking begin!”
This is only possible now because the federal legislation will also give provincial governments the power to issue licenses for gaming companies, thereby allowing new corporate entities to enter the lucrative single-event egaming online marketplace.
Despite the Premier saying a lot about safe gambling and “regulating” online gaming, I see absolutely no evidence of any inclination or action in that direction, only a very keen interest [the EC Order] to issue a new license for a new PEI company into egaming. But to whom?
That’s not really how the Criminal Code amendment and federal concession allowing provinces to “regulate” the much-expanded online gaming industry was intended, or at least primarily intended. These changes were to allow provinces to regulate and tax the online gaming market within their respective jurisdictions as a result of the increased amount of gambling expected from opening up the market and allowing single-event online gambling by ANY company.
It would make sense for large provinces such as BC and Quebec that already have their own well-established online gambling websites to incorporate single-event gambling. It makes no practical or economic sense for a tiny province of 160,000 people to to enter this highly-competitive market having no such resources or experience, having to start from scratch! What, exactly, would those start-up costs be?
A significant amount of money from current offshore online sports wagering is expected to come to Canada following the passage of this new Act:
“An additional $4 billion is wagered annually through offshore online sports wagering websites and applications. These figures dramatically eclipse the $500 million that is wagered annually through multi-event, or parlay, sports lotteries in Canada.”
That’s all that’s currently allowed in Canada with online wagering – multi-event, or parlay, sports lotteries. So what kind of financial impact is this change in the Criminal Code expected to have in Canada?
The CEO, John Levy, of one of the leading Canadian gaming companies, Score Media and Gaming Inc. (TSX: SCR) (“theScore” or the “Company”) issued a press release on February 17, 2021: “Statement from theScore on the Status of Legislation to Legalize Single Event Sports Betting in Canada,” expressing excitement about the prospect of working with provinces to reach mutually-beneficial arrangements. Premier King has said nothing about that kind of collaboration, probably because he’s setting up to compete with them!
Premier King stated in the Legislative Assembly last Friday that Atlantic Lotto Corporation asked the government to set up to, “…offer an online component in a regulated environment?” What’s he talking about? I have no clue. The ALC already is involved in sports betting on behalf of PEI. Why would it ask PEI to do this? That makes no sense whatsoever.
There’s nothing changed as far as the “regulated environment,” for PEI, as far as I can see. Online gambling is already regulated and we are already part of a Commission that “gambles” for PEI [the Atlantic Lottery Corporation], so why the focus on an mysterious “start-up” gaming company to compete with giant gaming companies?
Simple answer: Premier King wants a piece of that very big pie, and now, after PERSONALLY BEING SIGNIFICANTLY INVOLVED IN THE TWO PREVIOUS FAILED ATTEMPTS TO GET PEI INTO EGAMING [See Chart Below], King is finally in a position to give his special friends what he knows they’ve longed to have like their “precious” for such a long time: a PEI egaming company.
As corrupt and secretive as Wes Sheridan’s egaming scheme may have been, it was actually far more “ethical” in design than what Premier King is up to – that is, once it became clear that it was against the Criminal Code to “regulate” online gaming. I’ll explain.
2. Who Will End Up At the Trough?
The PEI Government has wanted to get into revenue generation from online gambling for at least 20 yrs. For two reasons: (1) tax and fee revenue; and (2) windfall profits for a select group of crooks!
I have reviewed every public document I could find over the past 20 years relating to gaming, and I’ve discovered 3 dedicated efforts by PEI Premiers to get PEI into the online gambling business, many of which were not public, but obtained through a number of Access to Information requests.
There is a curious not so “fun” fact that few Islanders are likely aware of concerning our Premier’s involvement in those two previous egaming efforts. In fact, there were at least two individuals who were core players in both of those first two failed attempts: Dennis King and Mike O’Brien.
The first two efforts were corrupt in that they were secret schemes that neither the public nor the Legislative Assembly were involved in, or knew anything about until they became known “after-the-fact,” after which they subjected to years of vicious criticism by opposition parties and the public alike.
But here’s the thing: in both those previous attempts to get into the online gambling business, the Criminal Code of Canada made it illegal, and therefore impossible, and the efforts ultimately failed. But there was another plan that was actually both “ethical” and “legal” that would have brought a regulated online gaming industry to PEI with huge benefits, and that was through a twofold (1) establish a global transaction platform in PEI, and (2) attract gaming companies to PEI strategy.
But that would have meant FMT would be the “hub” company with first-mover advantage, and – I believe – that was unacceptable to a group of locals with milking machines all ready to milk and they sabotaged that. I guess we’ll see if that eventually gets proven in the upcoming CMT vs PEI Government egaming trial that Premier King is defending; you know the one, that horrible “black eye” on PEI the Premier seemed ashamed off when he spoke during Question Period.
Not to get ahead of myself, but I’ll be publishing an article within a few days revealing those five (5) additional Government employees discovered to have “gaps” in their email archives. One of them is the person who was the former Deputy Minister of Justice during the time of the egaming scandal, Shauna Sullivan-Curley, who (with Rory Beck) put an end to Wes Sheridan’s secret “off-campus” scheme to set up pooh honey pot with his buddy, the former Chief-of-Staff to former Premier Robert Ghiz, and a named defendant in the CMT lawsuit [who also had ALL of his records deleted (both paper and electronic) by Robert Ghiz], namely, Chris LeClair.
Notice that the email from Shauna Sullivan-Curley that I cite in the third column of the chart below as the “source” for when the PEI Ghiz government established the Illegal status of the second attempt (the so-called “egaming” attempt) to get into the regulation of online gambling was cc’d to Rory Beck.
That egaming scheme to regulate online gambling couldn’t go forward because it was illegal. But when the effort to “regulate” got kyboshed, the attempt shifted to “marrying” [some readers may recall an email from Neil Stewart from a previous article where he noted that was Wes Sheridan’s plan] their egaming ambitions, with the establishment of a Financial Services Centre in PEI with a SWIFT-approved Global Financial Transaction Platform, a project that was already well underway under Brad Mix’s leadership at Innovation PEI, dubbed the “FMT Project.”
That gaming strategy involved attracting legitimate, legal and very successful companies like PokerStars and DraftKings to PEI. That was something written into the recruiting package Innovation presented to FMT giving the company “first-mover advantage,” and that is something the sole director of FMT at the time (Paul Jenkins) and the Business Development Officer with Capital Markets Technology, Paul Maines, got busy doing.
CMT and Paul Maines already had a business relationship with Virgin Gaming and were successful in convincing the company to relocate to PEI. Consider what Wes Sheridan said in the House on November 14, 2014:
Wes Sheridan: What we were trying to establish here was something very special that every province in this nation is trying to find a solution for. We’re getting closer through a number of initiatives through Quebec and Ontario. Quebec has just released a major report, and they are suggesting that we do exactly what we were trying to achieve here on Prince Edward Island, and that is to bring in four or five of the most reputable firms, bring them in, regulate them, police them and tax them. Then, of course, we get the goodness of what’s taking place from these good reputable corporations, as I said, such as PokerStars, that would transmit many millions of dollars into all of our coffers.
Everything was on track for what would have been a very ethical and lucrative economic development initiative – which I believe Rory Beck was entirely behind, but was entirely opposed to the scheme by Wes Sheridan and the secret Off-site egaming working group circumventing all the legal and established protocols for government projects, as was Shauna Sullivan-Curley. That needs to be stated, because when Ms. Curley became the new Ethics & Integrity Commissioner – despite the fact that she remains and never ceased being an employee of the PEI government – all of her emails were deleted. Where they “backed up” as required by law? I don’t know.
I’m providing this background because there is a lot more going on with that December 22, 2020 Order than meets the eye. Take a few minutes to review the information in the following chart to get a better sense of context:
Premier King was former PC Premier Pat Binns’ communication Officer back in 2002 when Binns and King had the Deputy Provincial Treasurer at the time, Mike O’Brien, pursue an online-lottery scheme called “Earth Lottery”.
King and O’Brien were both “behind-the-scenes” players in the egaming scheme back in 2002, and although King remained “behind-the-scenes” in the second attempt to get into online gambling under Ghiz, O’Brien was one of the core members of the secret egaming working group that met at McInnes Cooper law firm rather than government offices. Some years later, Dennis had to excuse himself from speaking to the issue when he was on CBC’s political panel, invoking a conflict-of-interest citing his involvement with egaming while working for the Mi’Kmaq.
Will O’Brien, Chris LeClair, or anyone else from the backroom be involved with this new “local” David vs. Goliath battle in the single-event betting world, when David doesn’t even have a stone in a slingshot chance in hell of doing anything but losing money for Island taxpayers and significantly worsening the personal wellbeing of countless individuals and families by promoting misery from increased gambling?
How can Premier King do two things at the same time: (1) compete against global giants offering newbies a $500 credit; and (2) limit promotion and advertising, set limits on betting, time-outs, etc…? To pretend to be able to do #2 and at the same time as being successful in #1 is as likely to happen as you being able to pick yourself up by your bootstraps, literally. Good luck trying! Some things like “gravity” – or the sheer marketing power of companies like DraftKings which are able to crush gaming start-ups like ants under steamrollers, simply can’t be ignored.
You can bet – since we’re on the topic – that the people pushing Premier King from behind don’t give a hoot about whether the new enterprise is profitable, loses a ton of our tax dollars, wastes millions in production, administration, fees, set-up costs, and advertising PEI’s new online gaming site, or causes heartache and chaos for Islanders and Island families. It’s just another trough!
Think about it: If the PEI Liquor Commission can’t make a profit selling some of the most expensive booze in the country, what do you think the chances are that this hair-brained gambling cash-grab scheme will be able to achieve profitable status?
Regulators Don’t Advertise…They Regulate
I believe we’re – perhaps for the first time ever in PEI – getting a real-time glimpse into the genesis of a scandal originating within the normally completely hidden and “out-of-mind” backroom. That’s actually very fortuitous: it allows us to nip it in the bud before it sprouts and puts down roots, all on our dime.
It appears that the mysterious movers and shakers who are looking to get their snouts into some new gruel aren’t planning to do any work to get it either [other than putting on the milking machines and watching the cash flow]. ALC is specifically mentioned in the EC Order as the agency that will manage PEI’s new digital platform [aka “egaming gambling online portal”] once it’s up and running, work that will be done by third-party contractors.
Why is this new gaming site needed? It absolutely is NOT needed; it has nothing to do with safer gambling online; unless, of course, the plan is to have this new gambling start-up deliberately “self-regulate”! That would, however, effectively render it completely “uncompetitive,” and doom it to perpetual unprofitability by setting controls and restrictions for it’s gambling customers that would result in a significant “lack of interest” and decline in the numbers of customers.
Being profitable as a company and being profitable as a shareholder, or director, or commissioner [or whatever name the players want to give themselves] are two entirely different things. Dismal failure as a company or commission in no way means, and is unconnected to, individuals involved in the enterprise making lucrative windfall profits.
That is happening after years of the PC MLAs pummelled the Liberals for their unethical patronage schemes designed to reward a select few at the expense of the common good of all tax-paying Islanders is yet another in a long list of broken promises. But to jump into egaming…what audacity!!
The “Correct” and “Corrupt” Ways to Use these New Gambling SuperPowers
On Friday morning, approximately 11am, Premier King is comparing a billion-dollar private company like a bootlegger? Nothing can be further from the truth. They are winners in a global industry, not criminal enterprises, and the Federal Government is providing these companies an opportunity to expand their markets, and provincial governments the opportunity to regulate those companies, and oversee the emergence of new companies by issuing licences.
Ontario, on the other hand, although already in the online gambling business with lotteries, etc., are not doing what Premier King is planning to do – enter the billion-dollar, highly-competitive single-event online gaming business – it is taking the right approach in regulating those big players:
“Ontario’s plan is to create a subsidiary of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) to be responsible for managing and regulating “iGaming” sites operated by private third parties. Other provinces, such as British Columbia and Quebec, plan to play a more direct role through their respective lottery corporations.[See: “DraftKings CEO excited by Canadian single-sports betting legalization (yahoo.com)”
The PEI Government knows that windfalls don’t come from government regulating single-event online gambling, revenue comes from betting, as pointed out by Hon. Peter Bevan-Baker in the legislature. King has to take on all those companies, including Toronto-based theScore , worth over $3,000,000,000.00 and employing multi-million dollar marketing campaigns, otherwise he can’t build that new trough. He’s got a challenge on his hands going up against the likes of Canadian giant Bet99 or theScore:
“Toronto-based theScore (SCR.TO) is among the Canadian companies eager to defend their home turf in single-sports betting. Meanwhile, theScore continues to gain ground in U.S. states where the activity is legal. The company has launched its ScoreBet platform in Colorado, New Jersey, Indiana and Iowa so far. Last week, the Score announced intentions to list on the Nasdaq exchange, where it will join DraftKings, and other American sports betting rivals.”
“theScore estimates a market potential for online gaming in Canada of between US$3.8 billion and US$5.4 billion in annual gross gaming revenue, based on historical data extrapolated from legal online gaming markets in the U.S. and globally… theScore’s sports media app (iOS and Android) is one of the most popular multi-sport news and data apps in North America and its mobile sportsbook, theScore Bet (iOS and Android), delivers an immersive and holistic mobile sports betting offering, including a wide range of pre-game and in-play betting across all major sports leagues and events, and a comprehensive variety of bet types, and is currently live in New Jersey, Colorado, Indiana and Iowa.”
The Risks of Single-Event Online Gambling
Read what the Canadian Gaming Association – which you would think would be inclined to downplay the negative impacts of gambling, in terms of how single-event betting will impact gambling addition, but not so. Consider the stern warning from the Association on the need to proceed with great caution:
“And the risks? With the potential opening of the Canadian market resembling not so much a loosening of the knot as an untying — particularly so in Ontario — there are of course possible pitfalls too. While a study published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry in October found that problem gambling had decreased in the country in recent years, the opening up of the market to this degree is sure to have addiction experts concerned. And with justification. In the U.K., where gambling regulation is similar to the model likely to be explored by Ontario with mobile betting offerings plentiful, there has been an explosion in youth gambling addictions. Over 55,000 children are among the nation’s 300,000 problem gamblers, a British House of Lords report found this summer. In arriving later to the marketplace, Canada, both federally and provincially, is in a better place to learn from mistakes elsewhere. In short, it needs to. Strict limits on advertising would be a good start.” [“Canada’s sports betting revolution is finally approaching. Here’s what you need to know“].
We need a “made-in-PEI” online egaming portal transporting Islanders into the highly-addictive world of single-event online betting like we need a tsunami to hit the North Shore!
I’ve just filed two Freedom of Information requests [nearly-identical] seeking all third-party contracts that may already be associated with this scam: one FOI request with the Premier’s Office/Treasury Board/Executive Council; the other with the Department of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture: They read:
Records Requested: On December 22, 2020, Executive Council approved Order EC202-784 authorizing the PEI Lotteries Commission to develop, organize, undertake, conduct and manage an enhanced digital platform to be operated on behalf of the province of Prince Edward Island. I am requesting all contracts associated with this initiative involving third parties.”
Time Period: December 22, 2020 to the date this FOI search begins.
I didn’t ask for anything else. Only third party contracts. I know that if I had, it would complicate things and open up a big can of APSO delay-worms.
By focussing only on third-party contracts, it will be much harder for the King Government to justify delays. APSO can automatically (and almost always does) take a 30 day extension, but if more time is needed or sought, that requires the permission of the Information Commissioner. It also requires grounds, for which there are none with third party contracts.
Government contracts with third parties carry a clause as follows, so third parties must agree to the release of information, with the idea that our government policy is that third party contracts ARE DISCLOSED in FOI Requests:
Let’s see if we can find out if there’s any little Piggies coming to the trough yet.
Wanna bet there’ll be a few names from the egaming crew?
Perhaps Premier King will realize the error of his ways and abandon the scheme, especially now that he’s CAUGHT!
Safer gambling for Islanders Mr. Premier? Please, don’t insult us.
I hope the Opposition, both Greens and Liberals, demand answers when the House reconvenes on Tuesday. Questions like: what’s the budget? Who are behind this new digital platform? Have any contracts been issued? How are you going to market the new digital platform in order to get clients to regulate? It’s preposterous that Premier King would think for a minute that Islanders would fall for this again.
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