Bertram 1, Gillan 0

Carolyn Bertram, Liberal MLA, and Hon. Chester Gillan, Minister of Health and Social Services, had a lengthy exchange during today’s Question Period [RealAudio] regarding the Best Start program.

Bertram is not a great orator: she appears somewhat ill at ease, and sometimes it seems like her passion gets in the way of her clarity. But she’s got passion, and it shows.

Gillan isn’t a great orator either: he tries to play the misdirection “talk loftily and nobody will notice I didn’t answer the question” card, but it doesn’t work, largely because his punch lines just fade away into nothing.

Bertram wanted to know why the Government is freezing funds for Best Start. Gillan wanted to say “we don’t have the money, but we still care about the children.” He didn’t do a very good job.

It wasn’t a decisive victory, but on balance I think Bertram won the day.


Robert Paterson's picture
Robert Paterson on November 25, 2004 - 01:12 Permalink

I wish that she would ask him to tell her where he has spent the 1.2 million a year ECDI money that he has received from the feds that is meant to be spent on this very type of program.

Ritchie Simpson's picture
Ritchie Simpson on November 25, 2004 - 02:59 Permalink

The fact of the matter is the Federal Government’s portion of the funding for the Best Start program that has shrunk to zero, the Province funds this program just the same as last year.

Derek Martin's picture
Derek Martin on November 25, 2004 - 16:27 Permalink

I was under the impression the PEI Govt reneged on a contractual committement to raise the Best Start money in response to a scheduled federal cut. Have I been listening to the wrong spin?

jeff's picture
jeff on November 25, 2004 - 18:14 Permalink

This is far from a cut and dried story

Ritchie Simpson's picture
Ritchie Simpson on November 26, 2004 - 01:28 Permalink

Spin it any way you like with a $9,000,000,000 Fed Surplus and a struggling Provincial Gov (even in our wildest dreams) its just a bit ingenous to condemn the province for maintaining the funding for this kind of program