P.E.I. in­creases power

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - EDITORIAL -

Prince Ed­ward Is­land con­tin­ues to flex its in­creas­ingly im­pres­sive political mus­cle in Ottawa. The prov­ince al­ready has Cardi­gan MP Lawrence Ma­cAulay around the cab­i­net ta­ble as min­is­ter of agri­cul­ture while Char­lot­te­town MP Sean Casey was re­cently ap­pointed par­lia­men­tary sec­re­tary to Jus­tice Min­is­ter Jody Wil­son-Ray­bould.

Now it seems cer­tain that Malpeque MP Wayne Easter will be named chair­man of the pow­er­ful House of Com­mons fi­nance com­mit­tee. The vet­eran MP, first elected in 1993, is the se­nior Lib­eral on the com­mit­tee which scru­ti­nizes fed­eral fi­nances and govern­ment leg­is­la­tion.

The fi­nance com­mit­tee is con­sid­ered the most im­por­tant in the House of Com­mons and has sig­nif­i­cant in­flu­ence on how tax dol­lars are spent. It will have a heavy agenda as the govern­ment plans bil­lions of dol­lars in deficit spend­ing; im­ple­ments a tax cut for the middle class and a tax hike for wealth­ier Cana­di­ans; pre­pares a bud­get; and looks for ways to im­prove eco­nomic growth.

Mr. Easter’s com­mit­tee is the key fo­rum for in­di­vid­u­als and groups who want to make a case why their sec­tor, or­ga­ni­za­tion or pro­ject war­rants fed­eral dol­lars.

If Mr. Easter or his con­stituents thought he might have a quiet ses­sion af­ter be­ing passed over for a cab­i­net or par­lia­men­tary sec­re­tary po­si­tion, they bet­ter think again.

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