P.E.I. increases power
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.