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Thursday, April 28, 2005
Jamie Ballem, the Conservative Minister of the Environment here on Prince Edward Island has been in the news lately because of the way he was using his government issued credit card. It appears the incident that was pointed out by the opposition Liberal party is small in scale, but since the sponsorship scandal, voter confidence in politicians is at an all time low and this problem needs to be addressed.
The incident in question, was a flight that Ballem and his wife took to Ireland that was charged on his government credit card. When Ballem received the bill, he repaid only part of the flight, the Charlottetown to London portion. Which left $389 dollars owing for the London to Dublin portion of the trip.
Ballem did end up repaying the money owed for the entire flight, but only after the opposition party requested a copy of his credit card statement for examination, which was nearly two years after the trip took place. The taxpayers of PEI aren't out any money, but Ballem's use of the card looks a little fishy at best. He was either extremely careless with the card or was looking to slip one by the taxpayer, either case is unexceptable in today's political environment.
With people up in arms over the mismanagement of our tax dollars, thanks to the federal Liberals, Pat Binns and his Conservative party need to set the example that all corruption, waste and misuse of our tax dollars will be taken seriously. In my opinion, Jamie Ballem must either resign his cabinet post or be forced to by the rest of his party. If Paul Martin isn't going to hold his party accountable for their misdeeds, Pat Binns should do Islanders a favor and hold his to the highest possible standards.
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