P.E.I. finances must be audited before every election, new law states

Staff ~ Transcontinental Media
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CHARLOTTETOWN The provinces books will now have to be audited and presented publicly three months before every election, thanks to a bill passed during the recent fall sitting of the P.E.I. legislature.

The changes will force government and all its Crown corporations to have their financial statements complete and ready for the scrutiny of the provinces auditor general by Aug. 31 of any fixed election year.

Once the audit is complete, the results will then be made public.

Treasurer Wes Sheridan said the change will allow Islanders to have a true picture of the provinces finances as they make their election decisions.

What we feel very strongly the premier and myself both is that when people go to the voting booth to decide whether they want to keep the government in place, they should have audited numbers from the year befores performance, Sheridan said in a recent interview.

The changes to the Financial Administration Act come as a result of major differences that have been reported from one year end to the next in past governments.

This was most recently seen in figures put forward just before the Liberals took over from former premier Pat Binns in 2007.

Before the election, the Conservatives presented a budget they said left the Island with a surplus of $2.1 million.

But when the Liberals took over government a few months later, they said they found some major discrepancies in the figures and announced the province was actually $42 million in deficit.

Organizations: Islanders, Financial Administration, Conservatives

Geographic location: P.E.I., CHARLOTTETOWN

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