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March 9, 2007
For immediate release

Minister Currie Concerned by Opposition Attitude Towards Economic Development

Development and Technology

The Hon. Mike Currie, Minister of Development and Technology, today expressed concern with comments by the Liberal Party that seem to suggest they would end financial support for Island entrepreneurs and businesses.

On her campaign website, nominated Stratford-Kinlock candidate Cynthia Dunsford seemingly suggests government should get out of the “business of business” and end direct financing for companies. The website suggests there is “a lot of venture capital out there,” and that government should adopt a policy that would change its investment strategy. “Do not directly finance. There is a lot of venture capitalists out there...make those links instead of being the venture capitalist themselves.”

Minister Currie said he finds the Liberal position disheartening and troublesome.

“In PEI, we are witnessing record economic growth and job creation because of the solid, trusted partnership between government and the Island business community,” said Minister Currie. “The reality is that Island businesses sometimes have difficulty tapping into venture capital so there’s an important role for government to play in encouraging growth. I would have hoped the Liberal Party would take a more forward thinking approach toward business growth and not try to discourage the success our province has been enjoying.”

Minister Currie says the province in recent years has moved towards greater use of tax incentives to leverage private sector investment through initiatives like the Progressive Tax Rebate Program and the Bioscience Tax Rebate Program. In addition, the small business tax rate is being lowered to the lowest in Canada and government-led trade missions have helped produce record exports.

The Minister says this successful approach has led to considerable private sector growth and investment throughout the Island economy. Minister Currie also noted that, in addition to the economic spinoffs created, Island businesses also contribute greatly to local communities through various activities, partnerships and charitable endeavours.

Media Contact: Dennis King
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