What would it be like if a inner group of your neighbors had discretion about how the building code was applied if you wanted to add a room to your house? Weird right? Today if you meet code – you can proceed. If you plan to meet code, you will be fine. If your neigbours had control – the process might never end. What if you had annoyed one of them? Could you predict anything unless of course you were on the inside of such a group? Would the regulations mean anything?
Well that is what it is like on PEI to get your self licensed or to get a day care licensed. On PEI we have such an inner group!
The regulations don’t matter as much as getting the support of an inner group who have a vested interest in the status quo.
There is no good reason to have such a group. No other province has one and it should go as part of the changes to the act.
A major part of many people’s concern about the proposed changes to the act is that if the new wording “May” is used in stead of “Shall” that there will be discretion to deny licenses to people who HAVE MET ALL THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE ACT. Officials have been clear. They intend to use this word change to limit the number of new places.
But it gets worse. For the decision makers who will have this discretion are not A bureaucrat working with the delegated authority of the minister but a “Board”. PEI is the only province to have this layer between the people and the minister.
It is this board that will get the discretion and it is this board that already uses its discretion say in staffing. So if you are a specialist in early childhood care but come from another province or another country, your credentials are scrutinized by this body already with full discretion. This discretion in staffing and in who gets paid the government subsidy is already being used.
Where do the members come from?
The board is appointed by the minister. It has one parent – the rest are officials or leading members of the operating community. Of course recommendations as to who sits are made by the key officials to the minister. In effect the existing “in group” run this board.
No other province has such a body. In all others the minister is accountable and the issue at all times is judicial – DO YOU HAVE THE QUALIFICATIONS & DOES YOUR PLACE MEET THE REGULATIONS.
This provides a level playing field. The core of such a system is the law. You meet the requirements of the law or you don’t. What is the point of having any regulations if meeting them is not the real test. The real test on PEI is whether the inner group like you or not.
The PEI system is confusing, open to abuse and creates a conflict of interest. The board has to go