Agriculture Mandate Letter
Honourable Bloyce Thompson
Minister of Agriculture
5th Floor Jones
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
Dear Minister Thompson,
I am pleased to have you serve as the Minister of Agriculture.
On April 3, 2023, we were given a mandate by Islanders to continue to work towards building a brighter, bolder, and better future for our province. We made a commitment to work with Islanders, and for Islanders – and that motto should be the basis of how you conduct yourself in your actions as Minister. We must engage Islanders, have real conversations, and put the interest of Islanders at the heart of every decision we make as a government.
Over the last four years, we have proven to Islanders that we can navigate many challenges. We must continue to show courage, strength and above all else, leadership when it comes to the challenges we are faced with. Change is sometimes difficult, but with your proven ability to stand up and meet challenges head-on, I’m confident that you will make the best decisions to move our province forward.
Our government has always led with positivity and has served with humility and kindness. I expect this to continue in our second mandate. We have shifted the political landscape in PEI to be more collaborative in nature. I have always said, it doesn’t matter where good ideas come from – if it’s a good idea, and it improves the lives of Islanders – we should consider it. I want you to have regular communication with your legislative colleagues on all sides of the Legislature to provide opportunities for input and feedback.
As Minister, you and your leadership team will play a critical role in contributing to the commitments we have made to Islanders. You are responsible for the conduct of the department(s) you oversee and must be aware and adhere to the values of the public service in your interactions with the Islanders and the public service. Most importantly, you have Cabinet Colleagues that serve alongside of you; whenever and wherever possible, you should work collaboratively with them to break down silos and reduce barriers to accessing services by working together across Departments.
As Minister of Agriculture, you will:
- Continue to advocate for seed potato producers to get our world-class seed potatoes back into domestic and international markets;
- Continue to support healthy soil initiatives for farmers;
- Support the agriculture sector by exploring controlled-environment farming and indoor farming through state-of-the-art greenhouses, tunnels, hydroponics and enhanced storage and refrigeration;
- Continue to develop financial and support programs related to the beef industry to increase the number of animals raised and produced on Prince Edward Island;
- Working with the Minister of Fisheries, Sport, Tourism and Culture, promote local food products and support community-based promotional campaigns for our products from land and sea;
- Working with the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, make provincially-owned land available for organizations to operate community gardens;
- Consulting with relevant organizations and stakeholders, begin the process of creating a provincial food waste reduction strategy;
- Provide core funding to organizations that run community fridges and fund an umbrella organization to work with community leaders across the province;
- Working with the Minister of Housing, Land and Communities, create the appropriate mechanisms through the development of a land-use plan to maintain agricultural land for food production;
- Working with the Minister of Health and Wellness and relevant stakeholders, continue to expand mental health services for farmers;
- Support diversification of crops to more fully prepare for and take advantage of climate change;
- Modernize the Agricultural Insurance Corporation;
- Working with the Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Action, support green farming initiatives, including expanding solar programs for farms and making three-phase power more widely available to rural businesses and farms that contribute to our primary industries;
- Establish a long-term plan to manage the Island’s dead stock safely;
- Continue to advocate for our farmers on a national and international basis to address production and export barriers;
- Work with the Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Action to explore Agri-Tech opportunities for technological advancements in agriculture and food sector, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions; and
- Working with the Minister of Housing, Land and Communities and the Minister of Workforce, Advanced Learning to provide support to farmers to address workforce challenges in agriculture, specifically focused on housing.
While you accomplish your work, I ask that you assess the impacts of each policy decision by using evidence-based tools and frameworks to ensure we always consider the impacts on climate, gender, diversity, and vulnerable individuals before implementing a decision.
As we progress through our mandate, we will work together to identify further refinement and priorities of focus. We must be nimble as a government and be able to adapt to the realities of what Islanders are facing each and every day. To do this, I ask that you have regular outreach with key stakeholders connected to your department and the work that your department does. Along with the leadership in your department, I ask that you regularly communicate with stakeholders and community organizations.
I look forward to working with you to improve the lives of all Islanders.
Hon. Dennis King
Premier of Prince Edward Island
CC. Gordon MacFadyen, Deputy Minister – Department of Agriculture