Economic Development, Innovation and Trade Mandate Letter

Honourable Gilles Arsenault

Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Trade
Minister Responsible for Acadian and Francophone Affairs
94 Euston St
Charlottetown, PE C1A 1R7

Dear Minister Arsenault,

I am pleased to have you serve as the Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Trade and Minister Responsible for Acadian and Francophone Affairs.   

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 departments 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 Economic Development, Innovation and Trade, you will:

  • Working with the Minister of Health and Wellness, create a capital loan program for community care and long-term care facilities to expand over the next five years;
  • Reactivate and re-energize regional development corporations across the province to act as vehicles to expedite development and growth in the communities they serve;
  • Continue investment in growing sectors such as the Bio Science and Clean Technology industries by providing funding and programming that supports their further development and growth;
  • Working with non-profit organizations, create a social enterprise incubator project that allows NGOs to explore and experiment in expanding to be social enterprises;
  • Working with the Minister of Education and Early Years, develop financing options for childcare operators to expand the number of available seats across the province;
  • Working with the Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Action, launch a $50 Million Clean Tech Energy Program to kick-start the clean tech sector on Prince Edward Island and support the Clean Tech Park in Georgetown;
  • Working with the Minister of Workforce, Advanced Learning and Population, establish a $2 Million Adaptation Fund for employees to retrofit workplaces to make them more accessible for those who have physical disabilities to participate either remotely or in person;
  • Expand high-speed internet access to the remaining 4% of households;
  • Working with the Minister of Social Development and Seniors and non-profit organizations in the community sector, establish a shared services model to fund positions that can provide corporate and administrative support to multiple non-profit organizations so that individuals within the organization can focus on their purpose and mandate;
  • Working with the federal government, develop a plan to address the lack of reliable and consistent cell phone coverage in the province;
  • Through Finance PEI, develop multi-unit financing programs that will help increase housing supply across the province; and
  • Develop a plan to expand on Prince Edward Island’s success in the New England region, diversifying PEI’s export market to the New York and surrounding states;

As Minister Responsible for Acadian and Francophone Affairs, you will:

  • Implement the Francophone Immigration Strategy
  • Develop international and domestic trade opportunities and partnerships with other French language jurisdictions;
  • Develop an incentive program for bilingual training in the public service to help support offering more government services in French;
  • Work across all Departments to expand the number of government services offered in French;
  • Working with the Minister of Education and Early Years, create a strategy to increase enrollment in French Immersion in our public education system;
  • Working with the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure and the Minister of Education and Early Years, ensure the new Evangeline School is built with input from the Francophone community; and
  • Working with the Minister of Workforce, Advance Learning and Population, support Collège de l'Île in expanded educational opportunities.

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.     Stefanie Corbett, Deputy Minister – Department of Economic Development, Innovation and Trade

Published date: 
August 8, 2023
Economic Development, Innovation and Trade

General Inquiries

Department of Economic Development, Innovation and Trade
94 Euston Street
Charlottetown, PE C1A 1R7