Social Development and Housing Mandate Letter
Honourable Ernie Hudson
Department of Social Development and Housing
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
Dear Minister Hudson:
I am pleased that you have agreed to serve Islanders as Minister of Social Development and Housing.
Our new Progressive Conservative government will work to deliver real benefits for all Islanders; because it’s about people. Guided by our approach that begins with putting people at the heart of every decision, we have offered a new, ambitious plan to deliver on our long-term vision for a stronger, healthier province.
I plan to effect change in a way that is true to Island values with strong consideration to our people, communities, wellness and environment. As Premier, I am renewing my commitment to lead with civility, respect, courtesy, and kindness; applying this philosophy to every aspect of our new Progressive Conservative government.
We seek the involvement of the People, ensuring our progress is measurable through transparent decision making and broad public engagement. We’re proud of our individuality and it’s our responsibility, as Islanders, to ensure our Communities are strengthened and sustained for many generations to allow for resiliency and success. Maintaining our Wellness and healthy living means having timely access to the information and resources Islanders need to take care of themselves and their loved ones. The connection between Islanders and our Environment: the water, land, and the air has always been deeply personal. As stewards of these precious resources, we must understand their value and respect their fragility. These considerations along with your specific ministerial objectives should guide your work and shape your priorities from day to day.
I made a personal commitment to bring new leadership and a new tone to government. I want to work with all MLAs in the Legislative Assembly, and this new cooperative approach is critical to the success of our government.
Islanders expect our government to work together to advance the public good. That means seeking out, fostering, and advancing good ideas regardless of which side of the house they come from.
As minister, you are responsible for ensuring members of the Green and Liberal caucuses are appropriately consulted on major issues and legislation. This consultation and information sharing will occur in accordance with protocols established through caucus house leaders, and in accordance with relevant legislation and confidence. This level of practical collaboration is what Islanders have called on us to do and what we will work to provide them.
As the Minister of Social Development and Housing, your overarching goal is to lead our province’s efforts to address social challenges facing Islanders, their families, and communities and to be an informed advocate in promoting well-being and ensuring the necessary programs and services are available to those in need. You will ensure your departmental focus is on supporting the Speech from the Throne delivered on June 14, 2019 while delivering on priorities specific to your mandate.
I expect you to work with your colleagues and through established legislative, regulatory, and Cabinet processes to make substantive progress on the following priorities:
- Implement measures to address the realities of the current housing situation in PEI, and to improve availability and affordability;
- Work with provincial, federal and local partners to deliver 1,200 affordable housing units in the next five years;
- Double the budgets and thresholds for existing home renovation and repair programs;
- Tackle administrative challenges and red tape in the adoption process and open adoption records, while protecting privacy concerns of affected Islanders;
- Deliver on the recommendations contained in the Provincial Poverty Action Plan;
- Continue to work on the community needs assessment to determine shelter requirements for vulnerable Islanders and identify and expand support for accessibility of emergency shelters;
- Continue to work with our federal partners to explore options of helping our most vulnerable;
- Expand seniors programming to allow aged Islanders to remain in their own homes and communities;
- Work with your colleague the Minister of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture to establish a financing program to assist in the provision of housing units across the province;
- Work with your colleague the Minister of Health and Wellness to implement the first 1000 days initiative;
- Work proactively with the Office of the Child Advocate and the Department of Education and Lifelong Learning to assist and support children and youth at risk; and
- Work with your colleague the Minister of Health and Wellness to implement a comprehensive wellness strategy focused on active living, healthy eating and proactive health lifestyle and to enhance various supports for Island seniors, including relevant housing and in-home supports.
Islanders expect us to fulfill our commitments, and it is my expectation that you will work with our skilled professional public service to deliver on this mandate. You are to consult with your Deputy Minister and other senior officials under your leadership to ensure that all decisions are solidly based on the best evidence available. The public service is a valuable resource and our government believes in building an even stronger work environment based upon clear communication, dignity for all employees and a mutual respect. The list of priorities is ambitious and will take time to plan and deliver to achieve successful outcomes.
I want to remind you of the importance of reducing red tape and other barriers facing Islanders accessing services and considering the climate impact while delivering on your priorities. These lenses must transcend through all Departments. Keep in mind that as we move forward our government’s priorities may have to adapt to reflect changes in circumstances. We will work together to ensure any amendments required are well thought out and reasoned.
All members of Cabinet are expected to review, understand and act according to the Conflict of Interest Act and to conduct themselves with the highest level of integrity. As a Minister of the Crown the manner in which you conduct yourself reflects on you, as well as your Cabinet colleagues and our government as a whole.
I know I can count on you to fulfill the important responsibilities entrusted in you. In turn, please know that you can count on me to support you every day in your role as Minister.
I look forward to working together with you to build opportunity for all Islanders.
Honourable Dennis King
Premier of Prince Edward Island