Throne Speech carves path forward for collaboration, putting people at the heart of decisions
The first session of the Sixty-sixth General Assembly of Prince Edward Island opened today with the reading of the Speech from the Throne by the Honourable Antoinette Perry, Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island.
The speech sets forth government’s mandate, outlining a plan that is reflective of political collaboration with a strong focus on ensuring Islanders best interests are at the centre of all decisions being made.
“Prince Edward Island has a deep-rooted and strong foundation that has always fostered innovation, creativity, boldness and success,” said Premier Dennis King. “As a government we have been working hard to honour our commitment to do things differently, to collaborate more openly across party lines and with many partners, to put Islanders at the heart of our discussions and decisions every day. We are privileged and proud to be forging new ground, carving a path forward and a future that all Islanders can see themselves reflected in.”
Highlights of the speech include:
- lead through active collaboration with all sides of the Assembly;
- carry out open and regular consultation in key areas such as Throne Speech, 2019-20 operating budget, and in the development of legislation; and,
- establish a panel inclusive of Islanders and elected officials to consider reforms to the Legislative Assembly Act.
- lower taxes, especially for low-income Islanders;
- work with our private sector to deliver shared prosperity for all Islanders;
- support regional economic development across the province that creates meaningful jobs in communities throughout PEI;
- build upon the PEI Poverty Reduction Strategy by acting on key recommendations within the first six months; and,
- initiate a PEI-specific secure income program pilot as a means of finding workable solutions to abiding poverty challenges.
Ensuring home ownership and housing affordability
- accelerate the development of affordable housing supply;
- provide more rental supports;
- address short-term rental questions; and,
- provide more regular and reasonable support for all tenants.
Strengthening the economy and increasing job opportunities
- strategically invest in programs and services to enhance skill sets, the economy and support entrepreneurship;
- support a new Bioscience Skills and Training Initiative involving partnership between bioscience business, Holland College, University of Prince Edward Island and Government;
- work with farming, fishing and tourism industries to foster innovation and global prosperity;
- investment in strategic regional infrastructure;
- work directly with the PEI Partnership for Growth to strengthen the economy; and,
- increase consumer protection and consumer choice.
Protecting and preserving the environment
- uphold the spirit and intent of the Lands Protection Act;
- consult on the establishment of a provincial Land Bank that helps keep land in appropriate use;
- complete and release the Water Act regulations within the next six months, seek further public engagement prior to full implementation; and,
- support the undertaking of independent local research to build knowledge and understanding of the current water resources.
Addressing climate change
- work collaboratively to build upon the Climate Change Action plan to develop a more forward-looking, longer-term strategy;
- set more aggressive targets for cleaner transportation;
- work with key industries such as agriculture and trucking to accelerate innovations that lower emissions; and,
- undertake more engagement with Islanders to seek ideas and solutions to address climate change.
Deepening reconciliation with First Nations
- continue to work collaboratively with the federal government and the Mi’kmaq on issues of importance to the Lennox Island and Abegweit First Nations;
- work with Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI, the Lennox Island and Abegweit First Nations and Indigenous organizations to address societal issues such as housing, education, justice, skills and training; employment, children and families, and economic development; whether on or off reserve; and,
- reinforce the commitment to the reconciliation process by recognizing and celebrating Mi’kmaq Treaty Day on October 1.
Championing culture and heritage
- continue to support the development of Island talent; and,
- take an active interest in developing cultural and historical interests of our youth.
More proactive and efficient health care
- expand scopes of practice of health care professionals where feasible;
- engage the physician and nursing communities more directly on the recruitment and retention of health professionals;
- launch a new PEI Doctors Recruiting Doctors approach guided by a physician resource plan;
- make additional and sustained investments to primary care and specialized care; and
- take immediate action to fast-track and expand the delivery of mental health services.
Supporting aging Islanders
- provide more programming and investments to allow aging Islanders to continue to live independently; and,
- provide more specialized housing supports for seniors.
Investing in future generations
- establish a universal, half-day, community-based pre-kindergarten for all Island four-year olds; and,
- expand and further develop a long-term provincial school food program.
Encouraging lifelong learning and skills development
- anticipate and support opportunities in job sectors that are critical to the province and that provide sustainable and well-paying employment for Islanders; and,
- work with the federal government to further develop the Canadian Training Benefit initiative.
- develop a new ‘Made in PEI’ internet solution for the province involving all industry stakeholders, including local internet service providers;
- lead and champion the development of a viable and sustainable community hub program;
- invest and enhance transportation infrastructure networks;
- develop a province-wide integrated active and public transportation strategy with a goal of a more self-sustainable system by 2050; and,
- work with community leaders to enhance opportunities for growth.
Strengthening trust and integrity
- encourage the Special Committee on Committees to consider equal membership on the Standing Committee on Rules, Regulations, Private Bills and Privileges, across all parties represented in the Legislative Assembly;
- recommend that the Standing Committee on Rules, Regulations, Private Bills and Privileges undertake a full open and public discussion around the structure and composition of Standing Committees; and,
- suggest to the Standing Committee on Rules, Regulations, Private Bills and Privileges ways that multi-party collaboration and consensus can be found in order to renew and re-align Standing Committee mandates towards compromise that works for all members.
For more information and to read the full speech, please visit Speech from the Throne.
Executive Director, Communications and Public Affairs