Throne Speech signals King Government to put a focus on healthcare, housing, and affordability measures for Islanders
The first session of the Sixty-seventh General Assembly of Prince Edward Island opened today with the reading of the Speech from the Throne by Her Honour, Antoinette Perry, Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island.
The speech outlines that the re-elected King Government will continue to invest in Islanders by improving access to healthcare, increasing the availability and attainability of housing, and making life more affordable for Islanders.
“Islanders have put their trust in our government to continue on the path of investing in Islanders. As outlined today in the Speech from the Throne, our government will put a strong emphasis on healthcare, housing and making life more affordable for Islanders, while we continue our path of strengthening programs and services that make Prince Edward Island the best place to live, work and raise a family.”
- Hon. Dennis King, Premier of Prince Edward Island.
Highlights of the Speech include:
- Renewal of the primary care system including implementing 30 Patient Medical Homes across the province by the end of 2024 and providing more options for Islanders to access primary care;
- Making a record investment in expanding our health human resources team by hiring more nurses, more LPNs, more social workers, and more allied health professionals;
- Reducing pressures on Emergency Departments by reducing off-load delays, adding care providers and patient advocates in waiting rooms, and integrating Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners;
- Prepare the health system across the province to train medical students and expand medical residency seats;
- Provide free tuition for students training to become RCWs, LPNs, RNs, and Paramedics; and
- Reduce barriers to recognizing credentials of foreign-trained healthcare practitioners including launching an Associate Physician license;
- Creating a Special Cabinet Committee on Housing to focus on immediately increasing housing starts over the next 24 months;
- Incentive private development through expansion of the Housing Challenge Fund;
- Continue to invest in publicly-owned housing; and
- Reduce wait times and red-tape to access building permits; and
- Introducing a Rent-to-Own program and a Closing Cost Assistance program for first-time home buyers;
- Increasing the basic personal exemption amount to $15,000 over the next four years;
- Increasing the Seniors tax credit, introducing a volunteer tax credit, and increasing the fitness and activity tax credit;
- Rolling back property taxes to 2020 assessment rates;
- Reforming the income tax system to be more fair;
- Expanding eligibility criteria for programs that support home renovations and transitioning to more affordable and cleaner heating sources such as the free heat pump program; and
- Reducing childcare fees to $10 per day for all children enrolled in designated Early Learning Centres;
The speech also outlines key initiatives that the King Government will continue to make in areas such as environmental leadership, building a robust education system, expanding our early years sector, supporting our most vulnerable, building resilient and safe communities, growing our primary sectors, expanding our workforce, and planning for population growth in our province.
Office of the Premier