Your Liberal Team returned to the Legislature this week. Their focus is clear this sitting: People, Prosperity, and Progress.
Tuesday we witnessed the reading of the Speech from the Throne by Her Honour Antoinette Perry, the Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island. The Speech outlined governments priorities for this legislative sitting. We are 30 months into our mandate and we have achieved much, but there is a lot more to do.
Highlights from the Speech from the Throne:
- We have provided direct tax relief to 85,000 Islanders and 3,000 fewer Islanders are now not paying any provincial income tax
- We have taken ambitious steps toward greater government transparency and accountability, including the establishment of the position of Ethics and Integrity Commissioner
- Prince Edward Island is doing well economically through export sales, and we will continue to support accelerated growth in these sectors. While growing exports in goods, we will take an approach that better integrates the export of services, including education and culture
- Atlantic Fisheries Fund, developed in partnership with the Federal government, will stimulate economic growth, encourage innovation and expand domestic and international market access for our seafood products
- Government will be developing a PEI Housing Strategy over the next year
- Government will table the Water Act, the first time this legislation will be proposed for our province. The Act comes forward following extensive public consultations.
- Government will introduce a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy this year. With the engagement of a Poverty Reduction Advisory Council, drawn from communities across the province, we will look at all aspects of poverty
Highlights from the Capital Budget:
- Planning will begin for a new school to replace Sherwood Elementary, with construction beginning in 2019
- The Riverview & Tyne Valley Manor projects are now well underway, with over $11.3 million expected to be invested in the current year and completion projected in 2018-2019
- The Education Budget includes $2.5 million for new classroom technology, to ensure our students are able to fully access the wide range of information that technology provides
- Over the next three years, the Province, through a Crown corporation, will commence a project to develop up to 1,500KMs of fibre backbone to improve internet access in all communities across the province, especially in rural Prince Edward Island
- The Women’s Wellness Centre and expansion of ambulatory care will also be completed at the Prince County Hospital at a total cost of $6.8 million
- Jordan Brown, Minister of Education, Early Learning, and Culture announced a new annual investment of $2.8 Million to hire a total of 41 new classroom teachers and support educators.
- Minister Brown also announced a partnership with Heath MacDonald, Minister of Economic Development and Tourism to implement a new Creative Industry Market Development Program. The Liberal Party recognizes the importance of the arts and culture community in Prince Edward Island
- Robert Henderson, Minister of Health and Wellness announced that his department will invest an additional $160,000 to increase supports for Islanders living with diabetes.
- Paula Biggar, Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy announced federal-provincial funding of $1.3 Million for maintenance and capital projects for Island highways
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