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Provincial Budget

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Backgrounder: Community and Cultural Affairs

Community and Cultural Affairs offers health and safety services such as 911, emergency measures, fire marshal, building permits, and inspections; and social and community services such as libraries, sport and recreation and cultural development. It is the lead department in municipal affairs, infrastructure programs, and labour relations.

Program Highlights 2004-2005
A new Occupational Health and Safety Act was created to clarify roles and responsibilities and provide alternative sentencing provisions for offences under the Act. The Occupational Health and Safety Act Regulations were amended to include workplaces where less than three persons are employed. New Fall Protection Regulations came into effect and a Farm Safety Code of Practice will be implemented within two years.

The Office of the Employer Adviser was established to provide information to employers on issues relating to workers compensation and the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The Province is now completing its review of the Municipalities Act.

The Employment Standards Act was amended to make Remembrance Day the sixth paid statutory holiday in Prince Edward Island.

Effective January 1, 2005, the minimum wage in PEI increased from $6.50 to $6.80.

The Emergency Measures Organization administered a number of claims as a result of damages incurred from Hurricane Juan. Work on these claims is expected to be completed in 2005-2006.

The Province announced its participation in the National Historic Places Initiative, a program to conserve Canada's historic places.

The Canada-Prince Edward Island Infrastructure Program will wind up this year. To date, a total of 73 projects received funding under this program with a total value of more than $54 million.

Through the PEI Sport Strategy, government is investing $1.9 Million over four years to encourage the development of coaches, athletes and association leaders. This allows the province to access an additional $200,000 per year from the federal government over a three-year period. With new funding of $88,000, the department will add additional inspection capacity to address increasing demands for electrical, elevator, and plumbing inspections. The department will likewise increase capacity in the Fire Marshal's Office.

An investment of $437,400 will assist in the operational requirements for start up costs in hosting the 2009 Canada Summer Games.

New funding of $138,000 will be used to launch the Best Ever Program to strengthen the provincial sport system and increase our capacity to host the 2009 Canada Summer Games.

$500,000 from the Sport and Recreation Facilities Development Program will be dedicated to the development of facilities needed to host the 2009 Canada Summer Games.

The province is working toward signing the Municipal Rural Infrastructure Program with the federal government. The program will involve a provincial investment of more than $18 million in Island communities.

Negotiations are also underway to finalize plans under Phase 2 of the Canada-PEI Strategic Infrastructure Program, involving an additional provincial investment of $15 million.

The Province is working closely with the federal government to implement the New Deal for Communities which will involve expenditures of $37.5 million in PEI over the next five years.

Cost savings
Grants in culture and heritage will decrease by approximately 5 per cent overall. Given the funding provided to this sector in previous years, this reduction should not result in any significant changes to programs.

Grants in sport and recreation will be reduced by approximately 5 per cent overall. These sectors have enjoyed significant funding increases over the last number of years.

The operating grant to the Confederation Centre of the Arts will be reduced by 5 per cent for this year.

For information contact:
Jennifer MacLeod
Department of Community and Cultural Affairs

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