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January 7, 2010
For immediate release

Report Released on the Commission on Land and Local Governance

Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour

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The Honourable Carolyn Bertram, Minister of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour, has released the Commissioner’s Report on Land and Local Governance and advised that Government has endorsed the general direction of the report. Recommendations that require extended action or consultation will be going forward in collaboration with relevant stakeholders.

Minister Bertram applauded the Commissioner, Judge Ralph Thompson on an excellent report. “This was a significant undertaking, and I want to personally thank Commissioner Thompson for his hard work and dedication to the process. He has spent many hours conducting consultation and information sessions, reviewing previously established materials, conducting analysis and creating the most appropriate recommendations for land use and local governance on Prince Edward Island,” said Minister Bertram.

The Report includes 40 recommendations and a government action plan. One of the key recommendations of the Report is for the provincial government to “Adopt a consistent and cohesive land use plan for the entire province that is based on a comprehensive provincial policy, accurate data, effective public consultation, an element of local governance and consistent enforcement.” Many of the subsequent recommendations provide direction on what should be included and how to achieve a provincial land use plan.

Some of the recommended changes can be implemented relatively quickly, while others will require more time. Recommendations range in topic, including:

• a review of the Provincial Subdivision and Development Regulations;

• the establishment of new legislation for municipal government;

• landscape planning requirements, implementing a community-based approach to protect our scenic view-scapes;

• municipal street maintenance in Stratford and Cornwall;

• a new conservation strategy;

• a review and expansion of the Alternative Land Use Services Program;

• retention of the current buffer zone legislation;

• amendment of the aggregate land holdings limits so they apply to arable land;

• a new green house facility equipped to produce a broader variety of forest species and nursery stock sizes;

• continued planning for the implementation of the Nitrates in Groundwater Report; and

• determination of the consensus of Islanders regarding local governance and municipal incorporation.

“Land use planning affects almost every aspect of life in Prince Edward Island. It balances the interests of individual property owners with the wider interests and objectives of the whole community,” said Carolyn Bertram, Minister of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour. “This report will assist Government in making decisions on how to better service our one Island community.”

Government announced that recommendations #5 and #6 will be implemented immediately:

• Recommendation #5 – That the Land Use Coordinating Committee be given responsibility for coordinating internal government actions related to the development of a provincial land use policy.

• Recommendation #6 – That the provincial government appoint a task force, soon after the release of this report, to develop a public engagement strategy around the land use questions, to guide the work of government staff, to lead public consultation, and to report periodically with findings and recommendations.

The Provincial Planning Division, under the Department of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour, will immediately begin to draft action plans for implementing recommendations.

The report is available to the public at www.gov.pe.ca/landandlocalgovernance.

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Media Contact: Autumn Tremere
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