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November 13, 2012
For immediate release
Throne Speech outlines priorities in economic development, health and education
The Third session of the 64th General Assembly began today with the reading of the 2012 Throne Speech by the Honourable Frank Lewis, Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island.
This Throne Speech outlines the direction to be taken by our government to strengthen the economy, health and education services while staying on course to return the province to fiscal balance, said Premier Robert Ghiz.
The four priorities outlined in the Speech are to create a wider range and greater number of jobs through enhanced education and training and support for the private sector; to achieve fiscal balance in a manner that treats Islanders fairly without imperiling economic growth and confidence; to continue to build an education system that focuses on students first; and to build on the progress being made in health care to offer faster, better, safer services and care.
Highlights of the Throne Speech include:
Employment growth between 2007-2011 of 4.8 per cent, second only to Alberta
A goal of 75,000 jobs by 2016, 2000 of those in emerging sectors
Books will be exempted from the provincial portion of the HST
Consolidation of information for businesses through the renewed BizPal website
Introduction of pension legislation
New common assessments for Grade 9 literacy and Grade 11 math
Five key health priorities: access to emergency services, access to general practitioners, access to mental health and addictions services, reduced wait times for long-term care, and reduced wait times for elective surgeries
Exploration of Collaborative Emergency Centres
Continued work on the Mental Health and Addictions Review
New models to expand home-based supports and services
Establishment of the Seniors Home Care Renovation Program
Increased funding for the Child Care Subsidy Program
Continued work to develop the Social Action Plan
Tabling of the renewed French Language Services Act in the spring of 2013
Municipal Government Act has been drafted
A full Legislative agenda is planned for the sitting. Among the Government Bills to be considered are the School Act, the Regulation of the Health Professions Act, the Public Health Act, the Pension Benefits Act, the Retail Sales Act and the Highway Traffic Act. Copies of the Throne Speech are available at www.gov.pe.ca/thronespeech.