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November 12, 2014
For immediate release
Throne Speech supports the economy, environment, health, education and social programs
The Honourable Frank Lewis, Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island, opened the Fifth Session of the Sixty-fourth General Assembly of Prince Edward Island with the Speech from the Throne.
Education and Early Childhood
“Over the last seven years this Government has supported, and will continue to support, education and early childhood development,” said Premier Robert Ghiz, “Providing our children and youth with a strong education is fundamental to their success into the future.”
Premier Ghiz added, “We know that it’s important to start this path to success when our children are young which is why I’m pleased to announce that over the next five years, we will provide funding of over $300,000 to CHANCES for a new Family Literacy Initiative that includes in-home support, books and materials for children aged 24 to 36 months. In addition, we are introducing the Positive Parenting Program which is an evidence-based parenting program that supports parents with easy, practical strategies.”
To establish clear standards and provide insights on improving the high school curriculum, including teaching approaches, we are:
• Introducing a Grade 11 math assessment to continue and extend the progress that has been achieved up to Grade 9.
• Developing a high school examination in literacy that requires a satisfactory outcome to graduate from Grade 12. Students not initially meeting this requirement will receive further learning support.
To further develop opportunities for Islanders, the following economic development initiatives will happen:
• The Minister of Innovation and Advanced Learning will consult with our industries on how government can best support our businesses and tailor programs and business supports.
• Expand supports for new and young entrepreneurs through LaunchPad PEI which provides incubator space and business assistance for new and young companies to establish, innovate and grow.
“We understand that the environment impacts every Islanders’ quality of life and health which is why we are committed to doing the right things,” said Premier Ghiz.
The following environmental initiatives were identified in the Throne Speech:
• Review the Agricultural Crop Rotation Act and work with the industry to develop an Agricultural Code of Practice.
• Establish an Environmental Justice Unit to bring a restorative approach to regulatory compliance and examine options to take an Alternative Measures approach to enforcement, and to direct fine proceeds to a new Environmental Damages Fund.
• Develop a Water Act for our province – beginning with a public consultations process this fall, and research into the approaches of other jurisdictions.
• Amend regulations under the Pesticides Control Act to allow for the use of more organic products to control weeds, insects and diseases.
Integrated health support
Government is continuously reviewing health care policies and procedures to provide better access to improved services for all Islanders. To that point, government will:
• Implement a new out-of-province travel support program to help Islanders travel to access health care services across the Maritimes.
• Enhance our drug programs to include nine new medications to help Islanders battle Cancer.
• Invest an additional $3.7 million to enhance services to children with complex health needs including occupational health, physiotherapy, autism assessments and speech language therapies.
• Create a new therapeutic model of service for adults with mental health and addictions problems in the justice system.
For more information and to read the full speech, please go to: www.gov.pe.ca/thronespeech.