New PC government gets down to work on Prince Edward Island

Published May 27, 2019

Prince Edward Island’s 33rd Premier Dennis King was sworn in along with his new Executive Council members during a ceremony in Georgetown on May 9.

Below are members from the new cabinet with positions of particular interest to the foodservice community:

  • Darlene Compton — Deputy Premier, Minister of Finance, Minister responsible for Status of Women
  • Jamie Fox — Minister of Fisheries and Communities
  • Matthew MacKay — Minister of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture
  • Brad Trivers — Minister of Education and Lifelong Learning, Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Change

Restaurants Canada will soon be setting up meetings with these ministers to discuss a number of policy recommendations that can help restaurants and other foodservice businesses on P.E.I. continue contributing to diverse and vibrant communities.

Election paves way for greener, more collaborative P.E.I. government

Despite leading the province through a time of economic stability, the governing Liberals were vanquished to third place during the April 23 election, with former premier Wade MacLauchlan losing his own seat after a devastating loss in his riding of Stanhope-Marshfield to Progressive Conservative candidate Bloyce Thompson.

The Tories won a total of 12 seats in the legislature, while the Green party won eight and the Liberals six, resulting in the first minority government on P.E.I since the 19th century.

One seat is still to be decided, as a byelection must be held in Charlottetown-Hillsborough following the death of Green candidate Josh Underhay during the campaign.

The success of the new minority PC government will hinge on the ability of the Tories to gain the support of the opposition parties to move issues forward.

The PC, Green and Liberal leaders met for the first time on May 24 to discuss how their parties will work together. A major topic of discussion was what all three parties wanted to see in the King government’s budget and throne speech.

Positive promises for foodservice businesses

A thriving foodservice sector is critical to the well-being of communities across P.E.I., contributing to jobs, investment, innovation, tourism and spaces for people to come together.

Restaurants Canada looks forward to working with the province’s new minority government toward implementing changes that would positively impact operations for the province’s restaurateurs.

For instance, the PC election platform included a promise to lower the small business tax rate, which currently sits at 3.5 per cent, to 1 per cent. Premier King reaffirmed his commitment to make progress on this front in a speech to the business community at the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual general meeting on May 14.

“The responsible way to do that would probably be to try to move that point five per cent over the next couple of years,” he said. “I think all of the parties in their platforms … are committed to doing that in some way, shape or form. So, that would be an issue that we can build upon in the speech from the throne and the budget,” he said.

The $52-million PC platform also included a commitment to increase the basic personal income tax exemption by $3,000.

Restaurants Canada looks forward to working with all members of the new P.E.I. legislature toward fulfilling these commitments and other policy changes that will help foodservice businesses thrive.

If you have any questions or would like more information, you can get in touch with Luc Erjavec, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Atlantic Canada, at lerjavec@restaurantscanada.org or 1-800-387-5649 ext. 5000.

Marlee Wasser

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