Charlottetown, PE - After asking for a reset, the King government outlined its priorities and vision for Prince Edward Island in its Speech from the Throne yesterday. Today, Peter Bevan-Baker, Leader of the Official Opposition, voiced concerns over the government’s lack of vision and Premier King’s satisfaction with the status quo.
“A Throne Speech is the time for government to express its biggest dreams and to tether those dreams to practical and attainable policy. Making good choices now will set PEI up for a future that is both fair and sustainable,” said Bevan-Baker, “However, from what we heard yesterday, it seems the Premier is happy with maintaining the status quo. He is content with the state of our mental health and addictions services. He is fine with the housing crisis we face. He is okay to see so many Islanders without a family doctor. In fact, he went as far as to say it is unrealistic for Islanders to expect to have a physician dedicated to their health. It seems the Premier is giving up on the issues that are so very critical to the health and wellbeing of Islanders.”
Absent from the Throne Speech were commitments to finally building a mental health hospital, an acknowledgement of housing as a basic human right and plan to tackle our housing crisis, a commitment to eliminate poverty on PEI, a decisive and articulated vision for a post-COVID economic recovery that creates an equitable and inclusive society where no Islander is left behind.
“I’m really not sure why the Premier felt a reset for his government agenda was needed when what we heard yesterday simply commits to largely continue to do what it was already doing,” said Bevan-Baker, “This government is choosing to step back from a future that is beckoning us - begging us - to think big and to be daring. If ever there was a time when governments have been called to step up and not step back, it is now. This is why I have called this Throne Speech timid and tepid.”