Prince Edward Island Canada

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — The Governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island will invest $1.35 million over the next three years for affordable housing across the province. An additional seventy five units will be funded through rent supplements and will benefit low income seniors, families, non-senior singles, persons with disabilities and those with mental health issues.

Sean Casey, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Parliamentary and Attorney General of Canada and Member of Parliament for Charlottetown, along with the Honourable Tina Mundy, Minister of Family and Human Services and Member of the Legislative Assembly for Summerside – St. Eleanors, made the funding announcement today.

Quick facts:
• The Governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island are both contributing $1.35M towards rent supplements under the Investment in Affordable Housing 2014-2019 agreement.
• Through Budget 2016, the Government of Canada will invest more t han $1.5 billion dollars over two years, starting in 2016–2017, to support the construction of new affordable housing units, the renovation and repair of existing affordable housing, measures to support housing affordability such as rent supplements, and measures to foster safe, independent living.
• From April 2011 to December 2014, close to 236,000 households have benefited from this investment nationally, including almost 2,400 in Prince Edward Island.

Quotes:
“Our Government is providing Canadians not only with safe, affordable housing, but also with the jobs and opportunities they need. Rental assistance programs in Prince Edward Island give low-income households more options. They are flexible, giving Islanders the choice of where they want to live and the cash assistance helps with housing costs.” — Sean Casey, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown, on behalf of the Hono urable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
“The Province of Prince Edward Island is excited to be working in partnership with the federal government through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to ensure affordable, appropriate housing is available for Islanders who are most in need. We recognize that there are gaps for specific groups of our population and we are pleased to be able to provide additional supports through rent supplements for individuals who are dealing with disabilities or mental health and addictions illnesses. Rent supplements are an excellent way to offer this support because they provide timely access to existing units across the province.” — The Honourable Tina Mundy, Minister of Family and Human Services, MLA for Summerside – St. Eleanors
Associated links:

• Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has been helping Canadian s meet their housing needs for more than 70 years. As Canada’s authority on housing, we contribute to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provide support for Canadians in housing need, and offer unbiased housing research and advice to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry. Prudent risk management, strong corporate governance and transparency are cornerstones of our operations. For more information, please call 1-800-668-2642 or visit www.cmhc.ca.
• The Department of Family and Human Services has housing units for those who require affordable housing solutions. The Department also has a number of programs that help people pay for renovations or modifications to their homes. More information on these programs is available by calling 1-855-374-7366 or by going to www.gov.pe.ca/go/housing.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Maureen Flanagan-LeClair , Family and Human Services by email at mxflanagan-leclair@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 620-3409.

S.S.Chadha. WINGS CHAMBER 

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PEI Liquor Control Commission creates survivors, one paper heart at a time

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — The PEI Liquor Control Commission (PEILCC) raised a record $13,264 in support of the Heart and Stroke Foundation during its 5th annual Paper Hearts campaign.

“Islanders once again showed their generosity by donating during this important campaign,” said Hon. Allen Roach, the minister responsible for the PEILCC. “We realize that Islanders have many options for their charitable giving, so it is gratifying to see them support the Heart and Stroke Foundation with record donations through this campaign.”

The promotion throughout February provided the opportunity for PEILCC customers at the province’s 18 PEI Liquor retail outlets to purchase paper hearts in support of the Foundation’s mission. Funds raised will help the Foundation work toward our mission of preventing disease, saving lives and promoting recovery.

The previous record for donations in the five-year campaign was $9,972 raised in 2013.

“It is always such a ple asure working with the staff of the PEILCC,” noted Crystal Cobb, Fund Development Coordinator, Heart and Stroke Foundation, PEI. “We are grateful for the support of corporate partners like the PEILCC and appreciate their willingness to partner with us to help us Create Survivors here on the Island.”

About The PEI Liquor Control Commission

The Prince Edward Island Liquor Control Commission (PEILCC) is a crown corporation responsible for the administration of the PEI Liquor Control Act and Regulations, along with the purchase, control, and sale of all beverage alcohol in the province.

About the Heart and Stroke Foundation

The Heart and Stroke Foundation (heartandstroke.ca), a volunteer-based health charity, leads in eliminating heart disease and stroke, reducing their impact through the advancement of research and its application, the promotion of healthy living and advocacy.

Healthy lives free of heart disease and stroke. Together we will make it happen .

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact James MacLeod , Liquor Control Commission by email at jcmacleod@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 368-5714.

S.S.Chadha WINGS CHAMBER

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Trail Closure Advisory

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — Temporary Closure – Provincial Trails 13:

A trail closure is now in effect for Brookvale Nordic, Strathgartney and Bonshaw Provincial Park trail systems. The closure is necessary to preserve and protect the trail systems from erosion and use during the wet spring condition.

The closure will be in effect for all user groups including hikers, cyclists, trail runners and dog walkers.

The public is asked to please respect the closure for the benefit of all users.

The trail conditions will be monitored on a daily basis and will reopen when conditions allow. The closure is expected to last approximately three weeks. An advisory will be issued when the trail system is reopened for use.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Ron Ryder , Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy by email at rrryder@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 368-5112.

S.S.Chdha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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New member and chair for Advisory Council on the Status of Women

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — Mount Stewart resident Deborah Langston will join Prince Edward Island’s Advisory Council on the Status of Women, while returning member Mari Basiletti will become chair, says Paula Biggar, Minister Responsible for the Status of Women.

“The nine members of the Advisory Council on the Status of Women do important work promoting women’s rights and gender equality. Deborah Langston’s appointment, Mari Basiletti’s nomination as chair, and the re-appointment of two other members, leaves the Advisory Council well positioned to work for the women and girls of PEI,” said Minister Biggar.

“Deborah was chosen after applying through the Engage PEI process. I’m looking forward to seeing more women and men lend their skills to our Island by joining agencies, boards and commissions through Engage PEI.”

Langston has been named to the board for a three year term. A Family Support Worker with the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of Prince Edward Is land, she has worked with the Eastern School District and spent 12 years as a civilian employee of the Metropolitan Police Force in London, England.

Three current members will be returning to the ACSW. Mari Basiletti of Canoe Cove will be chair, Melissa Mullen of Lewes, and Patti J. Wheatley of Fairview have been named to terms expiring January 22, 2018.

“We are very pleased to have such passionately dedicated Island women appointed to the Advisory Council on the Status of Women. Every time there new appointment to Council, it is a time for fresh ideas that can make a difference for the quality of life for Island women and girls and their families,” said Minister Biggar.“I thank all of these women for their work. They are making this a better province for all Islanders.”

With the appointments announced this week, two vacancies remain on the Advisory Council on the Status Women. Government will continue to look for possible members and invites interested perso ns to apply via the Engage PEI website – www.gov.pe.ca/engagepei

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Ron Ryder , Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy by email at rrryder@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 368-5112.

S.S.Chdha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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Dr. Kim Critchley named Deputy Minister of Health and Wellness

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — Premier Wade MacLauchlan advised today that Dr. Kim Critchley has been named Deputy Minister of Health and Wellness.

A former UPEI Dean of Nursing, Dr. Critchley is currently the Dean and Chief Executive Officer of the University of Calgary – Qatar.

She will replace Dr. Michael Mayne who begins a new role as Chief Executive Officer of Health PEI on April 1st. Dr. Heather Morrison will serve as Acting Deputy Minister until Dr. Critchley begins on July 15, 2016.

“We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Critchley to this critical role,” said the premier. “I am confident that we will benefit from her experience as a senior health leader and administrator, her commitment to collaboration, and her extensive knowledge of primary health care which aligns with our commitment to a greater emphasis on wellness.”

Dr. Kim A. Critchley was named Dean and Chief Executive Officer of University of Calgary – Qatar (UCQ), in January 2013. She came to UCQ from the University of Prince Edward Island School of Nursing where she served as Dean from 2004 to 2012. She has held adjunct appointments with the University of New Brunswick School of Nursing (Honorary Research Assistant), Dalhousie University and the Memorial University Department of Graduate Studies.

She earned a BSc Nursing from St. Francis Xavier University, a Master of Nursing from the University of Calgary, a Diploma of Primary Health Care and Quality Improvement from the University of Helsinki Department of Primary Health Care, and a PhD from the University of Helsinki Faculty of Medicine.

Her areas of research, frontline experience and professional expertise include primary health care, children’s health, Aboriginal health, and knowledge translation. Dr. Critchley has extensive peer-reviewed publications and scholarly presentations to her credit.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Mary Moszynski , Premier’s Office by email at mamoszynski@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 368-4400.

S.S.Chdha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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PEI Burger Love returns with 73 restaurants

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — Once again, PEI Burger Love returns beefier than ever.

For the 6th annual event, there’s a record 73 restaurants vying to be crowned Prince Edward Island’s ‘Most Loved Burger’. This is up from the 60 restaurants that participated in 2015.

PEI Burger Love is a multi-award winning campaign that celebrates Island beef through unique gourmet hamburgers, and is created and marketed by Fresh Media in partnership with PEI Cattle Producers and PEI Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

“With chefs and restaurants across PEI showcasing Island beef in creative and tasty burgers, the department is very pleased to be a partner once again in PEI Burger Love,” said Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Alan McIsaac. “This campaign provides a great opportunity to promote the high quality of Prince Edward Island beef, and recognizes a group of committed producers, chefs and business owners who are strengthening Prince Edward Islands reputation as Canada’s Food Island.”

When the grills were turned off last year, PEI Burger Love sold over 145,000 burgers during the 30 day campaign. The total sales of just the burgers equaled over $1.9 million.

In addition to the 73 burgers to choose from, the campaign will also feature new initiatives such as a ‘Burger Love at Home’ contest in partnership with Sobeys, ‘Roadtrip Weekends’ with Fair Isle Ford, and new ‘FryDays’ promotion co-presented by PEI Potato Growers and Cavendish Farms. Islanders will also be able to obtain ‘Burger Bucks’ coupons with the purchase of select products at PEILCC corporate retail locations, which can then be used towards the purchase of 2016 PEI Burger Love entries at participating restaurants.

“Thanks to the support of Islanders, we’ve been able to grow the campaign and create such a positive economic impact that helps so many sectors”, said Melody Dover, President of Fresh Media. “Once everyone sees what our talented c hefs have cooked up this year, we’re confident the appetite to support local will be stronger than ever.”

This year, PEI Burger Love will also dedicate its official ‘PEI Burger Love Day’ to pay it forward in the beefiest way. On Saturday April 23rd, for every PEI Burger Love burger sold during this 24-hour time period, Atlantic Beef Products will donate 1/4 lb of beef to Food Banks across Prince Edward Island.

The star ingredient for the campaign remains Island beef, with unique flavours and toppings that include teriyaki-infused bacon, Belgium waffles, homemade carrot ketchup, haddock fillets or tequila citrus aioli.

“On behalf of all the PEI farm families who work hard every day to produce quality products, I would like to invite Islanders to enjoy and share this year’s new and creative burgers with their own families and friends”, said PEI Cattle Producers’ Chair Brian Morrison. “Our farmers appreciate Islander’s continued support of buying local homegr own products.”

The full list of PEI Burger Love creations will be unveiled on April 1st with the campaign running until April 30th. For more information on PEI Burger Love, visit www.peiburgerlove.ca.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Amber Nicholson , Agriculture and Fisheries by email at amnicholson@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 368-5286.

S.S.Chdha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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Province’s Slemon Park acquisition will boost aerospace sector

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — The purchase of all outstanding shares of the Slemon Park Corporation will help the province grow its aerospace industry and attract more companies to Prince Edward Island, Economic Development and Tourism Minister Heath MacDonald says.

“Aerospace is a major employer, exporter, and contributor to the province’s economy and Slemon Park is an incredibly important strategic asset,” Minister MacDonald said. “This acquisition will allow the province to make capital improvements to Slemon Park that will help us increase exports, expand our economy, and create jobs for Islanders in this fast-growing industry.”

With the purchase of all of Slemon Park Corporation’s remaining ownership shares for $2.39 million, the province will now operate it as a crown corporation. As sole owner, the province will explore ways to ensure the corporation realizes its full potential through improvements to the airport runway and other facilities.

“Slemon Park Corporation would like to thank all shareholders for the pivotal roles they played in the early success of Slemon Park Corporation, and for their ongoing contributions as shareholders and directors in our 25-year history,” said Wayne Carew, chairman of the Slemon Park Corporation Board of Directors. “Slemon Park is a special business centre with unique infrastructure and assets, so we look forward to the clarity of focus and potential for further development with the Province as the sole owner of the corporation.”

The Slemon Park Corporation was incorporated in January 1991 as a private for-profit corporation and acquired the 1,400-acre former CFB Summerside property in April 1992. Slemon Park has been the centerpiece of the province’s aerospace sector since that time, hosting Vector Aerospace and Honeywell Aerospace as its anchor tenants.

“We are pleased to see the province’s ongoing commitment and recognition of Slemon Park Corporation as a ver y important economic development strategic asset,” said Steven Yeo, site leader at Honeywell Aerospace. “Having a clear ownership and governance structure is important to Honeywell PEI. We are one of the Island’s leading aerospace companies and have achieved business growth due in no small part to the dedicated local workforce and our positive working relationship with the Province.”

The corporation also operates the Summerside Airport and the Slemon Park Hotel and Conference Centre, among other interests. Nearly 1,000 people work at the site, and 600 live in the Slemon Park community.

“This strategic announcement will greatly increase the City of Summerside’s potential with regards to our business development mandate,” said Summerside Mayor Bill Martin. “We recognize our position as a leader in the aerospace sector and Slemon Park is the perfect venue for creating new business relationships. “This opens the door to crucial ventures being pursued in support of ou r quest for job creation for Prince County. We congratulate the Province for its leadership on this important initiative.”

Aerospace companies generate $149 million to the provincial economy and employ more than 1,360 highly skilled Islanders. The sector has grown steadily, particularly in international exports which have increased by 300 per cent over the past five years.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Brad Chatfield , Economic Development and Tourism by email at bpchatfield@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 368-5501.

S.S.Chdha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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Petroleum Pricing

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — The Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission approved the following petroleum pricing decisions, effective 12:01 a.m., Friday, April 1, 2016:

• Gasoline prices will increase by 6.0 cents per litre (cpl);

• There will be no change in furnace, stove oil or diesel prices; and

• Propane prices will decrease by 2.2 cpl for Superior Propane, by 1.3 cpl for Irving Energy Distribution and Marketing and by 2.5 cpl for Kenmac Energy Inc.

Including adjustments for taxes, pump prices for regular unleaded gasoline at self-serve outlets will now range from 97.6 cpl to 98.7 cpl. Maximum before tax propane prices will now range from 66.8 cpl to 69.4 cpl.

The maximum price for furnace oil will continue to amount to 72.7 cpl, plus tax.

Continued escalation in the wholesale price of gasoline now necessitates the pricing adjustment announced today. Today’s adjustment, while significant, serves to bring PEI pump pricing in line with prices observed in our neighboring provinces. Indeed, Charlottetown’s pump price of 97.6 cpl compares favourably with Moncton, New Brunswick @ 97.9 cpl and St. Johns, Newfoundland @ 104.3 cpl.

The Commission’s next scheduled price adjustment will be on April 15, 2016.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Allison MacEwen , Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission by email at amacewen@irac.pe.ca or phone (902) 892-3501.

S.S.Chdha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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Province responds to abortion challenge

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — The Prince Edward Island government announced today that it will not oppose a constitutional challenge to provincial policies regarding access to in-province abortion services.

“Based on legal advice that current policies regarding access to in-province abortion services would likely be in violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, government determined that the most responsible approach is to revise the policy rather than embark on a long and costly court case,” said Premier and Minister of Justice Wade MacLauchlan. “We recognize that Islanders, including Members of the Legislative Assembly, have strong personal beliefs on this issue; we also recognize our obligation to provide timely and professional health care, without discrimination.”

Health PEI has been directed to begin planning for a new women’s reproductive health centre on Prince Edward Island that will offer a number of reproductive health service s, including medical and surgical abortions. Health PEI will report back on additional services to be provided, which could include pre- and post-natal counseling, fertility, and post-partum support services.

Health and Wellness Minister Robert Henderson has directed Health PEI to develop a business case for the new centre, to be located in a hospital setting.

“We recognize the importance of timely access to women’s reproductive health services. The co-location of services, including counseling and support services, will provide a wider level of support for women and the best use of public health care resources,” said Minister Henderson.

Minister Responsible for the Status of Women Paula Biggar acknowledged Islanders who have advocated on both sides of the abortion issue for many years.

“We have listened with respect to many voices and personal convictions on this topic,” said Minister Biggar. “Public policy must be reassessed and revised to ensure it stands the test of time. The decision we’re announcing today means that we will offer timely access to frontline services that align with women’s equality rights.”

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Mary Moszynski , Justice and Public Safety by email at mamoszynski@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 368-4400.

S.S.Chdha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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Successful candidate selected for Provincial Policing Review

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — Perivale and Taylor Consulting has won the bid to conduct a comprehensive consultation and review of policing services on Prince Edward Island.

“I am pleased that a successful candidate has been selected and work can begin on this important review,” Premier and Justice and Public Safety Minister Wade MacLauchlan said. “Police services on Prince Edward Island have a long-standing reputation for excellence and professionalism. I know the Island’s policing community will welcome this opportunity to provide input into the future direction of policing services for our citizens.”

The successful candidate, Perivale and Taylor Consulting, has more than twenty years’ experience in policing reviews across Canada, including in the Maritimes, at the municipal, regional, provincial, territorial, and federal levels. The firm has also conducted international policing-related projects along with consulting work in government and private in dustry.

“We will employ a comprehensive and inclusive consultative approach to ensure that the ideas and concerns of stakeholders, community organizations, and citizens are recognized,” said Keith Taylor, President of Perivale and Taylor Consulting. “This community consultation will be complemented by input from the provincial government, elected officials, police leaders, and operational personnel. The consultation will focus on community safety needs and policing services.”

This is the first province-wide review of police services in more than 40 years – the last such review was the Grosman Report on Policing in Prince Edward Island in 1974. Subsequent reviews on individual departments were conducted in 1977, 1991, 2005, 2009 and 2012.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Maureen Flanagan-LeClair , Justice and Public Safety by email at mxflanagan-leclair@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 620-3409.

S.S.Chdha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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Education transition update

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — Education, Early Learning and Culture Minister Doug Currie today provided an update on the integration of the English Language School Board into the department.

“We are building an education system that is focused on student excellence, and we believe our educators are the key to helping students reach their full potential. To more effectively support teaching in 21st century classrooms, we are renewing our approach to the administration of education,” said Minister Currie. “Moving from two levels of administration to one will reduce duplication and create efficiencies. More importantly, it will result in one strong departmental team supporting administrators, educators and students, leading to more effective use of education resources.”

A new learner-focused approach to education was announced in November 2015. It includes advisory groups to better engage Islanders in all aspects of learning, and an integrated department t o implement the new direction for education now being developed by all partners.

The reorganization, and the removal of administrative duplication, will allow a decrease of 32 positions in administration. The number of front line positions – teachers, educational assistants, youth service workers – will not decrease.

“We recognize how important it is for everyone to know, as early as possible, the number of front line staff for the coming school year,” he said. “With the efficiencies achieved through a more effective and more focused department, government will be able to preserve the same number of classroom teachers, educational assistants, youth service workers and student services staff for the upcoming school year.”

A new Education Act will be introduced in the spring session of the legislature, outlining the new education structure. There will be a new Public Schools Branch within the Department of Education, Early Learning and Culture that will be res ponsible for the day to day operations of the school system, including the hiring of front-line educators and school staff, student transportation and student services.
The integration process is expected to be complete before the beginning of the September 2016 school year.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Katie MacDonald , Education, Early Learning and Culture by email at katiemacdonald@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 368-6449.

S.S.Chdha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI and Province team up to offer training to adult learners

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — The Province of Prince Edward Island is excited to be working with the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI to offer essential skills training and GED preparation to adult learners in Lennox Island, says Minister Richard Brown, Workforce and Advanced Learning.

“Education is so crucial in the development of workplace skills, and through partnerships like this one, we will continue to work together to instil the value of education, while providing an opportunity to enhance employability skills to grow a vibrant Island workforce that benefits both employers and employees alike,” said Minister Brown.

Essential skills training and GED preparation is currently being offered to 12 adult learners from the Lennox Island community. The 12-week program, delivered by Workplace Learning, began at the end of January and will continue to the end of April. Through the training, adult learners will increase their skills through a flexible in-class lea rning model for eight weeks, followed by a four-week work placement in the private sector. Partnership with employers will provide valuable insight into the skills employees need to succeed in the workplace, while ensuring participants are better prepared to transition into the labour market.

“We are very fortunate to have programs like this one offered to the community of Lennox Island. Individuals are preparing to enter into the labour market, advance in their present employment, or continue on to further education,” said Chief Matilda Ramjattan, Lennox Island First Nation.

Training participant, Remanda Mitchell, agreed and finds the program helpful for upgrading skills. She credits the training for assisting her in acquiring new skills and improving her literacy.

“As a Government we are proud to work closely with our First Nations communities to ensure individuals have an opportunity to enhance their skills and gain insightful work experiences leading the m to future career options in the Island labour force,” said Premier Wade MacLauchlan, Minister Responsible for Aboriginal Affairs.

Funding is provided by SkillsPEI, through the Department of Workforce and Advanced Learning, under the Canada-PEI Labour Market Development Agreement. Training partners include the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI; Lennox Island First Nation; and the Irving Foundation.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Sheila Kerry , Workforce and Advanced Learning by email at slkerry@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 620-3688.

S.S.Chdha. WINGS CHAMBER.

 

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Changes proposed for Route 1A intersections in Central Bedeque

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — The Department of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy has presented residents of the Bedeque area with proposed changes to improve safety at intersections along Route 1A in Central Bedeque, says Minister Paula Biggar.

“Bedeque Council was one of the first municipal governments I met with after becoming minister last summer. They have been advocates for improvements to these intersections and have worked with us in developing ways to make these intersections safer,” said Minister Biggar.

Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy intends to improve two intersections located at: Route 1A and Route 10 and at Route 1A, Dunk River Road and Callbeck Street.

The project involves realigning the intersection of Route 1A and Route 10 in order to create a T intersection that will reduce risks of collisions.

The Department also proposes constructing a left turn lane on Route 1A which will access the Dunk River Road (Rout e 171). This construction will allow turning vehicles a dedicated lane, reducing risks of rear end collisions.

Officials of TIE held a public meeting in Bedeque Tuesday night to allow residents to view the proposed new intersections.

Ron Rayner, chairperson of the Municipality of Bedeque and Area, said he is optimistic that the designs proposed Tuesday, along with input from area residents, will lead to improved highway safety in his community.

“Job one has to be the safety of the traveling public. We’ve had too many people die or get injured on the road around here. We want a solution that’s going to improve things and work for the long term,” he said.

“The department and Minister Biggar have been great to listen and work with us.”in the 2016 construction season.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Ron Ryder , Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy by email at rrryder@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 368-5112.

S.S.Chdha. WINGS CHAMBER.

 

 

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Islanders to benefit from new heart testing services offered at the QEH

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — The recruitment of a new cardiologist to the province has allowed for the addition of more heart health services that Islanders can access closer to home, says Minister of Health and Wellness Robert Henderson.

“We are very pleased to have this new specialist practicing in our province,” said Minister Henderson. “It means more timely diagnosis and follow-up care for Island patients and less stress for families who may already be going through a difficult time.”

Cardiologist Dr. Alex MacLean began working as a member of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s (QEH) internal medicine department last fall, allowing the hospital to offer a number of new heart-specific diagnostic tests not previously available on Prince Edward Island. The new diagnostic services include transesophageal echocardiogram, stress echocardiogram and dobutamine stress echocardiogram.

Prior to these services being offered on Prince Edward Island, approximat ely 300 Islanders travelled to hospitals in Moncton, Saint John or Halifax every year.

“We are very fortunate to have Dr. MacLean as part of our team,” said Debbie Downe, QEH Ambulatory Care Centre manager. “More importantly, as a result of Dr. MacLean’s expertise, we are able to offer important cardiac diagnostic tests here on PEI that can lead to more timely diagnoses and treatment interventions to improve the quality of life for Islanders with heart conditions or risk factors for heart conditions.”

“’I am happy to be able to provide these tests to my fellow Islanders, on the Island,” said Dr. MacLean. “I am also grateful of the support provided by the QEH Foundation that enabled the equipment for these tests to be purchased.’”

A transesophageal echocardiogram uses high-frequency sound waves to obtain detailed images of the heart and arteries that lead to and from it. This allows a cardiologist to determine if there are problems with the heart’s structure and function.

A stress echocardiogram and dobutamine stress echocardiogram are tests that use ultrasound imaging to show how well the heart muscle is working before and after physical activity.

All cardiac diagnostic services are offered in the Ambulatory Care Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Amanda Hamel , Health PEI by email at ajhamel@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 894-2534.

S.S.Chdha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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Premier welcomes federal budget as positive for Prince Edward Islanders

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI The following is distributed by Island Information Services at the request of the Office of the Premier of Prince Edward Island.

Premier welcomes federal budget as positive for Prince Edward Islanders

Charlottetown, PEI, March 22, 2016—Premier Wade MacLauchlan today reacted positively to Minister Bill Morneau’s first budget “Growing the Middle Class.”

“I have appreciated our exchanges with the Prime Minister and the federal government over the past several months on the issues of importance to Canadians and Prince Edward Islanders and see in this budget a direction that supports strong collaboration on the shared priorities of our governments.”

The 2016 Budget contains significant new investments which will benefit the people of Prince Edward Island:

– Increased support for social programming, including for child benefits, employment support, First Nations, students, youth, se niors and veterans

– Clear commitments on strategic infrastructure, including waste and wastewater, social housing and transportation infrastructure

– Emphasis on prosperity, particularly for education and workforce preparation and integration.

“The commitment from the Government of Canada is critical to our ability as a province to prosper. Our conversations with the Prime Minister, his senior Ministers and our Members of Parliament to date have been productive. I look forward to working with our federal colleagues on the ongoing challenges which face Prince Edward Island including population and workforce development, aging demographics and health care costs.”

For information:

Mary Moszynski

(902) 368-4400, mamoszynski@gov.pe.ca

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Mary Moszynski , Premier’s Office by email at mamoszynski@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 368-4400.

S.S.Chdha. WINGS CHAMBER.

 

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Public health and primary care cancelling some patient appointments for this afternoon and evening

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — Due to inclement weather and challenging road conditions, some primary care and public health services appointments are being cancelled.

Public Health Nursing has cancelled appointments in Charlottetown for this afternoon.

Additionally, all primary care appointments at the Central Queens Health Centre scheduled for this evening only are cancelled.

All cancelled patient appointments are being rescheduled.

Islanders are reminded to please call ahead to reconfirm their appointment or to let staff know if they are unable to make their appointment. Islanders are also reminded to call 8-1-1 for non-urgent health care advice or 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency.

Health PEI will continue to update the public as decisions are made to delay or cancel additional health care services.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Amanda Hamel , Health PEI by email at ajhamel@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 894-2534.

S.S.Chdha. WINGS CHAMBER.

 

 

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Public engagement invited on development of new energy strategy

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — A new energy strategy for Prince Edward island will be developed through a wide range of perspectives from individuals and businesses, says Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy Minister Paula Biggar.

“”We are looking forward developing an energy strategy that will guide policies and decisions now and in the future that will benefit all Islanders,” said Minister Biggar. “It is vital that we hear from residents and business that rely on a sustainable and affordable energy supply.”

The Prince Edward Island Energy Corporation is working with companies Dunsky Energy Consulting in partnership with Power Advisory to develop the strategy. The report is expected to be completed by the end of June.

The strategy will be comprehensive, with a focus on sustainability, including approaches to energy efficiency and conservation, renewable energy alternatives and of economic benefit to the province. It will be integrated with the provincial climate change strategy.

As part of the process, submissions are being invited from the public. Submissions can be made online, by e-mail, by mail or fax. Public meetings are being scheduled to be held across Prince Edward Island in May. More information is available at www.peiec.ca.

“Rising energy costs impact all Islanders, businesses and institutions and new measures must be put in place to secure the Island’s energy future,” said Minister Biggar. “I strongly encourage all Islanders who have a stake in this issue to come forward with their ideas and suggestions.”

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Wayne MacKinnon , Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy by email at wemackinnon@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 314-3407.

S.S.Chdha. WINGS CHAMBER.

 

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Highlights from first round of district advisory council meetings now online

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — Students, parents and educators are working together to develop a focused direction for excellence in the education system through district advisory councils, says Education, Early Learning and Culture Minister Doug Currie.

“Government is committed to drawing on the expertise of Islanders to help shape an education system that will truly support Island learners, through a new model of collaboration and shared leadership in learning,” said Minister Currie.

“The district advisory councils provide a stronger voice for students and parents in shaping public policy in K-12 education.”

Eight district advisory councils met from early February to early March. The councils include 20 students, 55 school council representatives, including 12 teachers and eight regional representatives from the PEI Home and School Federation.

One common theme was the need to support student wellness with more integrated services across govern ment to address mental health and other challenges. Councils also wanted to ensure that assessment results are used to improve academic achievement. There were also concerns about the ever changing nature of Island classrooms and the demands that class composition place on students and teachers.

“With the first DAC meetings completed, I believe the education system on Prince Edward Island is heading in a positive direction,” said Charlottetown Rural student and District Advisory Council member Taylor MacBeath. “I believe that having students all across the province be part of this process will have many positive outcomes, as it will be students in the end who are directly affected by these decisions.”

Student representatives brought forward suggestions to improve programs and services for high achieving students, so that successful students feel challenged to reach their full potential. Students shared concerns about how anxiety issues affect their peers, coupled w ith their concerns about being properly prepared for post-secondary education. Many students felt they would benefit from more project-based learning and 21st century instructional techniques.

“The rich dialogue has shown that our council members have a deep hope that we can revisit our current practices, re-assessing the status quo, all with the shared goal of helping Island students fulfill their potential,” said Pat Campbell, District Advisory Council Engagement Officer. “Now that we have begun to identify the challenges our students, teachers and parents face, we will work towards developing shared solutions at our next round of meetings in April.”

Along with the district advisory councils, as part of government’s new model of collaboration and shared leadership in learning, the Learning Partners Advisory Council and the Principals Council also met in February and will meet again in the coming months.

Highlights from the meetings are now available online at h ttp://www.gov.pe.ca/eecd/DAC

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Katie MacDonald , Education, Early Learning and Culture by email at katiemacdonald@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 368-6449.

S.S.Chdha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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Essential Skills Training to enhance the shellfish industry

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — Harvesters and plant workers had the opportunity to enhance their job related skills in quality control processes within the shellfish sector, says Minister Richard Brown, Workforce and Advanced Learning.

“Through SkillsPEI, we’re focused on working closely with industry to give Island workers the chance to develop the necessary skills to maintain employment here on Prince Edward Island,” said Minister Brown.

The PEI Shellfish Association recently coordinated the delivery of an essential skills training program for 20 participants in western Prince Edward Island. The oyster and clam fisheries make an economic contribution of approximately $25 million to the PEI economy each year.

“More than 1,000 jobs are sustained within the oyster and clam fisheries and ensuring employees are well trained in the safe production of seafood products will provide a high level of assurance to our international consumers, and support the continued growth of this industry,” said Minister Alan McIsaac, Agriculture and Fisheries.

This training initiative, funded by Workforce and Advanced Learning through the Canada-PEI Job Grant and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, was identified by the PEI Shellfish Association as an important step to help industry participants understand and meet the strict regulations that ensure PEI shellfish products are safe.

“Providing training opportunities to individuals within our industry ensures that the most up-to-date information is being shared, and employees are kept abreast on what they need to know, in turn, increasing their confidence and commitment to the workplace,” said Brenda Campbell, President, PEI Shellfish Association.

The four-week training program focused on quality management practices and food safety. Participants were able to increase their knowledge of handling and processing procedures, and improve their understanding of documentation and reporting requirements.

“It’s terrific that PEI and Canada can work together to help individuals get the education and training they need to develop new skills that will enable them to excel in their jobs within the seafood processing industry,” said the Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour. “We will continue to work with the PEI Government and others to help all Canadians get the skills they need for good quality jobs.”

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Sheila Kerry , Workforce and Advanced Learning by email at slkerry@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 620-3688.

S.S.Chdha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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Aerospace, bio-science companies outperforming expectations

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — The aerospace and bioscience sectors in Prince Edward Island are posting better sales and profits than originally predicted, Economic Development and Tourism Minister Heath MacDonald said.

“We are seeing increased export growth on Prince Edward Island and a resulting increase in labour income,” said Minister MacDonald. “This is a sign of positive economic development in key sectors.”

Government offers corporate tax rebates to up-and-coming sectors like aerospace and bioscience as part of efforts to grow the province’s economy. The tax rebates are tied to business success – so the more revenue they generate for the economy, the more rebates they receive.

Cabinet this week approved a special warrant of $6.9 million to address the increase in tax rebates for the aerospace and bioscience sectors. The special warrant will be offset by increased provincial revenues so it will not increase the province’s budget deficit.

“As companies succeed and grow, they add employees who spend money in the community and they invest in expansions to their businesses, which contributes to the provincial economy,” said the Minister.

The bioscience industry in Prince Edward Island includes 40 companies that generate $125 million in sales annually. It employs more than 1,300 Islanders in highly skilled positions and is responsible for more than 1,700 direct and indirect jobs.

Bioscience has tripled in size over the past 10 years and should continue to succeed thanks to the province’s growing reputation as a location to build bioscience companies.

Aerospace companies generate $149 million to the provincial economy and employ more than 1,360 highly skilled Islanders. Like bioscience, the sector has grown steadily particularly in international exports, which have increased by 300 per cent over the past five

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Wayne MacKinnon , Economic Development and Tourism by email at wemackinnon@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 314-3407.

S.S.Chdha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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Prince Edward Island optimistic on priorities for Immigration in Canada

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — Federal, provincial, and municipal counterparts responsible for immigration met this week in Ottawa to discuss and learn from their successes and challenges in welcoming our newest Canadians, says Minister Heath MacDonald, Economic Development and Tourism.

“I was honoured to represent Prince Edward Island and speak about the excellent work being done on the immigration and refugee files, and the meeting was an opportunity to engage in open dialogue on the importance of quickly integrating newcomers to Canada,” said Minister MacDonald. “Minister McCallum’s spirit of cooperation and passion for immigration was noticed and appreciated.”

In 2015, PEI welcomed 810 new Islanders and nominated 696 individuals, 394 business people, 154 skilled workers, and 196 skilled workers under Express Entry. To date, PEI has welcomed 200 Syrian refugees and looks forward to welcoming more in the near future. The influx of new Canadians plays a large role in Prince Edward Island’s economic future, and the region and country recognize immigration as a Canadian priority.

The Honourable John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada and the Honourable Michael Chan, Minister of the Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade, Government of Ontario co-chaired the meeting held in Ottawa on March 14. Meeting attendees, which included ministers, deputy ministers, and departmental staff from across the country, met to collaborate on key priority areas, including discussions on the Syrian refugee resettlement efforts; resettlement needs and priorities; immigration levels; and the vision action plan. The provinces agreed to continue to work together to develop future immigration levels, further refine the Express Entry system, and promote Canada’s immigration offerings.

“As a province, Prince Edward Island has been growing its population over the past number of years, an d immigration is a large part of that,” said Minister Richard Brown, Workforce and Advanced Learning. “This past weekend, the Premier hosted a reception to welcome PEI’s newest residents, and hundreds of Islanders attended to show their support and warmth for their new neighbors.”

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Sheila Kerry , Workforce and Advanced Learning by email at slkerry@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 620-3688.

S.S.Chdha. WINGS CHAMBER.

 

 

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2016 Order of PEI Nominations accepted until      March 29th

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — Charles Curley, Chair of the Order of PEI Advisory Council, announced today that nominations for Prince Edward Island’s highest honour, the Order of Prince Edward Island, will continue to be accepted until March 29, 2016.

The Order of Prince Edward Island was established in 1996 to recognize the Island’s most outstanding citizens. Since its inception, 68 Islanders have been awarded the medal and inducted into the Order.

In 2015, membership in the Order was expanded to include Mr. Bill Campbell of Charlottetown, Mr. Gerald Dixon of Crapaud and Dr. Charles St. Clair Trainor of Charlottetown.

Nominees must be living Canadian citizens, who are current or former long-term residents of the Island. The honour may not be awarded to sitting members of any Provincial Legislature, nor to Islanders in the Senate or House of Commons, or sitting as judges. The Order is not conferred posthumously.

Members of the Ord er have come from many different backgrounds on the Island, including: medicine, arts, politics, community service and religion. All recipients share a lifetime of effort and accomplishment that truly has been remarkable.

“This is a very special award for very deserving Islanders” says Mr. Curley, who chairs the Advisory Council that reviews the nominations for the Order Of Prince Edward Island. “This award is an honour that is bestowed by the people of Prince Edward Island upon one of their fellow citizens. Nominations come from people from all over the Island, people like you and me who see excellence in a friend, neighbour or colleague and believes it should to be recognized by the Province.”

Curley says that the Order of PEI has intentionally broad criteria. “The medals are awarded to recognize individual excellence, achievement and outstanding contributions to the social, cultural or economic well-being of Prince Edward Island and its residents. On merit, many, many Islanders are eligible for the honour, however, there are usually only three chosen from the numerous applications received each year.”

With so many nominations Island wide, the Advisory Council has the difficult task of narrowing down to those who they feel are the most deserving. Curley points out that while a nomination may not be successful in a given year, nominators are encouraged to resubmit nominations for the same person in any year following.

Recipients are awarded the honour by the Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island, as Chancellor of the Order, at a special ceremony at Government House in October. This event is attended by the Premier, members of the Advisory Council, family and friends of the honourees.

Curley feels strongly about the importance of the Order of Prince Edward Island. “In a world where awards are often viewed as ‘elitist,’ this is an honour that comes from friends and neighbours. It’s important for the peo ple of this Island to acknowledge that there are outstanding people living, working, and making important contributions to our Island and that they receive the recognition they richly deserve.”

Individuals and organizations can receive more information on nominating deserving citizens to the Order by going online at www.gov.pe.ca/opei, by picking up nomination forms at any Access PEI outlet, or by contacting the Secretary of the Advisory Council, Charles MacKay, at chmackay@assembly.pe.ca, tel – 902-368-5970.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Charles MacKay , Legislative Assembly by email at chmackay@assembly.pe.ca or phone (902) 368-5970.

S.S.Chdha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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Islanders invited to learn how they can support a loved one suffering from addiction

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — Islanders impacted by a loved one’s addiction are invited to an information session on how to communicate with and support their loved one to seek treatment, says Health PEI Director of Mental Health and Addictions Verna Ryan.

Health PEI is holding a Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) session for the public March 17 to discuss and teach effective strategies for helping a person with addiction. The session is free for the public and is being held at Royalty Centre in Charlottetown (40 Enman Crescent) at 7:00pm. Presenters include Greg Purvis, former Nova Scotia Health Authority Director of Mental Health and Addictions, and Tammy Kontuk, Clinical Psychologist with the Nova Scotia Health Authority. No registration is required.

“There are many Island families and friends impacted by a loved one’s addiction. They want to help that person, but are often unsure of how to do so in a way that is supportive and healt hy for all involved,” said Ms. Ryan. “Our staff is here to help people get the treatment they need, this includes supporting families and friends impacted by the addiction. CRAFT is the leading evidence-based approach to providing support to families and loved ones.”

CRAFT is an approach for families who have a loved one struggling with substances but who is not really interested in making changes or getting help. CRAFT teaches families behavioral and motivational strategies for interacting with their loved one. Participants learn, for example, the power of positive reinforcement for positive behavior (and of withdrawing it for unwanted behavior), and how to use positive communication skills to improve interactions and maximize their influence.

Specifically, CRAFT teaches several skills, including:

• Understanding a loved one’s triggers to use substances

• Positive communication strategies

• Positive reinforcement strategies – rewarding non-using behavior < P>• Problem-solving

• Self-care

• Domestic violence precautions

• Getting a loved one to accept help

Many of these skills are valuable for the family even if their loved one does not enter treatment or has already begun the treatment process. Additionally, the skills remain essential over the long run for families in navigating and maintaining a positive journey for themselves as well as for their loved one.

“CRAFT represents an important shift in the way families are encouraged to address their loved one’s addiction and their own health and well-being at the same time,” added Ms. Ryan. “Previously, families felt that they had to make a difficult decision – to either help their loved one or to help themselves by distancing themselves from their loved one. Now, we can support them with tools and strategies so that they can help their loved one and themselves get through the addiction.”

In addition to the public session, Health PEI is also facilitating a three-day training session for mental health and addictions staff, as well as other stakeholder agencies and organizations such as the Office of the Attorney General, Canadian Mental Health Association, Family Violence Prevention Services, and Holland College.

For more information about support for families impacted by addiction, Islanders can call Addiction Services toll-free at 1-888-299-8399 (ask for the Family Program).

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Amanda Hamel , Health PEI by email at ajhamel@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 894-2534.

S.S.Chdha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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Minister MacDonald encouraged by discussions on domestic trade

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — Discussions are continuing towards a renewed domestic trade agreement in Canada. Minister Heath MacDonald, Economic Development and Tourism met with his Federal-Provincial-Territorial counterparts last month to discuss the status of negotiations towards a renewed Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT), and to provide direction on some key remaining issues.

Minister MacDonald came away from the meeting feeling encouraged by the progress being made at the negotiating table, but cited that there is still more to be done to ensure a solid outcome is achieved.

“With more than 50% of Prince Edward Island’s exports destined for other Canadian cities, it is critical that we tackle any remaining irritants facing Island businesses today,” said Minister MacDonald. “I am looking at this through the lens of our business community, and a renewed agreement needs to focus on what Government can do and change to further assist our companies to co mpete and succeed in the Canadian marketplace. We need to ensure an outcome which places Island businesses on a level playing field with their counterparts across the country.”

The business community in Prince Edward Island has long been asking to reduce and eliminate regulatory burdens that make it difficult to do business across the country. Island businesses have identified that differing regulations across the country in areas such as transportation and construction services lead to increased costs for shipping their products, or make it difficult to do business in other jurisdictions within Canada.

“In addition to the on-going work my department is doing on red-tape reduction and regulatory reform, both on PEI and in the Maritime and Atlantic regions, I believe we have found an outcome which will help deal with regulatory issues facing businesses at the national level as well,” said Minister MacDonald.

Government will be asking Island businesses to iden tify their most pressing issues they are facing from a regulatory perspective. The issues identified will inform the list of priorities which Government puts forward to be resolved as part of the regulatory reconciliation process agreed upon in the renewed trade agreement. Further meetings amongst ministers are being planned in the coming weeks as they continue their work towards an announcement of a renewed agreement in the near future.

“It is time to put the current AIT in the rear-view mirror. We need to look forward and find ways to liberalize trade beyond the existing agreement to improve the business environment across the country. After all, this should be about how governments can help businesses further compete and succeed in the Canadian marketplace,” said Minister MacDonald.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Sheila Kerry , Economic Development and Tourism by email at slkerry@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 620-3688.

S.S.Chdha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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After two record years, tourism in 2016 looks promising

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — Early reservations being made with our quality accommodations bode well for tourism in 2016 following record years in 2014 and 2015, Economic Development and Tourism Minister Heath MacDonald says.

“Some tourism operators are telling us their bookings have started off strong so far this year,” Minister MacDonald said. “Although it’s still too early to tell, I’m cautiously optimistic that these great first indications will build on the success of the last two years and lead to a successful 2016 season.”

Tourism in 2015 started slowly due to the unprecedented winter weather that continued through March. However, numbers rebounded in the summer and fall resulting in a record year with significant increases particularly in overnight stays, bridge traffic, national park visits, and non-member golf rounds played.

Total overnight stays in 2015 increased by 2.9 per cent compared with 2014, and Confederation Bridge traffic inc reased 6.4 per cent. Non-member golf rounds and visits to PEI National Park and Green Gables were also up.

Anecdotal information on overnight bookings relayed by the tourism industry – combined with a good exchange rate on the Canadian dollar – show that 2016 should be a positive year in tourism.

“We are pleased with the numbers that we are seeing for the upcoming tourism season,” said Robert Jourdain, president of the Tourism Industry Association of PEI (TIAPEI). “This is a great forecast that we can expect a healthy tourism season with many visitors experiencing what our beautiful Island has to offer.”

Individual operators echoed the association’s position.

“Our 2016 tourist season bookings are as strong if not stronger than last year,” said Isaac MacPherson of the Northwinds Motel in Brackley Beach. “We are up significantly from our 2014 season, and we are seeing only increased tourism and interest in our province.”

“We certainly have been b usier this quarter in relation to last year mainly because of the weather,” said Vicki Francis of the Cranford Inn in Charlottetown. “Our bookings into this summer and fall are on par with last year – and maybe even a little stronger into the fall.”

“Our bookings so far this year have been very good,” said Judy Pye of the Shipwright Inn in Charlottetown. “Last year was our best year ever, and this year may be even better.”

“We have to continue to be innovative in our approach to marketing without losing our identity,” Minister MacDonald said. “We have much to offer, including quality accommodations, culture and arts, historical and heritage entities, and we are home to Canada’s Food Island to name a few. Our brand and our way of life appeals to the travelling public and they want to experience it.”

Tourism indicators are provided to the province by individual tourism operators and are compiled by staff in the Department of Economic Development and Tourism – to see the full 2015 report visit www.gov.pe.ca/photos/original/current_tourism.pdf.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Brad Chatfield , Economic Development and Tourism by email at bpchatfield@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 368-5501.

S.S.Chdha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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Health PEI Board appoints Dr. Michael Mayne as Chief Executive Officer of Health PEI

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — The Health PEI board of directors has appointed Dr. Michael Mayne as the organization’s next Chief Executive Officer, effective April 1, 2016, says Health PEI board chair Phyllis Horne.

“The board of directors is very pleased to welcome Dr. Mayne to Health PEI,” said Ms. Horne. “He will bring strong leadership to our organization, which is essential during challenging times. His extensive knowledge of the PEI health system and his experience as Deputy Minister will bring needed continuity to our work and allow us to continue the many important initiatives we have underway with minimal disruption.”

Health PEI’s board of directors spent the last several months following a process before appointing Dr. Mayne. He will fill the position made vacant by Dr. Richard Wedge who is retiring in the spring. “I want to thank Dr. Wedge for his invaluable service and contributions to Health PEI and our health care system over the years, a nd wish him well in his retirement,” added Ms. Horne.

Minister of Health and Wellness Robert Henderson said that the next few weeks will be a transition period as Dr. Wedge prepares to retire and a new deputy minister is appointed. “We will certainly miss Michael’s leadership at the department but welcome the contribution he will continue to add in his new role at Health PEI,” said the minister.

“I have great respect for the staff at all levels of Health PEI,” said Dr. Mayne. “I look forward very much to working more closely with them to build on the excellent work they have been doing to improve health outcomes and the patient experience.”

Dr. Mayne will continue to serve as Deputy Minister of Health and Wellness until he assumes his role as Health PEI CEO on April 1st.

Dr. Mayne was raised in Emerald, Prince Edward Island. He received his undergraduate degree from UPEI and his PhD from the University of Toronto. He furthered his training in infect ious disease and pharmacology at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland and the University of Manitoba where he taught for several years in the medical and pharmacy schools.

He returned to Prince Edward Island in 2007 as the founding Director of Research for the National Research Council of Canada’s Institute of Nutrisciences and Health and later joined the provincial government as Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Innovation.

In 2011, he was appointed Deputy Minister of Health and Wellness. In this role, he held several senior positions, including co-chair of the national Premier’s Working Group on Health Care Innovation. Dr. Mayne has also served on many national boards and is currently the provincial-territorial Deputy Minister liaison to the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

Dr. Mayne, his wife Laura and their three children live in Charlottetown.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Amanda Hamel , Health PEI by email at ajhamel@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 894-2534.

S.S.Chdha. WINGS CHAMBER.

 

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French education celebrated at grand opening of École François-Buote

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — French education and its impact on the Acadian and Francophone community in Charlottetown was celebrated at the grand opening ceremonies of the expansion and renovation of École François-Buote and the Carrefour de l’Isle-Saint-Jean.

“École François-Buote and the Carrefour de l’Isle-Saint-Jean is a state-of-the-art facility to celebrate and develop pride in the Acadian and Francophone community in Charlottetown,” said Premier Wade MacLauchlan. “French education cannot exist without community support, and the Acadian and Francophone community cannot grow without French first language education, so it is imperative that governments work together to support initiatives like this.”

Construction on the school and community centre in its current location began in 1991. By 2012, the school population had grown to 300 students, leading to an expansion and renovation that began in 2012 and finished in late 2015.

With an investm ent of over $10 million from the provincial and federal governments, the renovation and expansion resulted in 54,000 square feet of new and renovated space, including 12,000 square feet for the community.

This includes two new classrooms and a trades technology section for technical education, carpentry, motor vehicle repair and welding, along with a new high school wing, expansion of the gym and cafeteria, and a new science lab, and a new music room.

The community center benefited from new and renovated space for the Early Years Centre, the Before and After School program, community offices and meeting rooms, as well as improvements to kitchen storage and the lounge area.

“The Canadian Francophonie is a treasure. I am very proud that my department plays a leading role in the development of official-language minority communities,” said Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly. “I am also very pleased about this partnership with Prince Edward Island for the ben efit of the province’s Francophone and Acadian community.”

Government is continuing investments in French language education and community spaces through the upcoming renovation and expansion of École la Belle Cloche in Rollo Bay.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Katie MacDonald , Education, Early Learning and Culture by email at katiemacdonald@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 368-6449.

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Inaugural conference showcases Island business opportunities

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — Companies from across the Atlantic to right here at home will soon gather for the first time to learn about the many business opportunities that exist in Prince Edward Island, Economic Development and Tourism Minister Heath MacDonald said.

“As we work to grow the province’s economy, we need to encourage companies from elsewhere to relocate or expand here – but also to help our existing companies thrive,” Minister MacDonald said. “This innovative conference will bring together the best of Prince Edward Island to help tell the story of why this is such a great place to do business.”

Hosted by Innovation PEI, the Opportunities in Canada 2016 conference will draw more than 50 delegates from March 13 to 15. It will include our own Island companies as well as those from across Canada, the United States, Europe, and the United Kingdom who have expressed interest in relocating to the province in the past year.

We are excite d to participate in this event on Prince Edward Island and look forward to meeting potential business partners – and growing our presence on PEI as a result,” said Paul Jamer, CEO of Breakwater Management. The Charlottetown-based company provides sales and business development services for five marine-related clients out of the Launchpad PEI space at the Atlantic Technology Centre.

Other Island companies participating in the conference are Nautican Research and Development, Portsmouth Atlantic, MarineNav, Aspin Kemp and Associates, and NorCan Marine. The cities of Charlottetown and Summerside as well as Holland College and the University of Prince Edward Island will also be represented.

Although this is the first conference aimed at expanding multiple business sectors in Prince Edward Island, Innovation PEI has in previous years held events targeted at specific markets including aerospace and advanced manufacturing.

Presentations will include panel discussi ons on the challenges faced by companies, financing and research and development, marine HR methods and successes, and setting a company apart through innovation. Individual companies also will share their experiences doing business on the Island.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Brad Chatfield , Economic Development and Tourism by email at bpchatfield@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 368-5501.

S.S.Chdha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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Petroleum Pricing

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — The Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission approved the following petroleum pricing decisions, effective 12:01 a.m., Friday, March 11, 2016:

• Gasoline prices will increase by 5.0 cents per litre (cpl);

• Furnace and stove oil prices will increase by 3.1 cpl;

• Diesel prices will increase by 3.1 cpl; and

• There will be no change in propane prices at this time.

Including adjustments for taxes, pump prices for regular unleaded gasoline at self-serve outlets will now range from 90.7 cpl to 91.9 cpl.

The maximum price for furnace oil will now amount to 72.7 cpl, plus tax.

This unscheduled price change is required due to a dramatic increase in the wholesale price of gasoline, furnace oil and diesel. Over the past month the wholesale trading price for gasoline has increased by 55% while furnace oil has increased by 26%.

The Commission’s next scheduled price adjustment will be on March 15, 2016

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Allison MacEwen , Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission by email at amacewen@irac.pe.ca or phone (902) 892-3501.

S.S.Chdha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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School calendar supports learning for students and teachers

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — The 2016-2017 school calendar is now available.

“The school calendar is designed to balance instructional time and professional learning for teachers, as professional learning is key to student excellence,” said Education, Early Learning and Culture Minister Doug Currie. “I thank our school calendar committee, which includes representatives from the PEI Teachers Federation and Home and School Federation, for collaborating on a calendar that supports learners.”

The 2016-2017 school calendar has 197 total school days, the same as last year. There are 181 instructional days, which is also unchanged from last year.

Effective professional learning is directly linked to student excellence. There are 11 professional learning days for K-9 teachers, with ten professional learning days for high school teachers. There are also five administrative days for K-9 teachers, including parent-teacher interview days, while the high school teachers have six administrative days.

New for this year is a rolling professional learning day in November, where instead of all schools being closed on the same day, some families of schools will close, while the rest of the system remains open.

On this rolling professional learning day, Sandra Herbst, one of the nation’s leading experts on assessment for learning, will be traveling across the province to meet with every Island teacher to discuss strategies to help students make improvements in foundational skills.

“Government’s priority is to build a strong and cohesive education system that provides young people with every opportunity to grow and succeed,” added Minister Currie. “I encourage all families to consult the school calendar to support their children’s education by planning for family appointments, holidays, and other activities in a way that maximizes the amount of time their children spend in school.”

The school calendar is available onl ine at http://www.gov.pe.ca/eecd/schoolcalendar

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Katie MacDonald , Education, Early Learning and Culture by email at katiemacdonald@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 368-6449.

S.S.Chdha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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Prince Edward Island Government marks International Women’s Day

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — International Women’s Day is a day dedicated to celebration and reflection, says Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy Minister Paula Biggar, Minister Responsible for the Status of Women.

“Canada’s theme for International Women’s Day in 2016 is Women’s Empowerment Leads to Equality,” said the Minister. “On Prince Edward Island, we have made great strides, but there is still more do.”

Minister Biggar urged governments, businesses and organizations to examine themselves and their performance in terms of gender parity.

“Our government is committed to getting Islanders of all backgrounds involved in leadership. I would urge Island women to visit the Engage PEI website to see the many available vacancies on our agencies, boards and commissions,” said the minister.

“I would also urge Island women to seize the opportunities to take on leadership roles in our community.”

Engage PEI offers Islanders an opportunity to become involved in one of the nearly 70 government agencies, boards and commissions. All Islanders are encouraged to consider ways in which they can contribute to the public life of our province. Upcoming vacancies include the Advisory Council on the Status of Women, Employment Standards Board and the PEI Marketing Council.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Ron Ryder , Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy by email at rrryder@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 368-5112.

S.S.Chdha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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Islanders’ input important to shaping the future of health care

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — Islanders have a unique opportunity to shape the future of the province’s health care system by providing their input on Health PEI’s 2016-19 strategic plan, says Health PEI board chair Phyllis Horne.

“As our previous strategic plan comes to an end, Health PEI is in the process of developing a new strategic plan for the organization that will identify our priorities over the next three years,” said Ms. Horne. “It is important that we hear from Islanders as their feedback is important to ensuring that we continue to set priorities and develop the kinds of health care programs and services that best serve the needs of Islanders.”

The feedback from Islanders and stakeholder focus groups will be married with research gathered on current trends in health care, health trends on PEI, provincial health care priorities outlined by government, current health care services, Health PEI’s progress on past and current priorities, PEI h ealth performance data, and information from provincial and national health care reports.

Health PEI’s strategic plan is a guiding document that sets out a three to five year direction for the province’s health care system. The Health Care Services Act mandates that Health PEI renew its strategic plan every three years.

“We want Islanders to be an active partner in their health care and this is one way in which we can hear first hand from everyone,” added Horne.

For more information on Health PEI’s strategic planning process or to provide feedback, visit: www.healthpei.ca/strategicplanengagement. The deadline for response is March 14.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Amanda Hamel , Health PEI by email at ajhamel@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 894-2534.

S.S.Chdha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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Islanders encouraged to get screened for colorectal cancer during national awareness month

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — Islanders are encouraged to talk about colorectal cancer and the importance of early detection during colorectal cancer awareness month this March, says Minister of Health and Wellness Robert Henderson.

“I encourage Islanders to reduce their risk of colorectal cancer by accessing our excellent provincial screening program,” said the minister. “Colorectal cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in Prince Edward Island, but early detection through regular screening is making a real difference.”

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer among Island men and women and the second leading cause of cancer death in Prince Edward Island. For average risk Islanders between the ages of 50 and 74, the easy to use at-home FIT kit continues to be the primary screening tool. Over the last two years, approximately 20 percent of eligible Islanders have been screened for colorectal cancer using the FIT Kit.

“Colorecta l cancer screening helps detect cancer early when it can be most successfully treated or, in some cases, before it has even begun developing,” says Anja Nied-Kutterer, PEI Colorectal Cancer Screening Program Coordinator for Health PEI. “We are now in a better position than ever to address colorectal cancer by taking steps to reduce risks, screen more effectively, and improve treatment.”

In addition to regular screening, Islanders can also take active steps to reduce their risk factors for colorectal cancer like eating a balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables , maintaining a healthy weight, exercising , not smoking, limiting alcohol consumption , taking vitamin D supplements and getting screened regularly (every two years for persons of average risk).

For more information or to request a FIT Kit, call the PEI Colorectal Cancer Screening Program toll free at 1-888-561-2233 or visit www.healthpei.ca/colorectal.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Samantha Hughes , Health and Wellness by email at shughes@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 368-5512.

S.S.Chdha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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Canada-P.E.I. Partnership Bolsters Opportunities for Youth Internships in the Province

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — The government is making Canada a more digital nation by providing Prince Edward Island youth with the tools and skills they need to embrace the opportunities of the digital age. Today, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Sean Casey, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown, announced that the Government of Canada is providing $543,500 in fiscal year 2015–16 to the P.E.I. Student Financial Assistance Corporation to fund over 60 youth internships. These internships are designed to help develop skills in the areas of small business, entrepreneurship and career awareness, with an overall focus on information and communications technologies (ICT).

The Prince Edward Island Supporting Youth in Careers (SYnC) Youth Internship Program unveiled its new Youth Commons Space, which will house 41 of the 60 youth internships. Located in the Atlantic Technology Centre, the space wi ll house three cohorts of the SYnC youth program: the Hive cultural entrepreneurship program, the Propel Aerospace Program and the IT Garage. The space will allow for greater interaction between these youth programs and will foster information sharing.

The funding is made possible through Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s (ISED) Youth Internship Program, a national initiative coordinated by ISED and funded through the federal Youth Employment Strategy. Each year, the Youth Internship Program creates jobs for young Canadians and other social, educational and economic benefits associated with the expanded use of ICT.

Quick facts

• A strong digital economy requires the right fundamentals, and it is important for young Canadians to take full advantage of the opportunities of the global digital economy.

• The government has committed to spurring innovation to increase productivity and long-term competitiveness and provide jobs and growth for Canadians.

• The Youth Internship Program is a key part of the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment Strategy, with ICT-related not-for-profit organizations providing job opportunities for over 1,000 young Canadians each year.

Quotes

“This program is another great example of how we are working hard to make Canada a more digital nation by providing Canadians, and youth in particular, with the tools and skills they need to fully embrace the opportunities of the digital age.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“Today’s announcement celebrates SYnC’s impressive new Youth Commons Space, which is creating local jobs while imparting valuable skills to today’s youth and tomorrow’s digital leaders.”

– Sean Casey, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

“This is the first time that multiple groups are working a longside one another in a common space, separate from other offices. We’re hoping that this shared space can become a permanent home for a large portion of our youth program.”

– The Honourable Richard Brown, Prince Edward Island’s Minister of Workforce and Advanced Learning

Follow Minister Bains on Twitter: @MinisterISED

Backgrounder

SYnC Youth Internship

About Supporting Youth in Careers (SYnC)

SYnC is a youth employment initiative delivered by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) and administered by the P.E.I. Student Financial Assistance Corporation. Funding is provided by ISED for youth interns to work out of local community centres and not-for-profit organizations. The internships are designed to help young people develop skills in the areas of small business, entrepreneurship and career awareness, with an overall focus on information and communications technologies. The three programs operating in the new youth commons s pace include:

• The Hive cultural entrepreneurship program: For the last two years, SYnC has partnered with Culture PEI – http://www.culturepei.ca/ in order to deliver the program, which employs young people between 15 and 30 years old who have completed at least some post-secondary education. The Hive seeks to foster entrepreneurial skills in recent cultural graduates who have an idea for a cultural or an artistic entrepreneurial venture but require specific business-related knowledge to take their idea to the next level.

• Propel: Since 2014–15, SYnC has partnered with the Aerospace & Defence Association of PEI – http://aerospacepei.com/ in order to deliver the Propel Aerospace Program. The program seeks to employ youth between 15 and 30 years of age who have completed at least some post-secondary education. The program gives interns the opportunity to explore career and educational options in the area of aerospace and defence on Prince Edward Island.

• IT Garage: Since 2013, SYnC has partnered with the information technology (IT) industry to deliver on the IT Garage program. This program hires recent graduates and students from IT- and business-related fields—generally IT programmers and digital artists—who work in teams to develop their own product, be it a video game or a business application. Teams receive feedback from industry mentors and develop professional and interpersonal skills. Teams are also granted the rights to their intellectual property for up to one year after their internship if they wish to pursue it as a business.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Anne MacRae , Workforce and Advanced Learning by email at amacrae@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 393-4025.

S.S.Chadha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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Stay and Play Longer in Stanley Bridge!

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — Warm weather and summertime picturesque views of Prince Edward Island waterfronts may still be months away, but strategic tourism developments are well underway in Stanley Bridge.

The Honourable Wayne Easter, Member of Parliament for Malpeque, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), and the Honourable Heath MacDonald, PEI Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, joined members of the Harbour Authority of Stanley Bridge today to announce government support for a tourism-focused infrastructure project.

The Harbour Authority of Stanley Bridge is creating new infrastructure to better support tourism activities on both land and sea, including the transformative changes that are already visibly underway at the Marina. ACOA is supporting this project with a $750,000 contribution through its Innovative Communities Fund. The Government of Prince Edward Island is contributing $150,000. The Harbour Authority will also contribute just over $100,000 towards the project.

Quotes

“Strong communities and solid infrastructure are key components for economic success. Stanley Bridge is a beautiful waterfront community with a number of strengths and opportunities; I am pleased to announce ACOA’s strategic investment in this project that will see the revitalization of the waterfront and increase its tourism potential.”

– The Honourable Wayne Easter, Member of Parliament for Malpeque, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister Responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

“The Government of Prince Edward Island is very pleased to partner on improvements to revitalize the harbour in Stanley Bridge. The future of rural Prince Edward Island is dependent upon stron g, vibrant communities that strategically plan to enhance their surroundings and create economic growth, while protecting their environment. This initiative will create new opportunities for the harbour and local business, while maintaining the natural rural beauty and charm that brings many visitors and locals coming back to this waterfront community.”

– The Honourable Heath MacDonald, Minister of Economic Development and Tourism

“The Harbour Authority has been thinking about a development like this for some time now. With the recent relocation of the breakwater by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans – Small Craft Harbours, it is the perfect time to enhance services and capacity for boats at the Stanley Bridge Marina. This will create economic development opportunities for Stanley Bridge and the surrounding areas, while helping the Harbour Authority remain financially sustainable over the long term.”

– Mr. Owen Simpson, President, Harbour Aut hority of Stanley Bridge

Background

The Harbour Authority of Stanley Bridge is a not-for-profit organization with a mandate to ensure the long-term life and operation of the Stanley Bridge Harbour. Formed in 1996, the group is responsible for the management of the harbour and for maintaining safe and acceptable facilities for its users. The organization is governed by a five-member volunteer board of directors.

With support from ACOA and the Provincial Government, the Harbour Authority engaged in a consulting exercise to outline a plan for the landside development at the Harbour, and address the communities’ list of priorities. After consultations and budget considerations, a project description was developed.

The current transformation project involves: expanding the marina to better accommodate recreational boaters and tourists, establishing a new land-base, new retail space and boardwalks, experiential tourism outlets, new washrooms, lockers and shower facilities, improving electrical and wastewater services, a new parking area for visitors, and improving access and safety to and from the harbour.

As part of the overall strategic plan, construction of a new breakwater was recently completed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Sheila Kerry , Economic Development and Tourism by email at slkerry@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 620-3688.

S.S.Chadha. WINGS CHAMBER.

 

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Training to increase safety skills within the fishing industry

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — Training workers involved in the fishery will assist them in increasing their skills and improving safety in the fishing industry on Prince Edward Island, says Minister Richard Brown, Workforce and Advanced Learning.

“Our Government’s investment in training contributes to skills enhancement to ensure the Island workforce is better suited for employer and industry needs,” said Minister Brown. “Through SkillsPEI, we’re focused on giving Island workers the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to obtain and maintain sustainable and meaningful work.”

The Prince County Fishermen’s Association, in conjunction with the PEI Fishermen’s Association, is coordinating the delivery of 13 industry specific marine related courses to assist individuals currently employed in the fishery or aspiring to enter the fishery, to meet industry safety requirements.

The training, funded by SkillsPEI, takes place at the Holland College Mar ine Training Centre in Summerside. Approximately 165 individuals will have the opportunity to participate in various training courses, including: Marine Basic First Aid; Marine Advanced First Aid; Marine Emergency Duties; Radio Operator Certification; and Small Vessel Operator Proficiency. Courses will run to mid-April.

“SkillsPEI has given me the opportunity to take the courses necessary to increase my knowledge and safety on the water. Having these courses instills confidence in how to go about the many uncertain situations we face during every fishing season,” said Darcy Ashley, SVOP training participant.

Minister Alan McIsaac, Agriculture and Fisheries agrees that this type of training is beneficial for those involved in the industry. “It is extremely important to the commercial fishing industry for fishers to have access to appropriate training to assist them in their business,” said McIsaac. “I encourage all fishers, including the participants in our Future Fisher Program to take advantage of these available training opportunities.”

This program is funded through the Canada-PEI Labour Market Development Agreement. For more information on the training program, please contact Melissa Pitre, Training Coordinator, Prince County Fishermen’s Association at (902) 206-0567 or SkillsPEI at 1-877-491-4766

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Sheila Kerry , Workforce and Advanced Learning by email at slkerry@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 620-3688.

S.S.Chadha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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Family medicine residency program brings many new doctors to the province

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — Prince Edward Island’s Family Medicine Residency program is proving to be a popular training opportunity and a successful way to recruit new doctors to the province, says Minister of Health and Wellness Robert Henderson.

“Since 2009 we have had 25 medical students complete their two-year residency training in PEI,” said the minister. “To date, 16 residents have remained in PEI to practice family medicine on a permanent basis, and we are expecting to increase this number in 2016.”

Prince Edward Island is an accredited training site under the Dalhousie Family Medicine Residency Program. Health PEI purchases five seats in the program each year. Medical residents are matched to the PEI program through a nation-wide Canadian Resident Matching Service.

Residents can select their top choices for training. The PEI program continues to be a popular choice, particularly for those with Island and Maritime co nnections.

The residency program has evolved to include training in health care facilities across the province, enabling residents to experience family practice and lifestyle opportunities throughout the Island.

“The success of our program has been made possible in large part by the dedication and commitment of family and specialty physicians who supervise and teach residents the clinical and professional skills needed for success in independent practice,” said program site director Dr. George Carruthers. “We acknowledge with appreciation the extra time and effort provided by many of our experienced physicians who help prepare young doctors in training for their new careers.”

There will be five more residents graduating from the program in 2016, including Dr. Lori Cheverie of Souris, PEI; Dr. Aimee MacDonald of Souris, PEI; Dr. Jaclyn O’Brien of Charlottetown, PEI; Dr. Joanne Reid of Summerside, PEI; and Dr. Laura Robinson of Charlotteto wn PEI.

Class of 2017 residents include: Dr. Sandi Ellsworth of Perth-Andover, NB; Dr. Joey Giordani of Dartmouth, NS; Dr. Ashley Martin of Summerside, PEI; Dr. Stephen Scales, Charlottetown, PEI; and Dr. Penny Thomson, Ottawa, Ontario.

Resident grads currently practicing in PEI include Class of 2011: Dr Nora Cabilio; Class of 2012: Dr. Katherine Burleigh, Dr. Nicole Fancy, Dr. Hal McRae, Dr. Jocelyn Peterson and Dr. Angela MacLaren; Class of 2013: Dr. Megan Armstrong, Dr. Nichole Murphy, Dr. Jason Chan and Dr. Laura Hogan; Class of 2014: Dr. Ryan Lieph and Dr. Tyler McDonell; Class of 2015: Dr. Keith Baglole, Dr. Megan Burns, Dr. Thor Christensen and Dr. Filza Naveed.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Samantha Hughes , Health and Wellness by email at shughes@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 368-5512.

S.S.Chadha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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All the Power to Them!

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — Adhering to seafood processing regulations is not always easy, but it is a top priority. Thanks in part to government support, the Municipality of Lot 11 and Area will be able to extend ‘three-phase power’ to five seafood processors in the areas of Conway, Milligan’s Wharf and East Bideford.

Bobby Morrissey, Member of Parliament for Egmont, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), the Honourable Heath MacDonald, PEI Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, and representatives from the Municipality of Lot 11 and Area today announced funding that would allow this project to move forward.

Processors have indicated that stringent regulations are in place to maintain the highest standards of processed seafood products and that this power upgrade will play a key role in food safety practices . The upgrade from single-phase to three-phase power will allow the operation of multiple pieces of equipment simultaneously without interruption or possible loss of product and creates potential for future business growth.

Quick Facts

· The Government of Canada, through ACOA’s Business Development Program, is providing a non-repayable contribution of $426,109 to this project.

· The Government of Prince Edward Island is providing $152,182 towards this project.

· The five seafood processors will provide a collective total of $30,436 towards the project.

Quotes

“Our Government has committed to supporting Canadian businesses and sectors to innovate, become more competitive, and export. This investment will help improve the municipal infrastructure in this rural area of Prince County where core services like three-phase power are vital to economic growth.”

– Bobby Morrissey Member of Parliament, (Egmont) on behalf of the Honourabl e Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister Responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

“The province is pleased to invest in a project that will enhance our seafood processors’ ability to produce and innovate. This government will continue to partner with our local companies and explore business development opportunities so we can further build on our reputation as Canada’s Food Island.”

– The Honourable Heath MacDonald, Minister of Economic Development and Tourism

“We are pleased to receive federal and provincial support for this project. This upgrade to three-phase power will be a contributing factor to the growth and prosperity of these seafood processors and in-turn, a boost to our local economy.”

– Ms. Susan Milligan., Chair, Municipality of Lot 11 and Area

Background

The Municipality of Lot 11 and Area includes the communities of Black Banks, Conway, East Bideford, Foxley River, Freeland, Murray Road and Poplar Grove, in Prince County. Incorporated in 1982, the Municipality is managed by an eight member council and a town administrator. The council oversees a number of community initiatives including: public works, parks and recreation, and emergency measures.

The five seafood processors to soon upgrade to three-phase power are: Annand Clams Inc., Five Star Shellfish, Hardy’s Channel Fish Cooperative Ltd., Leslie Hardy and Sons, and Burleigh Brothers Ltd. Three of the businesses upgrading to three-phase power will connect to the power line on Route 2, and two of the businesses will connect via the East Bideford Road (Route 163). The first company to install the power line will be Annand Clams Inc., the others will follow before the project completion timeline of September 2016.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Brad Chatfield , Economic Development and Tourism by email at bpchatfield@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 368-5501.

S.S.Chadha. WINGS CHAMBER.

 

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Petroleum Pricing

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — The Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission approved the following petroleum pricing decisions, effective 12:01 a.m., Tuesday, March 1, 2016:

• Gasoline prices will increase by 1.0 cent per litre (cpl);

• There will be no change in furnace, stove oil or diesel prices; and

• Propane prices will increase by 3.5 cpl for Superior Propane, by 3.8 cpl for Irving Energy Distribution and Marketing and by 3.6 cpl for Kenmac Energy Inc.

Including adjustments for taxes, pump prices for regular unleaded gasoline at self-serve outlets will now range from 85.0 cpl to 86.2 cpl. Maximum before tax propane prices will now range from 69.0 cpl to 71.3 cpl.

The maximum price for furnace oil will continue to amount to 69.6 cpl, plus tax.

Recent increases observed in the wholesale price of both gasoline and propane now require the price adjustments announced today.

The Commission’s next scheduled price adjustment wil l be on March 15, 2016.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Allison MacEwen , Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission by email at amacewen@irac.pe.ca or phone (902) 892-3501.

S.S.Chadha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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Job fairs connect job seekers with employers

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — Hundreds of Islanders attended job fairs this week in Montague and Mill River to talk to employers about work opportunities and potential careers. Job fairs provide a great venue for job seekers to network with employers to secure employment.

“I was pleased to attend the job fair in Montague and see for myself the value of bringing employers and job seekers together to talk about employment opportunities in the province, “said Workforce and Advanced Learning Minister Richard Brown. “ I was very impressed with the positive energy of the job seekers as they talked with employers and the willingness of employers to discuss potential opportunities for work with their companies.”

Atlantic Aqua Farms Partnership, of Orwell Cove had a booth at the job fair. “Our mussel farming and processing business has been growing and our company is constantly looking to attract workers to the aquaculture industry,” said CEO Terry Ennis. “A jo b fair is a great way to talk to prospective employees, explain what we do and get to know them better.”

The Government of Prince Edward Island is committed to achieving higher levels of employment in the province, using a variety of strategies to match job seekers with employers and to assist Island youth as they make the school to workforce transition.

“I found the job fair very helpful,” said 19-year old Austin Shepard of Cardigan, as he investigated potential job opportunities. Shephard, whose grandfather and great-grandfather were lobster fishers, spoke with representatives of the PEI Fishermen’s Association about becoming a lobster boat crew member this summer.

Additional job fairs are scheduled for the Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown on Monday, February 29 and Credit Union Place in Summerside on Tuesday, March 1. Both events run from 2:00–6:00 pm.

Visit http://www.skillspei.com/ or call 1-877-491-4766.

Funding for this job fair initiative is provided in whole or in part by the Canada-PEI Labour Market Development Agreement.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Sheila Kerry , Workforce and Advanced Learning by email at slkerry@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 620-3688.

S.S.Chadha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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The Premier invites Islanders to celebrate Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie 2016.

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — The provincial French celebrations (Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie) invite us to explore the different aspects of the Francophonie and to enhance our understanding of Francophone cultures, says Premier Wade MacLauchlan, Minister Responsible for Acadian and Francophone Affairs.

“By participating in the celebrations, Islanders can immerse themselves in an environment that embraces diversity, marked by the contribution of Francophones, Acadians and Francophiles,” declared the Premier. “Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie help to promote dialogue between cultures and convey the vitality of our Acadian and Francophone community.”

For the 18th edition, Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie will be taking place March 3 to 23, 2016. Islanders of all ages will be able to participate in a myriad of events taking place in several Island communities.

The activities organized by Francophones and Francophiles to promote the Frenc h language and its diverse cultural expressions include community gatherings, multicultural get-togethers, ceremonies, performances, song, film screenings, contests, and educational activities.

The official opening ceremony of Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie will be held at Government House in Charlottetown, on Thursday, March 3 at 10:30 a.m. Starting that same day, the Acadian flag will be flown at Province House for the duration of the celebrations.

Information on this year’s Rendez-vous de la Francophonie activities is available at www.rvf.ca.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Mary Moszynski , Premier’s Office by email at mamoszynski@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 368-4400.

S.S.Chadha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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Special Olympians preparing for Winter Games

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — Islanders will be cheering on Team PEI athletes competing in the Special Olympics National Winter Games in Newfoundland next month, says Health and Wellness Minister Robert Henderson.

Minister Henderson wished Team PEI athletes well at their send off celebration on February 24 at UPEI.

“Our athletes are wonderful ambassadors of our province and they will represent Prince Edward Island proudly on the national stage,” said the minister. “Their hard work, dedication and passion for sport led them to this experience of a lifetime.”

Prince Edward Island will be represented by 28 athletes and 14 coaches and mission staff at the games being held March 1 – 5. Island athletes will be competing in Nordic ski, snowshoe, floor hockey, curling and figure skating.

The winter games will host over 650 athletes, 250 coaches, officials and mission staff and 500 volunteers from across Canada. The games are the qualifying event f or Team Canada selection for the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria.

Follow Team PEI on Twitter at @SpecialOPEI and visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/specialopei.

Team PEI Backgrounder

Chef de Mission: Matthew McNally

Team Manager: Genna Phelan

Mission Staff: Judy Gallant, Jodie Harper, Jamie Matheson

Cross Country Skiing

Head Coach: Kathleen MacNearney

Assistant Coach: David MacNearney

Athletes: Amie Sullivan, Ellen MacNearney, Michael Morris, Tommy Ling

Curling

Head Coach: Dick St. John

Assistant Coach: Brad Chugg

Athletes: Phillip Chugg, Monique Gauthier, Chris MacPherson, John Anthony Laybolt, Shane MacPhee

Figure Skating

Head Coach: Sarah Profitt

Athlete: Alyssa Chapman

Floor Hockey

Head Coach: CY Holland

Assistant Coach: Peter Howatt

Assistant Coach: Chris Costain

Athletes: Art Smith, Bradley Ramsay, Cedric Gallant, Charles Beaulieu, Derek McDonald, Eric Coughlin, Evan Costain, Geoffrey Bridges, Jeremy Wall, Jerred Affleck, John Morton, Keegan Waite, Michael MacIsaac, Nathan Irwin, Shawn Mitchell, Tommy MacGuigan

Showshoe

Head coach: Emily Chapman

Athletes: Janet Charchuk, John Rafuse

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Samantha Hughes , Health and Wellness by email at shughes@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 368-5512.

S.S.Chadha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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Statistical progress strengthens resolve to fight impaired driving

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — A gradual decline in the rate of impaired driving on Prince Edward Island is encouraging, but the fight against drunk driving is far from over, says Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy Minister Paula Biggar.

“During 2015 there were 238 people charged and convicted for impaired driving on Island roads – our lowest number on record, but we will continue to invest in education and enforcement to drive that number even lower,” said the minister.

“Impaired driving is a deliberate choice that some people make – the choice to get behind the wheel when drugs or alcohol have clouded a driver’s judgment. The people who do this are endangering every user of our roads – including themselves – and I will continue to work to stop them.”

The 238 impaired convictions this year marks a decrease from 241 in 2014, 297 in 2013 and 327 in 2012.

“Police agencies all across Prince Edward Island struggle with the issue of impaired driv ing. It’s something that can easily be avoided if only people made the ‘right’ decision to not drink or use drugs and drive,” noted Commanding Officer of RCMP on P.E.I., Chief Superintendent Joanne Crampton. “To have to leave the scene of a motor vehicle collision to knock on someone’s door and deliver the message that their loved one has been senselessly killed by an impaired driver is devastating. It would be great to never have to do it again.”

Sadly, not all indicators of highway safety improved last year.

There were 18 highway fatalities in 2015, compared to 5 in 2014, 15 in 2013 and 11 in 2012.

There were 379 injury collisions in 2015, compared to 390 in 2014, 465 in 2013 and 480 in 2012.

There were 1,544 total collisions in 2015, compared to 1,416 in 2014, 1,558 in 2013 and 1,638 in 2012.

“My responsibility as Minister is to keep us on the Road to Zero collisions, injuries or fatalities. As long as anyone is hurt on our roads, my department will con tinue to use education, enforcement, engineering and effective legislation to make travel safer on Prince Edward Island,” said Minister Biggar.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Ron Ryder , Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy by email at rrryder@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 368-5112.

S.S.Chadha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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Province seeking partners for new access and exchange program

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — The province is moving forward on our commitment to provide a safe and secure access and exchange of children who are in the middle of high-conflict custody situations.

“We are looking to engage public partners to create a Supervised Access and Exchange Program,” said Premier Wade MacLauchlan, Minister responsible for Justice and Public Safety. “The main objective of this program is to provide a safe, neutral and child focused setting where supervised visits or exchanges of children between parents or caregivers can take place. This program will help reduce a child’s exposure to the difficult issues that parents are dealing with regarding custody and visitation and will alleviate the conflict that arises during visits or exchanges.”

The aim of the program is to have a service site in each county across the province. More than one service provider could be selected if a single provider is unable to provide Island wide ac cess.

The community agency must be able to provide a service that meets a variety of needs, including, but not limited to:

• the ability to accommodate pre-arranged times to pick up and drop off children with no contact between parents;

• trained staff who will closely supervise children at all times during service delivery;

• availability of additional persons to supervise staff;

• support and intervention by police if necessary; and

• presence of panic alarms to be used in emergencies.

Details of the requirements are outlined in the Request for Expressions of Interest on the provincial government tender web site at www.gov.pe.ca/tenders, reference number is PEIGOV-RFEOI#4264. Responses will be accepted until 2 PM local time on March 10, 2016. Expressions of interest can be submitted through Procurement Services, located on the second floor of Shaw Building at 95 Rochford Street in Charlottetown; more information is available by c alling 902-368-4040 or emailing: procurementservices@gov.pe.ca.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Maureen Flanagan-LeClair , Justice and Public Safety by email at mxflanagan-leclair@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 620-3409.

S.S.Chadha. WINGS CHAMBER.

 

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16 New parcels of land being protected under Natural Areas Protection Act

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — Sixteen new parcels of land across Prince Edward Island are being newly protected under the provincial Natural Areas Protection Act, says Minister of Communities, Land and Environment Robert Mitchell.

“Today we are celebrating the Natural Areas Protection Act designation of more than 900 acres of public land on P.E.I.,” said Minister Mitchell. “Protecting our land is a fundamental responsibility of government, and of all Islanders. We are proud to now provide the highest form of legislated preservation of ecologically significant areas to 16 new parcels of land.”

Prince Edward Island’s Natural Areas Protection Act allows legal protection for ecologically significant sites. These sites may include sand dunes, marshes, rivers, ponds, bogs, forests, offshore islands, cliffs or marine areas. To date, 49,104 acres across P.E.I. have been protected – including 21,983 acres under the Natural Areas Protection Act. This represents j ust over 3.5 per cent of the province, putting P.E.I. at the halfway mark towards its goal of protecting 7 per cent of the Island.

The 16 parcels of land are spread out across the Island. There are nine parcels in Bonshaw being designated (total of 445 acres), three parcels in Trout River (total of 104 acres), and two parcels in both Townshend (total of 198 acres) and Percival River (a total of 176 acres). Some of these parcels of land will be available for recreational purposes for Islanders such as hiking, snowshoeing and bird watching. Other parcels will be preserved strictly for the natural habitat including plants and wildlife.

The lands include properties in the Bonshaw area that were acquired as part of the Trans-Canada Highway Realignment Project and through the Bonshaw Public Lands Committee. These lands will form an expanded provincial park that will connect the Strathgartney and Bonshaw Provincial Parks.

“The provincial government is committed to work ing with the public and interested groups to ensure the Bonshaw Hills Lands are managed in ways that reflect the wishes of the public and preserve the lands as a valuable natural area and a place for outdoor recreation,” said Minister Paula Bigger, Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy. “Designation of these properties under NAPA further demonstrates government’s commitment towards appropriate land management and protection in this most ecologically significant area of the Island.”

Islanders are encouraged to learn more about how they can have privately-owned land preserved under the Natural Areas Protection Act. Islanders can participate in the program by engaging in the public consultation process for designation or to become land donors. To learn more about land protection, please visit www.gov.pe.ca/forestry/NAPA.

To learn more about today’s NAPA designation please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8cqwcNaTds&feature=youtu.be.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Amber Nicholson , Communities, Land and Environment by email at amnicholson@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 368-5286.

S.S.Chadha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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PEI Student Financial Assistance changes to provide greater flexibility for students.

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — Changes to student financial aid will provide students with more flexibility, improve accessibility to higher education, and allow them to greater focus their attention on their studies, says Minister Richard Brown, Workforce and Advanced Learning.

“Our Government believes that education is at the heart of preparing our youth for future success, in all aspects of their lives. We are committed to enhancing the collaboration between the student unions and institutions as we work together to achieve great success to prepare students for the workforce,” said Minister Brown.

The weekly maximum student loan available will be increased from $165 to $175 per week, beginning in the 2016–17 academic year. Additionally, from 2017–18 onward, this maximum weekly loan will increase according to inflation by being indexed to the consumer price index. Changes to the grace period are also underway, which will provide an extension from six mo nths to one year after completing one’s studies, before students are required to begin repaying their student loans. This change is expected to come into effect in the near future.

The PEI Student Loan Rehabilitation Program was also introduced, a six-month rehabilitation schedule which provides students with a way to bring their defaulted PEI student loan back into good standing. The benefits for students include: interest-free status; de-registration from the Canada Revenue Agency’s Refund Set-Off Program; a potential credit rating improvement; and eligibility to apply for further PEI student financial assistance.

These recent changes, in addition to the Severe Disability Benefit, announced in October of 2015, are welcomed by postsecondary education student unions. Minister Brown and the Department’s Post-Secondary and Continuing Education staff will continue to meet regularly with the Island’s postsecondary institutions to generate ideas and discuss changes m ade to benefit students.

“We are extremely pleased with these changes, they will greatly improve accessibility to post secondary education on PEI,” said UPEI Student Union Vice-President Academic and External, Jonathan Rix.

“As a Province, we are aware that student debt is a significant issue for many students who are concerned about repayment options and flexibility regarding their student loans,” said Minister Brown. “These changes will help ease the burden on students and offer greater flexibility to ensure students are focusing their attention on their studies.”

For more information, please contact Student Financial Services at (902) 368-4640.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Sheila Kerry , Workforce and Advanced Learning by email at slkerry@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 620-3688.

S.S.Chadha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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Department invests in new school buses

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — A total of 19 new school buses have been purchased at a cost of just over $2 million, says Education, Early Learning and Culture Minister Doug Currie.

“Government continues to invest in facilities and equipment to ensure Island students can travel safely to school and benefit from a high quality learning environment,” said Minister Currie. “We will continue to try to achieve a regular replacement schedule and the new buses will be delivered in time for the next school year”

Government has purchased 17 conventional steel buses from a distributor based in Ontario through a joint tendering process. The four Atlantic provinces participate in a joint procurement for the bulk purchase of buses and the New Brunswick government took the lead in administering the tender.

“Collaboration with other Atlantic Provinces ensures we receive the lowest price on school buses and use tax payers’ dollars as efficiently as possible,” added Minister Currie.

For the remaining two buses, the department has purchased fiberglass buses as a pilot project.

The fiberglass buses are being sourced from a distributor based in Prince Edward Island. The current year cost is the same as the conventional buses, however there are potential cost-savings with reduced fuel costs due to a lower weight and also a reduced likelihood of body repairs due to rust or corrosion. Fuel costs are expected to be reduced by $20,000 over the lifetime of a fiberglass bus.

“Lighter vehicles like these fiberglass buses require less fuel therefore reducing greenhouse gas emissions on Prince Edward Island,” said Minister of Communities, Land and Environment Robert Mitchell. “As transportation is the source of our highest greenhouse gas emissions, each step we can take to reduce the impact of student transportation is a positive step towards the fight against climate change.”

With government’s commitment to safe and m odern transportation for Island students, over 200 school buses have been replaced with newer models over the last seven years.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Katie MacDonald , Education, Early Learning and Culture by email at katiemacdonald@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 368-6449.

S.S.Chadha. WINGS CHAMBER.

 

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Choosing Wisely campaign helps health care providers and patients make informed decisions about diagnostic tests.

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — Through its participation in the Choosing Wisely Canada ® campaign, Health PEI hopes to improve the appropriate use of diagnostic testing, says Health PEI says acting Provincial Director of Diagnostic Imaging Services Gailyne MacPherson.

Choosing Wisely Canada ® is a national campaign to help health care providers and patients engage in conversations about when diagnostic tests are necessary, such as X-rays, CT, or MRI scans. The campaign is about learning to make smart and effective choices when it comes to radiation levels in tests, treatments and procedures.

“Health care providers are always looking to improve health outcomes for their patients. Being part of this national campaign will help us to ensure that the right tests are ordered, no more and no less,” added MacPherson. “We are working closely with physicians and clinicians to support them in having the important conversations with Islanders about diagnostic te sts and what tests are most appropriate for their needs.”

When diagnostic tests are medically necessary, the benefits outweigh any risk; however, there are many reasons to ensure tests are ordered appropriately. Diagnostic imaging tests are the largest source of radiation exposure outside of natural exposure. CT scans in adults and children increased eight-fold since 1980, and continue to increase 10 per cent per year. Nationally, as many as 30 per cent of CT scans and other imaging procedures are considered inappropriate or offer no useful information according to the Canadian Association of Radiologists.

Provincial Diagnostic Imaging Service staff have created tools to assist health care providers with the decision making process when ordering diagnostic tests. Choosing Wisely patient information brochures have been distributed to physician offices and hospital waiting rooms across the province.

For more information, visit www.choosingwiselycanada. org.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Amanda Hamel , Health PEI by email at ajhamel@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 894-2534.

S.S.Chadha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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Review of policing to support enhanced coordination, collaboration.

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — A comprehensive review of the province’s police services will lead to better cooperation of agencies and greater safety for Islanders.

“Policing is a priority for all levels of government and we work collaboratively with the RCMP, municipal forces and our province’s other emergency response agencies to effectively provide this essential public service,” Premier and Justice and Public Safety Minister Wade MacLauchlan said. “This review will assist us in determining the future direction of policing and create opportunities for closer collaboration and coordination.”

Police services on Prince Edward Island have a long-standing reputation for excellence and professionalism. Law enforcement agencies across Canada and around the world are experiencing rising costs as their service calls increase along with public expectations.

“All police agencies here in PEI work very closely together and assist each other when called u pon,” said Kensington Police Chief Lewie Sutherland, who is the president of the PEI Association of Chiefs of Police. “We also can learn from one another, so this landmark policing review should lead to a better model of policing for our town’s residents and for all Islanders.”

This is the first province-wide review of police services in more than 40 years – the last such review was the Grosman Report on Policing in Prince Edward Island in 1974. Subsequent reviews on individual departments were conducted in 1977, 1991, 2005, 2009 and 2012.

The new review will examine:

• Consultations with law enforcement and emergency response partners, communities and Islanders;

• Viable and effective models for policing services;

• Ensuring a 24/7 emergency response capacity coupled with specialist resource access when required;

• The appropriate and effective delivery of policing functions by different partners; and

• Support the coordination of police and emergenc y response services, drawing strengths from each to enhance the delivery of critical services to the public

A Request for Proposals will be released shortly; $150,000 has been allocated for the review.

Charlottetown, Kensington, and Summerside provide their own municipal police services while other Island municipalities have agreements with the RCMP. First Nations, Confederation Bridge, and the University of Prince Edward Island have their own police officers. There are 13 police service stations across the Island.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Maureen Flanagan-LeClair , Justice and Public Safety by email at mxflanagan-leclair@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 620-3409.

S.S.Chadha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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New Nature Tracker App Developed

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — A new app that will track Island wildlife and plants has been created on Prince Edward Island, says Minister of Communities, Land and Environment Robert Mitchell.

“Our department staff partnered with local watershed members to develop a new app that will allow Islanders and government staff to track where certain wildlife and plants are located on P.E.I.,” said Minister Mitchell. “This new app will help our wildlife staff assess specific species that are rarely seen or difficult to track. It may also be used by Islanders who are interested in knowing what wildlife has been seen, when it was spotted and where it was located.”

Development of the app was led by the Kensington North Watershed Association, with assistance from Forests, Fish and Wildlife staff and supported by the Wildlife Conservation Fund. This app will be used for recreational purposes, research purposes and also by Island organizations including the P.E.I. In vasive Species Council to assist in the tracking of invasive species that are threatening nature on P.E.I. Watershed groups across the province will be among the main users of the app, both benefitting from this wildlife tracker and being valuable contributors to the recordings of species, given their work in rich Island habitats.

“The smooth green snake is an example of a species where there have been no recorded observations on P.E.I. in recent years but we think they are still here. The app can help us confirm that,” said Wildlife Biologist Garry Gregory. “We are hoping Islanders will use this as not only a fun recreational tool to enjoy with their families but also as a way to help us learn more about the status of our Island wildlife and plants.”

Ultimately, users of the app will be able to click on communities on an Island map to bring up what species were seen in that region, when they were seen and a description of the sighting. Users will also be able to contribute to the database by taking a photo of the species seen and uploading it to the map with a description of the sighting.

The app is presently Android compatible and an iPhone version is in development. It will be tested over the summer, with a public launch expected next year.

To learn more about the new app and to view a video of it being used, please visit:

http://ow.ly/YCiXg

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Amber Nicholson , Communities, Land and Environment by email at amnicholson@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 368-5286.

S.S.Chadha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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Minister welcomes dialogue on sustainable energy

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — Renewable energy ideas brought forward at this week’s sustainability conference could help Prince Edward Island’s economy and environment, says Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy Minister Paula Biggar.

“Our province relies on energy that is reliable, affordable and sustainably sourced. By looking at a range of options for producing energy, attendees at the Charlottetown Initiative on the Maritimes’ Sustainable Energy Transition have prompted discussion that will benefit our entire region,” said Minister Biggar.

“Prince Edward Island is very sensitive to the effects of climate change, and the Island economy is sensitive to energy prices. I am happy to work with people developing sustainable ways to deliver light and heat to Islanders.”

The two day conference included more than 40 invitees from environmental groups, government, academia and private industry.

Following the meeting, a number of delegates met with Minister Biggar to review the energy options presented at the two day session.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Ron Ryder , Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy by email at rrryder@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 368-5112.

S.S.Chadha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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Prince Edward Island encouraged by federal investment in student summer jobs.

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — The federal government expansion of the Canada Summer Jobs Program will be a boost for Prince Edward Island students as they seek work experience and develop their careers, says Minister Richard Brown, Workforce and Advanced Learning.

“One of our greatest resources in this province is our youth, and I am very pleased by this announcement,” said Minister Brown. “This recognizes the importance of our Island youth and this program will continue to aid students in finding summer employment in their home province and furthering their studies.”

The Government of Canada recently announced its plans to double the resources supporting the Canada Summer Jobs Program, with new funding of up to $113 million each year over the next three years, allowing the program to offer close to 70,000 summer jobs for students across Canada from now until 2018.

Minister Heath MacDonald, Economic Development and Tourism said that the Canada Summ er Jobs Program is great news for Island businesses.

“This program supports private companies, non-profit organizations, and public sector employers to carry out meaningful projects that provide students with valuable experiences,” said Minister MacDonald. “With the newly extended program deadline of March 11, this will assist Island businesses who are interested in taking part in the program, such as tourism operators who may be looking to extend their summer season.”

Workforce and Advanced Learning and Economic Development and Tourism will continue to work closely to make the most out of the Canada Summer Jobs Program changes. Plans are currently in place to continue support for students under provincial programs such as the Jobs for Youth Program offered by the Employment Development Agency and the Post Secondary and Career Prep programs delivered through SkillsPEI.

In 2015–16, nearly 500 students in Prince Edward Island were supported in their search for meaningful employment in the private, non-profit, and public sectors. The additional investment by the Government of Canada will complement work being done in Prince Edward Island and ensure more students gain the work experience required to transition into the Island labour force.

The Canada Summer Jobs Program provides funding to help employers create summer job opportunities for students. It is designed to focus on local priorities, while helping both students and their communities. The program provides funding to non-profit, public-sector, and small businesses with 50 or fewer employees to create summer job opportunities for youth aged 15–30 years who are full-time students intending to return to their studies within the next school year.

For more information on the Canada Summer Jobs Program, visit www.servicecanada.gc.ca/csj

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Sheila Kerry , Workforce and Advanced Learning by email at slkerry@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 620-3688.

S.S.Chadha. WINGS CHAMBER.

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911 changes will help reduce unnecessary calls

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — Legislative changes will help cut down on false 911 calls and help the province’s emergency services better respond to emergencies.

“The Provincial 911 Service handles on average 30,000 calls every year,” said Premier MacLauchlan. “We respect and appreciate the hard work and dedication of our first responders on Prince Edward Island and government is committed to exploring all possible options to ensure they are provided tools that can help improve emergency service delivery for all residents on PEI.”

“Making a false or frivolous 911 call is a serious crime that needlessly engages vital emergency resources which may mean that someone in serious danger may not be able to get the help they need,” said RCMP Commanding Officer, Chief Superintendent Joanne Crampton. “These important amendments to the Emergency 911 Act will help our first responders do their jobs – and could potentially save lives.”

Cab inet this week approved the changes, which require private alarm companies to send their calls directly to local emergency services rather than routing them through the provincial 911 system. This change will help reduce the number of false alarm calls being directed to 911 and formalize a policy that has been in place since September 2011, which is an industry standard across the country.

It also grants law enforcement the authority to issue summary offense tickets to those who knowingly place false or frivolous 911 calls. Violating this provision will carry a penalty of up to $500.

In addition, the changes amend the Emergency 911 Act to require a resident or municipality to change an address, road name, or sign if it is deemed a public safety issue. For details on civic address or private road sign specifications, contact the 911 Administration Office at (902) 894-0385 or refer to the act regulations at www.gov.pe.ca/law/regulations/pdf/E&05-1G.pdf.

Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Island Information Service. For more information, please contact Maureen Flanagan-LeClair , Justice and Public Safety by email at mxflanagan-leclair@gov.pe.ca or phone (902) 620-3409.

S.S.Chadha. WINGS CHAMBER.