Premier MacLauchlan and Cabinet sworn into Office
Premier Wade MacLauchlan was sworn in as the Premier of Prince Edward Island this morning with members of Cabinet at Government House. Lieutenant Governor H. Frank Lewis administered the oaths of office at an outdoor ceremony that was well-attended, including by MLAs and two classes of junior high school students.
The nine-member Cabinet will be smaller in number than in recent history, with Premier MacLauchlan commenting that this demonstrates the intention of government to lead by example. He said that the new Cabinet also reflects a realignment of departments and responsibilities “to better serve Islanders and pursue the province’s strategic priorities including job creation, economic growth, effective family and human services, and health care.”
“These ministerial assignments reflect our view of the synergies that exist between tourism and economic development, among our key primary industries, and by addressing a continuum of service in areas such as senior care and mental health and addictions,” said the Premier. “I look forward to serving with my Cabinet colleagues and all MLAs as we engage Islanders to move our province forward.” Premier MacLauchlan added that government departments will be better aligned to implement key policies in government’s new mandate with a focus on people, prosperity and engagement.
The following members were named to Executive Council:
• Honourable H. Wade MacLauchlan, Premier, President of the Executive Council, Minister of Justice and Public Safety, Attorney General, Minister Responsible for Intergovernmental Affairs, Minister Responsible for Aboriginal Affairs, and Minister Responsible for Acadian and Francophone Affairs
• Honourable Richard E. Brown, Minister of Workforce and Advanced Learning
• Honourable Doug W. Currie, Minister of Health and Wellness, and Minister of Family and Human Services
• Honourable J. Alan McIsaac, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries
• Honourable Allen F. Roach, Minister of Finance
• Honourable Paula J. Biggar, Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy, and Minister Responsible for the Status of Women
• Honourable Robert J. Mitchell, Minister of Communities, Land and Environment
• Honourable J. Heath MacDonald, Minister of Economic Development and Tourism
• Honourable Hal Perry, Minister of Education, Early Learning, and Culture
MacLauchlan became Leader of the Liberal Party in February 2015 and was sworn in as Prince Edward Island’s 32nd Premier on February 23rd. In addressing the gathering on the grounds at Government House, MacLauchlan said “All 27 MLAs who will sit in the Legislative Assembly do so with a great sense of responsibility and duty, as well as an enormous privilege to serve our province and community.”
In its platform, Government promised “a revised grouping of departmental functions and responsibilities will better serve the public and enable Cabinet and ministers to serve the public with greater effectiveness and efficiency.”
The structure and composition of Cabinet is modified to reflect the following:
• Better serve Islanders
• Draw on the synergies that exist between sectors and their role in economic development
• Health care and social services continuum
• Express and more effectively pursue the policy priorities of the new government with regard to people, prosperity and engagement
• Support fiscal prudence and good government
Departmental Mandate and Roles
Premier and President, Executive Council; Intergovernmental Affairs
The role of the Premier, the Premier’s Office and Executive Council/Intergovernmental Affairs will remain unchanged. As before, the Intergovernmental Affairs ministry includes responsibility for Acadian and Francophone Affairs and Aboriginal Affairs. Premier MacLauchlan will conclude his mandate as Chair of the Council of Canadian Premiers in July 2015, and will become Chair of the Council of Atlantic Premiers in June 2015.
Workforce and Advanced Learning
Education and skill development are Prince Edward Island’s most important levers to assure the future of our society and of individual Islanders, and to continuously become more competitive and productive.
The new Department of Workforce and Advanced Learning will work in partnership with the Departments of Economic Development and Tourism, Agriculture and Fisheries and all ministries, including the Department of Family and Human Services, to fulfill the range of commitments to greater prosperity and enhanced employment opportunities for Islanders. The Department will play a strong role in enabling additional growth in our knowledge-based industries, manufacturing services and PEI’s reputation as Canada’s Food Island. It will emphasize continued development of a skilled workforce; foster a culture of entrepreneurship; and recruit and retain a talented and productive population.
The Department will be comprised of the following divisions and sections, and their associated legislation, agencies, boards and commissions, and federal-provincial agreements:
• The Post-Secondary Division of the former Department of Innovation and Advanced Learning
• The Skills PEI Division of the former Department of Innovation and Advanced Learning
• The labour research function currently included in the Division of Economic and Labour Research and Trade Negotiations of the former Department of Innovation and Advanced Learning
• The immigrant recruitment, settlement, and retention functions currently included in the Crown Corporation, Island Investments Development Inc.
• The Employment Development Agency from the former Department of Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Rural Development.
Communities, Land and Environment
Environmental quality and stewardship are vital in Prince Edward Island and land use is key to environmental protection.
The Department will assume responsibility for several major initiatives of government, including the implementation of the Thompson Report on Land Use and Local Governance, and the development of a new Water Act. The Department will have lead responsibility for working with local governments to build a stronger and more stable system in our province and the development of a new Municipalities Act.
The Department will include the following divisions and their related legislation and agencies:
• The Environment Division of the former Department of Environment, Labour and Justice
• The Municipal Affairs and Provincial Planning Division of the former Department of Finance, Energy and Municipal Affairs
• The Forests, Fish, and Wildlife Division of the former Department of Agriculture and Forestry
Economic Development and Tourism
Prosperity is one of this government’s core goals for Prince Edward Island. A unified and integrated approach is essential to grow our sales and our exports, to grow our existing businesses and to diversify our economy.
To carry out this role, the Department of Economic Development and Tourism has been established. Its priorities include growing our knowledge-based industries; manufacturing, services; fostering entrepreneurship; a new Sales Force PEI initiative to grow our sales, exports and investment; and expanding tourism with an emphasis on our culture and food. As well, the Department will work with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries to make PEI “Canada’s Food Island” through a strategic emphasis on our food production and processing sector.
The Ministry will include the following divisions, units, and Crown Corporations:
• Elements of the former Department of Innovation and Advanced Learning not otherwise included in Workforce and Advanced Learning
• All divisions of the former Department of Tourism and Culture, as well as associated legislation and agencies, boards and commissions, except for the Cultural Affairs unit being transferred to the Department of Education, Early Learning and Culture
• The Rural Development Division from the former Department of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development;
• Crown corporations and agencies including:
• Innovation PEI;
• Finance PEI;
• Island Investment Development Inc. (except for the staff and resources related to immigrant recruitment, settlement, and retention being transferred to Workforce and Advanced Learning);
• Tourism PEI.
Agriculture and Fisheries
Food accounts for a major share of our economy and holds enormous economic potential and promise in the years ahead. This potential can best be developed through an integrated approach which links our farmers, fishers, processors, and bioscience industries into a single powerful value chain. To achieve this, a new Department of Agriculture and Fisheries is being established, with a single clear focus on this goal. The Department will work to grow PEI’s food sector through product development and innovation, marketing and branding, and access to capital for industry members.
The Department will include the following divisions:
• From the former Department of Agriculture and Forestry, all divisions and units except for the Forests, Fish and Wildlife Division transferred to the new Department of Communities Land and Environment
• From the former Department of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development, all divisions and units except for the Rural Development Division and Employment Development Agency being transferred to the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, and Access PEI being transferred to the Department of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy
Education, Early Learning, and Culture
Education and early learning will continue to be a core priority of this government.
The Department will be enhanced by the addition of the following elements of the former Department of Tourism and Culture as well as their associated legislation and agencies, boards and commissions:
• the Libraries and Archives Division
• the Cultural Unit of the Strategy, Evaluation and Industry Investment Division including responsibility for heritage, cultural development and the arts;
• the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation.
Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy
The Department will be enhanced by the addition of the following elements:
• the Energy and Minerals Division of the former Department of Finance, Energy and Municipal Affairs;
• the PEI Energy Corporation;
• the Access PEI Division of the former Department of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development.
The restyled Department of Finance will be able to focus its full energies on the vital roles of achieving and maintaining fiscal balance, and managing government’s fiscal, human and capital resources in a prudent, transparent and accountable way.
The Department will assume responsibility for the Liquor Control Commission from the former Department of Tourism and Culture.
Justice and Public Safety, and Office of the Attorney General
The Department of Justice and Public Safety will be responsible for all matters related to justice and corrections, as well as labour matters including the Workers Compensation Board and other labour-related agencies, boards and commissions.
Family and Human Services
The Family and Human Services Department will work to fulfill Government’s commitments to care for Island families, seniors and citizens in need. The Department will continue to work collaboratively with the many valued community organizations that provide vital services to vulnerable Islanders.
Health and Wellness
No changes have been made to the Department of Health and Wellness. By sharing a minister with the Department of Family and Human Services, the departments will better address a continuum of service in areas such as senior care and mental health and addictions.