Budget 2022-2023 outlines investments in Islanders now and for the future

CANADA, February 24 – Today, Premier Dennis King and Finance Minister Darlene Compton released the government’s 2022-2023 operating budget, which includes $2.7 billion in spending to help Islanders as Prince Edward Island moves forward and transitions into growth and recovery.

“The past 23 months have been incredibly challenging for all Islanders, but as we move forward with our transition plan and restrictions are lifted, our province is in a great position to focus on economic growth and recovery. This budget makes innovative investments in critical areas such as health care, seniors, youth, climate action, and ensures our communities are safe, diverse, and inclusive.

– Prime Minister Dennis King.

Budget 2022-2023 outlines the government’s plan to support Islanders through investments in the province’s youth, economy and senior population, while addressing the need to expand the health system and take action to mitigate climate change. With projected revenues of $2.6 billion and projected expenditures of $2.7 billion, the province expects a deficit of about $92 million.

Budget highlights include:

Investing in our youth

  • $27.2 million in early learning to expand spaces, raise wages and build on a strong child care system;
  • $945,000 for Island Bursary increases, including a $400 per student increase for the George Coles Bursary and a $250 per student increase for the Student Community Bursary;
  • $787,000 for free school supplies for all K-9 students in the public school system;
  • $200,000 for KidSport funding to provide $600 for each child in a household with a household income of less than $60,000;
  • Free island-wide public transit for anyone under 18; and
  • $945,000 to increase the $400 George Coles Bursary for Island post-secondary students to increase support to $2,600 or in some cases $3,400 and increase the Community Service Bursary to 1 $000.

Developing inclusive communities and economies

  • $1.5 million to increase the number of rental supports for seniors and families and support the construction of new affordable housing;
  • $850,000 to develop new tourism marketing campaigns and investments in provincial parks to ensure a rapid recovery over the next 12 months; and
  • $500,000 for a new Diversity and Inclusion Growth Program to improve opportunities for embedding inclusion within Island organizations and communities.

Improve our health

  • $8.7 million will support increased specialty capacity in hospitals by adding physicians in multiple specialties and related supports;
  • $1.4 million will enhance healthcare recruitment initiatives and an RN Stabilization Strategy that will support a centrally managed floating pool of approximately 25 RNs for the most urgent needs and fill vacancies at short term ; and
  • $2.7 million for an annualized investment to add more physicians, NPs, RNs, RPNs, dietitians, social workers and support staff to work collaboratively in Medical Homes across the province .

Supporting our seniors and vulnerable populations

  • $1.2 million to increase funding for home care services to ensure seniors receive the right level of care in the right place while providing respite for caregivers;
  • $250,000 in new funding to launch a Seniors Food Security Pilot Program to continue to provide reheatable meals to food insecure aging Islanders;
  • $3.2 million to support homeowner assistance programs, including PEI Home Renovation, Seniors Home Repair, Seniors Safe at Home, and the Renovation Program for Persons with Disabilities; and
  • $4.1 million to provide a free shingles vaccine to Islanders 65 and older at community pharmacies across Prince Edward Island.

A sustainable future

  • $5.6 million will continue to support the Clean and Affordable Energy Plan to expand the free heat pump program by increasing the household income threshold;
  • $1.5 million for investments to support increased transit routes across the island and to make all current transit routes free for anyone under 18; and
  • $2.1 million in new funding for the Provincial Electric Vehicle Rebate that encourages Island residents to transition to clean transportation, including e-bikes, electric vehicles and hybrids.

“This budget lays out a plan to invest in all Islanders, from the earliest stages of life through our senior population, and looks to the future by funding initiatives in innovative sectors and fighting climate change.” said Finance Minister Darlene Compton. “We know we are not yet done with our battle against COVID-19 and we want all Islanders to know that we will continue to be here to support those in need as we navigate and live more normally with the COVID-19.”

Media contact:

Kip Ready Department of Finance [email protected]

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