Prince Edward Island.

AuthorReddin, Ryan
PositionLegislative Reports

Continuation of Second Session, Sixty-sixth General Assembly

The Second Session of the Sixty-sixth General Assembly resumed on February 22, 2022, and continues as of this writing. The Second Session began in February 2021.

Hybrid Virtual Proceedings

The resumption of the Second Session marked the first time that the House has met under hybrid virtual proceedings, which allow members the choice of attending proceedings in person or by video conference. Virtual proceedings had been invoked by Speaker Colin La Vie in January 2022, in response to the provincial COVID-19 situation, and several committees made use of them in advance of the House sitting. To date, the majority of members have attended proceedings in person, but each day has typically included a few members participating virtually. One member, Cornwall-Meadowbank MLA Mark McLane, attended House proceedings virtually before ever attending in person. He was elected in a by-election in November 2021, but was not swom-in in time to take his seat during the fall sitting. Unable to attend in person on February 22, he appeared by video conference on his first sitting day. He was able to take his physical seat on February 24. The public and press galleries remain open with limited capacity.

Budget Address

Minister of Finance Darlene Compton delivered the 2022-2023 Budget Address on February 24. It includes total expenditures of $2.6 billion (program expenditure of $2.4 billion) and a deficit of $92.9 million. Health remains the largest area of program expenditure, at 34 per cent, followed by Education at 17 per cent. Interest charges and amortization account for 9 per cent of the budget, which is larger than all the other areas of program expenditure taken individually. The three largest areas of revenue are personal and corporate income tax at 23 per cent, equalization at 20 per cent, and sales tax at 15 per cent. Initiatives highlighted by government include a partnership with the federal government toward expansion of early learning spaces and educator wages; increases in mobile rental vouchers, rental supplements and other rental supports; a registered nurse stabilization strategy to create a central float pool of nurses for assignment according to urgent needs and short-term vacancies; a seniors food program pilot project; and supports for a new clean tech park to be developed in eastern PEI. The Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure were tabled on the same day the Budget Address was...

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