Prince Edward Island.
2nd Session, Sixty-sixth General Assembly
The Second Session of the Sixty-sixth General Assembly resumed on November 1, 2022, and adjourned to the call of the Speaker on December 1, for a fall sitting total of 17 days. The Second Session began in February 2021 and now totals 103 sitting days.
On November 2, Minister of Finance Mark McLane tabled a Capital Budget consisting of $308 million in planned 2023-2024 spending on capital projects such as roads, bridges, buildings and equipment.
The largest expenditures were planned for the departments of Transportation and Infrastructure ($80.2 million), Social Development and Housing ($64.7 million), and Education and Lifelong Learning ($60.3 million). Major projects highlighted by the Government include bridge replacement and repair; new or ongoing construction, renovation and repair of schools; and creation of additional social and affordable housing units.
During the fall 2022 sitting 31 bills were reviewed. Of these, 25 originated from Government, two were introduced by a member of the Official Opposition, one was introduced by a member of the Third Party, and one was introduced by private member of the governing party. Two bills were introduced by the Deputy Speaker on behalf of the Standing Committee on Legislative Assembly Management as they were concerned with matters under the jurisdiction of that committee. Ultimately, 19 Government bills and the two bills promoted by the Deputy Speaker received Royal Assent.
Among Government bills, Bill 87, Residential Tenancy Act received the most debate. This bill replaced the Rental of Residential Property Act, which had regulated the residential rental system in PEI for several decades. Significant changes in the new Act include prohibiting tenants from charging subletters more than the tenants pay in rent, a greater notice period for evictions without cause or for the purpose of renovations, and recognition of housing as a human right. The new Act also caps the allowable annual rent increase, as set by the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission, to three per cent, while allowing landlords to incorporate any allowable annual increases that were not charged to a previous tenant into the new rental rate after a unit is vacated. The new Act had been in development for several years, and just prior to its introduction Government introduced an amendment to the previous Act to nullify the Island Regulatory and Appeals...
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