• Liberal Caucus

2021-22 Capital Budget Submission

September 10, 2021


Hon. Darlene Compton

Department of Finance 2nd Floor South, Shaw Building 95 Rochford Street P.O. Box 2000 Charlottetown, PE, C1A 7N8


Dear Minister;


Our first hope is that the 2021 capital budget represents a clear step forward for government – and that it reflects the need to adapt to the changed circumstances created by the pandemic. At a more generalized level, the Liberal caucus remains extremely concerned with government’s lack of planning – and most particularly in health care and housing.


In our view, the challenges revealed by the pandemic can be partly addressed through the capital budget. Furthermore, the complete lack of progress on substantial files like a new mental health facility and improved ventilation in schools must be confronted.


In brief, our suggestions are:


Health Care:

  1. Accelerate the timeline for the new mental health facility. Given the mental health crisis in our community, we expect to see this project dramatically accelerated.

  2. The opening of new, public long-term care beds – and most particularly, a new facility in Tignish.

  3. An additional 24-bed wing at the Prince Edward Home dedicated to restorative care.

  4. The opening of a fully-staffed and supported outreach center – which includes a safe injection site.

  5. The creation of a standalone wellness center in the Charlottetown area – which would promote preventative care and recreational activities and would be available to all Island residents.

  6. In recognition of the growing addictions problem, additional beds at the Mount Herbert facility.

Education:

  1. Install modern ventilation systems in every school – and most especially, in the 10 schools that are currently doing without.

  2. Begin the (often-promised, never delivered) improvements at Island schools.

Housing:

  1. Recognize the fact that the current government’s plans to provide additional affordable housing is verging on failure – and invest the funds required for publicly supported units. In particular, a concentrated effort to deal with public housing for seniors, families and low-income individuals is needed.

  2. Prioritize overdue renovations at existing facilities, like the required renovations at Huntington Court.

General:

  1. Make three-phase power eligible for municipal infrastructure funding.

  2. Remove power lines in areas like Howlan Road.

  3. An upgrade to the old West Prince veterinary clinic so it can be repurposed.

  4. Improvements to the trail system, and especially progress in the West Royalty project.

Again, we hope the government finally recognizes the need for long-term planning – and an approach to projects that extends beyond day-to-day political exigencies. In the absence of a coherent and well-considered plan, we will draw the conclusion that this government lacks any form of vision and is content to paper over problems and rely on increasingly tired excuses to support delay and denial.


Sincerely,


Sonny Gallant


Leader of the Third Party

District 24 | Evangeline - Miscouche



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