Island Prosperity review 'a good idea,' says Ghiz

A review of a now-defunct five-year plan to transform the P.E.I. economy is possible, says Premier Robert Ghiz.

$200 million economic plan included accountability and reporting framework

A review of a now-defunct five-year plan to transform the P.E.I. economy is possible, says Premier Robert Ghiz.

P.E.I. Premier Robert Ghiz told the opposition there may already be some reports on the Island Prosperity Strategy available. (CBC)

Announced in 2008 with a planned 2009 launch, the Island Prosperity Strategy promised a retooling of the P.E.I. economy, with a new focus on bioscience, information technology, aerospace and renewable energy. The government would spend $200 million on the plan.

But Statistics Canada's figures from 2013 show P.E.I. wages remained the lowest in the country, and actually fell further behind the national average, and there appears to be little growth in the targeted sectors. Last week the government removed references to Island Prosperity from the Innovation Act.

In question period Wednesday the opposition asked repeatedly whether government would report on the $200 million in spending that was supposed to go with the strategy. Ghiz said there would be some reporting on it.

"We'll see bits and pieces here and there, but in terms of putting it all together and sitting down? You know what I think that's probably a good idea to do at some point," he said.

"There's always constant evaluation going on. I'll see what we're capable of doing or pulling together. Who knows? We may even have enough information now to be able to pull that together."

Annual report promised

The 2008 Island Prosperity book promised extensive reporting and accountability. (CBC)

The original book announcing Island Prosperity included a full chapter on accountability.

"This strategy will measure and communicate its success in multiple ways," it promised.

Those plans included what it called scoreboard reporting for each of the key sectors, with outcomes published and available to the public. An independent value for money office would be established specifically to report on the Island Prosperity Strategy. It would produce an annual report.

A search of government archives shows there was a progress report on the strategy in 2011, but nothing since then.

For mobile device users:Do you want to know more about what happened with the Island Prosperity Strategy?


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