NDP call for P.E.I. economic summit

It's time for all P.E.I. political parties to come together to talk about the province's chronically high unemployment rate, says provincial NDP Leader Mike Redmond.

It's time for all P.E.I. political parties to come together to talk about the province's chronically high unemployment rate, says provincial NDP Leader Mike Redmond.

NDP Leader Mike Redmond says wages on P.E.I. need to increase. (CBC)

Redmond wants to see politicians from all parties and industry leaders come together in a non-partisan employment summit.

One of the issues that needs to be explored, said Redmond, is why the number of temporary foreign workers on P.E.I. has continued to grow while unemployment remains stuck at over 11 per cent. He would also like to discuss ways to offer better wages.

"It comes back to wages, and also the viability of businesses," said Redmond.

"We need to work with our local businesses. If you have all the players at the table - you know, your restaurateurs, your small business operators - they'll tell you what they need, and they'll tell you the challenges that they're facing today."

The summit would be a first step, he said, in creating a strong economic plan that has people working and earning a livable wage.

Redmond said government wage subsidies and other financial incentives to attract businesses could be used to greater effect. A plan to boost wages could also keep some Islanders from moving out west for work, he said.

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