PEI

Over 1,000 ideas submitted to growth and recovery committee, P.E.I. premier says

P.E.I. Premier Dennis King says The Council for Recovery and Growth has met about 30 times virtually since it was formed back in May.

Basic income, livable wage among topics discussed

'They've all talked about the need to share our economic success through areas such as a universal basic income,' says P.E.I. Premier Dennis King. (Al MacCormick/CBC)

The Council for Recovery and Growth has met about 30 times virtually since it was formed back in May, P.E.I. Premier Dennis King says.

"We're probably up over 1,000 potential submissions and ideas of where we are going," said King.

A team that started with 28 has grown to about 40 Islanders of various backgrounds and different organizations tasked with creating a plan for recovery and growth potential for the province over the next one, two, five and 10 years.

King said it is surprising to see the consistency around some of the themes and issues that come up.

Those initiatives are much more doable now than they would have seemed, maybe pre-March.— Premier Dennis King

"They've all come back and talked about the importance of the livable wage," he said. "They've all talked about the need to share our economic success through areas such as a universal basic income."

King said a four-day work week was also an idea brought forward.

"All of these things are so interconnected and even more connected than we thought," King said.

King said the pandemic and the success of the Canada emergency response benefit (CERB) brought new discussions of a universal basic income.

"Those initiatives are much more doable now than they would have seemed, maybe pre-March," said King.

"I think we have a federal government … interested in seeing where this can go."

The success of the Canada emergency response benefit has led to discussions about the possibility of a universal basic income on P.E.I. (Chris Helgren/Reuters)

Now the work moves to figuring out how to turn some of the recommendations into legislation, he said. An update is expected to be released in early November.

King said he thinks some of the ideas will be discussed in the upcoming sitting of the P.E.I. Legislature but they won't be ready for action yet.

"I don't think anything from this council, by the time the report comes out for discussion, will be ready for legislation or anything in this session," he said.

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Nicole Williams

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