PEI

Here's what to expect in the fall session of the P.E.I. Legislature

The fall session of the P.E.I. Legislature opens Tuesday, and the opposition will be after the government to move on a number of issues.

Health, education, climate change big issues for legislature

The capital budget will be the biggest item brought forward during the fall session. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

The fall session of the P.E.I. Legislature opens Tuesday, and the opposition will be after the government to move on a number of issues.

The biggest single item expected is the capital budget, where the government will outline spending plans on infrastructure such as schools, health-care facilities and roads.

Government House Leader Sidney MacEwen said climate change will be a consideration in how that money is spent, with "a focus on the transition to net zero."

"Health and education are the big priorities, you know, continued progress on the mental health campus and primary care, and then also into our schools as well," MacEwen said. 

'A large investment in public housing'

The Green Party will be looking for money to address the housing crisis in the capital budget, and Leader Peter Bevan-Baker has a specific idea in mind.

"I'd love to see them make a large investment in public housing through CMHC and federal funds," said Bevan-Baker.

He said there is a lot of federal money that could be leveraged with even a small investment by the province.

"If we were to come forward with $3 million, which is what we have asked for in our capital budget submission, we can leverage up to $30 million — which could be used either to build new housing or to purchase existing buildings and retrofit them," he said.

Crisis 'overtaking health care'

In an email to CBC News, interim Liberal Leader Sonny Gallant said health care will be a big priority for his caucus.

"We expect government to bring forward a plan that responds to the worsening crisis that is overtaking health care in our province," he said.

MacEwen said the government is continuing to collaborate with opposition parties on the legislation it is putting forward, sharing the text of those bills in advance of the session. Opposition parties are also sharing their bills with government.

"I'm sure that they'll be, you know, policy debates and disagreements," said MacEwen.

"But at least everybody's going to be prepared for those debates when the time comes."

With files from Kerry Campbell

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