P.E.I. business group sets goals to boost economy — but first it needs workers
5-year plan formed with input from more than 200 businesses
High-speed internet for all communities on P.E.I., increased wages and support for entrepreneurs — particularly women, Indigenous people and newcomers — were part of a new five-year plan announced Wednesday to boost P.E.I.'s economy.
The Partnership for Growth formed in 2019, and over the last few years received input from more than 200 businesses.
The group has created a plan for economic growth that sets specific goals it wants to see met by 2026, such as increasing the Island's GDP, improving wages and making P.E.I. a bigger player on the global market.
"It's now more important than ever to take the long term view, we're coming out of COVID-19 our focus has been very short term, now we need to look at what are our priorities to make sure that we got back on track," said Rory Francis, interim chair for Partnership for Growth.
But first, there are short-term issues that need to be addressed, including a shortage of workers in many industries.
Premier Dennis King said it's important to work with businesses to help attract and maintain those workers.
"We also have to be a leader in making sure we have the housing for those that we're going to need to do here, the skills training, there's just so many components to this where government can be a leader but also a follower, a supporter as well," he said.
"Government does best when we take our leadership from others and to have a group that has come together like this across so many sectors of the economy I think this gives us a good blueprint for that."
The province will continue to focus on immigration and creating business incentives to improve wages, King said.
The partnership has formed a committee that will help businesses figure out how to achieve their goals.
With files from Brittany Spencer