“The changes in Ministerial duties and departmental responsibilities reflect the need to improve the way services and programs are provided to Islanders,” the Premier said. “In particular, I believe the new emphasis on rural development will assist many communities to thrive in a changing world. In particular, I am confident that this approach will offer many more Islanders the opportunity to stay within their home communities – and still participate in a changing economy.”
As a result of the changes, three Ministers were sworn by the Lieutenant-Governor to new responsibilities:
The Honourable Allan Campbell is now the Minister of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development.
The Honourable Richard Brown is now the Minister of Innovation and Advanced Learning.
The Honourable Gerard Greenan is now the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development.
“The decision to blend responsibilities for early childhood development with education makes perfect sense,” the Premier said. “The team that I have the honour to lead is very serious about improving the supports provided to families as they prepare their children for the education system. Government recognizes that education begins at home, and the new Department will ensure that there is a high level of continuity between early childhood and school programs.”
Finally, the new Department of Innovation and Advanced Learning will help government to sharply focus on the province’s inherent economic strengths.
“As I have said in the past, Prince Edward Island is not rich in natural resources like minerals or oil. Instead, our greatest resource is our people,” the Premier said.
“The new Department of Innovation and Advanced Learning will provide government with the tools to invest in Islanders, whether that is through the education system or through appropriate assistance to innovative new businesses.”
Over the course of the upcoming legislative session, further details on government’s specific policy direction will be announced. The Speech from the Throne will be read April 4th, 2008.
“The Speech will clearly spell out government’s plans for the next several years – and offer a significant amount of detail about the changes that will take place. Of course, the budget will also offer government the opportunity to clearly demonstrate its plans. I am also looking forward to the release of a new economic strategy, which will help to guide decision making about the investment of public resources into areas designed to improve the Island’s economic performance in the years and decades to come,” the Premier said.