In the Fall 2015 sitting of the PEI legislature I moved Motion #46 that Prince Edward Island hold a formal Infrastructure Summit. The purpose of such an infrastructure summit would be to bring together representatives of local governments, industry, environmental groups, and community organizations to identify projects that could make our infrastructure more sustainable environmentally and enable more economic growth. Compared to the current ad-hoc consultations, an infrastructure summit would be a more comprehensive and collaborative approach that’s also more open and transparent. Going this route should be more fiscally prudent than previous stimulus investments that lacked that focused planned approach (e.g. the “hills” of Borden).
The Maclauchlan government voted down this motion for a PEI infrastructure summit.
Not only did they vote down this motion, but in the presentation of the PEI Capital Budget Estimates for 2016/17 the government refused to publish a breakdown of infrastructure projects contained within each summary line item. For example on page 21 of the Capital Budget document a single line item for “Provincial Parks” that read $300,000 was questioned and the Minister of Finance read directly from his notes:
“For Red Point Provincial Park a new day- use washroom, $35,000. For Brudenell park a two-way site conversion, $10,000 to $15,000 for each and four camp cabins at $40,000 each for a total of $120,000. For Cabot Park two-way site conversion, $30,000. For Linkletter park two-way site conversion, $50,000. For Basin Head a steel roof on the gazebo at $15,000. At Sally’s beach a steel roof on the shelter, $15,000. Brookvale, an Alpine lodge upgrade, windows and roof, 50,000. Equipment, a front mount mower and two carryalls for 35,000.”
It was clear that the information was available, but the only way they would communicate this important and useful information was through extended questioning on the floor of the legislature. The government was not willing to be open and transparent and publish the full capital budget breakdown. It is no wonder they voted down the motion for an infrastructure summit.
The video below is of my closing remarks.
WHEREAS quality public infrastructure is essential to the sustainable growth of the economy
AND WHEREAS it is widely recognized that investments in infrastructure have a positive
impact on the economy and the environment;
AND WHEREAS the new federal government has indicated its intention to increase the level of
expenditure on the nation’s infrastructure;
AND WHEREAS there are possible long-term infrastructure benefits for the province in areas
such as transportation, energy, water and sewer, trade, transit and renewable energy;
AND WHEREAS it would be desirable for Prince Edward Island to have a clear and focused
plan ready for the province to realize the maximum benefit from these increased federal
investments in infrastructure as soon as possible;
AND WHEREAS having broad, collaborative input from Island communities, industries and
environmental groups into such a plan would also be desirable to help identify key areas of
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that this Legislative Assembly urge the province to convene
a Prince Edward Island Infrastructure Summit at the earliest opportunity to bring together
representatives from Island municipalities and communities, as well as key stakeholders in the
economic and environmental sectors;
THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Prince Edward Island Infrastructure
Summit be charged with a specific mandate to collaboratively identify priorities and projects that
can be the basis of a multi-year provincial infrastructure plan to leverage maximum benefit from
new federal investments.