It is a critical time in our Progressive Conservative Party.
Now, I have already talked about my vision for our party – restoring our brand by focusing on our PC mission and core values, listening to members and developing policy and platform from grass roots – prior to the writ being dropped for the next election.
But, what is my vision for PEI? What do I see as the future of our great Island?
Our strength is in our communities. Government needs to support and help grow our communities.
When people in a community pay their tax dollars they want to see the money spent in their community – on local roads, local schools, local access to health care.
Infrastructure like schools, health care clinics, community centres, athletic complexes, government service offices and fire departments are essential elements of a community. This infrastructure needs to be implemented and operated together as a community hub – for education, health care, community meetings, government services, and a wide variety of activities from sports to music. Community must always be kept at the forefront.
PEI has a history of entrepreneurs – our farmers, fishers and tourism operators are the lifeblood of this Island. Building on this tradition of small business, I see a PEI full of entrepreneurs that create niche products and services that they sell across the world – making global connections over the internet.
Island entrepreneurs have already started – making everything from charm bracelets to custom guitars to staircases – and selling services as accountants, computer programmers, authors, artists – and more.
I believe there are large numbers of people – especially Islanders living abroad – that want to move back to live in Island communities, realize the wealth they built up in assets like their houses, and use their off-Island connections to start their own businesses here.
Government needs to support entrepreneurs, and let self-employed people exporting their products and services off-Island keep more of the money they work so hard to earn by lowering their taxes. I believe there is huge opportunity here to grow our Island population, our economy, and our communities from tip-to-tip.
I see a future PEI where people spend most of their time in their local communities – both living and working – spending their money at local retailers and local service providers.
I believe that in the very near future with advances in power storage it will be feasible for communities to generate all of their own electricity through clean renewable means – like wind, solar and hydro.
Government needs to plan for and proactively work towards a future of inexpensive locally produced clean renewable energy.
Fellow Progressive Conservatives, and all Islanders, we are entering a new political era.
We need a leader that understands the connected global economy, and the critical role technology and information systems are going to play in our future.
We need a leader who has a plan to revitalize the Progressive Conservative brand.
We need a leader who has a vision of the future that includes success for ALL communities across Prince Edward Island.
We need a leader to initiate meaningful change, and do this in a fiscally responsible way – a true Progressive Conservative.
As PC leader I will work with you: to rebuild our PC brand, put the focus on solutions for all Island communities, and build on our great PC caucus team to run a full slate of excellent candidates – and we will form government in the next election.
Maintenant c’est le temps pour retour aux fondations.
Now is the time to get back to basics.
That is why I ask for your support. Merci beaucoup. Thank you.