Our Chamber wishes to inform our membership of the Government of PEI’s release of a Population Framework and a Housing Strategy, as labour force and housing are consistently major concerns we hear from our membership.

 

Population Framework

  • Titled “Growing Together: A Population Framework for Prince Edward Island”, this framework aims to guide and inform provincial policies, investments, and projections.
  • The framework is predicting PEI’s population to reach 200,000 by 2030.
  • With the release of this framework, the government also announced it intends to reduce its use of the allotted annual federal immigration candidates nominated by 25% for 2024. The province says it’s focused on aligning nominations with key sectors including trades, childcare, and healthcare.

The framework focuses on five priorities around population growth:

  1. Expanding critical infrastructure and public services
  2. Building and retaining PEI’s workforce
  3. Supporting land-use planning and environmental sustainability
  4. Enhancing community connectedness and a sense of belonging
  5. Long-term planning and reporting

Some actions for the Population Framework include, but are not limited to:

  • Dedicate investments to support capacity building with organizations and employers to provide diverse and inclusive workplaces.
  • Increase the number of experiential learning opportunities with the private sector.
  • Refocus provisional immigration streams to address workforce needs in critical sectors and high-demand occupations.
  • Ensuring regular communications and reporting to the public and stakeholders on key metrics and progress, including an online dashboard.
  • Ensuring that planning and policy decisions consider and reflect PEI’s changing demographics and the needs of all residents.
  • Developing a cross-government committee responsible for this framework to ensure focus and alignment of actions and priorities across government.

Note: over the last two years, our Chamber has advocated for the province to re-visit its population strategy and ensure provincial supports are in place to meet the federal government’s targets, including recruitment and retainment of immigrants that align with workforce needs.

 

Housing Strategy 

Targets:

Acceleration

  • Growing housing starts to new levels towards the required average annual 2,000 units.
  • Achieve and maintain a healthy market vacancy rate of 2-4%.

Affordability

  • Explore opportunities to increase the supply of permanently affordable rental housing through acquisitions and new constructions.
  • Prioritize the most in need on the PEI Social Housing Registry while working to eliminate the registry.
  • Reduce the number of Islanders with a core housing need, spending more than 30% of their before-tax household income on housing.
  • Provide support to first-time home buyers.
  • Increase the number of participants and funds invested to help keep people in their homes.

Vulnerability

  • Work to end chronic homelessness.
  • Increase the availability of supportive housing units.

Note: our Chamber has advocated for, and will continue to advocate for, the acceleration of housing development and for the province to work closely with private-sector developers, municipalities, and other relevant stakeholders (including our Chamber) to increase the overall supply of housing units in PEI.