P.E.I. premier addresses Atlantic Mayors in Summerside

Published on May 18, 2017

P.E.I. Premier Wade MacLauchlan spoke with members of the Atlantic Mayors’ Congress meeting in Summerside, Thursday.

Prince Edward Island Premier Wade MacLauchlan encouraged a group of Atlantic Canadian mayors who gathered in Summerside Thursday to think more regionally and to do what they can to prepare for Canada’s coming demographic crunch.

The Atlantic Mayors’ Congress is taking place in Summerside between May 17 and 19 and attracted leaders from about 30 municipalities around the region. The group spent their time touring Summerside facilities, listening to guest speakers and participating in discussions regarding common concerns.

MacLauchlan addressed the group Thursday during a luncheon.

He covered a number of topics, but focused primarily on demographic trends in the region and what they could mean for communities.

He also spoke about the roles municipalities can play in fighting demographic projections showing eventual population decline, which included focusing on livability and opportunity for young people.

“Let’s not miss this moment that, starting with real estate, the municipal governments in this region, working together with our provinces, could be making a very strong case for young people … to put down roots here,” he said.

After MacLauchlan’s speech, Summerside Mayor Bill Martin asked him for an update regarding the province’s carbon tax plan and what it could cost Island municipalities. The federal government has made some form of price on carbon mandatory for all provinces starting in 2018.

MacLauchlan responded that, in short, his government is still working on its plan.

Mayor Christine Blair, of the Municipality of the County of Colchester, N.S., called the overall meetings a good opportunity to network with other mayors and learn from one another.

“That’s the big thing – learning from your peers, recognizing that the challenges they have are also the challenges that you have. Some municipalities may be further developed in some areas than others, but we can learn (from each other,)” said Blair.