As the province eases back public health restrictions, more government services will be reopening in the next week.
During a news conference Thursday, Transportation Minister Steven Myers provided an update on some of the services that have reopened, including Access P.E.I. locations in Souris, Charlottetown, Summerside and O’Leary.
Respite care has resumed in Souris, Morell, Montague, Kensington and West Prince locations, while Efficiency P.E.I. has resumed service to the public in Charlottetown and Summerside.
Phase two begins next week and will see Island Waste Management Corporation accepting additional items at its drop-off centres.
On May 22, cannabis retail locations will resume in-store service with limited access. Child support offices will also reopen at the Harbourside location while provincial courts will get going again that same day in Charlottetown, Georgetown and Summerside.
All 17 P.E.I. retail liquor stores will reopen for business on May 25 while further details and a full list of services over the next week will be posted on the government’s website.
Effective immediately, the province is easing the outdoor burning ban. Small backyard campfures will be permitted, but Myers reminds people that any fire should be contained in a structure or pit. Large domestic fires for spring cleanup are still not permitted, and backyard burning permits will not be issued until May 22, provided conditions allow for it.
In addition, industrial burning permits will not be considered until a later date.
Finance Minister Darlene Compton also took part in the news conference, announcing that the province is expanding the COVID emergency contingency fund to $75 million.
Compton said the province is expecting $16.7 million from the federal government to create additional support for essential workers and that the province recently approved a $50 million special warrant to treasury board.
The province is also topping up wages for essential workers earning less than $3,000 (gross) per month and no more than $18.75 an hour in a consecutive four-week period during the program eligibility period from April 6 to July 26.
Compton said questions about the program can be directed to Skills P.E.I. at 1-877-891-4766.
The program is now available for submissions online. Employers are asked to submit applications on behalf of employees who will receive a one-time payment of $1,000, administered through their employer. Go to princeedwardisland.ca/covidforbusiness to apply.