PEI shuffles the deck

PEI has changed economic development responsibilities:


Minister Responsible: Honourable Richard Brown

Prince Edward Island’s greatest natural resource is its people. We have a long and proud history of innovation – and a population that is fiercely loyal to the province.
For that reason, substantial new investments will be made in the years to come, which will offer Islanders much greater access to educational opportunities in a changing economy.
The new Department of Innovation and Advanced Learning will blend the challenges of a changing economy with the province’s capacity to promote post-secondary education, learning and training.

Over the next several weeks, government will release a major economic strategy which will modernize our economy to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Departmental Mandate:
The Innovation and Advanced Learning Department will foster and promote the development of the province’s knowledge economy by integrating the innovation agenda with government’s advanced learning activities; developing a pro-business investment climate and providing policy leadership and direction.

The Department will assume from the former Department of Development and Technology:
1. Departmental Management: Support for the Minister’s office
2. Labour Market Development: Policy leadership and support for existing labour market activities including the Labour Force Development component of the Employment Development Agency
3. Business Development Inc.
4. PEI Food Technology Centre
5. Population Secretariat
6. Island Investment Development Inc.

The Department will also assume from the former Department of Education continuing education and training, including policy responsibility for the University of Prince Edward Island, Holland College, Société éducative, apprenticeship, private post secondary training institutions, student assistance, adult education, literacy training and bursary programs.
Finally, the Department will assume from Provincial Treasury responsibility for the Lending Agency.

In 2009, the Department will assume responsibility for the Labour Market Development Agreement. The Minister will also be responsible for the Liquor Control Commission, Charlottetown Area Development Corporation and the Summerside Regional Development Corporation.

At first glance, some of the new alignment here makes sense. However, at some point, I just like the plain old “Department of Economic Development” or something a little less grandiose.

I know there are bureaucrats who have as their sole responsibility to dream up Mount Rushmore like names for government departments but I think Innovation and Advanced Learning is just plain confusing – at least for what it is mandated to do.

Just me.