PEI’s Population Framework – Measures to Slow Down Population Growth

he Government of Prince Edward Island released today the provincial population framework and introduces a refocused approach to PEI’s immigration programs to align nominations with provincial pressures and priorities.

The Province has seen consistent population increases over time, and Growing Together: A Population Framework for Prince Edward Island and program adjustments will provide a guide to a sustainable approach to manage our growth. The framework uses an evidence-based approach to help inform government decisions and how the Province strategically invests its resources to meet the needs of a growing population.

The framework identifies five key priorities that focuses on sustainable growth, while ensuring infrastructure and services are keeping pace with the needs of our residents. These include:

The framework formalizes government’s commitment to improved collaboration across provincial departments, other levels of government, community and industry partners. By bringing together data and perspectives from different sources, comprehensive scenarios and projections will be generated to better identify public service and infrastructure pressure points, like housing, healthcare, and education that will require further development and investments.

The Department of Workforce, Advanced Learning and Population will also prioritize thirteen actions related to workforce development, province-wide population modelling, and a measurement and reporting plan to support sustainable growth.

“The new framework gives us the right flexibility to adapt to population and other demographic shifts so that we can give our public system what it needs to not only fill its current gaps but resource them to respond appropriately to the demands of our growth. We need to grow a healthy and sustainable workforce by training those who live here, attracting highly skilled people to fill our workforce shortages, and retaining them so that we can offer the programs and services our residents need,” said Hon. Jenn Redmond, Minister of Workforce, Advanced Learning and Population.

Prince Edward Island’s population growth can be attributed to birth and death rates, interprovincial migration, as well as immigration. To relieve further pressures on public services and infrastructure, the Province will reduce its use of the allotted annual federal immigration nominations by 25% for 2024. The remaining 75% of nominations will be redistributed to align with nine provincial sectors, with a strong emphasis on nominating skilled workers in health care, trades, childcare, and other key industries facing labour shortages.

This immediate measure aims to give our public services and infrastructure time to ensure we can address gaps and prepare for future needs while the Province works to grow a sustainable skilled workforce to manage population levels.

“PEI, like many jurisdictions, is faced with finding the right balance of welcoming new residents to our Island workforce and relieving the pressure population growth has on our increasingly stressed public services and infrastructure system. Whether it’s building more housing or having enough staff in our child care, education or health care system, we know that we need highly trained, skilled workers to grow these systems sustainably. That’s why the temporary changes we are introducing today on reducing our use of immigration nominations by 25% and ensuring the remaining nominations are aligned with key sectors will help balance skilled labour needs and allow sufficient time for infrastructure and services like health care, housing and early learning catch up to what our province needs.”

– Premier Dennis King

Learn more about the PEI Population Framework.
Source: Government of Prince Edward Island

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