‘Dev­as­tat­ing’ to arts

NDP raises con­cerns over cuts to Work Ex­pe­ri­ence P.E.I.

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PROVINCE -

NDP P.E.I. Leader Mike Red­mond says he is dis­mayed by the gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to cut the Work Ex­pe­ri­ence P.E.I. jobs pro­gram by 70 per cent.

A to­tal of 182 po­si­tions were funded through the pro­gram last year, which is one of five ex­ist­ing pro­vin­cial jobs pro­grams, Red­mond notes.

Gov­ern­ment’s re­cent speech from the throne in­di­cated gov­ern­ment would work with busi­nesses, tourism and cul­tural groups, post-sec­ondary in­sti­tu­tions and cap­i­tal sources to en­sure that Prince Ed­ward Is­land has a vi­brant eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment strat­egy.

“Our non-profit arts and cul­tural or­ga­ni­za­tions rely heav­ily on fund­ing from the work ex­pe­ri­ence pro­gram for tem­po­rary pro­ject staffing,” Red­mond said.

“With­out fund­ing for po­si­tions, vi­brant, suc­cess­ful events like Art in the Open in the min­is­ter’s own dis­trict are in jeop­ardy,” he added, ref­er­enc­ing Work­force and Ad­vanced Learn­ing Min­is­ter Richard Brown’s Char­lot­te­town-Vic­to­ria Park rid­ing.

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