Premier trum­pets P.E.I.’s good news

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - EDITORIAL -

Premier Wade MacLauch­lan gets oc­ca­sional crit­i­cism for be­ing too much a cheer­leader and overly op­ti­mistic about Prince Ed­ward Is­land. The premier tends to put on his rose­c­oloured glasses ev­ery chance he gets when it comes to pro­mot­ing his na­tive prov­ince. And that isn’t a bad thing.

It’s re­fresh­ing to hear good news sto­ries about P.E.I. that of­ten tend to get over­looked. We need a boost to our pro­vin­cial spirit — at least ev­ery now and then.

Is­lan­ders can eas­ily for­give the premier for in­dulging him­self with a vir­tual buf­fet of good news this week when he de­liv­ered his first State of the Prov­ince ad­dress to a joint meet­ing of Ro­tar­i­ans. It was a golden op­por­tu­nity to pro­vide some good cheer to Is­lan­ders on this cold, win­try week in late Jan­uary.

In fact, there are many good news sto­ries out there and we need to be re­minded of them. Too of­ten, bad news is what gets our at­ten­tion and we are in dan­ger of slip­ping into a storm of life state of mind. Is­lan­ders got a lib­eral dose of spring tonic Mon­day.

As the premier has pointed out be­fore, this prov­ince, with its di­ver­si­fied econ­omy, isn’t as prone to the boom or bust cy­cles which af­fect man­u­fac­tur­ing-based On­tario or re­source-based Al­berta. We have a solid mix of var­i­ous small in­dus­tries that pro­tects against those cy­cles.

There are jobs out there. Just check the lo­cal job banks. Granted, many of the ones be­ing posted are for spe­cial­ized po­si­tions and re­quire train­ing but it shows Is­land busi­nesses are be­ing in­no­va­tive and adapt­ing to chang­ing tech­nolo­gies and mar­kets.

The premier isn’t con­tent to let busi­ness come knock­ing. He is tak­ing his booster club show on the road, join­ing with On­tario Premier Kath­leen Wynne to co-lead a trade mis­sion to In­dia this spring and then he’s off to Europe in June on an­other trade mis­sion to en­sure P.E.I. taps into the Canada-Euro­pean Trade Agree­ment.

The lower Cana­dian dol­lar does of­fer op­por­tu­ni­ties for in­creased ex­ports and re­duc­ing our trade im­bal­ance is one of Premier MacLauch­lan’s top pri­or­i­ties. The premier cited ex­am­ple af­ter ex­am­ple Mon­day where Is­lan­ders are suc­ceed­ing. We are small enough to re­act quickly to chang­ing trends and tech­nolo­gies. We can do things dif­fer­ently and we can do them well.

The premier left no doubt — the econ­omy will be his govern­ment’s great­est pri­or­ity in 2016 and be­yond.

There is noth­ing wrong with cheer­lead­ing. The premier wants to in­still con­fi­dence and op­ti­mism. They are merely states of mind but Is­lan­ders can achieve great things if we truly be­lieve in them.

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