With opposition parties continuing to call for the legislature to be convened, P.E.I. Premier Dennis King says that opportunity for them to examine the government’s spending is coming.
P.E.I. is the only province that has not had a legislature sitting since the COVID-19 pandemic came to Canada.
“Every province and every jurisdiction has their own way of doing things,” said King.
“We do have the ability here to keep the province going, the way our financial act and other legislation is constructed, so there would be less urgency. We haven’t had the need just yet to come in with emergency legislation like other jurisdictions have had, but we certainly have been working together.”
The province is operating without a budget for 2020-21, but King said that situation is similar to last year when the budget was delayed by the provincial election. The government continues to operate under special warrants, and those warrants have gone through Treasury Board and cabinet, he said.
“We will bring to the emergency session of the legislature that we will have detailed account and it will be authorized at that level,” King said.
That emergency session is scheduled for May 22. King said there have been challenges in getting all MLAs together safely.
In all, King said the province has spent between $70 million and $75 million on pandemic response, including $50 million in relief packages and close to $15 million on personal protective equipment in health care and on testing.
King said he expects a full budget will be introduced in mid-June.
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