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New tourism minister meets with local industry reps, County officials

Prince Edward County success stories and challenges were shared with Daiene Vernile, the province’s new Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport during a visit to the County Monday afternoon.

Her visit, part of her first official tour of the local area, included an informal lunch and meeting with approximately 30 people from the local tourism industry, municipal councillors, and County staff members.

During the meeting, participants shared opinions on a number of issues impacting local tourism and culture in the County. Highlights included the need for investment for critical infrastructure such as roads, broadband internet, and housing; efforts to address seasonality in tourism and the impact of changes to employment and labour laws in Ontario.

Daiene Vernile, the province’s new Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, with Karla Lyons Brennan general manager of the Drake Devonshire, PEC Mayor Robert Quaiff and Northumberland Quinte West MPP Lou Rinaldi.

“With tourism at the heart of our local economy, our community members have valuable input to offer Minister Vernile as she assumes leadership of the Tourism, Culture and Sport portfolio,” said Mayor Robert Quaiff. “I appreciated that she took the time to meet in person with local stakeholders and listen to their issues and concerns.”

MP for Kitchener Centre, Vernile was appointed to the position during Premier Kathleen Wynne’s cabinet shuffle in January.

“This sector not only helps us to celebrate who we are as Ontarians, but it employs thousand of people and pumps millions of dollars into our economy,” Vernile said following the announcement.

She spent several hours in Wellington with a luncheon at the Drake Devonshire, followed by a tour of the Midtown Brewing Company.

“It was a pleasure to share some of our success stories,” said Neil Carbone, the County’s Director of Community Development. “At the same time, it was a great opportunity for Minister Vernile to hear directly from small business owners and others about many of the issues we have identified in studies and through working with our partners.”

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  1. Chris Keen says:

    Thanks for your continuing efforts on behalf of all of us in S.M. One can only hope someone will listen!

  2. Steve Ferguson says:

    Actually, I did, Chris, detailing the long saga of appeals, their costs, and the effects the project will have on local tourism and the economy. The minister and Lou Rinaldi said they’d take the comments back to Queen’s Park. We’ve heard this before.

  3. Chris Keen says:

    Gotta love election years. Well, perhaps Minister Vemile can convince Wynne to cancel the completely unnecessary, hugely costly wind project in South Marysburgh that will destroy the village of Milford’s landscape. Now that would be a boon for tourism in the County!! I’ll bet Mayor Quaiff didn’t even raise this issue.

  4. Susan says:

    I expect we will see a whole lot more of this with many minister visits upcoming. Good for the County.

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