02/21/2015 04:00 EST | Updated 04/22/2015 05:59 EDT

Five challenges that await the next premier of Prince Edward Island

CHARLOTTETOWN - Here are five challenges facing Wade MacLauchlan as he becomes premier of Prince Edward Island:

1. The economy. In a fiscal update in November, the P.E.I. government projected a deficit of $44.7 million for the 2014-15 fiscal year, but was aiming for a surplus in the coming year.

2. An aging population and the need to boost immigration.

3. A need to diversify the economy while boosting exports of key resources, such as the fishery and agriculture.

4. Balancing land use for agriculture with environmental protection. There have been a number of fish kills in recent years as a result of runoff from farm land.

5. The protection of rural communities amid the need to rationalize the delivery of public services, such as education and health care.