When visitors travel to Prince Edward Island in the peak summer season, it’s usually to escape their worries, and to take in the sunshine and the salty air. That will not be the case for a few dozen visitors this week. The “Birthplace of Confederation” is playing host to the federal cabinet retreat over the next three days, and there will be plenty on the agenda. A press release from the Prime Minister’s Office last week stated that ministers will spend the next three days focused on “making life more affordable, growing the economy, building more housing, improving health care, fighting climate change, and more.” Among the cohort will be new faces: Crown-Indigenous Relation Minister Gary Anandasangaree, Citizens’ Services Minister Terry Beech, Tourism Minister Soraya Martinez Ferrada, Mental Health Minister Ya’ara Saks, Families Minister Jenna Sudds, Small Business Minister Rechie Valdez, and Justice Minister Arif Virani. There’s a good chance the meetings will help shape the government’s response to the pressing challenges Canadians face, of which there is no shortage. One would hope the ministers’ tours across the country this summer included as much listening as it did announcing the government’s agenda. The cost of living crisis continues. Statistics Canada’s consumer price index report for July showed headline inflation rose to 3.3 per cent on a year-over-year basis, pushing it back above the Bank of Canada’s target of one to three per cent. As economist Don Drummond told The Hill Times’ Ian Campbell, “the battle is not finished” when it comes to taming inflation. Home ownership remains a financially unrealistic prospect for many, while others see their rent payments consume a growing percentage of their wages. Across the Northumberland Strait from P.E.I., Nova Scotia is recovering from deadly flooding and, prior to that, wildfires that threatened the outskirts of the provincial capital. Wildfires continue to rage across the country, including in the Northwest Territories, where the capital city of Yellowknife was placed under an evacuation order last week. P.E.I. itself is still feeling the effects of Hurricane Fiona, which swept across Atlantic Canada in September last year. Then there are the political considerations for the federal Liberals: the Conservatives are consistently ahead of the incumbents by five to 10 points across the country, with some polls even showing the Tories ahead in the Maritimes. Prince Edward Island, which is currently federally red from West Cape to East Point, may see a tinge of blue in the near future. The Trudeau Liberals are approaching eight years in power. The government will need more than just a cabinet shuffle and some sea air to freshen it up.