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Mary MacKay - Viking Voyage

A first for everything - A furry-faced friend on the wharf at Straitsview, N.L., peeked around the Be Faithful 2 sailboat’s awning, followed by a smiling face of the human kind. “I hear someone wants a shower here,” spoke the latter, which happened to be Barbara Blake, whose home was just a jaunt down the road from the Parks Canada National Historic Site of L’Anse aux Meadows. Charlottetown sailors Geoff and Jane Ralling and I had been in this northern Newfoundland community for a few days visiting the Viking archeological site before it was time to set sail for the Gulf of St. Lawrence and our Prince Edward Island home, following a route that could have been taken by the Norse explorers 1,000 years ago. “I’ve left the door open. Towels and facecloths are by the sink,” my generous host offered, after giving me rudimentary directions to her house in Straitsview where the Blakes and Hedderson mailboxes rule the roads. To be sure and to avoid any lurid B&E shower-stealing charges on my part, I checked the route carefully to avoid accidentally taking a surprise advantage of any other local resident’s open door policy. The Rallings tell me that’s what happens in Newfoundland – you land at the wharf, tell them what you need and help usually arrives: fuel, fish, a friendly offer of the use of a vehicle. Well for me, that gift of a shower was a first and it was one of many for this Viking Voyage. I’d never really even been to sea before, let alone…

Photo : Mary MacKay August 15, 2014

Ryan Ross - Between the lines -- Ryan Ross

Where will Wade MacLauchlan run? - With an early election a near certainty the nominations for Liberal candidates in ridings across the province are filling up fast. Leader in waiting Wade MacLauchlan’s name is notably absent from the list. As of Feb. 21 MacLauchlan will officially become the Liberal leader and by default the premier. He also won’t have a seat in the legislature and hasn’t declared where he plans to run. If he were to run in his home riding MacLauchlan would seek a seat in York-Oyster Bed, but the problem is that district already has a nominated candidate. Transportation Minister Robert Vessey, who is also one of MacLauchlan’s campaign chairs, holds the seat and received the nomination way back in May 2014. He was the first candidate the party nominated for the next election. That means MacLauchlan would lose a prominent cabinet minister as a candidate if he wants to run in his home riding. So what are his other options? Unless more MLAs say they won’t run again the only district without a candidate is Cornwall-Meadowbank, thanks to Fisheries Minister Ron MacKinley deciding not to re-offer. MacLauchlan has been playing his cards close to his chest so we’ll all have to wait and see what he wants to do. But with a spring election likely on the horizon we’ll probably find out sooner rather than later.

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Photo : Ryan Ross February 11, 2015

Teresa Wright - Between the lines -- Teresa Wright

The report so nice, they adopted it twice - The P.E.I. legislature open in January? Definitely out of the ordinary, but the idea was floated last week. It all had to do with the report of the special committee that has been looking at electoral reform in P.E.I. The committee tabled its report on Friday, recommending to slow down the process of changing P.E.I.’s voting system amid concerns P.E.I. was rushing toward a plebiscite on electoral reform with limited engagement or even knowledge among the general public. RELATED: Plebiscite on electoral reform in P.E.I. pushed back amid concerns over rushed process But a few days before the committee tabled its report, news began to spread among the MLAs and staff of the legislature the house might return in January to deal with the electoral reform committee report. How could this be, you may ask? According to the rules of the legislative assembly of P.E.I., a report of a standing committee is only considered final after it has been ‘adopted’ in the house. If it is not adopted, it could be changed, amended, sent it back to the committee to do more work on it, or it could be rejected altogether. Normally, a motion is made to adopt the report immediately after it’s tabled. But there was some question last week about whether the electoral reform report should simply be tabled and left – in legislative limbo – until January. Apparently, there was some concern about adopting the report before anyone had a chance to read it. Meanwhile, members of the Progressive Conservative Opposition had caught…

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Photo : Teresa  Wright November 30, 2015