Casey to do battle in Charlottetown

Wayne Thibodeau
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Former president of the Liberal Party of P.E.I. unopposed in his bid to be the Liberal candidate

Charlottetown MP Shawn Murphy, left, hands the torch over to another Shawn, Sean Casey, who was elected Thursday night to represent the Liberal party’s colours in the riding of Charlottetown in the next federal election. Casey was unopposed for the post.

Sean Casey is coming out of the shadows of the Liberal party’s backroom and into the spotlight after winning the federal Liberal party’s nomination during a convention in Charlottetown Thursday night.

The 47-year-old former president of the Liberal Party of P.E.I. was unopposed in his bid to be the Liberal candidate in the riding of Charlottetown. He will be on the ballot for the next federal election widely expected to be held in early May.

Casey says by coming out early, he might have scared off some of the competition for the post, which pays a base salary of $157,000 annually. 

“I think part of it is the relative youth of the provincial government, by that I mean the most electable Liberals have been elected provincially and they haven’t been there very long,” Casey said in an interview.

“My sense is that if this nominating convention was four or five years from now that there would be a big lineup (for the job).”

Casey, a lawyer, is married to Kathleen Casey, who is a Liberal MLA and Speaker of the P.E.I. legislature. His family owns Paderno, the Island-based kitchen store and pot maker.

He replaces Shawn Murphy, who announced last October that he was bowing out of public office after 10 years.

Murphy will still represent the riding of Charlottetown until the next election is called.

Casey denies he was asked to run to hold the seat for Premier Robert Ghiz, who was one of a long list of provincial MLAs rumoured to want to run federally. Environment Minister Richard Brown, Education Minister Doug Currie and backbencher Robert Mitchell were also said to be considering a jump to federal politics.

“I find it pretty funny, to be honest with you. I want this, I absolutely do and that’s the reason why I came out early, why I have been working the phones solid ever since and why I am  leaving my law practise (Friday) to go campaigning full-time.”

About 200 people packed into the small auditorium at The Guild in Charlottetown for the nominating convention, which meant it was standing room only.

"... I want this, I absolutely do and that’s the reason why I came out early, why I have been working the phones solid ever since and why I am leaving my law practise (Friday) to go campaigning full-time,” Sean Casey, Charlottetown Liberal candidate

Scott Brison, a Liberal MP from Kings Hants, Nova Scotia and a special guest at the nominating convention, said the Liberal party can and will win the next election. 

“We’re seeing a lot of toing and froing between (NDP Leader) Jack Layton and Stephen Harper right now,” said Brison.

“We don’t know whether the budget will pass or whether we’ll have an election. We could have an election within weeks or within months. We don’t know. But we’re ready.”

Murphy is confident Casey can hold on to the riding for the Liberals.

“(Casey) will make a great member of parliament for this district,” he said.

Jordan Brown, president of the Liberal riding association in Charlottetown, said he’s confident Casey can keep the riding Liberal red. He described Casey as a “cream of the crop” candidate that may have deterred other candidates from coming forward.

“I’m not going to say it would dissuade other people from coming but they’re comfortable the job will be done and the job will be done correctly.”

The slate of candidates is nearly in place for the next election in the riding of Charlottetown.

Donna Profit will represent the Conservatives while Joe Byrne will carrying the colours for the NDP.

“I expect there will be an election called next month and I am proceeding on that basis,” Casey said during his address. 

“I take nothing for granted. Tomorrow, I start door-to-door campaigning, and I am going to make my first election promise that I will not be outworked. It will not be easy, and I will need the help and support of each and every one of you.”


Wayne Thibodeau was live tweeting from the Liberal nominating convention Thursday night. Read the play-by-play at



Organizations: Liberal Party of P.E.I., Robert Mitchell, The Guild

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Kings Hants, Nova Scotia

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Recent comments

  • Worker BEE
    March 01, 2011 - 10:15

    Mike you are obiviously a die hard Liberal...his father took over paderno and he and his family were their for the's called LUCK...pure and simple...with luck comes money and benefits...and education...and the right connections...That's why he got the nomination because it was given to the powers that be...there are lots of other good qualified candidates....but they were told ...not now .... we have picked our man.....he has the right connections..............not for the riding but for the back room boys............

  • Dis -gruntled Liberal
    February 26, 2011 - 10:54

    Some of the commentators raise some excellent points...big money and back room operators are at work here...I do not think the Liberals thought this one out for the long haul.. as noticed they just annointed WHO THEY WANTED....why did Shaun retire know and I know..his leader...Iggy is going nowhere fast...Canadians generally will not accept him...Die hard Liberals will...(most of them)...unless there is a dramatic turn around in the polls...there is no further use in putting another liberal in Ottawa from this riding ...Shaun did a great job and should be commended for the people he helped..........but times have changed and so has the is starting to look like a repeat of the fiasco 10 plus years ago when the liberal back room elite(LAWYER 'S AGAIN)..refused to let a sitting female Liberal MLA contest the that TEX MacDonald coupled run.......and that proved a failure ...notwithstanding all the women's groups representing all the parties were up in arms the blatant discrimination.... time for a change not the same old,same old....................................although a Liberal ..I am looking at Ms PROFITT.......who looks more grounded in the community.......

  • Dawna from Charlottetown
    February 25, 2011 - 13:14

    Stop Complaining.....You have a vote. Use it!! I do not know Mr. Casey, but give him the benifit of the doubt. I am sure he is not a horrible person. Other people could have run for this position. Why didn't they? You voted for Shawn Murphy and complained about him. What is wrong with you people? I think the NDP and Conseratives better let us know who they are..I do not know these people either.... So who should I vote for?. That is why we elect the wrong people.

    • Garth Staples
      February 25, 2011 - 14:44

      You don't know who Donna Profit is? Nuff said.

  • sjj jen
    February 25, 2011 - 12:25

    anyone who has dealt with this man know's what he's all about . the liberal's are showing there true color's now . my question to the people of p.e.i. is . why are lawyers all wanting to be in our government's so bad. ???????????????????????????????????????? my thinking is it's the gravey train of a life-time. anyway i think mr casey is not the man for us lowely little islander's who foot the bill for the greedy rich buddy's of our government people LET'S ELECT SOME-ONE WHO CARE'S ABOUT THE LITTLE OLD TAX PAYER'S OF P.E.I. [ MY GOD WHAT A SCAREY THOUGH ] I AM SURE THIS WON'T GET PRINTED BUT I TRIED.

  • Hee Bee
    February 25, 2011 - 10:29

    I think in the modern day of social media, more independent candidates can and SHOULD run. You don't need to be affiliated with a political machine to run a successful campaign and truly serve Islanders in Ottawa.

    • Garth Staples
      February 25, 2011 - 14:46

      Thoroughly disagree. Independants represent themselves.

  • Charlottetown voter
    February 25, 2011 - 09:36

    Being the Devil's' advocate here I have some concern ...this was basicly an annointment,not a nomination...I had heard that that there were several other possible candidates who wanted to run...but the powers that be ,the back room boys and the lawyers in control..including Mr Casey's law firm exercised their control.. not a democratic way of doing things........the McKelvy law firm will benefit from this no doubt and has in the past......Casey may be taking a leave of absent from the firm..but don't worry his job is still waiting..they have the money to support him.....but this control of the nomination is so blatant...where does it leave the average joe party member...or possible contender for the this what we want here in Charlottetown??Are the days of such blatant political control over....???has anybody else noticed that..??............I have no political bias ..but at least Donna Profit won on the 1st ballot.................and democracy APPEARED to be evident......anyway my 2 cents worth............

  • intobed
    February 25, 2011 - 07:39

    More of the same. Doesn't matter who gets elected.

  • launching fisherman
    February 25, 2011 - 07:16


  • Same Old Crew
    February 25, 2011 - 06:28

    Another millionaire lawyer from the Charlottetown upper crust. I guess if nothing changes, nothing changes. Maybe it is time I vote for someone who lives closer to where I do. I'd like to feel included for a change, not always excluded like government was a kind of Rotary Club or something. Sean this, Sean that, same old crew.

    • Mike
      February 25, 2011 - 11:37

      Thats the point of a democracy. You vote how you want to vote. I'd also like to inform you that Sean has worked hard for every dollar he has made. Making his money doesn't come easy in law or in politics. I'd almost say your a bit jealous same old crew. Looks like you didn't have the brains or your just lazy.. you tell me.

  • rob
    February 25, 2011 - 06:04

    Without the PNP list being published you could probably run a dead dog and get elected as Liberal in this riding. Especially an old Stewart McKelvey lapdog. If Casey is just holding the seat for Ghiz then it will be only till this October when Ghiz will be looking for work and I seriously doubt Ghiz will ever be elected again........Will Casey look for federal funding to pay back all the money he borrowed at PEI Lending ( at a rate lower than Maritime Electric)???? Thank You.

  • guardian reader
    February 25, 2011 - 04:13

    Wow it looks like we will have and interesting contest in chtown, I hope now that Mr.Casey has take a leave from his law practice, he wil put pnp files on table as so the electorate can decide how coruptor non corupt he will be,