PC Council kicks out media
© Guardian photo by Brian McInnis
Olive Crane, the new leader of the Island Progressive Conservative Party raises her arms in victory after winning the job in the second ballot.
Olive Crane escorted media out of a meeting Monday, trying to keep ongoing frustration within the PC Party behind closed doors.
A member of the party attending the meeting later contacted The Guardian to say what happened, but asked to remain anonymous.
The Guardian was told that regular monthly PC Party council meetings are normally for card-carrying members only. The Guardian attended because an advertisement in the paper said "Everyone Welcome To Attend."
That was not the case as the meeting room lights were dimmed and the doors closed after The Guardian reporter was guided out of the room.
Neither Olive Crane nor Blake Doyle, party president, spoke to The Guardian after the meeting, but after repeated requests by email, Doyle said he would prefer not to comment but might consider doing so.
"I wanted to send you a note to apologize for any confusion this evening and if the published information was misleading," Doyle said by email. "We had a full-house at our meeting tonight and a great dialogue on moving our party forward.
"I remain enthusiastic about the direction our party is heading and energized by the engagement of our membership," said Doyle.
The Guardian's inside contact however, suggests that Crane's status continues to be a bone of contention within the party.
The Guardian was told that the air of the meeting grew tense when her leadership roles were questioned by people inside the meeting.
Doyle told the meeting that an interim party leader will be named at the latest possible date, but that person will not be Opposition Leader.
The latest date will be 30 days from Crane's stated resignation on Jan. 30.
People at the meeting asked repeatedly for names of people being considered for interim leader but Doyle would not say who they are.
Crane said last month that she will remain as Opposition Leader but party members were saying that in this arrangement, the party will have no control or moderation over her. The leader speaks on behalf of the party but in this arrangement, who is the Leader of the Opposition speaking for, asked the Guardian's insider.
Some party members tried to say that the questioning was out of order.
Some asked how it is that when Crane became interim party leader she also became Opposition Leader but now will not return the favour for the new interim party leader.
Blake said that Monday's meeting will be the one and only time that members will be asked for input and ideas into the leadership status issue.