Hal Perry stepping down as P.E.I. Opposition leader

Teresa Wright
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Tignish-Palmer Road MLA Hal Perry

Tignish-Palmer Road MLA Hal Perry is stepping down as leader of the Opposition.

In an interview with The Guardian this morning, Perry said there has been too much focus on the divisions within the Progressive Conservative party and he wants to shift that focus back onto issues of concern for Islanders.

“I’m making a conscious decision on behalf of my party and on behalf of all Islanders’ best interests, to step aside,” Perry told The Guardian this morning.

“If we’re going to move forward, we have to have stability. So I feel that by my stepping aside, it will take away hopefully from our internal issues and put the real issues to the forefront.”

The party has been in a state of disarray for months as internal squabbles over leadership have continuously boiled into public view.

After former leader Olive Crane resigned, the party’s divisions became even more apparent when Perry took over as Opposition leader, with majority support of three of the five Tory MLAs, while Georgetown-St. Peters MLA Steven Myers was chosen as interim party leader by the majority of the PC executive and caucus.

“I’m making a conscious decision on behalf of my party and on behalf of all Islanders’ best interests, to step aside,” Hal Perry, Tignish-Palmer Road MLA

This created an unprecedented and confusing situation with two elected MLAs within the same caucus splitting leadership roles that are usually filled by one person.

Then late last week, PC president Blake Doyle sent a letter to the speaker of the legislature, Carolyn Bertram, asking her to recognize Myers as Opposition leader. He said the party had obtained a legal opinion saying the leader of the party should rightfully hold this title.

Bertram released a statement saying she would not get involved in party politics.

Perry said he thought long and hard about the situation over the weekend and came to the conclusion last evening stepping aside was the only way the party could move beyond its current struggles.


The Guardian will have more on this story later and full details in the print edition of the newspaper on Tuesday.





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Recent comments

  • Viscous Cycle?
    February 12, 2013 - 07:03

    Here's what's not going to happen: Proportional Representation. Even though PR might generate enough collective intelligence and honesty to actually govern, it won't happen. Trouble is, a BlueRedGreenOrange mix might tamper wit the "back room" puppet master's control. Can't have that; or could we?

  • concernedislander
    February 11, 2013 - 22:55

    I just gotta laugh when i hear the PNP mentioned and those who try too connect it up too there tax dollars unless your off imagrant status its not your money to bad its such ah slap in the face too PEI in general in some ways and oh by the way when are we gonna realize there is no such thing and never will be such as an honest politican i dont care whos petty little name you wish too pic wake up i bet the same people believe santa claus is comming in july this year nothing but ah bunch off finger pointing fools .

    • Taxpayers are responsible for legal fees, trips,
      February 12, 2013 - 10:41

      Taxpayers have been scammed on many things in this province. But, to connect our tax money to pnps, some examples would be it is our tax monies that pay for legal fees to try to stop the release of the list of the pnp; the costs of the multiple trips by many involved in government and those connected, premier and so on to recruit Chinese immigrants and provide pnp money; the legal fees for the lawsuits that have been placed in regards to not following through on what the government was required to do, like provide english lessons for the 50,000 they paid, tax monies to fund those lessons since the pnp money is gone; and the list goes on. Then for the federal taxes, the costs of investigations and having government be told to stop selling visas. Losts of lost money from immigrants, lost money from taxpayers, But, of course, lots of money in the pockets of the corrupt thieves.

  • graduate
    February 11, 2013 - 20:53

    I voted for Olive and she did the best she could but it was obvious that she couldn't win a Provincial election. I am sure after the next election she will have a very responsible department. For you LIberals , I am sure you are quite concerned that the next Tory leader will bring honesty to the Province. Ghiz and the bandits will be gone but not forgotten as they have put this province so far in debt. All Islanders will pay the price for financial mismanagement.

    • tories are history
      February 12, 2013 - 13:13

      There is no honesty in the tories, that has been shown over and over again. Both liberals and tories are just too corrupt, too deep into such behavior that there are cover-ups, pay-backs, patronage, and on and on. Whether you liked Olive, thought she could not make it as premier, is irrrelevant for tories as that card has been played. the tories are history, will just be a bad memory. Hopefully, the same will be true of the liberals. We are in need of an alternative, and that appears we will be going NDP.

  • Gerry
    February 11, 2013 - 19:59

    2015 = orange party. Definitely time to change the engrained mindset and imposed conviction that all Islanders should vote according to family tradition with total disregard for the inevitable outcome (same old BS).

  • don
    February 11, 2013 - 19:08

    OLIVE'S BACKROOM SHOULD GROW UP. you are not to smart. mrs cranes trouble started when she tried to open the pnp books and was HONEST but the powers in the lib and pc's could not allow that to happen as they are so deep in the PNP it is shorter to go to mars then where they have dug. but some day the truth will come out and look out they will be facing jail time i hope. mrs crane you were the only HONEST one in the whole gang in the house. but i guess to win you need to be a lier. but time will tell but the pc party will NEVER WIN till they FIRE the back room babies.

  • WayneDrops
    February 11, 2013 - 17:23

    all you have to do is give the reigns to jason lee and dennis king then all will be good....steve myers wife should wake up and tell him to smell the roses!

    February 11, 2013 - 17:08

    On behalf of the Liberal Party of PEI , all you Tories keep on keepin' on !

  • anne shirley
    February 11, 2013 - 15:18

    "Oh, oh, oh . . . is it my turn yet?" But seriously, as I've often been quoted as saying, “Oh, it's delightful to have ambitions. I'm so glad I have such a lot. And there never seems to be any end to them-- that's the best of it. Just as soon as you attain to one ambition you see another one glittering higher up still. It does make life so interesting.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

  • Olive Supporter
    February 11, 2013 - 15:13

    The backroom hates Olive because she was going to reveal the truth behind Area 51. Alien civilizations are real!!! Be careful Olive, the backroom is very powerful and connected to the Pentagon!

    • millions missing and thugs should be in jail
      February 11, 2013 - 19:01

      Nice try in making fun of the fact, that there is major fraud and theft. Not so funny to the taxpayers, to those who had the money stolen from. Over 400 million missing, you thugs should be in jail!!!!! It was made known all over Canada, that you sleazed people. Looked bad and still looks bad for PEI and Islanders. We can never re-gain our reputation. Hide, hide hide,,,,lots of secrets....threaten people...Olive Crane isn't the only person you scoundrals threatened....crooks, thieves, and a bunch of corrupt morons. Aliens, yes, you are very much alien. Psychopathic behavior, fraud,....alien to people who work hard for a living. You bunch of scanky crooks, or scanky aliens, whichever you prefer. Does not change the fact you stole millions, and millions are missing. The only ones who are laughing are the backroom boys and the thugs with them....well, for now anyways.

    February 11, 2013 - 15:01

    I have never been one to get involved in politics but I cannot avoid it anymore. I am against all parties as parties are for self interests and could care less about the people or the province. However during the next election I will keep in my pocket a list of all that the Liberals AND conservatives have done against the people of this province during the last century. Anyone who has held a seat for either of these groups should have trouble looking at themselves in the mirror. All you have done is load you bank accounts at the expense of the people who voted you in. You are all a disgrace.

  • Olive's backroom should grow up
    February 11, 2013 - 14:29

    Hal and Olive... they pick stupid fights for no reason and then their silly minions blast the internet with dumb talking points. You want to blame the party for wanting a leader who understands PEI and who can win elections... yeah.. shame on us for wanting a leader who has the support of the public.... good call. Whose fault is it that Olive only had 20% support? Olive's. And her inner circle shares the blame.

  • Pope Stan
    February 11, 2013 - 14:22

    The headline is misleading. It says that Hal Perry "stepped down." Well, he didn't step down. He never was Leader of the Opposition in the first place. He simply stopped impersonating a public official. It's like me no longer calling myself Doctor San. It doesn't mean I resigned from the College of Physicians, it just means I stopped lying about being a Doctor. Sincerely, Pope Stan.

    • except
      February 11, 2013 - 17:14

      You may wish to believe that, except that the Leader of the Official Opposition is a position chosen by caucus. The PC caucus can legally fit in a Honda Civic.... based on the number of seat belts, although it would be a tight squeeze, given the inflated heads of the 5 MLAs! So Olive, Hal and Colin voted for... Hal. While Steven and Jim voted for.... Steven. That means by a vote of 3-2, the caucus voted for Hal. Then backroom boys, along with the 5 caucus members, subsequently voted for Steven as interim Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of PEI. Perhaps they can provide to the media the law that specifically states that the party leader is also the leader in the legislature? All in all, it sounds like I won't be voting PC nor Liberal in the next election. What with the incompetence displayed by the PCs in every government since Jim Lee, not to mention Stephen Harper's Alberta & Ontario/Mike Harris con-dogs having hijacked the PEI PC Party.... And then there is the utter corruption and sense of entitlement of Robert Ghiz and his Liberals -- every one of which I would spit in the face should I ever come to meet one of them on the sidewalk. PEI and democracy is an oxymoron. And we are represented by morons. 'Nuff said.

  • mumstheword
    February 11, 2013 - 14:14

    People, people, people. It's only for the short term. Aylward will pick the party up and get it through the next election!!

    • NEVER
      February 11, 2013 - 18:06

      No way, it is over for the tories. A dirty word and will be but a bad memory 10 years from now. Backroom destroyed the party and in doing so, destroyed itself. rather fitting for a bunch of self-serving thugs

  • Ritchie Simpson
    February 11, 2013 - 14:07

    Come on you guys who don't want to identified (probably Liberals), stop blaming the nameless and so-called back-room boys. Do you even know who you are talking about? I suspect not or Olive would have outed them long ago. Olive had her chance to engage with the electorate and never did, she couldn't get her numbers over 20% and she had since 2007 to do it. Never once in that 6 years have I ever heard a party member say anything bad about Olive but I heard lots of party insiders, myself included say she has won when nobody expected her too so give her another chance. Yes things got nasty at the end but it takes two to tango as they say and its clear that Olive did not take advice, nor did she ever understand how to do things so that they provided the best "optics". Its not a matter of people stabbing her in the back its a matter of she could not get the job done and when she had a chance to go with dignity and grace she orchestrated or at least did not stop Perry's unfortunate caucus coup. Time to stop whining, Olive had her chance and could not grasp the ring. Now it is time for her to pass gracefully and with dignity into the sunset and let us get on with a new leader.

  • Mr. PEI
    February 11, 2013 - 14:02

    Thank you to Hal Perry, thank you for putting your party first instead of last. You are an example of what every politician should be, now it is time for this great party to unite and rebuild, and I hope Hal Perry is a huge part of it.

    • MR PEI Gentleman Hal Perry
      February 11, 2013 - 17:57

      Hear, hear!

    • back to dream land Mr. PEI
      February 11, 2013 - 19:57

      So, Mr. PEI, you seem to have a bit of a disconnect with what has been happening. The backroom boys just finally destroyed the entire party due to their selfish, narrow minded, self-serving ways. Far too busy with the backstabbing, and concealing fraud, theft, or padding pockets -oh yes, and the millions from the pnps. There was no great party- Binn's destroyed that a few years ago. The backroom stuck around lurking in the holes and finally did the entire party in. too funny, your so called great party is nothing but a dirty word and will be an annoying pimple for awhile, until no one respectable would dare be caught mentioning such a filthy party that was so corrupt, it corrupted and destroyed itself. Mr. PEI, snap out of it, your party is gone, Guess that is what happens when you snooze, you loose...

  • Joe Blow
    February 11, 2013 - 14:00

    Looks like Mr Perry has just been bought by the Tory back room boys. He was obviously told to tow the party line and protect the backroom boys or else! As a fan of the NDP....this is great news....it should mean more votes for them because nobody wants to vote for a party that is fighting amongst themselves to keep the PNP details hidden and back room boys protected and nobody in their right mind is going to vote for the Liberals. How could anybody be blind enough to forget all the scandals and back room manouvers by both the Liberals and Tories to forget it all and still vote for those parties?? I hope the NDP win by a landslide next election! We need that kind of change here on PEI....we need to get back to politics for the right reasons....servicing Island Taxpayers.

  • little jimmy
    February 11, 2013 - 13:56


    • Bill Kays
      Bill Kays
      February 11, 2013 - 16:45

      ha ha ha ha ha. Everybody knows the truth.

  • woo
    February 11, 2013 - 13:55

    all hail bobby giz, looks like he's going to be the premier for many more years... best thing to happen to pei since ei.

  • SG
    February 11, 2013 - 13:53

    Too Late for me. I will not Vote PC next Election. (Then late last week, PC president Blake Doyle sent a letter to the speaker of the legislature, Carolyn Bertram, asking her to recognize Myers as Opposition leader. He said the party had obtained a legal opinion saying the leader of the party should rightfully hold this title. Bertram released a statement saying she would not get involved in party politics.) The first Report aired on the Guardian Website stated that the PC President Blake Doyle asked the speaker of the legislature to make the determination ( because there’s been some confusion we’ve done our own research and we’ve compiled some information and presented that to the speaker and asked her to make a determination.”) This request by the PC Party President certainly diminished my level of confidence in the PC Party.

  • intobed
    February 11, 2013 - 13:50

    So ... the Reform Conservative party of PEI has won the backroom struggle, and are pretending to still be he Progressive Conservatives, just like the federal Reform Party did when they destroyed the old federal Progressive Conservatives. Take a look at how the federal Reform Conservatives have affected PEI, and think what would happen if we elected the same ideology to run our province. We need a poll to show the PEI Cons that their support is still dropping, and that we are tired of this type of greed and corruption.

  • hmatthewl
    February 11, 2013 - 13:43

    I am sure, that people do not read before they sumit the comments. Otherwise, they would not submit such a crock

    • Bobandy
      February 11, 2013 - 15:46

      Agreed. The local cynics and non-readers are out in full force as usual.

    February 11, 2013 - 13:31

    Obviously Perry was put under pressure to step down so the Tories could continue to hide from their past corruption instead of coming clean and moving forward with at least a chance at forming the next government. Seems quite clear that both the Tories and the Liberals are extremely corrupt so a vote for NDP seems the only logical choice. They deserve a chance to try to get PEI back on track. Hopefully they'll assemble a team with all islanders best interests in mind. Wouldn't that be a pleasant change?

    • Bill Kays
      Bill Kays
      February 11, 2013 - 14:27

      You are correct in that both the Liberal and Conservative Parties are ripe with corruption. The federal NDP party has already been compromised but I think Mike Redmond would be the best choice from what we have. I do not trust Mulhare as he is just another slickster. Mulhare is cut from the same cloth as the other federal party leaders, meaning they are controlled from above. No matter how righteous your ideals the only way you get to become a national party leader is to bow down to those in control. Just ask the Council on Foreign Relations, they have more power than our leaders do.

    • Graduate
      February 11, 2013 - 15:38

      Sorry can't vote NDP. They can't get creditable candidates to run in the next election. Also saw how Bob Rae and GDP ran Ontario to near bankruptcy. Must see the Tory platform before making a decision. If not what I like then might have to spoil ballot, before I could vote for Ghiz again.

    February 11, 2013 - 13:13

    Just remember people that there are many fictional characters in this world. To name a few, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth fairy, Cupid, and of course the Honest Politician.

  • lydia
    February 11, 2013 - 13:11

    Amazing that a bunch of fanatics can ruin a party, - and think they can get away with it in the long run. Who cares which 'branch' of federal conservatives participate. Does that mena that any good candidate coming forward will be judged whether he is a red Tory of a blue Tory. What ever branch is against Crane, you have shown yourself to be small minded bullies, displaying a meanness and viciousness I did not think resided in PEI. You have burned your party to the ground, - all of you backroom people with nothing to loose and no concern for he welfare of the Island, have played an unbecoming game and your selfcentered behavior has scared the Island for a long time. Mr. Ghiz thanks you.

  • alfredd
    February 11, 2013 - 13:03

    Too bad, - that the backroom boys were not prepared to share, and let Mr.Perry remain where he was, and Myers where they put HIM. This is an interim situation, they should have let it be. Instead they come across as fanatics, - their way at any cost, - and the coast will be huge. Nobody in their right mind can vote for a party powered by fanatics. So thanks for nothing, you come across worse than the Liberals, - I will work deligently against you in the next election, I will badmouth you to anybody I come across, I will write blogs and try at every turn to discredit you, ---- because you do not deserve to be in government.

    • mr giz rox
      February 11, 2013 - 14:05

      that's right bro, all hail sir bobby!

  • Sick of it all
    February 11, 2013 - 13:02

    The majority of the membership voted for Olive in the leadership race...and the majority of the membership chose to keep her at the AGM. It is the backrooms hunger for money and power that has destroyed the PC party !! Steve got a taste of it and jumped on board...good bye to honesty and integrity in the PC party of PEI. This is going to cost them alot of votes !!

  • Whatthefrack
    February 11, 2013 - 12:59

    @Happy Tory "The tyranny of Olive Crane has come to an end" Thanks for the laugh! The PC Party was at a cross-roads, until they get a new leader, we'll have no idea what type of party they'll be going into the next election. Olive was the face of a new kind of PC Party, unfortunately she could not put up the constant attack from the old guard. Of course, whether or not Islanders will care by the time they get around to finding a new leader, is the final question.

  • Make room to bury the PNP by Blake Doyle
    February 11, 2013 - 12:50

    Now, can we all politely ignore and deny any PNP issues of stealing 500 million from immigrants and Canada?

  • Say NO to Myers
    February 11, 2013 - 12:37

    Just say NO! to Myers and the boys!!

  • BB Destroyed a party
    February 11, 2013 - 12:35

    I think Perry realized the tory party is history, the backward boys will never stop as they have to much to keep hidden and people are just sick of corruption. Good bye backward boys, you destroyed a party completely,

  • Happy Tory
    February 11, 2013 - 12:31

    Good riddance, fraud. The tyranny of Olive Crane has come to an end.

    • Too Funny
      February 11, 2013 - 13:21

      OMG......this is like The Edge of Night Revisited.....what a sopa opera the PC Party is. If the Backroom Boys really think that Islanders want the likes of S. Meyers at the healm then think again. The party had a chance with Perry, but not anymore. So in 2015 we shall be a red province once again....