UPDATE: Myers now in control of PC leadership

Teresa Wright
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He is now both interim party leader and opposition leader

Opposition Leader Steven Myers

The Opposition Tories are hoping to put party divisions behind them now that one person once again holds the title of both Opposition leader and party leader.

On Thursday morning, interim Progressive Conservative leader Steven Myers was named Opposition leader by consensus of the five-member Tory caucus.

Myers says he believes this will be a big step forward in uniting the party after months of infighting and division.

“We’re going to move on to a unified front of fighting this government and doing the work of Opposition,” Myers said in an interview.

Tignish-Palmer Road MLA Hal Perry was the last person to hold the position of Opposition leader, but his brief time in this role was controversial. He came to the position in a vote held the day before the party was to choose its interim leader, garnering the support of only three of the five MLAs in caucus.

After Myers was voted interim leader, this created a situation with two elected MLAs within the same caucus splitting leadership roles usually filled by one person — a scenario many thought was confusing and divisive.

After less than two weeks and efforts by his own party to have House Speaker Carolyn Bertram recognize Myers instead, Perry announced earlier this week he would vacate the position of Opposition leader.

On Thursday, the five MLAs had a caucus meeting where, this time, Myers was the only person to put his name forward for the job.

He said he hopes to now leave recent disagreements over leadership behind and focus on the job of Opposition — holding government to account for its spending and policy decisions.

“We’re back on task to take on the government and, once we’re doing that, it’s not going to be too hard to unify a party against this government,” he said.

But the PC party has been in turmoil for months with division over leadership continuously being a very public point of contention. Approximately 130 members showed up to a provincial council meeting of the party earlier this week, one of the largest turnouts ever for these meetings. Several members expressed deep concern over the effects current divisions may have on the party over the long-term.

Myers acknowledged that many within the party will need time to heal, perhaps even within his own caucus. But he remains confident this can happen as the party gets back to work in Opposition and in developing the party’s policies and platform.

“If there are hurt feelings, time is a great healer and we’ll band together on the topics of tackling government in the coming weeks and that will be the unifier.”

Perry will now assume the role of Opposition house leader while Stratford-Kinlock James Aylward will take over the role of Opposition whip. Previously, Myers served as Opposition house leader and Perry was whip.

Myers added he will be shuffling his caucus’ portfolios, but will not be dismissing any staff. Former Charlottetown mayor George MacDonald, who was hired recently under a short-term contract to act as office manager, will also remain.

 

twright@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/GuardianTeresa

Organizations: Islanders, Opposition house

Geographic location: P.E.I.

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Recent comments

  • the tories are sinking like the titanic
    February 16, 2013 - 22:05

    The tories are gone and totally dysfunctional, not to mention, a laughing stock to the Island. Any change they make from now on would be comparable to rearrangingof the deck chairs on the titanic. Whether something sinks from hitting an iceberg or being struck by knives from the backroom to conceal and cover-up, the results are the same, going down, never to surface again.

  • Bill K
    February 16, 2013 - 00:25

    I don't really like the pnp, so i'm not sure.

  • Dundas Sue
    February 15, 2013 - 10:01

    Any party needs one public face as leader - two leaders are not needed - get you act together PC's or we will have another majority landslide nest time around. if we dont get more opposition members the next government can do whatever it wants like this one is doing.

  • Bertie
    February 15, 2013 - 08:57

    Enough of this foolish back and forth Liberal and Tory gibberish. These thoughts that only Liberals can benefit from Tory woes are delusions of yesterday. Times have changed. Well at least hopefully they have. Unless Islanders just love torture. It has been FORTY-FIVE elections of the old red and blue, back and forth, same old same old. And we have the highest unemployment and the lowest wages, the highest debt per capita and the most incompetent finance minister, the worst education and health systems, the crooked and stupid deals piling up millions and millions more in debt at very turn...like when is enough actually enough? It is now.. time for the NDP. Time for change. Newfound Tory hopes from internal coups and continued Liberal boosterism are delusions..equally so.

  • Mike McCarville
    February 15, 2013 - 08:56

    Our party system is not broken ,it is working excatly as it was designed to work by those who have a vested intrest. For anyone who does not like this system, google Swiss Govt. and read about direct democracy. It has been working quite well for over 150 years. We do not have to reinvent the wheel.

  • SG
    February 15, 2013 - 08:31

    Shuffling Chairs! There are only Five to Shuffle! Or is that Four now given the Report Olive opted for MLA for her area? The PC's need to get their house in order from the Top Down. When President Blake Doyle sent a letter of request to the Leader of the House (their Opposition Party) asking the House Leader to make the determination on their Opposition Leader that did it for me! Why would any Political Party ask their Opposition to choose their Leader? The NDP are looking better every day. The age old idea that there are only two Political Parties on PEI has run it's course. The only Islanders still stuck on Red N Blue are quickly disappearing and for Good Reason. The Majority of Islanders realize that when you keep doing the same thing over an over again you get the same results and nothing changes. We need Representation in Gov. from all three Political Parties. It's time All Islanders' Voices are Heard and Represented in our Gov. The next Election can't come soon enough for me!

  • Gerry
    February 15, 2013 - 08:11

    If the PC's can't "unify" within, why would Islanders expect them to have the ability to unify against? This fiasco is similar to the Carnival cruise ship; can't navigate on its' own power, the situation becomes increasingly discouraging; and it truly stinks! NDP all the way!

  • mra
    mra
    February 15, 2013 - 08:07

    don't you njust love it when a mans plan comes together?

  • jon
    February 15, 2013 - 06:44

    ....slack jawwed yocal...

  • What does "oppose" look like?
    February 15, 2013 - 06:26

    “We’re going to move on to a unified front of fighting this government and doing the work of Opposition,” Sort of old school, isn't it? Wouldn't most Islanders rather that the Opposition oppose the corporate takeover of the Legislature, the same powers that brought us Plan B, PNP and the HST . . . to name a few? Islanders have been beaten Red and Blue watching puppets opposing puppets. It may be fine for Punch and Judy shows, but to fight the real enemies of the people takes real courage, not just pompous showcasing.

  • ken
    February 15, 2013 - 06:14

    If Myers is the best the P.C.s can come up with they are in big trouble.

  • don
    February 15, 2013 - 04:26

    UPWESTER. maybe they will put dizzy in when he leaves the liberals before the next election?

  • don
    February 14, 2013 - 21:18

    Myers is now both interim party leader and opposition leader. to me he is NO opposition leader as when was he voted in by the people as opposition leader. to me and i am sure many spuds he is doing some backroom deals. maybe perry would not bow down to the backroom babies that's why he was put out.

  • Donnie
    February 14, 2013 - 20:14

    Congratulations Peter Griffin! My bad! Congratulations Steven Myers!

  • UPWESTER
    February 14, 2013 - 19:24

    Myers is the interim leader until the Cons hold their meeting and elect Derek Key as their new leader and next premier. It's kind of funny to hear Myers say he is shuffling his caucus' portfolios, but he is not firing anyone. That's like shuffling the chairs on the Titanic, or like the Liberals, renaming a failed department in the hopes that will solve the problem.If this wasn't so serious an issue, it would make a fine comedic opera.

  • johnny bravo
    February 14, 2013 - 19:18

    We need pat binns back

  • Want some action?
    February 14, 2013 - 17:56

    Here's the thing. For a moment Islanders got a quick glimpse of the puppeteers, but now, Red or Blue, we're going back to being plan'b by the plan'bers. Wanna see how slow your call is returned? Say you're Mr. Smith from Tignish. Wanna see how fast your call is returned? Say you're Mr. Murphy (or anyone on the A-list) from Charlottetown. It's fun! It's sad, but it's fun . . .

  • don
    February 14, 2013 - 17:51

    INTOBED. i agree they should start there own party. call it the non backstabbing party. i want to know what kind of deal did myers make to get the big seat? this party under the leadership they have stinks what a screw up. i can see them getting no where in the next election and who will be to blame? the president and his clowns in the back room. i think they would be better if the Saddam Hussein if he was alive.

  • Next
    February 14, 2013 - 17:19

    Man, these MLA’s are getting quite hard on the eyes and the intelligence is not too sharp either. Excuse me, I need to go vomit.

  • intobed
    February 14, 2013 - 15:15

    Perhaps Olive, Hal, and Colin should leave the provincial Reform Conservatives, and either join the NDP or even start their own political party. They would then become the official opposition, get a considerable amount of funding, and cut the legs right out from under the backstabbing backroom Conservatives. Wouldn't that be interesting!

    • Get a Grip
      February 14, 2013 - 17:14

      That'd be ok for Olive to do-however Colin and Hal would be hanging their pensions out to dry-you need to terms-they'd never get it as independants!

    • Carl
      February 14, 2013 - 17:41

      Your ability to repeat Olive's propaganda is commendable, Kent.

  • West Prince political observer.
    February 14, 2013 - 15:14

    Now that you have become opposition leader,the question is are you going to open the PNP file?Your failure to raise this issue in the legislature this spring will shorten yourpolitical career without a doubt.

  • BIG RED
    February 14, 2013 - 14:56

    Once again on behalf of Island Liberals ,THANK YOU to the PC party of PEI and again keep on keepin' on !

    • Thank You
      February 14, 2013 - 22:57

      On behalf of educated Islanders we are disgusted by your liberals far more at this point than the boobs in the PC party. You are the ones in power. You are the ones who are running this province into the ground.

    • Tell us Bill
      February 14, 2013 - 23:37

      Why don't you tell us all bill. You are a mouthpiece who seems to feel the need to comment on everything. Why not offer up something of substance rather than vacuous rhetorical questions every single time?

    • intobed
      February 15, 2013 - 02:16

      Both of you are the problem.

  • DIEHARD LIBERAL
    February 14, 2013 - 14:35

    Don't care. Leave the party in shamble for all I care. You WILL HAVE my vote anyway. The only way I'll go back to Liberal is when Robert quits. Mike Duffy would even get my vote if you asked him to be your leader... just make sure it's A.B.C. please or Robert gets my vote again.

  • Bill K
    Bill K
    February 14, 2013 - 14:10

    The trouble with your arguments is this. The electoral process does not work the way it was originally set up. The political parties have been taken over by big business and this fact cannot be argued. So voting for one joker over the other joker gets us absolutely nowhere. Otherwise when the new guy gets voted in he would repeal the legislations passed by the former guy. BUT THIS NEVER HAPPENS IN REAL LIFE. Our founding fathers must be rolling over in their graves. The real question is this "can we really afford to maintain a government of this size in this day and age of instant communication"? The founding fathers went to a lot of trouble to try to maintain the balances of power but are any of those branches of government required today? Attach a voting box to my tv and eliminate the need for the number of elections that are currently in place. Reduce the size of government by 90% keeping only those needed to administer the services to the people that they are supposed to do. Get government out of the business of taking care of corporations and instead force them to do what they were elected to do ... serve the people.

  • don
    February 14, 2013 - 14:09

    Hal Perry was voted in as leader by 3 to 2 by the members. now the powers to be stabbed that legal vote and kicked perry out to put in whining buddy in. so the vote means nothing to me that is dishonest and normal of the backroom boys. what a joke this PC PARTY has become. talk about a Crooked party right now to me and i think many other spud islanders we talk about the literals lol the PC party has the liberal beat all to hell in this area and time. I can see only one PC member getting voted in and that will be Mrs Crane due to the fact she is the only honest member in the party. To me some dirty work behind closed doors.

  • dm
    February 14, 2013 - 13:52

    No you guys didn't hit a bump in the road stev i'd call it a big wreck with multiple fatalities, your creditability as a working party the biggest fatality lol

  • Bmac
    February 14, 2013 - 13:51

    Perry stepping down my petutie!Told to step down by the Old Guard,that is! How stupid do they think we are out here? Pretty stupid I guess.As for Myers,he may well prove to be a smart guy.But INTELLIGENCE IS NOT WISDOM! He has no charisma or chemistry either and that is what is needed.Plus the ability to crack a smile which seems sadly lacking.So,every time both the Liberals and Tories open their mouths after this gives me every reason to vote NDP.It may not happen in my lifetime,but it will happen...

  • PLEASE CLARIFY
    February 14, 2013 - 13:33

    I think "ITOLDUSO" may have summed it up for many of the folks who supported Olive at the last PC annual meeting. The majority DID support her in the final vote - which was skewed by an awkward question on the ballot in addition to the coup arising only after the deadline to buy a membership and vote on the question. Of this majority, how many do you think voted for Olive because of her 'leadership' abilities and probability of forming government??... probably NOT very many. No...MOST of them voted for her platform of transparency in general and regarding the PNP debacle specifically. That is how passionate they felt about the issue even compared to forming government. I predict a solid migration out of the PC party if, indeed, this file is closed. I agree 200% - why would ANYONE vote for a party that supported cover-ups and fraud...How could ANYONE support such unethical and corrupt behaviour. With fading hope I will wait it out... and see what the new leader pledges to do on this. I've had many like minded conversations... many.

    • intobed
      February 14, 2013 - 14:43

      Please remember that the overriding #1 goal of any political party is to get elected. Once elected, it will be back to the same old same old, regardless of who wins. Lies, deceit, broken promises and patronage again. The problem is not the policies of government, but the way the whole party system is set up. We need a better system that doesn't include organized gangs who just want our money.

  • laughing stock
    February 14, 2013 - 12:48

    and who will it be next week?? drum roll pleeeeeze

  • Candrayo
    February 14, 2013 - 12:15

    And these are the days of our lives..... keep feeding us BS and we will have an even bigger sewage problem Island wide.

  • The electorate is pondering
    February 14, 2013 - 12:01

    Don't be sure Islanders want the Ghiz government back..they have burnt their bridges..witha new leader the Tories may just have the momentum to get back in power..The NDP are trying but will never form govt here.......for a longtime..............Islanders who are not aligned to any party have had enough....of all the parties and their "backroom" boys and girls

  • grampie
    February 14, 2013 - 11:44

    I wonder whose turn will it be next week?

  • itolduso
    February 14, 2013 - 11:41

    By the sound of this news the Progressive Conservative party of PEI have made it clear that the PNP File is now closed. Shame on you People. I have voted for you people for years but I can NOT in clear conscience vote for the party in the next election. This is a sad day tof the Progressive Conservative party of PEI

  • Respect
    February 14, 2013 - 11:39

    Wow , respect , I as a PC Voter who has been watching the going's on of this party lately , has lost all respect for these MLA's . They have shown themselves as just greedy , power hungery fools . What more can I say .

  • islander
    February 14, 2013 - 11:37

    Uuuuggggggggg really? Made them stronger? I wouldn't be to proud to be the Tories leader!!!!!! They have made our island the laughing stock of Canada...... Litterly!!!!! They are all a major embarrassment to us all, not to mention themselves

  • Lauren O'Neil
    February 14, 2013 - 11:28

    I don't know you Mr. Myers but wish you all the luck in the world. Problems in the Tory & Liberal Party for that matter, are much deeper entrenched than with the leader. Good candidates were driven away at the last election and the district reps all need to be looked at so the Party will be easier to approach with a system in place that accepts both people and ideas. This Liberal government may be the biggest joke in the history of governments in Canada but will get back in. Our only hope in the NDP and they won't even run a full slate of candidates. Have a proper leadership race and see if that helps any!

  • Greg the Trainor
    February 14, 2013 - 11:19

    OMG

    • Most Islanders
      February 14, 2013 - 15:06

      say they dont want Robert Ghiz in again. Well by selecting Myers as they did, sure looks like Robbie may be getting the third time around after all.