Hal Perry crossing floor to join Liberals

Teresa Wright
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Hal Perry, MLA for Tignish-Palmer Road, is leaving the Progressive Conservative Caucus and joining the Liberals.

Liberal Premier Robert Ghiz called a surprise news conference this morning to make the announcement.

Ghiz said Perry approached him two weeks ago, looking to cross the floor. He said Perry wanted to leave Tory Opposition mainly due to his concerns over the federal Conservative government’s EI changes.


“Hal has expressed deep concerns to me about the federal government’s overhaul of the employment insurance system,” Ghiz said.

“I know that these changes have had a profound affect on Islanders and I admire Hal’s passionate concerns about this issue.”

Perry was emotional during the press conference, tearing up as he talked about how he struggled with his decision to cross the floor.

But he said he was being stifled by his party when he wanted to speak out about the EI changes.

“As an MLA I hear very real concerns from constituents who feel they are being unfairly penalized by a federal government that has turned their back on them,” Perry said.

“As a member of the community I completely agree with their concerns. However, there is a genuine reluctance from the senior members of the Island Conservative party to address these issues and these concerns head on and in a constructive manner.”


As a member of the Liberal caucus, he feels he can now finally speak out against the Harper government’s EI reforms, he said.

“Now I have the freedom to speak out for the people of my area."

Ghiz would not say whether he promised a cabinet post to his newest caucus member, but would only say he ‘never makes any promises.’

He also said he believes this is the first time a sitting MLA has crossed the floor in P.E.I.

The Opposition Tories are scheduled to address the media later this morning to react to the news they have lost a member of their team. 


The Guardian will continue to update this breaking story throughout the day.

Geographic location: Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • jhallis
    October 04, 2013 - 22:13

    he was elected as a conservative and if he feels he cannot do his job as such then he shall resign.He can try to be elected as a whatever in an election

  • Fed up
    October 04, 2013 - 17:35

    Joey Joe...YoU vote for the person?!?! And you say voting for the party is wrong?! Well, let me set you straight....why vote for the Person you like if it puts someone you hate in power?!? I.e. If you have your brother running and he's a Liberal, let's say, you want to vote for him....but if HE wins, it's q. toe for Robert Ghiz....who will sink the province. Who never keeps promises....doctor for every Islander? Absolutely NO HST? YOU are the one keeping us in trouble! And if u want NDP? Check with Nova Scotians. They are as badly off as us...or perhaps worse. From what we see now...I do t think there IS a party on PEI to vote for....Independent perhaps?

  • Fed up
    October 04, 2013 - 15:29

    I don't care what political party they represent, they should NOT be allowed to cross the floor...and take their peoples votes with them. This guy ...like all Traitors...should be stoMped on like a BUG. There is nothing LOWER than this! I wonder what Ghiz offered him. It will be interesting to see. It had better be good....stooping this LOW!!

  • Erratic Thinking
    October 04, 2013 - 12:00

    His reasoning here leaves me puzzled..he could have spoken agianst the EI changes while still a TORY..what would they do with him ..kick him out of a 5 member caucas??I don't think so .......what I see is someone who is very irrational in his thinking from the leadership issues to EI..Berrating a government one minute and the next minute jumping in bed with them.....how is that going to help his constituents?No matter who gets back in after either a fed or Prov election..these EI changes are not going to be reversed,there were abuses,it was used for patronage and made the locals dependent on a system designed for temporary relief.I don't think Mr Perry thought this one out and if he did he is doing it for personal reasons to hurt the Tory party because he will never see cabinet or have any influence on the governing of this province.Come the next election Mr Leclair will be the candidate..so who is out in the cold ....Mr PERRY.............So who wins here......I would say the Tories.....he was not happy....good riddance.....unfortunatley his riding will now be in the doldrums........

  • Annie
    October 04, 2013 - 08:34

    hals awesomee , hes his own man and make his choices ! good job hal , do whats best for you and tignish :)

  • Sam
    October 03, 2013 - 21:40

    This is a smart move. Liberals will win the next election. The entire country is going liberal. Great move or everyone

  • Brett
    October 03, 2013 - 19:00

    Time to move on from the red and blue.

  • Garth Staples
    October 03, 2013 - 16:38

    I admire Hal Perry and consider him a friend. I do not agree with his reason for crossing the floor but I would suggest there could be other reasons with which I would agree. He has leadership qualities. Maybe some PC s in Charlottetown will get the message.

  • Mell
    October 03, 2013 - 16:27

    When did Mr Bean move to the island ?

  • Wayne
    October 03, 2013 - 15:51

    Next I'd love for Richard Brown to cross over to the NDP or run as an independent. I was surprised to see you there simply nodding yes and no in the video Richard like a puppet. You've already stated what you feel about the Premier and the people who really run the province and their way of doing things.

  • Speechwriter
    October 03, 2013 - 14:25

    Oh how teary!! It is obvious he did not write that speech! He has the issue with Feds, Ghiz has NO clout with the Feds. I am sure the PC will not miss a turncoat!!

  • islander
    October 03, 2013 - 14:23

    Mr. hal perry made a decision based on his concern over the new EI legislation that Ottawa and the Pc party have been making, and it has been making it alot harder and more uncertain for the future of PEI"s seasonal industry., but our Premier will I feel will have to meet with other atlantic Premiers and have this issue addressed. Once the NS election is all over with, next week and whoever is elected as Premier then that could be a bonus for hopefully having some sort of change made or reversed re: the EI act in Ottawa others will say wishfull thinking and to those who say kudos to the current Harper Goverment in RE Ei legislation my sugesstion to them is what would they do if they were elected as Premier to protect a seasonal industry here in Atlantic Canada that is depended on to contribute to the econnomyand those that depend on it for thier survival which is not the best income to survive on and so great luck to all those who try to get something out in western canada, but with such high demand on employers out west to hire , not every one of them can.

  • Islander #2
    October 03, 2013 - 13:30

    I will repost this as for some reason it never got posted. On the Video Robert you said who does not want to be a liberal well myself for one I voted liberal all my life and have never been so disappointed with such a party. Watching the video you make me sick Robert acting so happy and righteous when you knew how this was going to hurt so many people who trusted and voted for Hal Perry. And for Hal Perry your tears and act just do not cut it if you truly were for the people who voted you in you would have stood up for your people no matter who tried to shut you up and stayed with the part they voted for not run to the other party. What a farce.

  • So be it
    October 03, 2013 - 13:14

    If he did what he thought was best for his constituents, good on him. Hope there is no truth to the sulking comments going on about him not being made leader way back when. A broken ego is a powerful thing.

  • jackal
    October 03, 2013 - 12:49

    Another Tex MacDonald, I can hardly wait until the next election to see Hal Perry and the Ghiz government defeated.

  • Why Provincial Liberals
    October 03, 2013 - 12:48

    If you had a problem with a program under the control of the federal conservatives why didn't you run federally as a liberal and see how welcome you would be? As a conservatave you spoke out strongly against Plan B. I can't wait to hear your next comments on that now that you are not stifled by your new party.

  • WhoCares
    October 03, 2013 - 12:19

    Just proves there no difference between red and blue. It's like telling me you switched from Pepsi to Coke. It matters not. There should not be any political parties. They take focus off the issues that need to be dealt with.

  • Lorraine Clements
    October 03, 2013 - 12:14

    There is only one word to describe this action. TURNCOAT. Pretty wishywasher move. Once a TURNCOAT always a TURNCOAT. That will follow him no matter what side he sits. No one trusts a TURNCOAT.

  • Quiet Observer
    October 03, 2013 - 11:58

    So, this tells me that Hal Perry now endorses and supports everything Ghiz and his government has done and stands for. I do hope the media asks him that questions as it relates to PNP, doubling the provincial debt, inaction on addictions, etc., etc., etc. he needs to look at the camera and say he is OK with all that. He disgusts me.

  • Purple rain
    October 03, 2013 - 11:45

    I wonder why he didn't consider joining the NDP.

    • No way
      October 04, 2013 - 07:25

      The New Deficit Party?? Don't think so!

  • West Prince Cat
    October 03, 2013 - 11:34

    Why not sit as an independent Hal? You don't think you'll be controlled as a Liberal too. Or, if you really had courage of your convictions you would have spoken up as a PC regardless of anyone trying to control you. You should have defied those who said "shut up" and represented your constituents as the PC they elected. Just how weak are you? Crossing the floor into the comforting arms of the Liberals will gain you no favors or influence.

  • fed up
    October 03, 2013 - 11:25

    What a rat @#$ move that was . Another fat head looking for something to get fatter. The conservative party are doing P.E.I. a favor, breaking the pogey train down.

  • Islander
    October 03, 2013 - 10:55

    WHAT IS THIS I AM READING???? ABOUT GHIZ. (but would only say he ‘never makes any promises)What about all the promises he made to us Islanders to get our votes?????? What a farce.

  • GetReal
    October 03, 2013 - 10:53

    If he really wanted to "speak out" about EI, there is nothing that would have stopped him from doing so... let his party be unhappy about it. And Robert Ghiz makes all kinds of promises ... he just doesn't keep them.... remember the HST???? There were promises made, Mr. Ghiz. Robert Ghiz creates positions and then gives them to those who worked on his campaign... I know of several people who work for him now that got their jobs that way so of course, Hal will be rewarded. What a farce!

  • Beetle
    October 03, 2013 - 10:42

    It is true that Ghiz never makes any promises. They are called "lies" not "promises.

    • Darn right
      October 03, 2013 - 12:49

      You took the words out of my mouth.

  • Baltic
    October 03, 2013 - 10:38

    He's putting the pressure for Gail Shea to cross the floor in Ottawa.

  • Just Like
    October 03, 2013 - 10:38

    "Rats from a sinking ship" comes to mind.

  • Larry MacDonald
    October 03, 2013 - 10:33

    When I vote , I vote the party, like MOST Islanders do, not just the person. By his crossing the floor, I feel he should have stepped down and have a byelection and re run. If the people in that area want a liberal to represent them, then they would vote him back in. I feel the same regardless whomever crosses the floor.

    • Townie
      October 03, 2013 - 11:44

      Exactly. Either sit as independent or have a by election.

    • Joey Joe
      October 03, 2013 - 12:01

      This is exactly how we end up with so many crooks in government. People vote for the party instead of the person and the liars sneak in the back door behind the party flag. Think for yourself and don't just follow the pack.

    • joe blow
      October 03, 2013 - 13:13

      Exactly right resign and run as a liberal

  • Ellen
    October 03, 2013 - 10:23

    Should a election in this area not take place? I too voted for PC not Liberal for Hal and demand that a election take place once a replacement is found.

  • Islander
    October 03, 2013 - 10:03

    I voted for Hal. I voted for Hal as a conservative. If the constituents wanted Liberal representation, we would have voted that way. How can you turn your back on us this way? You should have stepped down. This is unbelievable.

    • Policies
      October 03, 2013 - 10:59

      What policies of the Progressive Conservative's platform drew you to them as a voter? Because I'm willing to bet that you simply voted the way you probably always vote..by colour and colour alone.

    • Problem
      October 03, 2013 - 11:03

      You are the problem with Island politics. What kind of a person votes for a party and not the person?

    • Wayne
      October 03, 2013 - 11:17

      What is unbelievable is how anyone can still support the bunch of Con crooks. At least you got to vote some of us were fooled by robo call with these thugs. .

    • @Problem
      October 03, 2013 - 12:23

      You have no right to tell someone how or why they should vote. If someone wanted to vote for person x because they always wear a polka dot tie, then that is their choice. Shame on you for stepping on the rights and freedoms of others and judging them for it. In order for this to be fair and honest choice of his constituents then have a by election. If he wins as a Liberal than it is what his district wants. This way its forcing his district to do his wishes not theirs.

    • @@problem
      October 03, 2013 - 16:14

      Vote for whomever you like for whatever reason you like but don't complain when they do something as insignificant as this. And in the grand scheme of things, this is very insignificant because neither party has any kind of clear ideological differences. They are all liberals that spend our money like Mike Tyson in the 80's. As for your comment about "stomping on rights and freedoms". The irony is that you are the one trying to stifle the right to free speech. We can criticize all we want and that is a constitutionally guaranteed right but when you say even one time that we have no right to say what we want, you have stepped outside the bounds of your rights and are stifling ours.

    • To @@problem
      October 04, 2013 - 14:27

      Sorry you have that backwards. When you try to stop me from voting the way I want then you are stepping on my rights. The minute you try to tell a person how to vote you infringe on their rights.

    October 03, 2013 - 10:01

    A politician by any other name is still a politician. They are all in it for personal gain only. If any can prove me wrong and show me where they did something and did not gain from it I will gladly listen.

  • Crossing the floor
    October 03, 2013 - 09:52

    Why didn't you just quit. Then the people of your riding could choose if they wanted a Liberal representative or not. Did you even discuss this with your constituents. Not likely.

  • Chris S
    October 03, 2013 - 09:30

    You are 100% right about this Hal. Good for you.

    • NDP
      October 03, 2013 - 14:52

      Except it was the Liberals who cut EI the hardest ever in history. And Robert Ghiz was resting in a no work sinecure for that same Liberal government at the time.