© Guardian file photo by Mitch MacDonald
Former Liberal prime minister Jean Chrétien relaxes during a 2012 trip to Prince Edward Island
Islanders of all political stripes will be setting aside their partisan bunting for a good cause tonight.
The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Trust dinner gets underway at the Prince Edward Island Convention Centre in Charlottetown, and the special guests have drawn a significant crowd.
Former Liberal prime minister Jean Chretien, who is heading up the Canadian division of the diamond jubilee scholarship trust, is guest speaker.
He will be introduced by former Tory premier Pat Binns.
Binns said Tuesday well over 400 tickets have been sold for the $200-a-plate dinner, which means P.E.I. is poised to exceed the fundraising goal for Prince Edward Island of $40,000.
“I think people are looking forward to it,” Binns said. “(The scholarships) will help our Island students to gain a better understanding of what’s going on in the world and what the opportunities might be.”
He said he also believes there has been a lot of buzz about the event due to the high profile of the guest speaker and the fact it has been organized by a committee made up of well-established members of both major political parties in P.E.I.
“I think it will be interesting for sure … no doubt there’s people interested in it from that point of view,” Binns said, laughing.
The federal government will match all contributions generated from this and other similar events across the country for the jubilee scholarships.
Money raised in P.E.I. will be earmarked for Island students.
The Association of Universities and Colleges will administer the scholarships.