P.E.I. Tories consider leadership delay

Teresa Wright
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Interim leader of the Island Progressive Conservatives, Steven Myers, speaks at the party's annual general meeting in Summerside Saturday.

Tories in P.E.I. may be waiting a little longer than originally planned to choose a new party leader.

Premier Robert Ghiz announced the next provincial election will be moved to the spring of 2016, so the Progressive Conservative party may want to change its plans for a leadership convention, party president Blake Doyle told The Guardian Friday.

“We had formally advised the membership in October that our plan was to go ahead with a leadership convention in the fall of 2014, but since then we’ve had confirmation of what the election timetable is, which is now April 2016,” Doyle said in an interview.

“I think we have to reevaluate that timetable.”

The PC party is looking to leave behind the troubles it has faced over the last two years and start building toward the next election.

A leadership convention has been cited as a way to reunite the membership and build excitement for the party’s brand.

That’s why it was scheduled for the fall of 2014.

With the provincial election still two-and-a-half years away, some party insiders believe it would be better to wait until closer to 2016 before holding a leadership convention.

This is especially important, as the party may not necessarily be in a position to pay its next leader, if it turns out not be one of the current Tory MLAs, whose salaries are paid by taxpayers through the legislative assembly.

These are all issues that will be discussed by the party executive at its upcoming meeting next week.

A committee will also be struck to examine the feasibility of online voting for the party leader at the next convention. This was agreed in a motion passed at the PC party’s recent AGM in Summerside.

In the meantime, preparations for the 2016 election have already begun.

Doyle began the new year with a call to the membership, asking for donations toward the party’s election readiness fund.

He said he was surprised by the positive response he received.

“We do have some well-developed plans for what we hope to achieve for fundraising, but this one was really just a last-minute decision to reach out to the membership,” he said.

“I didn’t have any real hard-and-fast goals for it, but it surprised me the response we received on fairly short notice, so it’s been quite successful, in my opinion.”

The party also recently held a series of regional policy round table discussions, aimed at gathering input from Islanders toward the development of a comprehensive policy document.

Doyle said he was encouraged by the level of participation in these sessions.

“Each region had very unique concerns, unique to the area. So while we had some common threads – concerns over the economy, job creation, out-migration to Alberta, health care – the issues are also very localized.”

Doyle said he hopes to see the party host another series of meetings, these ones open to the public and non-partisan, focused on weighty policy issues and concerns such as addictions and mental health.

Final decisions on whether to move the convention date are not expected for another several weeks, Doyle added.

twright@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/GuardianTeresa

Geographic location: Summerside, Alberta

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Recent comments

  • leader
    January 04, 2014 - 22:03

    Get a leader and announce it quick, for God sakes so they can get this mess cleaned up. This is ridiculous. Surely someone out there will get rid of the crew that is there and get things in order!!!

  • Jackofalltrades
    January 04, 2014 - 17:59

    Wouldn't it be better to have a leader early on rather than later? As a voter I think having a leader entrenched early on would/should bring, or at least the appearance of, stability to the party. Plus it gives the new leader time to get comfortable in the role. But what do I know, I am just Joe Blow who votes on who is fit to run the Island.

  • Kevin Rawle
    January 04, 2014 - 14:32

    I was pleased to hear about all the problems the Conservative party is having, the longer these people are left to flounder in their incompetency the safer we all are. Perhaps the Conservative party of Canada should consider disbanding all together and save all hard working Canadians years of future grief.

  • Ron
    January 04, 2014 - 12:41

    Delay could be a problem. The New Democrats will be given even more time to organize - and they look increasingly like the real Opposition!

  • SlyFox
    January 04, 2014 - 10:26

    The problem the tory's have is that they shown the public their true colors in the last two years. How many people want this party in power if they will turn on their own like they have done to Mrs.Crane? Bad decisions played out in the media and behind closed doors does not a party make. The best thing this party can do is start fresh and get a new back room and front men/women.Till then people will be thinking twice before voting for them.

  • Realitycheck
    January 04, 2014 - 09:08

    Did these guys freeze their brains in the polar bear dip. Ctown back room boys are just stalling because no one wants to run. Clearly the ndp have taken over second place in PEI at least Redmond can make a decision. I say why delay , everyone knows that olive is the only true PC leader in PEI. to the so called back room boys in ctown the Grass Roots are supporting Olive and she will get the party straightened out and finally lose the self serving back room.

  • Realitycheck
    January 04, 2014 - 09:06

    Did these guys freeze their brains in the polar bear dip. Ctown back room boys are just stalling because no one wants to run. Clearly the ndp have taken over second place in PEI at least Redmond can make a decision. I say why delay , everyone knows that olive is the only true PC leader in PEI. to the so called back room boys in ctown the Grass Roots are supporting Olive and she will get the party straightened out and finally lose the self serving back room.

  • jim smith
    January 04, 2014 - 08:51

    Why do I get an image of a chicken running around with his head cut off.

  • Boy O Boy
    January 04, 2014 - 08:44

    Myers will go to any length to keep his big pay cheque . I shouldn't be surprised thou , back stabbers and gutless people are all the same when it comes to their greed . He better salt it away as his chances of ever being elected again in this area is next to nil . The green party could even knock him off in this riding . Mike is not even big enough to save him after what he has done to his leader .

  • Fed up
    January 04, 2014 - 07:52

    When was Ghiz given authority to change election date. We were told it was "set in stone."

    • Well see
      January 05, 2014 - 09:01

      Well see, you can't believe a word that comes out of Ghiz mouth.

  • Garth Sanderson
    January 04, 2014 - 00:54

    Bad Idea. PC will be at 10% in polls if we don't get a new leader soon

  • Good idea
    January 03, 2014 - 21:49

    Seems like the right move for the Tories. Excited to see what types of names come forward for the leadership.