Cardigan MP Lawrence MacAulay breaks political record

Steve Sharratt
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Lawrence MacAulay today becomes the longest serving MP from P.E.I. He has now served 9,251 days, or over 25 years. Here he is shown in a file photo speaking in the House of Commons. 

If there’s a tweet fest on P.E.I. today, it will either be about the first day of spring or a new political record.

Lawrence MacAulay already holds the record for attending the most weddings and wakes on the Island, the record for hugging the most amount of people in one day, and now the farm boy from Midgell has stepped into the history books.

MacAulay is now the longest serving federal politician in Island history and, as of today, surpasses the record held by the late MP and Premier Angus MacLean.

MacAulay has now served a total of 9,251 days, or 25 years, three months and 29 days. MacLean, who served the former federal riding of Queens and then Malpeque during the 1950s to mid 1970s, racked up 9,250 days before stepping down to enter provincial politics and become Island premier.

“I am happy to extend congratulations to Lawrence on this achievement,’’ said former premier Pat Binns, now the consulate general for Canada in Boston. “His success has everything to do with his ability to connect with people, hard work, a friendly personality and…a touch of good luck.”

MacAulay’s political career was launched in 1988 when he wore out three pairs of shoes knocking on doors to win the Nov. 21 election. He defeated former Cardigan MP Pat Binns, who was shackled at the time with opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement.

MacAulay has won eight elections and at 67 years of age still maintains a jaunty agenda of showing up for everything from a birthday party to a benefit concert at every end of his riding.

“There’s no question that Lawrence is probably the best local politician in Canada,” offered fellow MP Wayne Easter.

“He can take a national issue and bring it right down to the local level. I remember when we (Island MPs) were trying to set an agenda (for Question Period) and Lawrence just took over and went on about the problems with the herring fishery….he finds the local issue.”

He was first elected when Wayne Gretzky was still an Oiler, Haywire had the number 10 song in Canada, and Calgary hosted the Olympic Games. Back then, there was no such thing as iPhone, Blackberry, Facebook or Twittter.

“There’s no question that Lawrence is probably the best local politician in Canada” Wayne Easter, Malpeque MP

Today, he’s learned the social media tricks and has over 1,250 twitter followers, tweets regularly on issues and open houses, and even has a Facebook page.

“Having a busy but great day meeting many constituents in the Souris, Montague, Murray River, and Alliston areas.” …he posted the other day.

When contacted by The Guardian Wednesday, MacAulay said he finds it an honour to serve in his role and enjoys the opportunity of putting together programs and systems to help improve life for Islanders and Canadians.

“To be mentioned in the same sentence as J. Angus MacLean is truly something I never would have dreamed of when I first got involved in politics,” he wrote in an email. “He was a man who was always known as a true gentleman and a representative of all Islanders by people from every political stripe and was a renowned Canadian war hero.”

Senator Catherine Callbeck called MacAulay’s political longevity a tremendous milestone.

“It is a testament to his strong work ethic and his excellent character that the voters of Cardigan have sent him to Parliament again and again since 1988,” said the former premier.

Callbeck said MacAulay’s success is because of his strong connection to the people in his riding and his desire to ensure they all have a good quality of life.

“It is well known that Lawrence is a fixture at everything from government announcements to birthday open houses to community events. He has a special way of connecting with people because he is friendly and genuinely interested in what others have to say.”

His cabinet positions under former Prime Minister Jean Chretien included Solicitor General of Canada, Minister of Labour, Secretary of State (Veterans), and Secretary of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency), mostly during the 1990s.

But how long will he be around? “I have no plans to step aside yet, it’s up to the voters,” he joked during a BBQ he hosted at his home last summer for Liberal leader Justin Trudeau.

 

 

Organizations: Island MPs, Olympic Games, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Geographic location: Iceland, Canada, P.E.I. Queens Boston Calgary Murray River Alliston Cardigan

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Recent comments

  • Anne Hemphill
    March 20, 2014 - 22:37

    Congratulations and thanks Lawrence for all your years of faithful service to the people of our beautiful island.

  • Earl Affleck
    March 20, 2014 - 19:15

    Congratulations Lawerence, you have done many thinks to assist the people from your district such as community development, standing beside fishers and helping families get the help they need. I have witnessed your compassion when our family suffered a number of sudden deaths, your and Frances visits to our mother will never be forgotten.

  • Sean Curley
    March 20, 2014 - 16:41

    MacAulay is also currently tied for second place amongst current MPs with Jim Karygiannis, both elected in 1988. The longest-serving at the moment is Louis Plamondon of Quebec, who was first elected in 1984.

  • From Away
    March 20, 2014 - 14:51

    Congratulations to a gentleman and faithful servant to the District,the Province and the Country. This milestone speaks for itself and if my memory serves me right judging from your last landslide victory it will be open to you when you want to retire. Thank you for dedication and professionalism over the past decade. I hope that present and future politicians see you as a role model and stop their mud slinging tactics.You have always been above this sir.

  • From Away
    March 20, 2014 - 14:49

    Congratulations to a gentleman and faithful servant to the District,the Province and the Country. This milestone speaks for itself and if my memory serves me right judging from your last landslide victory it will be open to you when you want to retire. Thank you for dedication and professionalism over the past decade. I hope that present and future politicians see you as a role model and stop their mud slinging tactics.You have always been above this sir.

  • The Observer from Stratford
    March 20, 2014 - 14:08

    Congrats to Mr. MacAulay for his services to PEI and Canada. His record however does bring up another question for me. Namely: Should any politician be allowed to serve for such a long period? There should be some kind of limitation on how long one individual should be in public office.

    • Observing the Observer
      March 20, 2014 - 15:19

      A politicians term is decided by the voters . If they feel the member is not serving in their best interest then they have the option of electing someone else .

  • Jack
    March 20, 2014 - 12:22

    9,251 days...and what does he/we have to show for it ?? Name ONE thing he has done, besides becoming a professional politician ?? I'll answer that: Nadda...

  • Brett
    March 20, 2014 - 09:12

    I think it's time for Mr. MacAulay to resign. We should invoke term limits for politicians. I'm not from his riding, but I doubt after this much time in parliament he has done anything effective for the the area he represents. Politics needs new blood. When you think about this, it just goes to show people on PEI deserve what they get, nothing in the end.

    • Islander from the riding
      March 20, 2014 - 09:56

      well brett guess you have nothing to say about Mr.macAulay !!!you said "your not from his riding" and "doubt he has done anything" , well my question to you is this..."how can you comment or pass judgement on something you no nothing about"??this is typical someone who thinks they no so damn much and don't no a damn thing....just saying

  • Fed up
    March 20, 2014 - 08:45

    Congratulations to Mr macAulay! I would vote for him any day...if the vote didn't help Nustin Trudeau and Robert Ghiz. It's people like MacAulay that should be leading the Liberals.....not....

  • Anita Stewart
    March 20, 2014 - 08:34

    Congratulations Lawerence !!

  • Lorraine Stewart
    March 20, 2014 - 08:22

    Congratulations Lawrence . You have represented our Island well. You are a true gentleman . And I have never heard any ill against you .

  • Noteworthy Kings County Worst Shape Ever
    March 20, 2014 - 06:26

    The value of property in east Kings is about 30% what it was 10 years ago. What ever Lawrence is doing is helping the party maybe but it is not translating to any benefit here in our community. Partisan party hacks represent the party not the community.

  • Congrats
    March 20, 2014 - 06:13

    Congratulations Lawrence, now please retire. You have the record and the last 8 years are simply recordings of you.sleeping in Parliament etc etc.. We need so done who will represent us as the number of babies is decreasing quicky.

  • Garth Staples
    March 20, 2014 - 05:37

    And the future MP for Cardigan is? We'll soon know.

    • scott
      March 20, 2014 - 11:34

      Why dont you run Garth? It would be very entertaining to watch you be defeated by the biggest margin in Canadian history.