Wade MacLauchlan next premier of P.E.I.

Teresa Wright
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Wade MacLauchlan is not tipping his hand at when he will ask for a provincial election. The deadline for anyone to oppose him for the Liberal leadership expired at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Sole Liberal leadership candidate wins by default

It’s official — Wade MacLauchlan is now Prince Edward Island’s premier-in-waiting.

As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, no other candidate entered the race for leadership of the governing Liberal party of P.E.I. This makes MacLauchlan the winner by default and the next premier of P.E.I.

But don’t expect MacLauchlan to start giving speeches or announcing his position on issues just yet.


That’s because the party’s leadership convention is not until Feb. 20-21. Robert Ghiz will continue to act as premier of P.E.I. until shortly after this convention. In the interim, MacLauchlan will be ‘leader-designate.’

He says he plans to spend next month meeting with Islanders, holding roundtable discussions and consulting with residents across the province on the issues that matter to them.

“I think really it’s important to not get ahead of myself,” MacLauchlan said.

“I think it’s best to treat the coming month as a continuation of the process that we’re in, which is about choosing a leader, and then obviously keep thinking about formulating policy. I believe that’s better fully developed and laid out at a later date.”

Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has taken a similar approach in not coming out of the gate with a party platform or policy commitments. The federal leader has endured criticism for this decision over the last year, but has defended it saying he wants to consult with Canadians and experts before developing firm party planks that Canadians will vote on.

MacLauchlan appears to be borrowing this line from his federal leader.

When asked if he would be willing to take positions on topical issues, such as P.E.I.’s abortion policy, MacLauchlan said he wants to take some more time to consult with Islanders before announcing his own position on issues.

“I think it’s best for me to take those questions in their proper time and to continue listening and learning as I move along,” he said.

“It’s a very rich process that I’m engaged in right now and I think, frankly, it sort of spoils that to start saying I’ve got the answers or that I’ve got the position on X,Y or Z.”

MacLauchlan will not say when he might call a provincial election, but once again pointed to the fact both the governing Liberal and Opposition Conservative parties will have new leaders who have not faced the P.E.I. electorate.

He did say he would likely review the notion of fixed election dates, which he says should have been called ‘presumed election dates.’

“Maybe the language could have been better crafted for what actually these laws do, and that is that they are always subject to the parliamentary system, which is that the lieutenant-governor can dissolve the legislature,” he said.

The Liberal party will now begin its own election preparations, with nomination meetings scheduled to begin next week in Montague-Kilmuir.

After he is sworn in as premier, expected to take place shortly after the Feb. 20-21 convention, MacLauchlan’s first order of business will be to appoint a new cabinet. When Ghiz officially resigns, his cabinet will effectively be dissolved.

As for which riding he plans to run in when the election finally is called, MacLauchlan is once again keeping his cards close to his chest.

“I’m sticking to my response to that, which is that I’m running, between now and the convention, for all of Prince Edward Island.”




Organizations: Opposition Progressive Conservatives

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Montague-Kilmuir

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Recent comments

  • Bobby Jhizz
    January 21, 2015 - 19:06

    How is this dude going to be a elected premier with all the ghosts in the background from the previous government,tô many nightmares for the taxpayers of this island.

  • up easterner
    January 21, 2015 - 14:24

    IF ONLY ,we can only hope so,(knock that smug look off his face). He looks a person who could cause alot more financial burden to the average to lower income Islander!!GOD HELP US. Is that not ONE honest politition left on this fair Island.NO wonder the younger generation have no desire to vote, the look of this fellow, he's out of touch before he is even in there!

  • Ella
    January 21, 2015 - 13:48

    Sad when he was being interviewed on radio this morning. Currie and Sheridan must have gave him some tip. when he was asked about the PNP thing he just talked about moving into the future and putting the past behind. Sorry Wade dear there are hungry children , people who can't afford oil, groceries or pay their electrical bills, buy meds, and the list goes on. This is the real PEI. How can you drop it. You have to make it right. No one deserves to be Premier of PEI unless they are going to look out for all walks of life not just the elite smooth talking politicans. who have robbed the people of PEI

  • Different Times
    January 21, 2015 - 13:34

    Wade is no Alex Campbell..This is NOT the sixties. How could you even try to compare these two? Was Alex crowned? Can't remember that far back.

  • The savior
    January 21, 2015 - 13:27

    Oh if only I had a crown of thorns and a wooden cross as I lead the sheep to slaughter!!

  • gardianreader
    January 21, 2015 - 13:19

    Well i was hoping since Wade thinks this is so great can he tell us something of Ghiz legacey hed like to carry on and why is he dumping Wes Buck Ronnie ???? or and vesy the sacrificial lamb

  • Fed up
    January 21, 2015 - 12:50

    Incidentally, rumour has it Vessey won't give up his seat...bit Buck Watts will...mmm Shouldn't people HAVE to run where they LIVE?

  • J
    January 21, 2015 - 11:45

    Wouldn't be surprised if Mr. MacLauchlan supports Redmond's proposal for a PNP inquiry. Guess we'll see.

  • J
    January 21, 2015 - 11:35

    The Guardian is asking the question: "Are you disappointed that no one else came forward to challenge Wade MacLauchlan for the Liberal leadership?" But someone did come forward: Keith Kennedy. 50 Liberals could've signed his papers.

    • Fed up
      January 21, 2015 - 12:45

      Robert Mitchell was also going to step forward. A really down to earth HONEST man! But the back room boys discouraged him...brought in someone who they think will lead them to victory. Someone who has no idea what he's doing... I, for one, would have voted for Robert Mitchell. He is on most of our income level and never fails to smile and talk with people. This guy...wonder what he was offered to step up? He's retired ...on a huge pension from UPEI...so doesn't either need the money OR understand those of us who don't have his money...but the "50 Liberals" who could have signed Kennedy's papers could have signed Motchell's as well...but SOME HOW...they want this Elitist...with the smug look. As quoted below...voters...wipe that smug look off his face on Election Day !!

  • Country Boy
    January 21, 2015 - 11:03

    Here I am.

  • If Only
    January 21, 2015 - 10:25

    If only the voters would wipe that smug look off his face on election day...

  • Fed up
    January 21, 2015 - 10:12

    An academic? A scholar? Mmmm Talk of backp room boys in the P.C.'s? No one sees anything underhanded with this guy getting all the publicity...NO ONE running against him?!? This guy just another Elite Rich Guy like Ghiz. Will spend our money just like Ghiz did. No idea what it's like to struggle. As for academic and scholar? He was close to them when Boss at the university...that doesn't make him one! He also showed his bad decision-making there...he is NOT front page news...but the newspaper thinks he is! Wonder if the other leaders will get the same chance...or will the media try to push the Liberals AGAIN?!?

  • Bill Kays
    Bill Kays
    January 21, 2015 - 09:44

    Is there no one with morals left in this province? Have they all gone mad as a hatter? Liberal Wade will have them aborting babies on the front lawn of the legislature? I want a strong moral leader as Premier, doesn't everybody else?

    • How Pathetic
      January 21, 2015 - 11:30

      Is your self esteem so low that you are willing to spout nonsense, no matter how stupid it is, just to get attention?

    • Brad
      January 21, 2015 - 13:51

      Why must you constantly rant and rave, making insane comments. You make a complete fool of yourself on a regular basis.

  • PEI's Future
    January 21, 2015 - 08:57

    Finally we have proper representation on PEI. A leader who is an academic and a scholar, who understands business and industry on PEI because of his background, and is focused on our youth. We need policy makers and long-term thinkers on PEI, who are not doing this for the money. Congratulations Mr. MacLauchlan. You have my vote.

    • Tell the truth
      January 21, 2015 - 09:47

      "Because of his background" We need a leader who has had a job in his/her life. Not an appointed position! No one will argue the mans intelligence, if they do they are foolish. Just because someones father was a good businessman, does not make the son one as well. The way they crowned Wade makes me weary of what is to come. Dal, UNB and UPEI. All university positions. All appointed positions. We need someone who has had a job they actually applied for, went to an interview for. Wade, I heard you speak once and you did a great job. Stop allowing the Liberal hacks to control what is said and done. Give your opinions and let us decide if what you think is what we think. The scary thing is, what deals were already made to keep the three existing MLA's that wanted to run out of the Leadership race.

    • LA
      January 21, 2015 - 11:26

      "Tell the truth", he can hardly help it if no one who meets your specifications runs for the office.

    • Voter
      January 21, 2015 - 13:22

      How could he possibly have your vote? He hasn't even declared his District yet. Are you actually saying that you will vote for whatever Liberal they choose to run in your District? I get the feeling that has been your choice all along. The Party faithful out showing their unflinching support regardless of the debt, the graft and the degradation.

    • DL
      January 21, 2015 - 14:00

      A reply to "Tell the Truth".....you obviously no nothing about the hiring processes at universities if you think Wade, or anyone else are appointed to university positions without being interviewed, etc....also, it seems your definition of a "job" is unusually narrow if you think Wade has never had a job!

    • Excuses
      January 21, 2015 - 18:37

      "DL" The procedure is much different when the buildings are being donated in part by your father. ie Maclaughlan Arena on campus. I know the procedure very well thank you as do many qualified Professors who had to work their way in/up. Starting at the top is not the norm and never works out.

  • Guy Currie
    January 21, 2015 - 08:49

    NASCAR is not a sport people...

  • Jon
    January 21, 2015 - 08:24

    All hail King Wade!

  • Ron
    January 21, 2015 - 08:01

    To all Islanders: When are you folks going to learn, you can't go from a bad apple to a bad orange. There still going to look after themselves and to heck with ever one else.

  • God Help Us
    January 21, 2015 - 07:35

    OMG! The arrogance. Standing there looking like the savior of PEI, while plotting how he plans to use our tax dollars for the personal gain of him and his disciples.

  • hmatt
    January 21, 2015 - 07:11

    He's running in Covehead/York, in Vesey's seat. Vesey will become Chief of Staff

  • Letty
    January 21, 2015 - 06:58

    Enough of these "rich" attempts to imply that he has no opinions of his own, and is just waiting to be told by Islanders what they want: Will he EVER let us in on the secret of what he plans to do if he is electedd as Premier? Or will Islanders meekly accept his right-to-rule, making the election a coronation as well as the nomination, and giving him a blank check to impose any policies he desires?

  • CJ
    January 21, 2015 - 06:48

    Excuse me but don't we have to have an election before we call Wade MacLauchan premier of PEI. Are the Liberals so arrogant that they think PEI is no longer a democratic society where we still have elections.

    • LA
      January 21, 2015 - 11:28

      CJ, I don't think you quite understand how the process works. It has nothing to do with your opinion of a particular party. So excuse you. But some people are determined to be outraged no matter who it ends up being, although they'd never dream of doing the job themselves.

  • Adolphus
    January 21, 2015 - 06:13

    Je suis Charlie

  • reality
    January 21, 2015 - 06:06

    MONEY can buy almost anything !!!

  • Covehead fisher
    January 20, 2015 - 23:56

    Congrats Wade. I'm confident you are the right man for the job. I like Guiz but I'm sure you are a better fit for the party. Good luck in the future and wish you all the best. I'm honoured to be putting an X where it counts once again and that's the LIBERAL PARTY OF PEI

    • hmatt
      January 21, 2015 - 07:19

      You fell out of the boat , more than once...that's for sure. Your damaged

    • Really???
      January 21, 2015 - 09:27

      You must have been at sea too long!!!

    • Voter
      January 21, 2015 - 13:27

      Congratulations on your steadfast support for the party that has brought you a parade of deficits and fish kills. Just keep on doing the same thing every time you're asked and then you won't have to worry about change for better or worse.

  • Den
    January 20, 2015 - 22:39

    Well there goes fiscal responsibility out the window, remember UPEI? Let the free spending and even higher debt load than before begin.

    • yes
      January 21, 2015 - 08:48

      At UPEI he spent every penny possible on buildings (monuments to himself), while firing maintenance workers so there was no one to take care of the buildings. He seems to prefer job destruction to job creation.

  • j
    January 20, 2015 - 22:03

    To bad there wasn't some sort of democracy involved, when an individual tries to at least make it look like a race no one would sign his papers I am truly disgusted. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES, YOU ARE A JOKE! That smile is not one of a true leader, you are not my choice.

  • paul
    January 20, 2015 - 21:59

    Might be the shortest time as premier in the History of PEI . We cannot afford another 4 years of this style . And don't think he will change the bunch that is already there . They are waiting at the trough for more money to spend on THEMSELVES . The reason any of then didn't run because they have way too much baggage to even think of winning a election . All you had to do was walk around this summer at the festivals to see their arrogance of these guys . Spending our money

  • Islander 1
    January 20, 2015 - 21:48

    If only we could be lucky enough to have a Premier like Alex Campbell again.

  • Abortion isn't topical, The Guardian is just ideological
    January 20, 2015 - 21:30

    Let's be honest, there are 500 zealots demanding abortions at the QEH and there are 500 other zealots demanding the opposite. There's 1000 people who will never agree with each other and will shout until they're blue in the face at anyone who deviates a single syllable from their own positions. Then there are 14,000 other Islanders who travel each year for medical treatments in Nova Scotia or New Brunswick. Then there are 10,000 Islanders who want a job but can't get one. Then there are 40,000 Islanders who struggle to keep up with their bills and take care of their children with middle and lower incomes in one of the highest taxed jurisdictions in North America. Then there are thousands of people working in small businesses, which are being squeezed dry by a government that sees them as a bank account. Of course, there are 25,000 young Islanders who are educated by underemployed and struggling to move forward economically. These Islanders have serious, legitimate issues. But they're reasonable. They don't make a lot of noise, even though if someone would listen they can clearly articulate ways they would like to see our province move forward. The Guardian ignores all of these people. The thousands of Islanders who don't have frothy-mouthed, rabid demands on abortion are being bombarded by The Guardian's ideologically-driven monotonous propagandizing for abortion-on-demand. The reality is that the Ghiz government's pro-choice, taxpayer funded abortions policy is the right position. The Guardian clearly has taken the position that they want to see abortions at the QEH and they've decided to lead a crusade on the issue. That isn't journalism, it's activism.

  • PEI Former Liberal Voter
    January 20, 2015 - 21:08

    This coronation is disgusting. I'm going to buy a Tory membership and vote in a real contest.

    • Marcus
      January 21, 2015 - 09:03

      Good move ... if only the Tories were not total stumblebums. The best outcome I can see is that a majority of voters become so outraged by the insulting arrogance of the Liberals, that they vote for ANY other party, preventing the Liberals from having an absolute majority. My point is I don't know how the Liberals can be beaten, but it is essential to limit their power.

    • CityGuy
      January 21, 2015 - 12:48

      The first step is buy a PC membership. 2nd step vote Darlene Compton the only one with true life experiences, business acumen and an ear that listens and hears, analysis and makes a decision. Our last hope for many years.

  • don
    January 20, 2015 - 21:07

    well to me i can see why a few mla's wil not be running again as a few of hem are just as good if not better then wade. but i wonder how many favors have been made by wade to get this job. and to me he members in the party have been stabbed in he back by the back room boys. so wade you will never be a real leader due to you had no one o run against. it is like you taking a gold medal and you were then only person running. disgusting way for the liberals to have a leadership.

  • George
    January 20, 2015 - 20:47

    Another person that never had a want.He sits up in his pedisile and looks down on the flock. Wade and democracy don't go together, just ask the staff and students at the UPEI.

  • Spare me
    January 20, 2015 - 20:37

    So he's dodging questions already-just what district is he going to run in? Why so many secrets? I feel bad for the likes of Vesey, Mitchell and Currie all would had aspirations of running for the leadership-does this tell us our current Liberal Mla's and Cabinet Ministers are not capable? I think the Liberal coronation is going to fail.

  • PEI Former Tory Voter
    January 20, 2015 - 19:39

    Yeeeee - Haaaaa! We're gonna get what we need. Alex B. Campbell #2

    • don
      January 20, 2015 - 21:09

      well ghiz was bad but wade will be 10 times worse. God help us all we really need God to help us.

  • Nitpicker
    January 20, 2015 - 19:28

    this has exposed a flaw in the democratic process. I expect an election date to be set immediately. I may very well end up voting for Wade Mclauchlan, but until that time that he has indeed faced the electorate, he has no business being Premier. Unless there was something urgent compelling Ghiz to step down, he should have stayed until the election date was near.

    • Domino
      January 21, 2015 - 07:27

      A snap election would suit the Liberals just fine: Wade -- mouthing platitudes throughout the campaign -- would be elected before all the dirt has come out. The result would be, boundless Liberal corruption for years to come.

  • Adolphus
    January 20, 2015 - 19:03

    Mon Nom est Charlie!

  • foriener
    January 20, 2015 - 18:53

    Harry is just beaming down right about now :)

  • AnonymousIslander
    January 20, 2015 - 18:14