Wade MacLauchlan officially Liberal leader, premier-designate

Teresa Wright
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Wade MacLauchlan says he will focus on prosperity and people as he takes over as premier of Prince Edward Island, promising to be a collaborative leader who will take the high road.

MacLauchlan delivered his inaugural speech as premier-designate to a crowd of over 800 supporters at the Convention Centre in Charlottetown. In it, he presented some themes he said would be priorities for his government, including growing the economy, increasing immigration rates including inter-provincial migration and enhancing public engagement.

READ THE FULL TEXT OF WADE MACLAUCHLAN'S SPEECH HERE

FOLLOW OUR LIVE BLOG FROM THE CONVENTION FLOOR

He did also add a few other hints at what will likely be future policy directions going forward.

Government should lead by example and balance the budget, he said.

In health and education, he said the province should “direct the greatest possible share of our human and financial resources to front-line services.”

Regarding the environment, he noted P.E.I. is a world leader in renewable energy, but said we can do more as “an important first step as we turn our attention to climate change.”

He believes getting the public more engaged requires a more open government. To that effect, he noted an opportunity to make government data open and accessible.

RELATED:  Wade MacLauchlan: Taking P.E.I.'s pulse

He talked about strengthening local governments and communities, especially rural communities.

A further strategic priority will be to put Prince Edward Island on the map, nationally and internationally, he said, adding that he intends to lead this effort.

He paid tribute to the P.E.I.’s two Mi’Kmaq First Nations and promised to give prominence to government’s relationship with the Mi’maq people.

He remained high level on policy, focusing mainly on presenting his optimistic view of Islanders, the province and its future.

He presented himself as humble, but also experienced and ready to lead P.E.I. and take the province to the next level.

“Islanders understand and value leadership. They want leadership that is positive and optimistic, leadership that is strong, experienced and resourceful,” he said.

“I offer you mine, drawing on decades of involvements in community, philanthropic and business endeavours.”

The Liberal party will take the high road going forward, he said, adding his belief that Islanders and Canadians alike are tired of “chippiness and cheap shots.”

“We will call on our better nature, and we will call on others to be better natured.”

The crowd was pleased and excited by his speech, many lingering for over an hour after the event ended to chat amongst one another about their enthusiasm for their new premier-designate.

A number of congratulatory video messages from some prominent current and former politicians were played during the convention, including from premiers Kathleen Wynne and Brian Gallant, former premiers Frank McKenna and Alex Campbell and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement Saturday welcoming MacLauchlan as premier-designate of P.E.I.

“I look forward to working with Mr. MacLauchlan to advance the interests of the people of Prince Edward Island and all Canadians, with a view to creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity across the province and country,” Harper said. 

“I would also like to thank outgoing Premier Robert Ghiz and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”

MacLauchlan will be sworn in as P.E.I.’s 32nd premier on Monday.

 

twright@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/GuardianTeresa

Organizations: P.E.I. Convention Centre

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island

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Recent comments

  • Ordinary Joe
    February 22, 2015 - 21:21

    What do I have in common with Wade? I'm not rich...I have had trouble putting food on my table...I have kids...I have wife...I dont see much in common here

  • ba
    February 22, 2015 - 19:36

    The only way he would run ,was if Griz assure him he would be the only one running! This time tomorrow night, you will see how much he appreciate, you all..... Interesting times come!! Hope you all,didn't buy a lot of new shoes, you may not have a desk to put them under!!

  • Bobboblaw
    February 22, 2015 - 19:00

    I have am idea. Let's make our provincial system of electing a government the same as our municipal system of electing a government. No more political party's allowed. You vote for a mla and a premier. I am sure politics abounds in the municipal system but I'm not so sure any municipalities are running such huge deficits as the provincial system of government. At least this way voters would not be forced to vote for a mla they thought wasn't qualified just because they liked the leader and vice versa

  • amazed at amazed
    February 22, 2015 - 17:30

    Well Amazed,at least THE BINNS GOV. didn't shut down rural PEI in their tenure.And if your so blind to think that these arrogant Liberals are any better than vote away.But i hope that you'll have to move south!!!!

  • Fed up
    February 22, 2015 - 11:46

    Focus on prosperity? Why not? He grew up in prosperity....but didn't work for it or earn any of it....just born into it! This job...like everything else in his life...was handed to him. Strange not one other EXPERIENCED MLA even tried? More of this back room plots going on....surely even the born Liberals can see through this terrible cheating!?!

  • Tryon Res
    February 22, 2015 - 09:33

    The public wants a change....there is no change here simply rolling in the rich who have never had to worry about being accountable with spending....come on people look at the mess he has UPEI in!!!! Shame on the Liberals for not giving us the chance to vote for the party leader. To top it all off it all of our ministers are packing it in! I am sorry but there will be no vote from me this election! If this hand picked party is allowed to lead this province......BEWARE! The public has a right to appoint the government they want! !!! I can assure you this.....the Rich will get Richer! Your humble speech doesn't fool me.....you are only in this for personal ego stroking......for no other reason!

  • dj
    February 22, 2015 - 08:12

    There's a article coming out,from a Toronto reporter that going to blow the top of this mess!Can't wait should be a good read:-) Stay turned!

  • Paul
    February 22, 2015 - 06:28

    D from queen , if you only new how much money he spent at upei and how much debt they have all because of who Do we really want this guy running our province . The people will decide but we already have enough of debt ...

  • Not So Sure
    February 22, 2015 - 06:20

    I watched this on CBC and I have to say I was more fascinated by the googly-eyed people in the audience than by the talking head at the front. It amazes me how people so blindly follow without EVER investigating ANY other party. I honestly wish there was no such thing as these parties. They are destroying democracy. I haven't chosen a party yet because they are all hiding their cards right now but let me tell you, when the cards are on the table I will be looking at ALL FOUR PARTIES equally. I wish the media would do the same.

  • david
    February 22, 2015 - 03:30

    He is interesting speaker for sure and it will be interesting to see where he takes PEI in the next 4 years. Ghiz done good job in rough times will be interesting to see where PEI is in 4 years into the future. I hope he does better then the past university leaders who have wandered into politics.

  • Classic!
    February 21, 2015 - 21:50

    So whats wrong with the rest of the current Liberal MLA's and Cabinet Ministers? Are none of them capable of running the province? Nobody worthy of running against Wade for the leadership? Robert Vesey? Doug Currie? I'm sorry but Wade stayed at UPEI long enough to become President-has he really ever worked a day in his life? Time will tell what voters think.

    • david
      February 22, 2015 - 03:32

      He did not stay at UPEI long enough to become President. He was at UNB and then came to UPEI become president.

  • Good Speech
    February 21, 2015 - 18:28

    Mr. MacLaughlan is a good speaker and who knows, may even be able to lead PEI in these trying times. I applaud him for running as an openly gay man, this takes courage. I have been extremely negative towards the previous administration as they robbed me and my family while looking us right in the eye. The level of arrogance & ignorance was unbelievable. 3 or 4 more people gone and I may start looking at them again.

    • reality
      February 22, 2015 - 10:42

      liberals have screwed the middle class and kept the poor at bay and will continue to do so - they have learned how from the conservatives

    • Same Bunch
      February 22, 2015 - 10:56

      Its the same bunch calling the shots-more of the same

  • d from queens
    February 21, 2015 - 18:13

    I think Wade is the answer to the disarray that our island is in. go Wade i support you 100 % your work record speaks for it self.

  • same
    February 21, 2015 - 17:40

    Same speech, different head..... Are we just going to lay down and let this, happen to all over again!!

  • butch
    February 21, 2015 - 15:57

    This sounds like Ontario Premier Wynne where her chief of staff promised jobs if candidate wouldn't run. Now under police investigation. This sounds just what has happened inPEI by Liberal back room boys. Stay tuned.

  • Wayne MacKinnon
    February 21, 2015 - 15:55

    Congratulations Wade on your successful completion of the first challenge in the process of leading our great province into a prosperous future. I am with you in regards to our beautiful Island becoming a sustainable economy inside the frameworks of this great country we are all so proud to call home. We have our strengths, as well as our weaknesses, but what province doesn't. We do not need to re-invent a new wheel, just tweak the one we have now,reduce the drag on center so it can spin easier. You will definitely need to remove some of the old spokes as they have become weakened, crook it and compromised; unable to do their job properly. A wee bit of a task,good luck, and watch your back.

  • Wayne MacKinnon
    February 21, 2015 - 15:54

    Congratulations Wade on your successful completion of the first challenge in the process of leading our great province into a prosperous future. I am with you in regards to our beautiful Island becoming a sustainable economy inside the frameworks of this great country we are all so proud to call home. We have our strengths, as well as our weaknesses, but what province doesn't. We do not need to re-invent a new wheel, just tweak the one we have now,reduce the drag on center so it can spin easier. You will definitely need to remove some of the old spokes as they have become weakened, crook it and compromised; unable to do their job properly. A wee bit of a task,good luck, and watch your back.

  • Should be an interesting spring
    February 21, 2015 - 14:49

    Now the real election starts...The tories have been busy..with over 2000 plus attending the advance polls for leader.The Liberals may be happy with this coronation but Joe and Jane Blow islander who have been paying the bills have something else to say.......were not happy...time for a change ..a big change....in the way we do business.This GOVT got away with way to much of taxpayers money,people were made millionaires, by changing GOVT policies and letting party bureaucrats rule the financial roost to the benefit of party members.This party does not deserve a 3rd mandate.

    • Purple
      February 21, 2015 - 16:43

      Very well said. It seems this current gov't wants to take all of our tax dollars for themselves and their rich friends while leaving the little people to crowd fund for each other. I'm sick of it.

    • AMAZED
      February 21, 2015 - 22:48

      Please , if the Tories by some drunken miscircumstance (pp) gain control of this Island again I will sell up and leave to a ...Mississippi type spot .I lived through Binns regime and have never seen such a hateful backward third world bunch of Cretans in my life even on TV ! God please spare us this travesty . They do not even convey any shame !!! It is scary !

    • inthepink
      February 22, 2015 - 09:13

      Closer to 2500:-) and only 500/600 showed up for the liberals ,coronation interesting! I feel a chance in the air!