Wes Sheridan quietly resigns

Teresa Wright
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Finance Minister Wes Sheridan

P.E.I.’s former finance minister Wes Sheridan quietly resigned his seat as an MLA Monday – the same day he was replaced in cabinet by Premier Wade MacLauchlan.

Sheridan says it was a day of mixed emotions as he sat on the sidelines Monday watching seven of his former cabinet colleagues reappointed to executive council.

“I still have lots of interest in that. It’s weird sitting back and watching them get sworn in after being with them for a couple (of ceremonies),” Sheridan said.

MacLauchlan has taken over responsibility for finance and appointed a reduced cabinet of just seven ministers – the smallest amount permissible under the law.

Sheridan had previously announced he would not run in the upcoming provincial election, but indicated he was willing to stay on as finance minister.

Sheridan admits he will miss running P.E.I.’s finances, but he says his omission from cabinet is not the reason he has abruptly resigned his seat.

“I said I would stay and do whatever the premier would like me to do, and as the discussions went, this is perfect,” Sheridan said.

He intends to focus his time on his wife, Sandra, who is battling a degenerative autoimmune disease. His wife’s health was the reason he gave for not reoffering.

He also says he intends to work on the party’s campaign to get a Liberal elected to replace him in his riding of District 20, Kensington-Malpeque.

“I need to be a free agent to help in this next election, I don’t want to be on the taxpayers’ dime to do that, so by stepping down I’m not a sitting MLA leading up to the next election. That allows me to make sure I get a great Liberal into the District 20 chair.”

Sheridan refuted any notion he was pushed out or asked to step down by MacLauchlan. He supports MacLauchlan’s decision to take on responsibility for finance, as he believes it will help to give the new premier insight into government’s inner workings.

“I’m tickled with everything he has done to this point, I think he made a great statement with a small cabinet, it speaks volumes of his vision and how he wants to proceed – very prudently.”

The timing of Sheridan’s resignation does impact the value of his severance package.

MLAs in P.E.I. are entitled to one month of pay for every year they have been elected. This is calculated based on the salary the MLA has at the time they leave office or an election is called.

Had he waited until the writ was dropped, Sheridan’s severance would have been calculated based on a backbencher’s salary, which means he would have received about $45,000 in severance.

But since he resigned while still receiving his cabinet minister’s salary, Sheridan will receive the capped maximum severance of $67,906.

He says the additional severance did not play into the timing of his resignation.

“It’s offset completely by salary almost. If I stay on as an MLA and pull my salary right through to the election, it’s a wash.”

The difference between the two would depend on when the election is held. If it is held at the end of April, he would make about $11,000 in salary.

Sheridan says the severance pay is there in part to help cabinet ministers during the six months they must wait before taking a job with any business or firm that accepted or benefitted from a contract with the department for which they were responsible.

“The change in dollars in my pocket is really minimal,” Sheridan said.

“This way I’m a free agent through all that time period.”

 

twright@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/GuardianTeresa 

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Recent comments

  • Jason
    February 25, 2015 - 21:19

    Wes, HST, PNP aside...If Wade MacLauchlan was a honorable leader...he would gave Wes the option to resign, before taking his cabinet position! Actions like this don't unite the Party or it's members one bit! Get the feeling he's going to do much more harm than good for the Liberal Party!

  • pei_islander
    February 25, 2015 - 20:45

    “This way I’m a free agent through all that time period.” Wonder if he's willing to help out the Conservatives! Can't imagine he a MacLauchlan fan!

  • Continuing to sit would have been embarrassing to the Liberal party
    February 25, 2015 - 13:08

    Not only was it financially rewarding to go now for Mr SHERIDAN..he had no choice..if he stayed he would have been an embarrassment to the Liberal party from introducing HST,to supporting the PNP enrichment scheme for fellow party members, to mismanaging the Lotto fiasco.Does he take his old Job back? does he accept an offer from Atlantic Lotto? will he move back to New Brunswick?....in the end Islanders found him to be deceptive and really not that believable when explaining policies...........McLAUCHLAN wants to distance himself from the old regime so supporting these moves are in his best interest.......IT would be a a big mistake to give this party another mandate no matter who is leading it......millions were put into the hands of party supporters.....benefiting from the patronage ............it was nothing but scandalous to say the least ............lets hope islanders will tell them that at the polls.

  • Senior
    February 25, 2015 - 12:49

    But since he resigned while still receiving his cabinet minister’s salary, Sheridan will receive the capped maximum severance of $67,906. Didn't he resign AFTER being put out of cabinet?

  • PJohnsson
    February 25, 2015 - 12:31

    “I need to be a free agent to help in this next election, I don’t want to be on the taxpayers’ dime to do that, Does he really expect anyone to believe that?

  • Peter
    February 25, 2015 - 12:26

    Sheridan admits he will miss running P.E.I.’s finances, but he says his omission from cabinet is not the reason he has abruptly resigned his seat. Thousands of others might believe him, but I don't!

  • Islander too
    February 25, 2015 - 11:07

    Why is it that politicians are perceived so negatively? I congratulate Wes Sheridan and all who have served over the past years. ( both Liberal and Conservative ), I know it isn`t done for money as most of you could be doing so much better in the private sector. Thanks to all and especially Robert Ghiz who has put his life on hold for far too long. Enjoy your family. Perhaps we will see you again on the federal stage. If not, again,thank you for the service.

  • JL
    February 25, 2015 - 09:38

    Thanks for your service. I only wish that PEI didn't need to have so many provincial politicians. 6 MLAs would be enough to represent PEI in a Maritimes Legislature. Having 27 MLAs for this tiny island @ $65k each per year is an insane and vulgar expenditure that we cannot afford. Have Maritime Union. Make PEI a single municipality in a province of the Maritimes. And drastically reduce our over-governance problem all in one fell swoop.

  • Islander 1
    February 25, 2015 - 08:45

    Glad to see this guy gone I only wish he would take that Valerie Docherty with him. Sick to death of their stories and their smug smiles. Seeing her on Compass last night I could have threw my TV out the window just SOooooooooo sick of these ones not caring about anyone only them self's.

  • John
    February 25, 2015 - 08:08

    Wes is screwing the pei tax payer one more time before he goes, change in dollars in my pocket is minimal and we wonder why he cannot balance the books . He has no idea about money except get as much into his pocket as possible. Best news is he is done

  • hmatt
    February 25, 2015 - 07:19

    O.K. enough already.Let him go. I never believed him before and surely am not going to believe him now.

  • Quiet Observer
    February 25, 2015 - 07:03

    Reality - he is running before the real state of the deficit comes out. Not only will history remember Robert Ghiz as the worst ever PEI Premier, it will remember Sheridan as the worst ever PEI Finance Minister.

  • daveanger
    February 25, 2015 - 06:22

    Too bad he would not take his HST with him. Harper Sheridan tax!

  • stupid voter
    February 25, 2015 - 05:27

    what a loss to pei !!!!

  • Joe Blow
    February 25, 2015 - 02:03

    Well Wes can be proud that he will go down as the worst Finance Minister in the history of PEI politics!! The man literally sucked at his job and never came close to balancing the budget, but he still had the gall to publically say the he had done a great job. The whole Ghiz government was ignorant to the fact that they done a terrible job and still acted as if they were gods among men. If your job is to balance the books for PEI and you never come close to doing that the whole time you have done the job.....how can you openly tell people that you done a good job and deserve the raises that you took?? I don't get that at all!! If I am terrible at my job, I get fired. This guy was rotten and took raises for pete sake. Good riddence Wes!!! Have fun spending all of that PNP money and your undeserved pension.

  • boohoo
    February 24, 2015 - 22:38

    I'll try a second time. GREAT

  • Good Riddance
    February 24, 2015 - 21:23

    Good Riddance !!! Your arrogance didn't do any of PEI any good other than greases the palms of your friends . Your incompetence has cost our Island so much and Middle to Lower class will be paying for it for generations . Hopefully your wife pulls through her dilemma and maybe you will sit down and realize just how much you let everyone else down that actually needed a helping hand . Your one or two good ideas from all the years is too over shadowed by all the times you and Ghiz just couldn't bring yourselves to actually helping the people in dire need on our Island without making it political . Hopefully Wade will put someone in there that uses the common sense factor towards the common Islander !

  • Big Joe
    February 24, 2015 - 20:50

    It's too bad you, Ghiz and a few more hadn't remained "free agents" and stayed away from government. The finances of this province have never looked so grim. You have left a legacy Islanders will be decades recovering from. Good bye and don't let the door hit you in the behind.

  • Ela
    February 24, 2015 - 20:27

    booho tough times but you get low on cash head over to social services. Theres still lots left over there again. Don't know exact numbers but one lady with 3 young children gets $300.00 a Month. So if you run low run over there. Sick gov.

  • jimthames
    February 24, 2015 - 20:10

    69 grand! Digraceful, as is Mr. Sheridan's reasoning. Hey, I'll take that 69K and the next six months off too. And then collect my gold-plated pension for a short eight years of service. Never balanced a budget Wes, now taking more from a province that can not afford it. Good riddance.

  • don
    February 24, 2015 - 19:26

    wes see how easy you were replaced. now e wait to see what happens with your geo city crap. be nice if you had to pay back what you lost us.

  • Dm
    February 24, 2015 - 18:57

    This makes me sick, how can he say 70k from a province that he made bankrupt isn't a lot because he can't work for 6 months... Lol

  • Hard
    February 24, 2015 - 18:05

    It's going to be hard to live off that big pension, the year of severance and whatever fat patronage job he gets.

  • Bill Kays
    Bill Kays
    February 24, 2015 - 18:02

    Are these the types of decisions we will come to expect from Old Wadey Boy? The small cabinet is a reflection of Old Wadey Boy's mind. Let's get real. It really means that the people are not being fully represented, therefore they are not being fully served. Old Wadey Boy wants to give his head a shake and try again.

  • Sure
    February 24, 2015 - 17:47

    Take the money and run... Greedy mother $&(?$& ... Now to get the rest of the cronies rich eh... Too bad your going to lose the next election... After resigning with a pension they will receive high paying jobs within government... Patronage is alive and well with this government!!!!!

  • boohoo
    February 24, 2015 - 17:33

    GREAT

  • Bill Kays
    Bill Kays
    February 24, 2015 - 17:30

    Are these the types of decisions we will come to expect from Old Wadey Boy? The small cabinet is a reflection of Old Wadey Boy's mind. Let's get real. It really means that the people are not being fully represented, therefore they are not being fully served. Old Wadey Boy wants to give his head a shake and try again.

    • Really?
      February 25, 2015 - 08:34

      You are not 10 years old so why do you pretend to be? Do you think calling him Wadey Boy make yo look smart? Just the opposite. How are we not fully represented? Typical clueless verbal diarrhea from you kays.