Rob Lantz to stay on as PC leader

Teresa Wright
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Rob Lantz is staying on as leader of the Progressive Conservative party, despite having no seat in the P.E.I. legislature.

“I think it’s the best thing for our party at this point,” Lantz told reporters Monday at the Opposition office in Charlottetown.

Flanked by the eight members who did win their seats under the PC party banner in last week’s election, Lantz said he has their full support and the unanimous support of the party executive to continue on as party leader outside the rail.

 “It’s only a couple of months ago that we underwent a leadership convention… I’m committed to this party, I’m committed to finishing what I started and the biggest factor is the caucus standing here behind me today has given me their full and undivided support.”

Lantz lost the Charlottetown-Brighton riding to rookie Liberal candidate Jordan Brown by just 24 votes.

Since that time, he says he has received an outpouring of support from both members and non-members of the party encouraging him to stay. He acknowledged it is an unusual situation, but that he felt it was the best decision to help move the party forward united after years of infighting and leadership squabbles.

“Certainly it’s a bit unconventional, but the political landscape of P.E.I. is changed,” Lantz said.

“But we see this as a very workable arrangement and with the support of my colleagues here, I’m 100 per cent confident we can make it happen.”

Meanwhile, Opposition leadership roles will remain as they were before the election. Steven Myers will be Opposition leader in the legislature, James Aylward will be Opposition house leader and Colin LaVie will be whip.

The decision on Opposition leadership roles, which come with higher salaries than the base MLA salary of $68,721, was made by the caucus on Lantz’s recommendation.

The PC party underwent a major upheaval over leadership roles in early 2013.

Myers dismissed any suggestion that Lantz remaining party leader for the next four years while he acts as Opposition leader would create similar confusion over who is in charge.

“Rob Lantz is the leader and he’s my boss. Period,” Myers said.

Aylward, who challenged Lantz for party leadership in February, says he is “very supportive of how we’re proceeding.

“Rob Lantz was democratically elected by the membership of the PC party of P.E.I. and I said on that night, Feb. 28, that I am behind Rob Lantz as the leader of our party and nothing has changed.”

Although he plans to make this his full-time job for the next four years, Lantz says does not know yet how he will be paid. He did not rule out using taxpayer funds through the Opposition office’s budget.

“That is absolutely an unknown at this point, it certainly gives me some anxiety and certainly my family, I’m sure, but we’re going to have to make some arrangements for me to make a living.”

The PC party constitution does stipulate that a leadership review must be held not less than 12 months and not more than 26 months following a provincial election where the party does not form government and the leader does not resign.

Geographic location: Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • Fed up
    May 13, 2015 - 12:09

    At least all this commotion ...whether good or bad, depending on taking the focus off WHERE IS GHIZ? Oh yes...he's probably waiting to announce his big FEDERAL appointment! If you want to get up in the world, lead a province into big debt...QUIT when the going gets rough....with $70,000 severance plus a big pension...then get a big reward from Ottawa! It sure pays to ride on Daddy's coattails...

  • mike
    May 12, 2015 - 14:16

    The guy is showing a complete lack of morals and honorable behavior. He can't even get elected in the area where he lives which shows even his neighbors and people who know him best don't support him. Jim Prentice in Alberta actually shows how much stronger and honorable the Lantz is at least he is showing it is his fault as to what happened. Lantz is showing he I nothing but a Brighton spoiled child who does not take responsibility for anything. Just shows the PC Party is still being run by the elite I the backroom.

  • Ryan
    May 12, 2015 - 13:20

    DOUG, how is he going to be Premier in 2019?? Get real, where is he going to win a seat?? He lost on his home turf. The Brown kid will be in Cabinet and the good times will be rolling in D13 Brighton and Brown will be popular. You think Lantz is going to swoop in four years from now and take that seat from him, and become Premier?? People have to be realistic here. It might be hard nosed but politics is about winning. You have to win your seat to be relevant. Not to mention do you realistically think the party will keep leadership away from JAMES AYLWARD for four years. The members I've spoken with want him to lead the party immediately. The pressure is mounting on the back room boys to reverse their strategy.

    • James Aylward Deserves Ut
      May 12, 2015 - 14:18

      James Aylward is an honest, hard working man. He deserves to be leader. Even with the amount of competition for that riding, he still won his seat - that speaks volumes.

  • doug
    May 12, 2015 - 11:35

    This was by far the best decision, and really, the only decision for the PCs. For the closet Liberals saying this will send the PCs into more turmoil, give your head a shake. Having yet ANOTHER leadership convention would have done that. By keeping Lantz on, someone who has done amazing things for the party in a few short months and has unified the party, they have done what they need to do to secure their future. Lantz will end up winning a by-election at some point well before the next election and will be elected premier in 2019. @Former Tory, you are a joke and your attempt at playing dumb backfired. Lantz did not make you vote NDP. You are a Liberal or NDP supporter to begin with.

  • Let PCs Do What Ever They Like
    May 12, 2015 - 09:42

    Who cares what the PCs decide to do - it's their party, they can decide who they want to keep on as leader, and it's up to them if they want to keep Lantz on or not. If you're a party member and ticked off, tell your district riding and provincial office - let the party know you disagree. If enough of the membership raises their voices in decent then maybe they'll change their mind. If you are a member of another party, what does it matter to you? You should actually be happy with the decision because a leader sitting outside the rail is "unprecedented and unsustainable". You don't support the PCs, you likely won't vote for them, so be happy with the decision because this is not a formula for success. Meanwhile, this is likely step one in the decision making, we don't know what's going to come down the pipe. Lets just sit back, see what happens. Good on Lantz for having the courage to continue on. He's taken a lot of abuse during the election and after his defeat.

    • Exactly ...
      May 12, 2015 - 10:47

      ... it's great news for The Liberals. After 4 years in power, The Liberals will be voted in for another 4 years, and then another 4 years ... as long as this self-imposed PC arty turmoil exists. KEEP SCREWING UP & SHOOTING YOURSELF IN THE FOOT PCS! HA, HA, HA!

  • PC townie
    May 12, 2015 - 09:01

    Actually Angus is well known that Aylward does not support the backroom. This is why they recruited and are clinging to Lantz. Ironically the same group criticized Olive for refusing to step aside but at least she was an MLA!

    • Angus
      May 12, 2015 - 11:31

      It's also well-known that Aylward was Duffy's boy and the backroom owned both lock, stock and barrel.

  • Angus
    May 12, 2015 - 08:28

    Lantz or Aylward - what's the diff? Backroom owns them both.

  • pc tom
    May 12, 2015 - 07:53

    well well the liberalss are fuming. thought they got rid of the guy that will take them down in the next election. good luck. lantz is clean and honest and that is what the other guys and their backers are scared of. the pc party is united. be very afraid.

    • townie2
      May 12, 2015 - 10:59

      sounds like the same line being used before the election.

    • Downward spiral
      May 12, 2015 - 14:45

      The downward spiral continues for the PC's. Myers will bury the party over the next four years then will cry that they're not ready for an election.

  • townie2
    May 12, 2015 - 06:59

    so let's see if i have this right, taxpayers will now be paying for a House Leader, an Opposition Leader, and a Party Leader? wow, good job you guys didn't get control of the Govt purse strings.

  • Big Joe
    May 11, 2015 - 21:23

    Big mistake, Rob. You didn't get elected so do the right thing and graciously step down.

  • Faithful
    May 11, 2015 - 20:40

    @bert Alan Campbell is not kept on because he is smarty or anything else. He is kept on as a welfare case. It was under him that $ 950.000 was given to the e-gaming fiasco. He is listed in the e-gaming lawsuit, and he has served Ghiz performing with ruthlessness and lies to the public. He is not a friend of the people, he has become a ward of the people, because Wade does not have the balls to get rid of him and the three deputies that have done the same for Ghiz. Sickening

  • Former Tory
    May 11, 2015 - 20:13

    This is ridiculous. After being a long time tory, I voted NDP last election because of Lantz and I'm getting rid of my membership after this fiasco. Lantz and his backroom are ruining that party

  • Brigette
    May 11, 2015 - 19:46

    How much do you want to bet the person (or maybe two people) who wrote those 20 comments that all have the exact same talking points are on the government payroll? You Liberals are pathetic.

  • CJ
    May 11, 2015 - 19:12

    Honestly, I don't know why anyone would ever bother to run for political office. The hatred on here is unbelievable and it would be the same if it was a liberal story, it goes both ways. People must have very miserable unfulfilling lives to vilify someone they probably don't know and have never met, on these message boards. Why not do something constructive and run for political office yourselves. The just sit back and let someone tear you apart and see how it feels. These people have families and loved ones, I doubt they the monsters you make them out to be. It is not much wonder more women aren't running for a seat, what a thankless job. People use the internet to bully, I doubt you would have the guts to say this garbage to someone's face.

    • Pat McGowan
      May 12, 2015 - 08:32

      I agree wholeheatedly!!! Such hurtful comments.Unlessyou ae prepared to run for office yourself,you have no idea.

  • amazed
    May 11, 2015 - 17:19

    Myrediction is it will not be long until James Aylward crosses the floor and joins the Liberals. The PC party is treating him like crap.

    • AMAZED
      May 12, 2015 - 10:37

      I don't know if I would go that far but Lantz is a lame duck leader at best . I suppose after hearing this announcement anything is possible . Makes me wonder how the pay is at Delta Ware ?

    • AMAZED
      May 12, 2015 - 10:38

      I don't know if I would go that far but Lantz is a lame duck leader at best . I suppose after hearing this announcement anything is possible . Makes me wonder how the pay is at Delta Ware ?

  • Perplexed
    May 11, 2015 - 16:39

    What I don't understand is who accepts a "job" and when asked who is paying him/will he be paid says that those details haven't been worked out yet but that it is a cause for anxiety for him??? What kind of decision making is that? Either they are flying by the seat of their pants or Lantz isn't being forthcoming.

    • Opposition Budget
      May 11, 2015 - 17:29

      They are waiting to see how much is in the opposition budget. Lantz will be on taxpayer payroll as an opposition staffer, contradicting every open democratic transparency platform they slammed the Liberals for. Just wait and see.

    • david
      May 11, 2015 - 19:08

      So he will be getting paid by the taxpayers to be Leader of the Conservative Party. This is so unethical I can now see Lantz has taken courses in the Mike Duffy school of ethics. So the money that paid to the Opposition Office to fund the office and hire staff now becomes the Conservative Party slush fund to pay for party hacks and fund Conservative Party events and elections. Are there NO rules around what this money can be used to pay? Who does the taxpayers call to complain about this?

  • huh
    May 11, 2015 - 16:29

    I've lost count of the number of "backroom boys" comments. What are you talking about? Are folks supposed to believe that Peter McQuaid, Jason Lee, and Murray Murphy wield some sort of mighty power on this island and that others cower before them? I must have missed the memo on these people's ironclad grip on all things political.

    • Garth Staples
      May 11, 2015 - 18:09

      Don't be too adamant in your conviction.

  • Back room wins again
    May 11, 2015 - 15:41

    CONGRATS to the PC Back room for winning again. Rob I took out a membership for you in Montague - You ran on being accountable - now you expect our party to pay you 120k a year? UNREAL!! time to send Macquaid, King, Lee home as they are the ones who are advising you. Me thinks I need to turn in my membership! I though you were gonna be a diiferent type of man

  • Jim M
    May 11, 2015 - 15:29

    Selfish backroom deal. Period. First the party was asked to keep paying Rob as leader. They said no. Now there is apparently money for Rob as party spokesperson? Where is this money coming from? Opposition budget? Donations? Friends? I will tell you all one thing and that is I am never buying another ticket again. I'm done with the party.

  • Lantz for Member of Parliament
    May 11, 2015 - 15:26

    If the backroom boys like Lantz so much then why not give him the right advice: Resign provincial politics. Then that would let the people's choice James Aylward take over. Lantz and the backroom could then run against Sean Casey in the federal election???

  • Blue
    May 11, 2015 - 14:52

    Seems to me that again the few backroom boys made the decision to keep their boy on. The party (surely) doesn't support this. I heard that among the true party people (and not people the backroom signed up just to vote for Lant) are all behind James Aylward. Aylward is getting more popular by the day after crushing the mayor after Wade campaigned 8 times door to door in district 6 and even Trudeau campaigned!!! Let the party decide and put Aylward in. He has credibility in the cities and is loved in rural Pei. That's a winning formula!!

  • red george
    May 11, 2015 - 14:52

    Nice to see all you 14 week liberals home commenting this afternoon. Imo, you must be scare of the PC'S will hold your party accountable this time around.

    • huh
      May 11, 2015 - 16:22

      A week ago, everyone was supposed to be scared of the coming Blue Wave.

    • Not You
      May 11, 2015 - 16:52

      I think Wade already stated and proved he is not scared of Lantz so I don't think it is the Liberals commenting on here but genuinely upset and shocked Tories.

    • Sam2677
      May 11, 2015 - 17:10

      I think red george is really his wife.

  • Bill
    May 11, 2015 - 14:50

    Very good choice! A lot that wasted their vote on green and NDP are kicking their ass now after seeing election Rob willbe a whole lot different!

    • Ryan
      May 11, 2015 - 16:00

      "The lot that wasted their vote on Green and NDP" Really, it was over 20% of voters that voted for them. I feel bad for the Tory and Liberal voters that "wasted" their vote, not realizing that there are actually other choices

    • Aaron
      May 11, 2015 - 19:59

      Echo Ryan

  • Senator Duffy
    May 11, 2015 - 14:43

    His new name is OLIVE LANTZ. Or is it HAL LANTZ?

  • Give your head a shake
    May 11, 2015 - 14:29

    Come on people cut Rob some slack!! He hasn't been the leader very long and worked hard to unify the party from East to West. He and the rest of the party obviously underestimated the Liberals and their candidate. I think it would be a disaster for the party if he stepped down so soon. I am a fan of James Aylward but lets be realistic he lost the leadership bid fair and square! Also enough of all the "backroom boys crap".......every party has key people behind the scenes that have their own secret agendas! You can't please everyone!!

  • Obvious
    May 11, 2015 - 14:28

    Lantz is clearly in this for himself. He's forcing the party's hand - he knows if he stays on they'll have to pay him. No doubt he's looking for more than he'd make at his old job. So when is the leadership review? Can't come soon enough....

  • Old Tory
    May 11, 2015 - 14:23

    Backroom wins again. Unreal, they still have their boy? My taxes better not be paying his salary. Look at the sheep taking it- stand up Darlene and James!!! Look at Fox, told me at a rally he was his own man- yeah right! Done- Go Green!

  • Are you kidding?
    May 11, 2015 - 14:23

    This is a completely entitled and egotistical move. This guy was rejected by the people of District 13, but has the nerve to expect the PC Party to pay him a salary of $120k a do NOTHING for the next FOUR years. Unreal.

  • Borden Voter
    May 11, 2015 - 14:21

    Jamie Fox, take a look at his expression not happy yet going along with it. I voted for you and you said you would fight for the people and would not be told what to do by the backroom boys in ctown- well guess what, they are controlling you and you are no different. Got your salary - The backroom of Murray, Lee, McQuaid et al want there boy and now he is still leader. Unreal. Never again- James should be the leader and you know it! Speak up Fox!

    • Porky
      May 11, 2015 - 17:35

      What does a fox say? Nothing!

  • Luck of the draw
    May 11, 2015 - 14:10

    He could use some adjusting , I am sorry but to us he comes off as flat, and unconvincing and slightly aloof. Like someone maybe in Ottawa? They have a large enough membership to rethink and revise. But is their call. Maybe they think he is the best for any agenda or vision they have for the future?

  • really
    May 11, 2015 - 13:51

    one word>>> Selfish

  • Laugh and a Half
    May 11, 2015 - 13:51

    So he's going to sit in the bleachers for 4 years and then what? He couldn't win in BRIGHTON - where the heck is he going to run 4 years from now? Not in rural PEI that's for sure! I was sure the party would make the right decision and this press conference was going to be an announcement to pass the torch to James Aylward. This is insane. Especially when Aylward is sitting there ready to lead, I might tear up my membership

  • Blow your mind!
    May 11, 2015 - 13:42

    Did I just read this right?? He lost his own district where he was born and raised to an unknown and he thinks people want him to stay on as leader??? The PCs picked up almost NO new voters this time around but the Backroom Boys still thinks this is best for the party??? I felt bad for mr lantz before now but not anymore. I thought this press conference was to announce his resignation. Lantz should know better than to listen to the backroom. They'll dump him after they find a new guy that will listen to them, I agree with paul macneil that a blood bath is coming!! I'm glad I'm a NDPer

  • party faithful
    May 11, 2015 - 13:41

    Ok you tried ..... you lost .... move on..... do you expect the the party to foot the $107,000 for you every year ? An effective opposition leader needs a seat in the legislature , let one of the successful elected candidates take the reigns

  • Why
    May 11, 2015 - 13:40

    Why would they leave him in the position of leader when he couldn't even win his seat ! Not much different then Ghiz employing Alan Campbell when the people DID NOT WANT HIM !! Alyward for leader !

    • bert
      May 11, 2015 - 14:43

      Alan Campbell must be a good, smart worker as our new Premier has kept him employed. You must be jealous of Mr. Campbell.

    • amazed
      May 11, 2015 - 20:20

      Campbell is done. He is back fishing lobster

  • What A Happy Bunch
    May 11, 2015 - 13:34

    Doesn't look like the PCs are overly happy with Lantz's leadership announcement. He should just step aside and let Aylward take the reigns!

    • party faithfull
      May 12, 2015 - 07:25

      Seems to me all you guys on here have all the answers as to how to win an election--but you don't have the guts to offer your name when it comes time the nominate- too bad you weren't in the last election cause by reading all the comments I see we could have won the election hands down taking all seats!!!! KEEP ME POSTED SO I CAN CHOOSE THE RIGHT CANDIDATE THE NEXT TIME!!!!