Lean P.E.I. cabinet more evidence of early election

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Janice Sherry, left, George Webster, Allen Roach, Alan McIsaac, Lt.-gov. Frank Lewis, Wade MacLauchlan, Doug Currie, Robert Henderson, and Valerie Docherty.

Premier Wade MacLauchlan announces what he is calling a pre-election cabinet

If it wasn’t a certainty beforehand, a spring provincial election is now as certain as the fact there will be muddy red roads across Prince Edward Island in a few weeks.

Shortly after being sworn in Monday as the province’s 32nd premier, Wade MacLauchlan introduced his new cabinet. The fact he has taken on a number of extra duties, in addition to his role as premier, and elected to make it the smallest cabinet allowable under the Executive Council Act indicates the current government has a short shelf life.

In addition to being premier, Mr. MacLauchlan has taken over as finance minister and the minister in charge of the energy portfolio. He will also be the minister responsible for Aboriginal affairs, Acadian affairs and minister of intergovernmental affairs.

Some heavier lifting will also be expected from three other politicians.

Education Minister Alan McIsaac is also now the minister of transportation and infrastructure renewal, Allen Roach is adding fisheries, aquaculture and rural development to his work as innovation minister and Health and Wellness Minister Doug Currie is being given the added responsibility for municipal affairs.

The remaining cabinet ministers, George Webster, Robert Henderson, Janice Sherry and Valerie Docherty, keep the same posts they had in the Robert Ghiz cabinet.

Opposition Leader Steven Myers says Mr. MacLauchlan’s cabinet is a lame-duck one. Or, to put it more colourfully, he said, “it’s just more of the same, an old coat of paint on an even older house with a cracked foundation.”

Mr. Myers is correct in saying there is nothing surprising or revolutionary in the new cabinet. We are still waiting for those announcements. But, given the fact a provincial election is at hand, there really was no sense in the new premier introducing more new ministers then necessary. It would simply have been a waste of energy and money.

As Mr. MacLauchlan said, it’s a pre-election cabinet. So while he may have disappointed opposition politicians with his low-key announcement, he has certainly given them another signal that an election is in the cards, either for late April or early May.


Island pride on display


Prince Edward Island sports history was made on Saturday night in the nation’s capital when two proud Islanders, Gerard ‘Turk’ Gallant and David Cameron, faced off against each other as NHL head coaches.

Mr. Gallant coaches the Florida Panthers while Mr. Cameron is head coach of the Ottawa Senators. And, to make things even better, another P.E.I. lad was behind one of the benches, assistant coach Mike Kelly of the Panthers.

The Ottawa team won the game, but in the minds of P.E.I. sports fans, all three men are winners when it comes to pursuing their dreams. Through the years, Prince Edward Island has always been blessed when it comes to our sporting heroes. No matter the sport, the individuals always come across as first-class. And they always go out of their way to promote their home province and help out with worthy causes.

Prior to Saturday’s game a television announcer had mentioned that he understood a lobster supper was on the line between the two head coaches. If that’s the case, Mr. Cameron has another good reason to come home this summer.

Organizations: Executive Council, NHL, Florida Panthers Ottawa Senators

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Ottawa

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Recent comments

  • Makes perfect sense
    February 25, 2015 - 07:19

    Appointing a transition cabinet with just a month or two left before an election just makes sense (to most people that is).

    February 24, 2015 - 16:32

    The expectations of the new premier are great. His strength will be his intelligence, and his ability to look for better ways. He must start with fairness and saving reforms. He must honor people that elect him by setting the same standards for elected and public servants as for the people that pay their wages. The MLA pensions must be re-vamped to reflect that of what the rest of us receive. An RRSP solution that would eliminated the administration of pensions in perpetuity for MLAs and deputy ministers should be the standard. What is going on now is not sustainable and grossly unfair to everybody else. The severance for both MLAs and deputy ministers must be eliminated. High salaries and benefits have been heaped on these two categories over the last few years, while the working men and women, who are paying, have been left behind. A fair balance will serve to recreate respect between the receivers and the payers, and make for a more harmonious and happy society.

  • Bob
    February 24, 2015 - 16:14

    The new Premier will have a challenge before him to clean house and pick new deputies and other staff, who have not been groomed in the dishonest, patronage ridden government of Ghiz. From the inept performance of the Ghiz government it is obvious that these highly paid and over pensioned people are not the quality their pay warrants.

  • redford
    February 24, 2015 - 16:09

    You don't have much to work with, and from the nomination announcements, not much on the horizon either. It is indeed unfortunate that more MLAs are not retiring and equally unfortunate that new quality candidates are not coming forth. The quality cabinet candidates will be sorely lacking, which will put more onus on you as a leader.

  • Velda
    February 24, 2015 - 16:01

    Nice to see the government 'cut to fit the cloth', or should I say fit the need and ability to pay of 140.000 people. Now keep it that way, Wade, and carry it through and cut the MLA numbers in half. Don't just be a Premier, be an intelligent reformer.

  • Ralph
    February 24, 2015 - 15:56

    Does that mean we are paying two chief of staffs $ 135.000 a year, or what became of Alan Campbell? He is now the taxpayers' ward for life??

  • observer
    February 24, 2015 - 15:53

    I take issue with appointing defeated or ex- MLAs giving up their seats to Chief of Staff. Where did that post come from a anyway. A.B. Campbell did not need such a beast. The staff in the Ghiz office was bloated, partly because he himself did not know anything, and partly because he wanted to reward pals, who were good golf players. I would not have expected Mr. MacLaughlin to have fallen into such a blatant trap as to appoint Mr. Vessey. This has unfortunately tainted the new Premier from the onset of his term, and left us uneasy. In my own case, I will vote for an alternate party for that very reason.

  • Walter
    February 24, 2015 - 15:39

    The true fact is that this temporary arrangement will not harm the operations at all. PEI could be run by a GOOD Premier and 4-5 advisors all alone. It can only be hoped that this new Premier will exercise his opportunity for true reform and arrange for a reduction in the number of MLAs, their salaries and pensions, and reflect new thinking and streamlining that will enable the small tax base of PEI to afford governing ourselves, and still provide essential services..

  • Once a Tory never Again..
    February 24, 2015 - 10:36

    Wow Steve, nice language.... Can someone put a gag on this guy before he embarrasses us even more.... Really a cracked foundation... wow your a bad boy!!!

    • sure
      February 24, 2015 - 22:21

      He's right this is the same old house with a new roof on it but,there's still rot in the walls!