Casey part of P.E.I. tradition

Wayne Thibodeau
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Kathleen Casey is the new Speaker of the Prince Edward Island legislature.
Casey, the MLA for District 14, Charlottetown-Lewis Point, was the only name nominated for the post, says Charles MacKay, clerk of the legislative assembly.
A second woman, Paula Biggar, the MLA for District 23, Tyne Valley-Linkletter, will be named deputy Speaker.
Premier Robert Ghiz had all but suggested Casey would be the chosen one for the Speaker's role.
Still, the position is an elected one.
In 1995, the province changed the rules, making the Speaker's role an elected position. Up until then, cabinet decided who would preside over the workings of house.
However, the governing party still plays a big role in who is elected Speaker, usually directing its members to vote for the candidate they feel would best fill the position.
Reached Thursday, Casey said she is honoured to be elected as P.E.I.'s 40th Speaker.
Casey was careful to say she was not officially Speaker until the P.E.I. legislature resumes late this afternoon and she's officially elected.
But with nobody else nominated, and nominations closing Wednesday, there's no doubt she's going to be Speaker.
"It's a time-honoured tradition," Casey told The Guardian.
Casey has served as a city councillor, parks superintendent and recreation director before being elected as an MLA in May. She's also well known for her involvement with the Hockey Mommas, a group of hockey mothers who have raised funds for breast cancer research.
Casey is married to Sean Casey, who is president of the Prince Edward Island Liberal Party. They have two children, Ryan and Dean.
In Casey's absence, Paula Biggar will be Speaker.
Biggar is an educational assistant with the Western School Board and a lifelong resident of Prince County. She lives in Bideford with her husband, Dale, and have two children, Tasha and Tabatha.
There has only been one secret ballot election for Speaker since the legislation was changed in 1995.
Two years later, in 1997, Conservative Wilbur MacDonald and Liberal Nancy Guptill were nominated for the post.
MacDonald was elected by the Conservative majority in the house.
He became the Island's first elected Speaker.
All the other Speakers, including Casey, have been acclaimed.
The Speaker presides over debates in the house and ensures the rules are followed. The position is supposed to be impartial and politically neutral.
Casey said she hopes to be able to set a positive tone in the Island legislature.
"I hope that I will be able to set a tone for the house where there will be utmost of decorum."

Organizations: The Guardian, Prince Edward Island Liberal Party, Western School Board

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Tyne Valley, Prince

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Recent comments

  • Chris
    June 21, 2010 - 20:42

    Liberal election promises:

    1. No more patronage
    2. $2,000 for students
    3. No more MLA's on executive committees
    4. Inquiry into Polar Foods' bankruptcy
    5. No termination of Tory employees

    Liberal actions in government:

    1. Patronage hirings of deputy ministers. Patronage sham-elections for a speaker (shes the wife of liberal party president sean casey).
    2. Nuts to the students, the Libs decided to break their education promises days after the election.
    3. On their first day as a sworn in government they broke a key election promise and named backbench MLA's to committees.
    4. Ghiz cancelled their plans for an inquiry into the polar foods bankrupcty. Why? Well, it probably wouldnt look very good for him when a judge stood up and said no Tories did anything wrong, especially not Pat Binns.
    5. Dozens of Tories within the civil service have lost their jobs, some being forced to move away from PEI to find new employment.


    The Liberal Party made over 100 promises in the election campaign. So far, they haven't kept a single one.

    Promises made. Promises broken. A new Liberal era begins. RIP PEI.

  • Hello
    June 21, 2010 - 20:39

    Nope...........no patronage here. Remember Islanders first for a change... ha ha ha ha ha ha

  • joe
    June 21, 2010 - 20:39

    Yes,that was a good letter Sean,sorry I mean Doc your grammar and spelling were impeccable

  • Wapus
    June 21, 2010 - 20:32

    To iggnorant & others who do not agree with all that the Ghiz gov't has done so far: It's too bad that Ghiz did not receive your application to act as his advisor in time. I'm sure he could use people like you on his staff. You could twiddle your thumbs, give advice and get off welfare.....but pls do not write for him...you can recommend your sister or brother but if they are qualified. you may become a victim of patronage. I am not a Liberal but I do recognize talent when I see it.

  • Alan
    June 21, 2010 - 20:24

    To those people who are complaining about patronage at the highest levels of government wake-up.... Deputy Ministers and the like. These people are hired to be fired and they know this going in, they are not all like road workers, etc. they are confidants of the Minister so you tell me is it reasonable to think that persons appointed by the Conservatives because of their loyalty to the PC Party to work well under the Liberals. In a word NO! Leaving these people in place would be inviting sabotage, thats why these positions fall under a very different set of rules than do other positions within the civil service and so they should.

  • JD
    June 21, 2010 - 20:22

    how much longer will anyone who criticizes Ghiz be accused of being a Tory whiner.

    The election is long over. Binns is long gone. Is there really anyone out there who is still hurting over the PC loss???

  • Chris
    June 21, 2010 - 20:16

    Hey Sean (Casey) I didnt know your nickname was Doc

    Actually, now that I think about it, your nickname changes for every story on the guardian site.

    Weird.

  • ed
    June 21, 2010 - 20:01

    I suppose Seans presence as President of the PEI Liberals is only a coincidence. What a joke the new Liberal government is turning out to be.

  • Cheryl
    June 21, 2010 - 19:54

    I hope the Status of Women are happy now.
    They have done such a fine job of promoting the interests of women...that we now get the left-over jobs that the men don't want.

    So much for being duly elected..wonder if any men wanted the post or if the Liberals feel this is where women belong. If this will keep the women quiet.
    I am disgusted that at least she couldn't win the post in an election. Bring back Nancy Guptill or even worse Cather Callbeck at least these people won their posts.

    But somehow I suspect the Status of Women will applaud these appointments and not really understand how disgusting this really is.
    Women have come a long way for sure!

  • joe
    June 21, 2010 - 19:53

    Coming home for Old Home Week Frank

  • pants on fire
    June 21, 2010 - 19:46

    Maybe people are complaining because ghiz and the liberals said they'd do one thing and now he's done another, appointing party hacks and personal cronies to senior government jobs.

  • frank
    June 21, 2010 - 19:44

    OH your poor Islanders.
    stop your griping,go pick strawberries.!!!!!!
    Former Islander Frank..

  • Doc
    June 21, 2010 - 19:42

    .
    Come on, people. Get over yourselves. The Tories cry foul at every Liberal move and the Liberals have to try to prove them wrong every step of the way.

    To the Liberals out there....simply let the Tory whiners continue to show everyone else what uneducated fools they are. They were fool enough to believe that the Pat Binns Tory government didn't toss Liberals out of their jobs because of political affiliation. They were stupid enough to not see that the Pat Binns Tory government was throwing away the hard-earned money of Islanders with fiascos like Polar Foods. The list goes on and on but it would be a waste of pixels to continue listing them.

    Simply sit back...watch the spelling and grammatically challenged Tory whiners continue to tell us what they feel Premier Ghiz and his Liberal government is doing incorrectly...these whiners are the ones who, in the end, will look like the fools that they truly are.

    Folks, last time I checked, we live in a democracy where open elections are held and people can vote for whomever they see fit. If you will care to look back at the election results, you will see that the people of PEI were tired of the Tory government, led by Pat Binns, destroying the very fabric of our Fair Isle of Prince Edward so they voted for a Liberal government. Quit your whining and deal with it. It isn't going to change no matter how much you pi$$ and moan about it.

    The Liberal government will make mistakes. Everyone does. I can only hope that they don't make nearly as many mistakes as the Pat Binns Tory government made...because if they do, we are in a huge heap of trouble. Somehow, I don't see that being a problem as it would be very difficult to equal the record of incompetence Mr. Binns and his cronies have etched into the history of our beautiful Island.

    I shall now sit back and await the next round of crying and whining from the poor Tories. You all know it's coming...complete with copious amounts of spelling and grammatical errors.

  • still without a doc
    June 21, 2010 - 19:41

    doc if you are available maybe you can take patients.that is another promise to fill. in the meantime your buddy ghiz has promises to keep. maybe they were meaningless when you helped him draft them but since they were part of your platform don't you think they should be honored?