TIGNISH — The Christmas holidays loom large for Egmont Member of Parliament and Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea.
In a year-end interview, Shea said she plans to take some down time during the holidays and have a discussion with her family about her political future.
“At some point in the future, probably early in the new year, I will be ready to make an announcement on what my plans are for 2015,” said Shea who has been a federal cabinet minister ever since becoming a Member of Parliament in 2008.
Shea admitted there are plenty of things to discuss, including time away from family, before making her decision.
Reminded that her announcement is likely of interest to Conservatives who might be interested in seeking the Egmont seat if she chooses not to run, the Fisheries and Oceans minister pointed out the nomination process has not yet opened up.
The process, she suggested, has been complicated by what’s happening on the provincial scene, with Liberal and Progressive Conservative leadership conventions happening in February and the likelihood of a provincial election in the spring of 2015.
“There will be a lot of political activity, and you certainly don’t want to confuse voters of who is running where,” she said.
Shea expressed confidence the federal election in 2015 will be happening in October. She’s not subscribing to political pundits’ speculation that the election date might be advanced to the spring of 2015 to avoid potential political backlash from the Mike Duffy trial.
“I don’t see that; I haven’t heard any talk about it. All I’ve ever heard from our party and from the Prime Minister is that the election is set for October, 2015,” she emphasized.
She did acknowledge that 2015 is shaping up to be a busy year for provincial and federal politics in P.E.I.
While she is remaining on-the-fence about her future in federal politics, Shea did make it abundantly clear she will not be seeking the leadership of the P.E.I. Progressive Conservative Party.
“I have given thought to that. I’ve been asked by a number of people to consider running for the provincial leadership, but I’ve declined,” she said. “I wasn’t interested.”
As for throwing her support behind a leadership candidate, “I really will not do that, because I have to work with whoever wins the leadership,” she said. “I will do what I can to support whoever wins, but I will not be backing any particular leadership candidate.”