CBC P.E.I. anchor says he turned down request to run for PC leadership

Teresa Wright twright@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on March 1, 2014

Longtime broadcaster Bruce Rainnie has put some of the best experiences and anecdotes in his first book. Right Place, Right Time: Sidney, Heather, Boomer and Me, the first printing of which sold out in record time for Acorn Press. A second print run has been done and is now available to the public.

©GUARDIAN PHOTO BY MARY MACKAY

No one has yet put their name forward for the permanent leadership of the Progressive Conservative party, but operatives within the party have been busy trying to round up candidates.

CBC Charlottetown’s suppertime news anchor Bruce Rainnie was approached last fall.

Rumours the CBC personality was considering running for the Tory leadership have been making the rounds in political circles and coffee shops for months.

Rainnie admits he was approached, unsolicited, in September.

He turned the offer down.

“It’s not something I ever considered,” Rainnie said in an interview with The Guardian.

He says he took about six weeks before he gave them an answer, which may have been what fuelled rumours he was seriously considering the job.

“It’s never something I saw myself doing, to be honest,” he said.

“Anytime you get an offer that’s potentially attractive in life, I think you owe it to everybody, both yourself and the people making the offer, to respect it and think about it. And when I thought about it, it was a no-brainer to keep doing what I’m doing.”

This is not the first time Rainnie has been asked to run for the PC leadership. He says he was also approached four years ago.

This time, he felt it was important to speak publicly about it because he wants to retain non-partisan neutrality in his work.

Rainnie is not the first well-known Island personality the PC party has asked to run for the leadership.

Celebrity sportscaster and former NHL coach Doug MacLean has also been approached and has stated publicly he is considering a run for the leadership.

But MacLean has also admitted he has never been involved with the party and would have to make a big change in his current living situation - he lives in Florida, commutes to Toronto for work and only spends time in P.E.I. in the pleasant summer months.

Meanwhile, a year after Myers was voted interim party leader, no one has yet officially put their name forward as a candidate for permanent leadership.

A leadership convention was announced for fall of 2014, but with the provincial election still two-and-a-half years away, some party insiders believe it would be better to wait until closer to the 2016 vote before holding a leadership convention.

Party sources tell The Guardian a handful of people have indicated interest in launching a serious bid for the job, but are waiting until closer to the election before announcing anything publicly.

twright@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/GuardianTeresa