Wade MacLauchlan officially Liberal leader, premier-designate

Teresa Wright twright@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on February 21, 2015

Wade MacLauchlan says he will focus on prosperity and people as he takes over as premier of Prince Edward Island, promising to be a collaborative leader who will take the high road.

MacLauchlan delivered his inaugural speech as premier-designate to a crowd of over 800 supporters at the Convention Centre in Charlottetown. In it, he presented some themes he said would be priorities for his government, including growing the economy, increasing immigration rates including inter-provincial migration and enhancing public engagement.

READ THE FULL TEXT OF WADE MACLAUCHLAN'S SPEECH HERE

FOLLOW OUR LIVE BLOG FROM THE CONVENTION FLOOR

He did also add a few other hints at what will likely be future policy directions going forward.

Government should lead by example and balance the budget, he said.

In health and education, he said the province should “direct the greatest possible share of our human and financial resources to front-line services.”

Regarding the environment, he noted P.E.I. is a world leader in renewable energy, but said we can do more as “an important first step as we turn our attention to climate change.”

He believes getting the public more engaged requires a more open government. To that effect, he noted an opportunity to make government data open and accessible.

RELATED:  Wade MacLauchlan: Taking P.E.I.'s pulse

He talked about strengthening local governments and communities, especially rural communities.

A further strategic priority will be to put Prince Edward Island on the map, nationally and internationally, he said, adding that he intends to lead this effort.

He paid tribute to the P.E.I.’s two Mi’Kmaq First Nations and promised to give prominence to government’s relationship with the Mi’maq people.

He remained high level on policy, focusing mainly on presenting his optimistic view of Islanders, the province and its future.

He presented himself as humble, but also experienced and ready to lead P.E.I. and take the province to the next level.

“Islanders understand and value leadership. They want leadership that is positive and optimistic, leadership that is strong, experienced and resourceful,” he said.

“I offer you mine, drawing on decades of involvements in community, philanthropic and business endeavours.”

The Liberal party will take the high road going forward, he said, adding his belief that Islanders and Canadians alike are tired of “chippiness and cheap shots.”

“We will call on our better nature, and we will call on others to be better natured.”

The crowd was pleased and excited by his speech, many lingering for over an hour after the event ended to chat amongst one another about their enthusiasm for their new premier-designate.

A number of congratulatory video messages from some prominent current and former politicians were played during the convention, including from premiers Kathleen Wynne and Brian Gallant, former premiers Frank McKenna and Alex Campbell and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement Saturday welcoming MacLauchlan as premier-designate of P.E.I.

“I look forward to working with Mr. MacLauchlan to advance the interests of the people of Prince Edward Island and all Canadians, with a view to creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity across the province and country,” Harper said. 

“I would also like to thank outgoing Premier Robert Ghiz and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”

MacLauchlan will be sworn in as P.E.I.’s 32nd premier on Monday.

 

twright@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/GuardianTeresa

LEADERSHIP LEADERSHIP

Published on 21 February 2015

Prince Edward Island's newest premier, Wade MacLauchlan, waves to the Liberal party faithful after he gave his speech after he was named party leader and premier during the party's cionvention in Charlottetown Saturday

Photos by Guardian photo by Brian McInnis

LIBERAL LEADERSHIP

Published on 21 February 2015

Wade MacLauchlan, right, makes his way to the stage to make his speech while his partner, Duncan McIntosh, applauds. 

Photos by Guardian photo by Brian McInnis

LIBERAL LEADERSHIP

Published on 21 February 2015

Wade Maclauchlan signs and noise makers were much in evidence during the convention.

Photos by Guardian photo by Brian McInnis

LIBERAL LEADERSHIP

Published on 21 February 2015

Wade MacLauchlan speaks to the Liberal leadership convention in Charlottetown Saturday and he will become the Island's next premier when he is sworn in Monday.

Photos by Guardian photo by Brian McInnis

LIBERAL LEADERSHIP

Published on 21 February 2015

Wade MacLauchlan speaks to the Liberal leadership convention in Charlottetown Saturday and he will become the Island's next premier when he is sworn in Monday.

Photos by Guardian photo by Brian McInnis

LIBERAL LEADERSHIP

Published on 21 February 2015

P.E.I Premier designate Wade macLauchlan speaks to the Liberal leadership convention in Charlottetown Saturday. MacLauchlan will become the Island's 32nd premier when he is sworin into office Monday.

Photos by Guardian photo by Brian McInnis

LIBERAL LEADERSHIP

Published on 21 February 2015

Marjorie MacLauchlan, mother of Wade MacLauchlan listensas he son makes his speech during the Liberal leadership convention in Charlottetown Saturday. With her is MacLauchlan's partner, Duncan McIntosh. MacLauchlan wil become the Island's 32nd premier when he is sworn in Monday.

Photos by Guardian photo by Brian McInnis

LIBERAL LEADERSHIP

Published on 21 February 2015

Wade MacLauchlan hugs his partner, Duncan McIntosh, as MacLauchlan made his way to the podium during the Liberal leadership convention Saturday in Charlottetown.

Photos by Guardian photo by Brian McInnis

LIBERAL LEADERSHIP

Published on 21 February 2015

Wade  MacLauchlan is congratulated by Premier Robert Ghiz after MacLauchlan was named premier Saturday in Charlottetown. He will be sworn in to office Monday.

Photos by Guardian photo by Brian McInnis

LIBERAL LEADERSHIP

Published on 21 February 2015

Wade MacLauchlan speaks to the Liberal leadership convention in Charlottetown Saturday and he will become the Island's next premier when he is sworn in Monday.

Photos by Guardian photo by Brian McInnis

LIBERAL LEADERSHIP

Published on 21 February 2015

Wade MacLauchlan speaks to the Liberal leadership convention in Charlottetown Saturday and he will become the Island's next premier when he is sworn in Monday.

Photos by Guardian photo by Brian McInnis

LIBERAL LEADERSHIP

Published on 21 February 2015

Premier Robert Ghiz and his wife Dr. Kate Ellis applaud Wade MacLauchlan during his speech to the Liberal leadership convention Saturday in Charlottetown.

Photos by Guardian photo by Brian McInnis

LIBERAL LEADERSHIP

Published on 21 February 2015

The McGuire sisters sing O Canada to open the :iberal leadership convention.

Photos by Guardian photo by Brian McInnis

LIBERAL LEADERSHIP

Published on 21 February 2015

Wade MacLauchlan greets Liberal party faithful as he makes his way to the stage during the party's leadership convention in Charlottetown Saturday.

Photos by Guardian photo by Brian McInnis

LIBERAL LEADERSHIP

Published on 21 February 2015

Wade MacLauchlan greets Liberal party faithful as he makes his way to the stage during the party's leadership convention in Charlottetown Saturday.

Photos by Guardian photo by Brian McInnis