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

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

Published on February 24, 2015

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

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.