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Mary MacKay - Viking Voyage

A first for everything - A furry-faced friend on the wharf at Straitsview, N.L., peeked around the Be Faithful 2 sailboat’s awning, followed by a smiling face of the human kind. “I hear someone wants a shower here,” spoke the latter, which happened to be Barbara Blake, whose home was just a jaunt down the road from the Parks Canada National Historic Site of L’Anse aux Meadows. Charlottetown sailors Geoff and Jane Ralling and I had been in this northern Newfoundland community for a few days visiting the Viking archeological site before it was time to set sail for the Gulf of St. Lawrence and our Prince Edward Island home, following a route that could have been taken by the Norse explorers 1,000 years ago. “I’ve left the door open. Towels and facecloths are by the sink,” my generous host offered, after giving me rudimentary directions to her house in Straitsview where the Blakes and Hedderson mailboxes rule the roads. To be sure and to avoid any lurid B&E shower-stealing charges on my part, I checked the route carefully to avoid accidentally taking a surprise advantage of any other local resident’s open door policy. The Rallings tell me that’s what happens in Newfoundland – you land at the wharf, tell them what you need and help usually arrives: fuel, fish, a friendly offer of the use of a vehicle. Well for me, that gift of a shower was a first and it was one of many for this Viking Voyage. I’d never really even been to sea before, let alone…

Photo : Mary MacKay August 15, 2014

Ryan Ross - Between the lines -- Ryan Ross

Where will Wade MacLauchlan run? - With an early election a near certainty the nominations for Liberal candidates in ridings across the province are filling up fast. Leader in waiting Wade MacLauchlan’s name is notably absent from the list. As of Feb. 21 MacLauchlan will officially become the Liberal leader and by default the premier. He also won’t have a seat in the legislature and hasn’t declared where he plans to run. If he were to run in his home riding MacLauchlan would seek a seat in York-Oyster Bed, but the problem is that district already has a nominated candidate. Transportation Minister Robert Vessey, who is also one of MacLauchlan’s campaign chairs, holds the seat and received the nomination way back in May 2014. He was the first candidate the party nominated for the next election. That means MacLauchlan would lose a prominent cabinet minister as a candidate if he wants to run in his home riding. So what are his other options? Unless more MLAs say they won’t run again the only district without a candidate is Cornwall-Meadowbank, thanks to Fisheries Minister Ron MacKinley deciding not to re-offer. MacLauchlan has been playing his cards close to his chest so we’ll all have to wait and see what he wants to do. But with a spring election likely on the horizon we’ll probably find out sooner rather than later.

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Photo : Ryan Ross February 11, 2015

Teresa Wright - Between the lines -- Teresa Wright

Trudeau circa 2013 vs. Trudeau the PM in P.E.I. - Justin Trudeau took a lot of selfies with Prince Edward Islanders during his whirlwind visit this week, but unfortunately that’s virtually all there was to it. It was a ‘photo-op only’ visit, even though it was his first visit to this province since becoming PM almost a year ago. After covering his three-hour stopover, I couldn’t help but note the difference between Trudeau the prime minister and Trudeau circa 2013, when he came to Charlottetown as leader of the third party in Ottawa. During that visit, Trudeau walked down some of the same streets where he “mainstreeted” earlier this week in Charlottetown. He wasn’t PM then, but he still drew crowds of fans and trailed national media. The scene was almost identical, except for the size of the crowds. The biggest difference was the treatment of media. In 2013, he stopped on Victoria Row and took questions from Parliament hill reporters who followed him here. I continued to follow him to his next destination, where he obligingly answered a few local questions. The next day, he offered The Guardian a full, one-on-one interview and addressed local issues in depth. But try as I might to pester and plead with Trudeau’s press secretary on Tuesday for even one question, I was told there would be no questions to the PM during his P.E.I. visit. Instead, he walked down streets, shook hands and held babies. He was warm, but focused and deliberate. No false moves, no frowns or awkward moments. Those of us in the traditional media…

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Photo : Teresa  Wright August 18, 2016