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P.E.I. Green leader open to working with King, Liberals

Green Leader Peter Bevan-Baker speaks to reporters in Charlottetown on Wednesday afternoon. Bevan-Baker said he believed he could work together with Dennis King on a personal level.
Green Leader Peter Bevan-Baker speaks to reporters in Charlottetown on Wednesday afternoon. Bevan-Baker said he believed he could work together with Dennis King on a personal level. - Stu Neatby
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

Green Leader Peter Bevan-Baker said he would be willing to work with both the incumbent Liberals and the Progressive Conservatives.

"All options are still available. Dennis, of course, has the most seats. I think the ball is in his court as to what to do," Bevan-Baker said at a media event on Wednesday afternoon.

But Bevan-Baker mentioned specifically that he believed he could work with King personally.

"I really have confidence, at an individual, personal level, in terms of being able to work together," Bevan-Baker said of King.

During the campaign, Bevan-Baker and King clashed several times during public leaders debates on the issue of carbon pricing.

The Green platform called for a carbon pricing regime similar to the federal plan implemented by Prime Minister Trudeau. Under this plan, the price of transportation fuel would rise, but could be offset by a dividend paid out to most Islanders.

On Wednesday, Bevan-Baker said he was still willing to work on the issue. But, he said he was unsure of the PC plans on the matter.

"The PCs have not really been clear on what their plan is. They're very clear that they don't like the carbon tax, but they have not really come forward with any sorts of other options," Bevan-Baker said.

'Discussion is over' on electoral reform

King has said he would prefer to negotiate a “made-in-P.E.I.” alternative to carbon pricing with the federal government, one that would focus on reducing carbon emissions without imposing a tax on fossil fuels.

Bevan-Baker said he also believed the PCs and Greens could agree on some methods of reducing carbon emissions, such as investing in public transit and electric charging stations or investing in solar energy.

Bevan-Baker also said he would accept the results of the province’s referendum. On Tuesday, 51 per cent of Islanders voted against the adoption of mixed member proportional, although most Islanders voted in favour of reform in 15 out of 27 districts.

"I think, at this point in time, that discussion is over," he said.

Bevan-Baker also said these were early days for the Island’s new government. He said he is still getting used to the words ‘Green caucus.’

"That's new territory for me. My caucus was Hannah and I getting together over a coffee," he said.

Twitter.com/stu_neatby

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