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Mildred Dover leaving politics to make way for rising star


Mildred Dover, minister of education and attorney general of P.E.I. at her government office in Charlottetown on Thursday after announcing she will not run again in the pending provincial election. Guardian photo

Mildred Dover is done with provincial politics.

The provinces attorney general and minister of education says she has decided to step aside to make room for someone she describes as a rising star with the Progressive Conservative party.

The new electoral map would have pitted Dover against Olive Crane in the new district of Morell-Mermaid.

After some soul-searching Dover decided it was time to say goodbye to provincial politics. She will stay on until a provincial election is called.

I think the die was cast with the passing of the third electoral boundaries map, Dover told The Guardian. The map split my current district into three sections. The second map would have been my preference.

Those sections are now represented by Elmer MacFadyen, Wilbur MacDonald and Olive Crane.

But Dover doesnt believed she was pushed out.

Crane had initially agreed to quit politics and return to the Department of Agriculture, from which shes on sabbatical.

But as time passed, Dover decided she would be the one to retire.

One more election would probably have been it for me, she said. The decision was mine.

Dover leaves behind a long list of accomplishments.

As health minister, she oversaw the opening of the new Prince County Hospital in Summerside, the Provincial Addictions Centre in Mount Herbert and the P.E.I. Cancer Treatment Centre in Charlottetown.

As education minister, she implemented the task force on education, which took a broad look at ways to improve student achievement.

Dover also faced mounting opposition from police officers regarding the new Police Act, establishing a civilian watchdog for Island police forces.

Despite the opposition, Dover pushed forward with the act.

Dover also served as Speaker of the P.E.I. legislature.

A decision to locate a waste-treatment centre in Tracadie Cross, which is in Dovers district, was among her most difficult times in politics, she said. The province later backed down from the decision after an outcry from area residents.

I felt that they would feel betrayed by my being in cabinet at the time, she said.

That was difficult for me because they were my constituents who were facing me and they were angry. A lot of them were my supporters. That was hard.

Dover becomes the fifth sitting Progressive Conservative to announce they will not be reoffering in the next provincial election. Also not running are Wilbur MacDonald, Beth MacKenzie, Helen MacDonald and Greg Deighan.

Dover hasnt decided what her future holds, but she says she doesnt see herself sitting idle too long.

Ive had my time in politics. Its been exciting, challenging but rewarding.

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