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Leader of the Island Party of Prince Edward Island, Billy Cann. (Island Party)

Former Liberal Billy Cann has made a switch.

In 2007, Cann ran against Conservative MLA Jim Bagnall in the Montague-Kilmuir district. He lost by 134 votes.

In the 2011 election, however, Cann leads the new Island Party of Prince Edward Island, which wasn’t even a glimmer on the political horizon until it’s formation about a year ago.

The Island Party, which touts itself as being a grassroots alternative to the Liberals and Conservatives, may face an uphill battle in this, its first election.

Cann said he is committed to job creation, reducing the provincial deficit and debt, holding government accountable for fiscal management and more efficient delivery of government services. In March 2011, Cann was voted leader by acclamation after interim leader Jay Gallant stepped down. Gallant took on the role initially when the party needed to name someone in order to be able to register as an official political party.

The party hopes to run a full slate in the election and has announced five confirmed candidates.