Rob Lantz celebrates Progressive Conservative leadership victory
Rob Lantz voted leader of P.E.I. Progressive Conservatives Saturday
Rob Lantz, the new leader of P.E.I.'s Progressive Conservative Party, has a warning for the Liberals: don't think we're not ready for an election.
Lantz delivered the message in his victory speech at the PC party convention in Charlottetown Saturday afternoon.
"Our opponents think we aren’t ready and that now is the time to strike and claim another 4 years of government for themselves," he said.
"They are wrong. The PC Party is alive and well. I look out at you today and I see a party ready for the job at hand."
The first thing Lantz did when his victory was announced was to call defeated candidates James Aylward and Darlene Compton to the stage, who declared his victory unanimous.
"I campaigned on the need for unity in the party. This is now the time for that unity," said Lantz.
"We may have differed on the question of who should lead this party, but we are one on the question of which party should lead this province."
The Liberals, led by Wade MacLauchlan, who was just named leader last Saturday, are expected to call an election this spring.
Focus on the debt
Lantz turned his sights on the Liberal Party, which has been in government since 2007.
"This province has serious problems," he said.
"We have been left with a debt that our children and grandchildren will spend their lives paying for."
Lantz said he intends to create sustainable communities across P.E.I., with prosperity led by the private sector.
Lantz called on the delegates to return to their home districts. The candidates will need everyone's help, he said, and in return they would help them for the coming four years after the election.
He told them to get to work returning the province to the responsible and caring government that it deserves.
"We will offer a government that spends within its means. And a government that cares," he said.
"Integrity, communities, economy: these will be the priorities of my government."
In an interview with CBC News following his victory speech, Lantz confessed to feeling very nervous when he first announced his intention to run as leader of the party, but said he felt very relaxed going into the convention Saturday.