4 Liberals announce they are out for next election
Four P.E.I. Liberal MLAs announced Friday they will not reoffer in a provincial election expected this year.
- Finance Minister Wes Sheridan
- Deputy Premier and Agriculture Minister George Webster
- Speaker Carolyn Bertram
- backbench MLA Gerard Greenan
Sheridan said he is leaving politics to help care for his wife, who has been suffering from an auto-immune disease for several years.
“It has been an incredible honour and a privilege to serve this Premier and the people of Prince Edward Island as the elected Member for Kensington-Malpeque and as the Minister [responsible] for provincial Finance over the past seven-and-a-half years,” said Sheridan.
Sheridan added he is disappointed he will not be part of what he expects will be a new Liberal government following the coming election.
Webster said he made the decision not to reoffer after talking it over with his family. He said it is important for the Liberals to have a level of renewal going into the next election.
“I am very passionate about agriculture and am pleased to have made substantial improvements in how agriculture is applied to our land, our greatest resource,” he said.
Carolyn Bertram is the longest serving MLA of the four, first elected in 2003 as an opposition MLA. That was also Premier Robert Ghiz’s first election.
When the Liberals won government in 2007, Bertram was appointed to cabinet, serving as health minister and minister of communities, cultural affairs and labour. After winning re-election in 2011 Bertram was appointed speaker.
"I have been honoured to be elected for three terms and represent and work for the people of my district and province,” said Bertram in a news release.
“I wish to express sincere appreciation to my District, my colleagues from the Legislature and my family. It's been a wonderful life experience, and I look forward to the future ahead."
Gerard Greenan, who was first elected in 2007, said he is leaving politics to spend more time with his family.
“This personal decision will allow me to spend more time with my family and will provide Elizabeth and me some leisure time to enjoy other activities,” he said.
‘Bringing people new into public life’ MacLauchlan
Wade MacLauchlan, speaking to CBC radio’s Island Morning Wednesday after confirmation that he was the only candidate in the running for the Liberal Party leadership, said he was interested in seeing some turnover in the candidates running for the Liberal Party.
"The most successful political parties if you look across the country, maybe take the Progressive Conservatives at one time in Ontario, operated more or less on the idea that you should have a [turnover of a] third of your cast, bringing people new into public life each time you go to the polls. And I think, well it worked for them," he said.
The Liberals currently hold 23 seats in the legislature.
MacLauchlan will be confirmed as leader at a convention on Feb. 21. Under fixed election date legislation the province is scheduled to go to the polls Oct. 5, but with the change in leadership an election is expected earlier, perhaps in the spring.