Time was right for cabinet shuffle, premier says

Two long-time MLAs are stepping down from cabinet amid a major shuffle that means there will be no representation in cabinet east of Charlottetown.​

Roach and McIsaac say they will continue to advocate for Islanders

Premier Wade MacLauchlan announced a major cabinet shuffle on Wednesday, after two cabinet ministers decided to step down and said they wouldn't be seeking re-election. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

Two long-time MLAs are stepping down from cabinet amid a major shuffle that means there will be no representation in cabinet east of Charlottetown.​

Both Allen Roach, the former finance minister, and Alan McIsaac, the former agriculture and fisheries minister, are not running for re-election.

Premier Wade MacLauchlan said the government was approaching the three-year point in its mandate and with two ministers not seeking re-election, there was an opportunity to shuffle the cabinet.

Right time

Roach said he's been thinking of retiring for the past few months and the time was right to step down from cabinet now.

"I felt it was probably the best time to step down in terms of renewal in the party and getting things going in the forward direction for the party as a whole," Roach said.

Alan MacIsaac, the former agriculture and fisheries minister, says he's stepping down from cabinet and not seeking re-election in order to spend more time with his family. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

McIsaac said he was following through on a New Year's resolution to spend more time with his family, in particular his young granddaughters.

"We are now past the halfway point, why take those who aren't going to run into the next [election]," McIsaac said. "We have fresh faces that are keen, we've made our contribution... I really look forward to what's in the government's future."

No eastern representation

Wednesday's shuffle means there are no cabinet ministers representing eastern P.E.I. (Roach is the MLA for Montague-Kilmuir, and McIsaac represents Vernon River-Stratford.)

MacLauchlan and the departing MLAs reassured that end of the Island will still be looked after by cabinet and the sitting MLAs.

Allen Roach, the former minister of finance, stepped down from cabinet today after saying he would not be seeking re-election. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

MacLauchlan said one of the reasons he asked Education Minister Jordan Brown to add justice and public safety to his
portfolio was to free up his own time.

"I've lightened up my load by leaving justice and public safety and that's an opportunity for me to get out and work more directly with communities," MacLauchlan said. "We've got a minister of rural and regional development and as I see it we have a whole government that's committed to communities doing well and indeed that we can show that communities are doing well in all parts of the province."

Roach said he would continue to be an advocate for eastern P.E.I. and suggested he would have more freedom to "pester" cabinet ministers about issues.

"I think that eastern P.E.I. has had great representation," Roach said, "and I will assure you, as well as everybody else in P.E.I., that I'm going to be extremely active in representing Montague, Kilmuir and the rest of eastern P.E.I."