PEI

Trudeau looks to P.E.I. for advice on minority government

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’ll be looking for advice from P.E.I. Premier Dennis King on how to run a successful minority government.

'I look forward to picking your brain,' PM tells Premier Dennis King

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and P.E.I. Premier Dennis King met on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he'll be looking for advice from P.E.I. Premier Dennis King on how to run a successful minority government.

King, whose Progressive Conservative Party won a minority government on P.E.I. in April, met with Trudeau on Tuesday in Ottawa. He was the first premier to meet with the prime minister since Canadians voted in a Liberal minority on Oct. 21.

Trudeau, who has yet to announce when Parliament will return, said King has managed a minority government in a "very constructive and productive way."

"I look forward to picking your brain on that, on how you're working so well with others because that's something that's really important to me as well," Trudeau said.

King said he and Trudeau spoke about "a continuation of important files" such as health care, rural transportation, a new ferry between Wood Islands, P.E.I., and Caribou, N.S., and finding economic opportunities in environmentally-friendly technology and infrastructure.

King says if Ottawa adopted P.E.I.'s 'refreshing political system,' it would be a proud moment for all Islanders. (CBC)

But minority governments were a natural topic of conversation, King said.

"I told the prime minister that while we lead the country in per capita exports, and if we can export our political system — the refreshing political system that has been in place since the election in April — if we could export that to Ottawa it would be one of the proudest moments for all Islanders."

King said Trudeau will have to get "creative" in order to get legislation passed in Parliament as tensions remain high between the federal Liberal and Conservative parties. 

"He will need partnerships from all different parties and he will need, at some point, partnership from members of the Conservative Party," King said.

"And I believe if he goes about the process the right way and is genuine, as I believe he is, I think he will find that."

More P.E.I. news

With files from Nicole Williams

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