PEI

Lots of political activity on P.E.I. with visits from 3 federal ministers

With a federal election looming, there was no shortage of political activity on Prince Edward Island, Wednesday. 

'There's more dynamics now, or more volatility now than we've seen in some time'

The Liberals are neck and neck with the Conservatives in most polls across the country, which could mean P.E.I.'s four seats might matter a lot come election day, says political scientist and UPEI professor Don Desserud. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

With a federal election looming, there was no shortage of political activity on Prince Edward Island, Wednesday. 

Canada's Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna, Minister of Tourism Mélanie Joly, and International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr all made their way to the Island. 

The Liberals are neck and neck with the Conservatives in most polls across the country, which could mean P.E.I.'s four seats matter a lot come election day, said Don Desserud, a political scientist and professor at UPEI.

Desserud said those four seats could be a contributing factor to the flurry of political activity the Island is currently experiencing. 

"A lot of this has to do with trial runs. They want to test the grounds, see what the public reaction is out there, see how their messages are working, if they are working," Desserud said. 

"They know that some of these seats are probably not going to stay Liberal, so this is a way in which to support a local candidate. The local candidates usually like to have ministers come into the riding. It gives them a bit of prestige, to say 'Look, these are the kind of people I hang around with … these are the people I can talk to on your behalf,'" he said. 

'We're here with members of parliament who are doing such a terrific job representing P.E.I. interests,' says International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

'A place where we want to be'

Carr met with several Island businesses and local producers and was also spotted celebrating Old Home Week where he met with Islanders. 

"I don't think there's co-ordinated timing. I think it's just a place where we want to be. We're here with members of Parliament who are doing such a terrific job representing P.E.I. interests in the Parliament of Canada," Carr told CBC. 

Canada's Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna says the Liberal government has always made projects aimed at land preservation a priority. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

McKenna visited the Island's South Shore where she attended a couple of government announcements aimed at preserving P.E.I. land.   

"We've been protecting nature from the start," McKenna said. 

In this campaign, we have some baggage, and it's caused people to say to me, 'Now I'm weighing the alternatives.— Charlottetown MP Sean Casey

"We've been making announcements and moving forward on projects across the country since we were a government," the minister told CBC, addressing the day's chain of government announcements on the Island. 

Joly participated in a ceremony in Miscouche, P.E.I., as a part of this year's World Acadian Congress and the 135th anniversary of the adoption of the Acadian flag. 

Sean Casey, MP for Charlottetown also weighed in on the heavy political presence on the Island. 

Mélanie Joly participated in a ceremony in Miscouche, P.E.I., as a part of this year's World Acadian Congress and the 135th anniversary of the adoption of the Acadian flag.   (Rick Gibbs/CBC)

"When you're government, you accumulate baggage. And in the last campaign, Stephen Harper had all the baggage, and we had none, and people wanted to vote against Stephen Harper," he said. 

"In this campaign, we have some baggage, and it's caused people to say to me, 'Now I'm weighing the alternatives,'" Casey said.

'In the last campaign, Stephen Harper had all the baggage, and we had none, and people wanted to vote against Stephen Harper,' says Sean Casey. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

Changing times

"There's more dynamics now, or more volatility now than we've seen in some time," Desserud said. 

"We saw in our provincial election, that a lot more people are willing to change their vote, particularly those who usually vote Liberal. And if they're willing to change their vote when they vote Liberal provincially, they may be willing to change their vote and look for alternatives federally as well."

More P.E.I. news 

With files from CBC News: Compass

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now