PEI

Mitchell says he'll talk to Liberals before deciding whether to step down as interim leader

Robert Mitchell says he will talk to Liberals across the province before deciding whether to step down as the party's interim leader.

Pro-choice group calls for his resignation for attending March for Life rally on Sunday

Interim Liberal Leader Robert Mitchell listens to people call for his resignation at a pro-choice rally in Charlottetown on Tuesday. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

Robert Mitchell says he will talk to Liberals across the province before deciding whether to step down as the party's interim leader.

A few dozen people gathered in front of Province House on Tuesday to protest Mitchell's attendance at an anti-abortion rally on Sunday and call for his resignation.

On Monday, Mitchell said he supports a woman's right to choose, but attended the March for Life rally on Sunday because he's committed to hearing from "all Islanders on all sides of all issues."

Mitchell was also at Tuesday's pro-choice rally and listened as people — some who identified themselves as Liberal members — took turns at a microphone calling for the party to remove him as leader.

A few dozen people attended the pro-choice rally in front of Province House. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

He said he met with the Liberal caucus and executive on Tuesday and said they are "very supportive" of his leadership.

"But there's other Islanders I will continue to talk to, there are other Liberal members I will continue to talk to. Obviously there's Liberal members who were here today that have indicated their wish, so we will continue to talk to people and see what evolves."

Attending a rally is an action in support of a rally, in particular when you are the leader of a political party.— Sara Roach-Lewis

Mitchell said he would continue to listen to all Islanders, but would not be attending anti-abortion rallies in the future.

"I am pro-choice," he said. "I stood with a cabinet, a Liberal government three years ago to that nature. Nothing has changed."

Mitchell said he wants to help rebuild the party after going from a majority government to third-party status after the April 23 election. 

Sara Roach-Lewis says it was 'absolutely unnecessary' for Mitchell to attend the March for Life rally. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

But Sara Roach-Lewis, one of the organizers at the pro-choice rally Tuesday, said Mitchell made that more difficult by showing up at the March for Life rally.

"They have had plenty of opportunity for their voices to be heard and it was absolutely unnecessary," she said. "Attending a rally is an action in support of a rally, in particular when you are the leader of a political party."

Mitchell said he has accepted an invitation to attend a pro-choice rally this weekend.

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