PEI

3rd-party status a 'learning experience' for P.E.I. Liberals

Liberal MLAs say they will refine their approach when the P.E.I. Legislature resumes in the spring.

Interim leader says Liberal MLAs will ask more questions, engage public

Interim Liberal Leader Sonny Gallant says the caucus met to discuss a new approach in the next sitting of the legislature. (Natalia Goodwin/CBC )

Liberal MLAs say they will refine their approach when the P.E.I. Legislature resumes in the spring.

For the first time on P.E.I., the Liberals sat in the house as the third party in a minority Progressive Conservative government. Interim Liberal Leader Sonny Gallant said the caucus met after the fall session to discuss how things went.

"It was a learning situation for us being the third party," Gallant said.

"We got our feet kind of wet where we're at and we felt that after some discussion we have to treat this as a democracy and it's very important to have this political debate and that it's open."

Collaboration 'worked to a degree'

Gallant said the collaboration with the PCs and Greens "worked to a degree," but feels there was not enough engagement with the public on issues such as the Adoption Act.

We're not trying to oppose for the sake of opposing but we do want to hold government accountable.— Sonny Gallant, interim Liberal leader

"We thought we could have asked more questions on the adoption issue and we heard a lot from the public, and we felt that we probably should have did a little more work on it that evening," he said. 

"And we did have some good questions, but we felt that we could have had more input from the general public."

Gallant said the Liberals could invite the public to committees or caucus meetings to make sure their voices are heard in the legislature. 

"We're not trying to oppose for the sake of opposing, but we do want to hold government accountable," he said. 

"It's our role to continue to do that … to hold them to account for the spending decisions and for legislation. So if that means hearing more from the general public, that's where we felt we should go."

More P.E.I. news

With files from Angela Walker

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