King minority government passes 1st confidence test
1st minority government in Island history to pass throne speech, according to historian
The minority government of Progressive Conservative Premier Dennis King has passed its first confidence test in the P.E.I. Legislature.
The government's throne speech, delivered Friday, June 14, came up for a vote Thursday night.
After roughly three-and-a-half hours of debate, the throne speech was supported by the PCs, Greens, and Liberals. Absent for the vote was Liberal MLA Heath MacDonald.
"It's, I think a very proud day for all of us as legislators here in this historic chamber, and I think it's a reflection of the very best we can be in here," King said after the vote. "Do I think it will be this easy all the time? I'll have to say 'no.'"
Budget will be next confidence test
Minority governments are almost unheard of on P.E.I., which has a long history of two-party politics. According to historian Ed MacDonald, no previous minority government has ever passed a confidence motion on P.E.I.
King has steered away from an offer from the Green Party to sign a confidence and supply agreement to formalize terms for keeping the PCs in power, instead pledging to proceed on an "issue-by-issue basis."
The next confidence test for King will come when his government's operating budget comes to a vote. The budget hasn't been presented yet to the legislature, but King has said he intends to pass a budget during the current sitting.
Green Leader Peter Bevan-Baker said the budget vote will be the first true test of the King government.
"That's where you will see the first real indications where the priorities of government lie," he said. "That will be the real test as to whether this collaboration is more than just nice words and pretty phrases."