October 7, 2011 – The Liberals won a second consecutive majority in Monday’s election, taking 22 of 27 ridings. Lead by incumbent Premier Robert Ghiz, the majority is smaller than the one held before the election, but considerable nonetheless.
Most observers saw the victory coming. One public opinion survey the day before the writ was dropped placed the Liberals almost 30 points ahead of the Progressive Conservatives.
Opposition Conservative Leader Olive Crane had an uphill battle throughout the campaign. She was the only Conservative incumbent running, leading a party with only two seats. The Conservatives ended up with five, including a seat that was vacant at dissolution.
Crane was gracious in defeat. “What an exciting evening for democracy, for P.E.I. and for our P.E.I. P.C. party,” Crane said.
Addressing Ghiz, she added that “The people of Prince Edward Island have given you a mandate to work on their behalf to lead our province for the next four years. This is a big responsibility and I look forward to working with you to have the best government possible for all Islanders.”
Prime Minister Stephen Harper also congratulated Ghiz on his win. “On behalf of the Government of Canada, I congratulate Premier Ghiz and his team on their victory,” Harper said in a statement. “I look forward to working with them on promoting economic prosperity and addressing issues of importance to the people of Prince Edward Island and Canada.”
Ghiz’s victory builds upon a family dynasty in Island politics started by his father Joe, who served two terms as the province’s premier from 1986 to 1993. “I’m sure he’s looking down tonight and is extremely proud,” said Ghiz, who at 37 is Canada’s youngest premier.
What the Election Result Means to Older Islanders
With a government in place and a strong mandate to govern, older Islanders should expect the Liberals to follow through on their platform promises, including proposals to expand the Seniors Emergency Home repair program, which is intended to help seniors stay comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. The new government also promised a $4 million investment by 2015 in Home Care.
The Liberals also campaigned on a promise to increase access to medications with a $1 million dollar investment over the next two years.
Other promises included further investment to palliative care. In particular, the new government proposed to build a $5.6 million palliative care centre with expanded services. The facility should be completed by 2013 with an additional $800,000 in yearly operating support to promote quality end of life care for Islanders.
In a letter addressed to CARP members, Ghiz committed his party to all these promises and more. With a strong mandate from PEI citizens, and promises to fulfill, CARP will be following up with the Premier to get a timetable for acting on promises made directly to our members.