P.E.I. Liberals in need of ag minister after win

P.E.I.’s Province House. (Assembly.pe.ca)

Wade MacLauchlan’s Liberals scored another majority in the Prince Edward Island legislature in Monday’s election, but will need to find a new agriculture minister.

George Webster — who’d held the post from 2009 until Monday, stepping down temporarily in 2009 to recover from a mild heart attack — opted not to run again in his riding of Borden-Kinkora.

The Progressive Conservatives’ incumbent agriculture critic, Colin LaVie, won his Souris-Elmira seat by a spread of 228 votes over Liberal candidate Tommy Kickham.

In all, the Liberals on Monday held 18 of the legislature’s 27 seats, while Rob Lantz’s Tories won eight, gaining three. The remaining seat went to the Green Party, in the Kellys Cross-Cumberland riding, for its leader Peter Bevan-Baker.

If MacLauchlan plans to replace Webster with another farmer, he has options returning from his previous cabinet, including Vernon River-Stratford MLA Alan McIsaac, who until now has handled the education and transportation portfolios.

McIsaac, an experienced dairy farmer, former provincial milk marketing board chair and former executive member with the P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture and Holstein Canada, has also previously chaired the legislature’s standing committee on agriculture, environment, energy and forestry.

McIsaac’s win on Monday night is likely up for a recount, though, with a spread of just two votes over Tory candidate Mary Ellen McInnis.

MacLauchlan’s tourism and culture minister, O’Leary-Inverness MLA Robert Henderson, is also returning to the legislature, winning by a spread of 247 votes over Tory candidate Daniel MacDonald.

Henderson, a former farmer and economic development officer, has also served on the standing ag committee.

Other options include Hal Perry, the incumbent MLA for Tignish-Palmer Road and a former president of the P.E.I. 4-H Council, who won his seat by a spread of 668 votes over Tory candidate Joseph Profit.

Perry, who crossed the floor from the Tories to the Liberals in 2013, has also served on the standing ag committee.

Webster’s former seat in Borden-Kinkora was a steal Monday night for Tory candidate Jamie Fox, by a spread of 443 votes over the Liberals’ Ramona Roberts. –– AGCanada.com Network


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