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CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — Rookie P.E.I. Liberal chief Sharon Cameron plans to run in opposition to P.E.I. Inexperienced Opposition chief Peter Bevan-Baker.
Cameron introduced her intention to hunt the Liberal nomination in New Haven-Rocky Level on Dec. 15 at a media occasion on the Riverview Neighborhood Centre.
The announcement is one other indication the province may very well be heading for a spring election.
Whereas the province’s mounted election date is ready in October 2023, Premier Dennis King might name an earlier election. His occasion, the Progressive Conservatives, has three “election coaching” occasions for occasion members scheduled in January, whereas the Inexperienced Opposition has been sending out election fundraising appeals to their members warning that an election is months away.
In an interview with reporters, Cameron acknowledged that she presently lives in Cornwall-Meadowbank, the neighbouring district the place she sought the Liberal nomination throughout a November 2021 byelection.
Cameron was defeated by Jane MacIsaac in that nomination contest. MacIsaac later misplaced the byelection to Progressive Conservative Mark McLane, the present finance minister.
Cameron stated her choice to run in New Haven-Rocky Level, in opposition to Bevan-Baker, was about making a press release.
“I feel we wish to ship a message that we’re critical and that we really feel we now have sort of a battle in coverage – this isn’t private, that is about coverage. And it is about saying that we’re able to tackle a really critical battle,” Cameron stated.
Cameron additionally stated previous Liberal premiers, comparable to Alex Campbell, Catherine Callbeck and Robert Ghiz had a legacy of “having imaginative and prescient” and “constructing plans and implementing these plans.” She didn’t point out the newest Liberal premier, Wade MacLauchlan.
When requested whether or not she believed it might be simpler to problem the chief of the Opposition than a sitting cupboard minister in a authorities that continues to be fashionable, Cameron stated she was “taking over the large battle in (district) 17.”
“I feel that is as shot throughout the bow of Prince Edward Island. We’re again. We’re popping out sturdy,” Cameron stated, referring to her occasion.
The Liberal occasion suffered a crushing defeat within the 2019 election, lowered from the governing occasion to third-party standing. The governing Progressive Conservatives, in the meantime, have been using excessive voter satisfaction ranges because the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic in accordance with quarterly polling from Narrative Analysis.
Whereas King’s ranges of voter satisfaction dipped within the aftermath of post-tropical storm Fiona, he stays the preferred premier in Atlantic Canada by a large margin.
Bevan-Baker handily received his district in 2019, having gone into the election as a favorite for premier in most election polls.
In a speech earlier than members of the P.E.I. Liberal caucus and a gaggle of supporters, Cameron didn’t point out Bevan-Baker or the Greens in any respect. As an alternative, she centered on well being care and inflation-related anxieties within the province.
“There may be the agony of inflation, the rising downside of labour shortages and a housing crunch that’s biting into our confidence and optimism,” Cameron advised supporters.
“Every of those new realities should be addressed firmly with true imaginative and prescient and in a means that protects all the pieces we worth about Prince Edward Island. Within the absence of a transparent and well-understood plan, I consider these challenges are a profound risk to all the pieces we worth.”
Stu Neatby is a political reporter with the SaltWire Community in Prince Edward Island. He might be reached by e mail at [email protected] and adopted on Twitter @stu_neatby.