Prince Edward Island election: First elected gay premier plus NDP and Greens gains

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      The Liberals won their third consecutive election in Prince Edward Island on May 4.

      Although the Liberals remained in power, with 18 seats in the legislature, it was a historic night for both the Greens and the NDP who drew more than 10 percent of the vote. In contrast, they had less than five percent in 2011.

      Green Party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker will be the province's first Green MLA.

      Wade MacLauchlan, who became Liberal leader on February 21, is the province's 32nd premier, taking over from Robert Ghiz. He will also become chairman of the Council of the Federation, comprised of all Canadian premiers.

      MacLauchlan will also make history as the province's first elected openly gay premier. He had been sworn in as premier on February 23, after winning leadership of the governing Liberal party.

      MacLauchlan will also serve as the minister of finance and energy, aboriginal affairs and intergovernmental affairs.

      The first openly gay premier in Canada was Kathleen Wynne, who became Ontario's premier in January 2013 after winning her party's provincial leadership contest, and then was elected premier in June 2014.

      The 60-year-old MacLauchlan is a former president of the University of PEI and was named a member of the Order of Canada in 2008, and his partner, Duncan McIntosh is a founder of the Watermark Theatre.

      The election of both Wynne and MacLauchlan reflects how attitudes towards sexual orientation have changed in Canada, particularly in PEI, which was one of the last Canadian provinces to legalize same-sex marriage.




      May 5, 2015 at 7:42pm

      What an amazing feat this is, at least until we elect the first transgender premier. Can't wait for that day.


      May 6, 2015 at 11:25am

      A correction is in order regarding the 2015 Liberal seat count. Liberals elected in 18 "Districts", Progressive Conservatives in 8 and the Green Party's history making first seat.


      May 7, 2015 at 12:49pm

      I won't be happy until we have our first asexual, transgender, aurally-challenged, First Nations woman elected as a premier. Until that happens this country is doomed!