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Prince Edward Island.

The Sixty-second General Assembly was dissolved on April 30, and a provincial general election was held on May 28, 2007. At dissolution, the Progressive Conservative party held 23 seats, and the Liberals, 4. The election resulted in a complete reversal, with the Liberals winning 23 of the 27 electoral districts, and the Progressive Conservatives, 4 seats.

Former Premier Pat Binns, was re-elected but on August 30th he was named Canada's Ambassador to Ireland. Much of his former cabinet was defeated, with the exceptions of Jim Bagnall, who held the portfolio of Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture; and Mike Currie, former Minister of Development and Technology.

Ron MacKinley, Dean of the Prince Edward Island House, was returned to the Legislative Assembly for the eighth time. He was first elected in a by-election in December 1985.

The Liberals received 52.93% of the popular vote; and the Progressive Conservatives, 41.35%.

The Green Party, not a registered political party at the time of the previous general election in 2003, fielded a slate of 18 candidates and captured 3.04% of the popular vote. The fourth political party, the New Democrats, had 15 candidates and received 1.96% of the popular vote. Only two candidates ran as independents, and they received 0.73% of the popular vote.

During the Third Session of the Sixty-second General Assembly, Bill No. 38, An Act to Amend the Election Act, received Royal Assent on April 27, 2007. Among other things, the Bill provides for general elections to be held on the second Monday in May in the fourth calendar year following ordinary polling day in the most recent general election. This means that Islanders are scheduled to go to the polls next on May 9, 2011.

It's said that politics is a way of life on Prince Edward Island, and the voter turnout for the general election would seem to support this view. A total of 97,810 residents were eligible to vote and percentage voter turnout was 83.5%.

Over the past 40 years, there has been only one general election where voter turnout dipped below the 80% mark--in 1982, when only 78.2% of voters cast their ballots. Only four years later, the highest percentage turnout was reached in 1986, with 87.6% voter turnout.

First Session Sixty-third General Assembly

The First Session of the Sixty-third General Assembly opened on July 6, 2007, and adjourned to the call of the Speaker that same day. Prince Edward Island does not have a parliamentary calendar; however, it is anticipated that the Legislative Assembly will be recalled in late summer or early fall.

The new Speaker of the Legislative Assembly is Kathleen Casey (District 14, Charlottetown-Lewis Point). As there was only one member seeking the speakership, a secret balloting procedure was unnecessary, and she was declared elected by acclamation. She is the 40th individual to serve in the capacity since Prince Edward Island joined Canada in 1873.

Several appointments were made at the opening. Paula Biggar (District 23, Tyne Valley-Linkletter) was appointed Deputy Speaker. Prior to her election to the Legislative Assembly on May 28, 2007, she was an educational assistant with the Western School Board. She has been a municipal councillor and a volunteer in many areas of community life, including the Tyne Valley and Area Development Corporation, the Friends of Stewart Memorial Hospital, the Home and School Association, and various organizations dedicated to youth.

Warrant Officer J.A. (A1) McDonald, C.D., was appointed Sergeant-at-Arms; and Sergeant Maurice R. Fitzpatrick was appointed to the new position of Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms.

Marian Johnston

Clerk Assistant and Clerk of Committees
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Title Annotation:Legislative Reports
Author:Johnston, Marian
Publication:Canadian Parliamentary Review
Geographic Code:1CPRI
Date:Sep 22, 2007
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