Tight three-way race in P.E.I. could bring Island a rare minority government
On Prince Edward Island, there is talk of a minority government once all the votes are counted in next week’s provincial election.
It hasn't happened since the late 1800's but with three parties leading a tight race, history might be about to repeat itself.
Some spring snow didn’t deter party leaders from making as many campaign stops as possible and Wednesday morning, they all attended a leaders debate on the economy in Charlottetown.
While the four party leaders have been relatively polite to one another this campaign, there is one topic that's sparked some real debate.
“I would like to have a conversation about a real plan that to reduce carbon and stop worrying about the tax, and how we're going to spend the tax of Islanders, lets actually address the problem which is reducing carbon,” said Progressive Conservative leader Dennis King.
Premier Wade MacLauchlan responded: “Dennis, any plan that had no tax would have gotten you the full federal backstop and you don't have to go any further than New Brunswick to see that that's the case.
Green Party leader Peter Bevan-Baker jumped in.
“I've been watching governments for the last three decades drag their feet on this issue,” he said. “Denny, we know what the problems are. It's not a discussion about what needs to be done, it's about getting it done.”
The leaders did differ on several other topics too, including when and how much the minimum wage should increase and how much the small business tax should decrease.
“I think what I've noticed is our members are very engaged. I think this election is critical, there's a lot of issues on the table,” said Penny Walsh-McGuire, CEO of the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce.
But, as for who will be responsible to take on the issues, it's a three-way race, that could very well result in a minority government.
And that hasn't happened on the island for well over a century.
If the Greens are the ones holding the balance of power?
“There is a will to work together to be more collaborative than politics has traditionally been here,” said Bevan-Baker. “So, I can work with anyone. I know that. In the meantime, until Tuesday night, it seems it really could be anyone's game.”
There is still time left for things to change and the last of the advanced polls is taking place Thursday.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Brown.