P.E.I. voters have spoken, and it’s more bad news for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Premier-designate Dennis King, elected PC party leader a scant two months ago, won 12 seats in the Island’s 27-seat legislature, putting him in place to form a minority government.
After four terms in office, the incumbent Liberals were reduced to six seats — while the upstart Green Party scored an impressive eight to form the official opposition, the first time Greens have held this position in a Canadian Parliament.
King’s victory marks the fifth time that voters tossed a provincial Liberal government since Trudeau took office. B.C. was the first stronghold to crumble, when the NDP’s Jim Horgan bested Liberal Christy Clark in 2017. A year later the dominoes really started to fall, with Ontario, New Brunswick and Quebec all shedding their Liberal rulers within the space of six months. Out went Liberals Kathleen Wynne, Brian Gallant and Philippe Couillard; in came Progressive Conservatives Doug Ford and Blaine Higgs, and the populist Coalition Avenir Quebec leader, Francois Legault.
Compounding Trudeau’s woes was the election of United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney last week in Alberta, replacing the NDP’s Rachel Notley. Together with Ford, Higgs, Manitoba PC Premier Brian Pallister and Saskatchewan Party Premier Scott Moe, Kenney and company now present a veritable blue swamp in which Trudeau threatens to founder. Add P.E.I. to the mix, and there are now only three Liberal premiers left in the country. That number could be reduced to two on May 16, when Newfoundland and Labrador goes to the polls. If Newfoundland votes Tory, then there will be seven right-of-centre governments staring at Trudeau around the federal table — and you can bet they won’t be smiling.