P.E.I.'s NDP and Liberal parties have announced their candidates for the District 10 Charlottetown-Winsloe byelection.
The Liberals announced Zac Murphy as their candidate on Facebook Friday evening, while the NDP announced Lynne Thiele as its candidate at an in-person event in Charlottetown on Saturday morning.
The candidates were the sole nominees for their parties.
"I expect that I will listen a lot to what the people tell me is their priority, but what I'm hearing already is that people are having a hard time," Thiele said after accepting her nomination in an event attended by 10 people.
Despite the fact that the party holds no seats in the Island's legislature, she said she wants to educate Islanders about what is possible — focusing on health-care issues, housing, and land and water protections.
"Our provincial premier loves conversations and he loves to promise that the land protection [is] going to happen, that water protection is going to happen," she said.
"He has the backing of a Green Party. What's stopping us from having a really strong land protection bill?
"Government needs to be held accountable ... the PCs and the Greens, they haven't done it yet. So I think, yes, we want to push them. Conversations aren't enough."
Thiele was a teacher for 30 years.
She is also a writer and social activist who has previously run for the NDP provincially and federally. She has also held leadership positions with the Island New Democrats, including on the executive, committees and council.
The seat in District 10 was vacated by Robert Mitchell, who announced his retirement last month. Mitchell was MLA for Charlottetown-Winsloe and the previous Charlottetown-Sherwood district for 13 years.
He also served as interim Liberal leader in 2019 after Wade MacLauchlan was defeated in the provincial election.
Murphy, 29, is a financial adviser with Younker & Kelly in Charlottetown.
"I think the Liberal Party is sort of rebuilding a little bit right now, and it's important to attract new young candidates," he said.
"Robert Mitchell served the district very well for the last 13 years, and I think it's important that we take the things that he did well and continue to build on those while sort of keeping an eye on the future."
Murphy, who grew up in the district, says his priorities as Liberal candidate are education services, school infrastructure projects like the West Royalty expansion and the new Sherwood school, as well as mental health and addiction services.
"We're feeling optimistic, but we aren't taking anything for granted. We know that one of the most important things that we have to do going forward is listening to the residents of District 10."
The Island's Progressive Conservatives announced their candidate after a nomination convention on Saturday. Zack Bell won among three nominees.
No byelection call
Premier Dennis King still has not announced a date for the byelection, but it is expected to come any day.
King's government holds a minority government with 13 seats in the 27-seat legislature. The Greens hold eight seats while the Liberals hold five — six prior to Mitchell stepping down.
A PC win in the byelection would give the Progressive Conservatives 14 seats -- enough to form a majority.
The Greens have not announced a candidate but have opened nominations.
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