PC MLAs all say they won't seek leadership on P.E.I.

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P.E.I. PCs to choose new leader Feb. 9

The next leader of P.E.I.'s PC Party won't be one of its current MLAs, according to a joint statement released by the Official Opposition on Wednesday.

James Aylward stepped down as leader on Monday, saying he was unable to make a "strong enough connection with Islanders."

The latest P.E.I. political poll Sept. 6 saw a significant drop in support for the Tories, with just 20 per cent support.

Aylward was elected leader on Oct. 20, 2017, defeating lone competitor Brad Trivers. But neither Trivers or the other PC MLAs — Darlene Compton, Sidney MacEwen, Colin LaVie, Jamie Fox, Matthew MacKay or Steven Myers — will run for the leadership, the statement said.

"Our collective focus is on the well-being of all Islanders, not individual egos or personal ambitions. With that in mind we are today jointly announcing that no current sitting MLA intends to seek the leadership of the Progressive Conservative party of Prince Edward Island," the statement said.

'Standing united'

"We believe that standing united and working together we will achieve our team's shared goal of providing Islanders with a fresh perspective and a proven alternative to the current government."

Aylward said though he is stepping down as leader, he plans to run again for his seat in Stratford-Kinlock.

"We greatly respect the decision made this week by James. We wholeheartedly agree that Islanders are looking for a proven alternative to the current government," the statement said.

'A great opportunity for someone else'

Also confirming he would not seek to lead the party — again — was former leader Rob Lantz.

A former Charlottetown city councillor, Lantz led the party into the 2015 election only to lose his seat by 22 votes to Liberal Jordan Brown.

Lantz told CBC he hadn't been officially approached by the party, but has been receiving "lots of comments" from people thinking he might be preparing to jump back into politics.

"I'm not even considering it," Lantz said. "I had my opportunity. Now there's a great opportunity for someone else."

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