'We had Islanders decide': Premier told to quit stalling on electoral reform

P.E.I. Premier Wade MacLauchlan won't be making any moves on the electoral reform referendum until the PC Party chooses a new leader, but the Tories say there is no need to wait.

The premier committed to the referendum after a plebiscite last fall voted in favour of a mixed member proportional representation system.

MacLauchlan was concerned about low voter turnout, and opted to hold a referendum on a new question in conjunction with the next provincial election instead proceeding with a change.

The premier is now saying he wants to wait to consult with the new provincial Tory leader on the referendum question. PC MLA Sidney MacEwen said there's no need to wait.

"The people that come forward for the Tory leadership are all going to have their own opinions on proportional representation, but I don't think it should have any bearing on what this government does," said MacEwen.

"We had a year-long process, went through all of the information, had the plebiscite on electoral reform. We had Islanders decide. It seems to me the premier keeps pushing this down the road, vote after vote, until he gets the result that he wants."

MacLauchlan said the legislature will ultimately decide on the referendum question, and it will be entrenched in legislation.

The PCs will choose a new leader in October. So far one candidate has stepped forward.

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