Weekly Round-Up: February 27, 2015

February 27th, 2015 by Dan Allan

Each Friday, CIVIX provides a digest of the major events in Canadian politics.

PEI’s new premier

Wade MacLauchlan was acclaimed as PEI Liberal leader last weekend and was sworn-in as premier on Monday. MacLauchlan will also serve as finance minister, replacing Wes Sheridan (who “quietly resigned” as MLA on Tuesday).

MacLauchlan is the province’s 32nd premier, replacing the outgoing Robert Ghiz. A provincial election call is expected soon, and The Guardian says a spring vote is “a virtual certainty.”

Leadership races

Prince Edward Island’s Progressive Conservatives (the province’s official opposition) are also about to elect a new leader. The party gathers in Charlottetown tomorrow and will choose between James Aylward, Darlene Compton and Rob Lantz. A record number of votes have already been cast in advance polls.

Alberta’s Wildrose party met in Calgary last weekend to “plot their election strategy.” The party had initially planned to elect a new leader in June but have decided to move up their leadership vote so a leader is in the place in case there is a spring election. Former MP Brian Jean became the first candidate to enter the race on Wednesday.

In the Ontario PC race, Patrick Brown received an endorsement from the Great One, Wayne Gretzky himself.

Both the Newfoundland and Labrador and Manitoba NDP also are in the midst of leadership races that culminate next month.

Early election calls?

In addition to possible early elections in PEI and Alberta, there is still speculation that Prime Minister Stephen Harper might call an election this spring. The federal NDP has told riding associations to be ready for a snap vote by April 1, just in case.

“Changes are ahead for the federal election,” regardless of when it takes place, according to an interesting Q & A with Elections Canada’s chief electoral officer Marc Mayrand. It is also being reported that the Green Party could be excluded from leaders’ debates for the upcoming election.

Democracy Bootcamp BC

More than 125 educators from across British Columbia have assembled in Vancouver for Democracy Bootcamp! The professional learning conference is intended to improve the interest, knowledge and instructional capacity of classroom teachers to teach democracy and citizenship in the lead-up to the 2015 federal election and the Student Vote parallel election program.

Democracy Bootcamp BC 2015 is made possible with support from Elections Canada, Elections BC and the Vancouver FoundationVancity and the Simon Fraser University Centre for Dialogue. Learn more here.

For ongoing updates, follow us on Twitter at @CIVIX_Canada.

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