Transcript: Historic Election for PEI | Apr 26, 2019

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and checked blue tie.

A caption on screen reads "Historic election for P.E.I. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says CANADA'S SMALLEST
PROVINCE HELD AN ELECTION THIS
WEEK THAT MADE HISTORY ON
SEVERAL FRONTS, FOR PRINCE
EDWARD ISLAND, AND FOR THIS
COUNTRY AS WELL.
ISLANDERS ELECTED THEIR FIRST
MINORITY PARLIAMENT SINCE THE
1800s; THEY ALSO ELECTED MORE
GREEN PARTY CANDIDATES THAN IN
ANY CANADIAN ELECTION EVER; AND
IT'S THE FIRST TIME THE GREENS
WILL FORM THE OFFICIAL
OPPOSITION ANYWHERE IN CANADA.
PETER BEVAN-BAKER IS LEADER OF
THE GREEN PARTY OF PRINCE EDWARD
ISLAND, AND HE JOINS US NOW ON
THE LINE FROM CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI FOR MORE.

Peter is in his early sixties, clean-shaven, with receding white hair. He's wearing a gray suit, blue shirt, and orange tie.

Steve continues WELCOME AND CONGRATULATIONS,
MR. LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION.
HOW DOES THAT SOUND?

Peter says IT SOUNDS VERY UNFAMILIAR, OF
COURSE, STILL A LITTLE BIT ODD,
BUT THANK YOU, STEVE.

Steve says I TAKE IT MIKE
SHRINER HAS BEEN IN TOUCH?

Peter says MIKE SENT ME A COUPLE OF
LOVELY MESSAGES.
WE HAVEN'T ACTUALLY SPOKEN YET,
BUT HE SENT ME SOME BEAUTIFUL MESSAGES.

Steve says YOU GOT ALMOST A
THIRD OF THE VOTE ON THE ISLAND
AND YOU WENT FROM TWO SEATS TO
EIGHT.
HOW DID YOU DO IT?

The caption changes to "Peter Bevan-Baker. P.E.I. Green Party Leader."

Peter says I THINK THERE ARE MANY
FACTORS IN THE ANSWER TO THAT
QUESTION.
THE FULL ANSWER TO THAT
QUESTION.
I THINK PART OF IT IS WHAT
HAPPENED ON PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
IS THE LOCAL EXPRESSION OF
WHAT'S BEEN HAPPENING GLOBALLY,
ACTUALLY, WITH PEOPLE'S GENERAL
DISILLUSIONMENT OR
DISSATISFACTION WITH POLITICS IN
GENERAL, CONVENTIONAL POLITICS,
AND UNCONVINCING AND POOR...
POOR POLITICAL REPRESENTATION,
AND SO WE WERE THE BENEFICIARY I
THINK OF THAT ON PRINCE EDWARD
ISLAND.
AND PART OF THE REASON WE WERE
ABLE TO CAPTURE THAT DISMAY WAS
THAT MYSELF AND MY CAUCUS MATE,
PREVIOUS CAUCUS MATE, HANNAH
BELL, HAVE HAD A COUPLE OF YEARS
TO ESTABLISH OURSELVES.
THERE WAS COMFORT WITH ISLANDS
FOR A THIRD CHOICE WHICH DIDN'T
EXIST BEFORE IN P.E.I. AND TO A
CERTAIN EXTENT TO VARYING
DEGREES DOES NOT EXIST ELSEWHERE
IN CANADA.

Steve says HOW MUCH DO YOU
THINK WAS THAT VERSUS... I KNOW
THE GREEN PARTY HAS SAID FOR A
LONG TIME WE'RE MORE THAN A
ONE-ISSUE CANDIDATE.
OF COURSE WE CARE ABOUT THE
ENVIRONMENT BUT WE'RE MORE THAN
THAT ISSUE ALONE.
HOW MUCH OF IT WAS WHAT YOU JUST
SAID VERSUS THE FACT THAT
ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS ARE
TOP OF MIND ON THE ISLAND RIGHT NOW?

Peter says IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO SAY, I
GUESS, IS THE HONEST ANSWER TO
THAT, STEVE.
BUT I'M NOT SURE THAT I AGREE
WITH YOUR ASSUMPTION THAT
ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ARE TOP OF
MIND HERE.
IN A POLL THAT WAS DONE IN THE
DAYS RECEDING THE ELECTION,
HEALTH CARE WAS FAR AND AWAY THE
NUMBER ONE ISSUE HERE, FOLLOWED
CLOSELY... WELL, NOT CLOSELY,
BUT THE SECOND WAS HOUSING AND
THE THIRD WAS TRUST IN
GOVERNMENT, GOOD GOVERNMENT.
SO ENVIRONMENT DIDN'T ACTUALLY
APPEAR AS ONE OF THE TOP ISSUES
HERE.
SO I THINK PART OF OUR SUCCESS
IS RELATED TO THE FACT THAT OVER
THE LAST FOUR YEARS I'VE HAD AN
OPPORTUNITY TO DEMONSTRATE TO
ISLANDERS THAT THE GREEN PARTY
CAN TALK KNOWLEDGEABLY AND
SENSIBLY ON ALL ISSUES, WHETHER
THAT'S HEALTH CARE, EDUCATION,
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, JOBS,
TRANSPORTATION, ENERGY, YOU NAME
IT.
SO WE'VE SORT OF GOT PAST THAT
BARRIER THAT THE GREEN PARTY IS
FIRST AND FOREMOST OR PERHAPS
ENTIRELY AN ENVIRONMENTAL
ADVOCACY GROUP.
NOBODY HERE ON PRINCE EDWARD
ISLAND VIEWS US THAT WAY AT ALL.

Steve says THAT'S FASCINATING.
PERHAPS I DREW AN INFERENCE FROM
A WALRUS MAGAZINE PIECE THAT
CAME OUT NOT TOO LONG AGO WHICH
SAID P.E.I. CURRENTLY LOSES AN
AVERAGE OF 28 CENTIMETRES OF
COASTLINE A YEAR AND BY THE
START OF THE NEXT CENTURY A
THOUSAND HOMES AND COTTAGES WILL
BE AT RISK OF DISAPPEARING INTO
THE OCEAN.
MAYBE I INFERRED THAT THAT WAS A
MORE SIGNIFICANT PART OF THIS
ELECTION CAMPAIGN THAN IS THE
CASE; IS THAT TRUE?

The caption changes to "Peter Bevan-Baker, @peterbevanbaker."
Then, it changes again to "Greener political pastures."

Peter says WELL, I WISH IT WERE, STEVE,
AND I GUESS AS A GENERAL
COMMENT, YOU KNOW, HUMANITY HAS
NOT REALLY RESPONDED WELL TO THE
CLIMATE CRISIS, WHICH EVERYBODY
KNOWS IS UPON US, BECAUSE IT
DOESN'T FEEL IMMINENT, IT
DOESN'T FEEL ACUTE, YOU KNOW?
EVEN THOUGH THE STATS THAT YOU
JUST PUT OUT THERE... I MEAN, I
DON'T KNOW WHERE THEY CAME FROM,
BUT I HAVE NO DOUBT THAT THEY'RE
CORRECT, AND WE'RE A PROVINCE
THAT IS MOST VULNERABLE TO THE
IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE
BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT WE'RE
ON ISLAND, WE'RE BASICALLY A
SANDBAR IN THE MIDDLE OF THE
OCEAN, AND WE HAVE SUCH ERODIBLE
LAND HERE AND SEA LEVEL RISE AND
INCREASING STORMS AND ALL OF
THOSE THINGS.
BUT DESPITE THAT FACT, PEOPLE
ARE STILL LARGELY SORT OF
INACTIVE WHEN IT COMES TO THEIR
DEEP CONCERNS ABOUT CLIMATE
CHANGE.
SO I DON'T THINK THAT'S AN
ISLAND THING, OF COURSE,
PECULIARLY, I THINK THAT'S A
GLOBAL PHENOMENON.
AND I WISH PEOPLE WERE MORE
CONCERNED ABOUT THAT AND PERHAPS
WE WOULDN'T HAVE THE PUSHBACK OF
THINGS LIKE CARBON TAXATION AND
ALL OF THOSE OTHER MEASURES THAT
HAVE BEEN PROVEN TO BE REALLY
EFFECTIVE IN REDUCING EMISSIONS.

Steve says LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT
SOME OF THE ECHOES IN YOUR
CAMPAIGN AND YOUR ELECTION ON
P.E.I. THAT MAY HAVE EVOKED
MEMORIES OF ALMOST A YEAR AGO IN
THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO WHERE,
AGAIN, WE HAD A LIBERAL PARTY
THAT HAD BEEN IN POWER FOR MANY
YEARS, AS YOU DID, AND AGAIN,
WHICH ENDED UP IN THIRD PLACE,
AS YOUR LIBERAL PARTY ON P.E.I.
DID AS WELL.
WHAT'S GOING ON WITH LIBERALISM
WHERE YOU ARE AND WHERE WE ARE
AND MAYBE ACROSS THE COUNTRY
RIGHT NOW THAT SEEMS TO HAVE IT
SO VULNERABLE?

Peter says YEAH.
I MEAN, I WISH... I WISH I KNEW
THE ANSWER.
I'M SURE PARTICULARLY PEOPLE IN
THE LIBERAL PARTY KNEW THE
ANSWER TO THAT, ESPECIALLY WITH
A FEDERAL ELECTION LOOMING THIS
FALL.
IF I HAD TO GUESS, STEVE, I
WOULD SAY... AND I THINK I SAID
THIS IN ANOTHER WAY EARLIER...
THAT THERE'S A GENERAL
DISILLUSIONMENT WITH
CONVENTIONAL POLITICS AND
UNIMAGINATIVE POLITICIANS, AND I
THINK THE GAP BETWEEN WHAT
POLITICIANS HAVE ALWAYS PROMISED
IN THEIR PLATFORMS IN THE RUN-UP
TO ELECTIONS AND THE REALITY OF
GOVERNANCE, THAT PEOPLE HAVE
BECOME SO DISMAYED, SO CYNICAL
ABOUT POLITICS, THAT THEY'RE
JUST TAKING IT OUT ON WHOEVER
HAPPENS TO BE IN POWER.
BECAUSE OF THE POLITICAL
LANDSCAPE HERE IN THE LAST FEW
YEARS, THAT TENDED TO BE
LIBERALS, WHETHER WE'RE TALKING
PROVINCIALLY OR FEDERALLY.
PERHAPS THE LAST FEDERAL
ELECTION WHEN THE TORIES GOT
BOOTED OUT WAS ONE OF THE EARLY
EXAMPLES OF THAT, I DON'T KNOW.
I'M NOT SO SURE IT'S ANYTHING TO
DO WITH LIBERAL POLITICS
NECESSARILY RATHER THAN THAT
DISMAY OR THAT DISILLUSIONMENT,
DISGUST, PICK YOUR DIS, WITH
CONVENTIONAL POLITICS.
I SUSPECT THAT'S THE MORE LIKELY
SCENARIO HERE.

Steve says INTERESTING.
I WANT TO ASK... YOU KNOW WHAT?
I GUESS IT'S A BIT OF MY JOB
TONIGHT TO BE A BIT OF A
CURMUDGEON HERE.
YOU MADE THE HISTORIC
BREAKTHROUGH.
THERE'S NO WAY OF TAKING THAT
AWAY FROM YOU.
ON THE OTHER HAND, YOU WERE IN
FIRST PLACE IN THE POLLS FOR A
COUPLE OF YEARS, AND THERE WAS A
LOT OF SPECULATION THAT WE HEARD
HERE THAT YOU GUYS WERE GOING TO
WIN THE WHOLE THING OUTRIGHT,
AND BEYOND THAT THERE WAS A
REFERENDUM ON WHETHER OR NOT TO
DITCH FIRST PAST THE POST AND GO
TO SOME SORT OF PROPORTIONAL
REPRESENTATION SYSTEM AND THAT
FAILED TO PASS, ALTHOUGH
NARROWLY, I HAVE TO SAY.
HOW DISAPPOINTED ARE YOU IN
THOSE TWO THINGS?

Peter says THIS MAY SURPRISE YOU, STEVE,
BUT I SAY THIS IN SINCERITY.
I'M MUCH MORE DISAPPOINTED WITH
THE FACT THAT THE REFERENDUM
QUESTION FAILED.
THAT WOULD HAVE MADE A
SIGNIFICANT CHANGE, ONGOING
CHANGE HERE ON PRINCE EDWARD
ISLAND IN THE WAY WE ELECT OUR
MLAs AND I AGREE IN THE
QUALITY OF GOVERNANCE WE COULD
HAVE PROVIDED HERE, AN ONGOING
PERMANENT CHANGE TO THE
POLITICAL LANDSCAPE HERE ON
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND.
AND I THINK INEVITABLY ONCE ONE
PROVINCE OR WHETHER WE ADOPT IT
NATIONALLY, I THINK INEVITABLY
THE PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION
IS COMING TO CANADA.
IT'S JUST WHO PUTS THEIR HAND UP
FIRST AND IS THE PIONEER.
I WOULD HAVE LOVED PRINCE EDWARD
ISLAND TO HAVE BEEN THAT
PIONEER.
WE HAD AN OPPORTUNITY AND WE
JUST DIDN'T QUITE DO IT.
I'M VERY DISAPPOINTED ABOUT
THAT.
ON THE FIRST QUESTION, YEAH, ON
THE NIGHT OF THE ELECTION, I
HAVE TO ADMIT, THERE WAS A TINGE
OF DISAPPOINTMENT BECAUSE THE
POLLS HAD SUGGESTED THAT WE
COULD HAVE FORMED GOVERNMENT
HERE, AT LEAST BEEN THE PARTY
WITH THE LARGEST NUMBER OF
SEATS.
BUT WHEN I WOKE UP THE MORNING
AFTERWARDS AND SORT OF ASKED
MYSELF THAT QUESTION, ARE YOU
DISAPPOINTED YOU'RE NOT NOW THE
PREMIER OF P.E.I., THE ANSWER
CAME BACK LOUD AND CLEAR.
ACTUALLY, NO.
AND, AGAIN, I'M BEING ABSOLUTELY
SINCERE ABOUT THAT.
I THINK IN TERMS OF OUR PARTY
AND PERHAPS ME PERSONALLY,
ENDING UP AS THE OFFICIAL
OPPOSITION, WE HAVE SIX ROOKIE
MLAs WHO HAVE REALLY NO
INSTITUTIONAL KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT
IT'S LIKE TO LIVE AND WORK IN
THE LEGISLATURE.
IT WILL BE MUCH EASIER FOR US TO
GAIN THAT KNOWLEDGE AND
HOPEFULLY GAIN THE CREDIBILITY
AND THE RESPECT OF ISLANDERS BY
WORKING IN OPPOSITION WITHOUT
SORT OF ALL OF THE
RESPONSIBILITIES THAT COME WITH
GOVERNING A PROVINCE.
PERHAPS THERE'S EVEN A SENSE OF
RELIEF THERE, STEVE.
IT WAS NEVER THE AMBITION OF
MINE TO BE THE PREMIER OF THE
PROVINCE.
IT WAS ALWAYS ABOUT LET'S
PROVIDE BETTER GOVERNMENT, LET'S
ENSURE WE HAVE A HABITABLE
PLANET FOR OUR CHILDREN.
THAT MOTIVATED ME IN THE PAST
AND ALWAYS SHALL DO.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Steve says CAN I BE MISCHIEVOUS
HERE?
WE DON'T ELECT GOVERNMENTS, WE
ELECT PARLIAMENTS, AND THE
PEOPLE OF PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
HAVE DECIDED TO ELECT A MINORITY
PARLIAMENT, WHICH BASICALLY
MEANS THAT IF YOU AND THE
LIBERALS DECIDE TO COMBINE YOUR
FORCES AND TAKE DOWN THE
GOVERNMENT AT YOUR FIRST
OPPORTUNITY, WHEN THE HOUSE IS
RECONVENED, YOU COULD, AND
PRESUMABLY YOU COULD, YOU KNOW,
EITHER FORM A COALITION
GOVERNMENT WITH THEM OR THEY
COULD PROP YOU UP, AS HAPPENED
IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO IN
1985, WHEN THE THIRD PLACE NDP
PROPPED UP THE SECOND PLACE
LIBERALS.
HAVE YOU HAD THOSE CONVERSATIONS
YET WITH YOUR LIBERAL COLLEAGUES
AND WHAT'S THE STATUS OF THINGS
THERE?

Peter says I CAN TELL YOU, I HAVE NOT
HAD ANY FORMAL CONVERSATIONS
WITH ANYBODY FROM THE LIBERALS.
I'M OF COURSE FULLY AWARE OF
BOTH THE PRECEDENTS THAT HAVE
OCCURRED IN CANADA BEFORE AND
THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION
SURROUNDING WHEN A MINORITY...
WELL, WHEN THE SITUATION THAT WE
HAVE HERE WITH... OBVIOUSLY
WE'RE GOING TO END UP WITH A
MINORITY, IN WHICH CASE TWO
PEOPLE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO
COLLABORATE TO A CERTAIN EXTENT,
WHETHER THAT'S IN A FORMAL
COALITION OR SUPPLYING
CONFIDENCE OR JUST A
VOTE-BY-VOTE ARRANGEMENT.
SO WE HAVE NOT HAD THOSE
CONVERSATIONS YET.
BUT AS I SAID, NOT RULING OUT
ANY POSSIBILITIES HERE.
ONE THING TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT,
HOWEVER, IS THEY MAY INDEED BE
CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTIONS, BUT
IN ISLANDERS' EYES THEY HAVE WON
THE POPULAR VOTE AND HAVE MORE
SEATS.
GIVEN THE COLLEGIALITY OF THE
ELECTION CAMPAIGN, IT WOULD SEEM
ABERRANT IF THE PARTY IN THE
SECOND PLACE WAS TO TRY TO
UNDERCUT THOSE WHO HAVE THE MOST
SEATS.
SO I'M SORT OF THINKING THAT
WE'RE GOING TO WAIT FOR DENNIS
KING TO MAKE THE FIRST MOVE HERE
AND SEE IF HE CAN SECURE SOME
SORT OF ARRANGEMENT WITH EITHER
OURSELVES OR THE LIBERALS.

Steve says YOU DID MENTION HOW
COLLEGIAL THE CAMPAIGN WAS.
I WANT TO SHOW A FEW THINGS THAT
EMPHASIZE THAT.
IF PEOPLE IN ONTARIO DIDN'T SEE
THIS, THEY MAY NOT BELIEVE THEIR
EYES AND EARS.
LET'S START WITH PLAYING...
HERE'S THE INCOMING PREMIER
DENNIS KING IN HIS VICTORY
SPEECH.
WE'LL PLAY THAT CLIP FIRST AND
COME BACK AND CHAT.
SHELDON, GO AHEAD, PLEASE.

A clip plays on screen with the caption "April 23, 2019."
In the clip, Dennis King gives a victory speech. He's in his early fifties, clean-shaven, with short gray hair.

He says PEOPLE SAY YOU CAN'T DO
THINGS DIFFERENTLY AND I SAID
JUST WATCH US.
WE'RE GOING TO DO THINGS
DIFFERENTLY.
WE MADE A PROMISE THAT WE WOULD
DO IT DIFFERENTLY.
WE WOULD LEAD WITH CIVILITY AND
RESPECT AND WE WOULD BE LESS
BLINDLY PARTISAN, TO BE
ACCEPTING OF GOOD IDEAS
REGARDLESS OF WHERE THEY COME
FROM.
WE'RE GOING TO DELIVER THAT
EVERY DAY AS THE GOVERNMENT OF
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

The clip ends.

Steve says OKAY.
THERE'S THAT CLIP FROM VICTORY
NIGHT FOR THE INCOMING PREMIER
OF PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND.
AND THEN, I CAN TELL YOU, JUSTIN
TRUDEAU AND ANDREW SCHEER ARE
NOT GOING TO BE DOING THIS AFTER
THE NEXT ELECTION, AND DOUG FORD
AND ANDREA HORWATH DIDN'T DO IT
AFTER THE LAST ELECTION.

A short clip shows Dennis and Peter hugging and shaking hands in a radio studio.

Steve continues THERE'S THE SHOT OF YOU AND THE
INCOMING PREMIER HUGGING AS
YOU'RE ABOUT TO DO A JOINT RADIO
INTERVIEW THE MORNING AFTER.
WHAT'S GOING ON?

The caption changes to "Civility, cooperation and collaboration."

Peter says WELL,
YOU KNOW, PART OF THAT IS THE
CHARACTER OF THIS PROVINCE IN
WHICH WE LIVE, PRINCE EDWARD
ISLAND, WHERE THERE'S A REAL
INTIMACY TO EVERYTHING THAT GOES
ON, INCLUDING POLITICS, AND
DENNIS AND I HAVE BEEN FRIENDS
FOR A LONG TIME.
IN MY PREVIOUS LIFE, BEFORE I
BECAME ELECTED, I WAS A DENTIST
AND DENNIS' FAMILY WERE PATIENTS
IN MY OFFICE AND WE'D HAVE A
CHAT ABOUT THINGS.
AND TO IMAGINE THAT HE AND I ARE
NOW THE LEADER OF THE TWO
PARTIES WITH THE LARGEST SEATS
IN THE LEGISLATURE IS, YOU KNOW,
SLIGHTLY ODD, OF COURSE.
BUT A REAL SORT OF SYMBOL OF HOW
CLOSE THINGS ARE HERE.
SO PART OF THAT IS A GENUINE
PERSONAL FRIENDSHIP.
THE OTHER PART OF THAT I THINK
IS... AND AGAIN IT COMES DOWN TO
THE PERSONALITY OF THIS
PROVINCE... WE'VE NEVER BEEN A
PLACE WHERE POLITICS HAS BEEN,
YOU KNOW, REALLY NASTY OR
DIVISIVE.
ABSOLUTELY, THERE HAVE BEEN TWO
TEAMS, TRADITIONALLY, ANYWAY,
FOR THE LAST 170 YEARS AND THEY
HAVE FOUGHT OVER THE LEVERS OF
POWER, BUT IDEOLOGICALLY,
PHILOSOPHICALLY, THEY'RE
ACTUALLY VERY CLOSELY ALIGNED.
SO WE'VE ALWAYS HAD A VERY
CENTRIST SORT OF POLITICS HERE
ON PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND.
SO THE IDEA THAT THE GREEN PARTY
AND THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY, AND
I NEED TO BE REALLY CLEAR,
STEVE, THAT THE CONSERVATIVE
PARTY OF PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND IS
A VERY DIFFERENT ANIMAL FROM THE
CONSERVATIVE PARTY OF DOUG FORD
OF ONTARIO IN SO MANY WAYS, VERY
IDEOLOGICALLY DIFFERENT.
SO THE IDEA THAT THE GREEN PARTY
HERE IN P.E.I., THE LEADER TO
HAVE LITERALLY EMBRACED THE
LEADER OF THE PROGRESSIVE
CONSERVATIVE PARTY WOULD NOT
SEEM STRANGE TO ISLANDERS AT
ALL, ALTHOUGH I DO UNDERSTAND
HOW THAT MIGHT PLAY SLIGHTLY
ODDLY IN ONTARIO.

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live."

Steve says YOU'VE SEEN NO DOUBT
A LOT OF THE COMMENTS ON SOCIAL
MEDIA WHICH HAVE SAID THINGS
LIKE, BOY, IF THEY COULD BOTTLE
THAT AND EXPORT THAT ACROSS THE
COUNTRY, THAT WOULD BE
WONDERFUL.
DO YOU THINK THAT'S POSSIBLE?

Peter says UM, YOU KNOW, I'M NOT AN ISLANDER.
I MOVED HERE ALMOST 20 YEARS AGO
WITH MY FAMILY, AND THE REASON
WE MOVED HERE IS THERE IS
SOMETHING SPECIAL ABOUT P.E.I.
IT'S A VERY ALLURING PLACE.
MY WIFE AND I USED TO BRING OUR
KIDS HERE FOR SUMMER HOLIDAYS,
AND IT SORT OF WOVE ITS SPELL ON
US AND WE GRADUALLY FELL IN
LOVE, AND I MOVED HERE
CONSEQUENTLY.
SO I'M NOT SURE HOW EXPORTABLE
THE SORT OF... THE MAGIC OF THIS
PLACE IS TO THE REST OF THE
COUNTRY.
I WISH IT WERE.
YOU KNOW, WE REALLY HAVE LEARNED
TO LIVE WELL HERE TOGETHER HERE
ON PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND.
WE HAVE OUR DIFFERENCES, OF
COURSE WE DO.
BUT THERE'S A LEVEL OF
ACCEPTANCE AND TOLERANCE AND
MUTUAL RESPECT HERE.
AGAIN, IT'S NOT JUST IN
POLITICS, IN EVERY WAY OF LIFE.
I SAID IN MY SPEECH ON ELECTION
NIGHT, MY GOD, I LOVE THIS
ISLAND.
AND THAT SORT OF COMMUNITY THAT
WE HAVE HERE IS VERY REAL AND
IT'S VERY SPECIAL.
I HOPE IT GETS TRANSLATED TO THE
REST OF CANADA.

Steve says YOU'VE NEVER SHIED
AWAY FROM THE FACT THAT YOU'RE
NOT BORN ON THE ISLAND, AND AS
YOU JUST SAID, YOU'RE NOT AN
ISLANDER, BUT YOU HAVE PRETTY
GOOD BONA FIDES IN TERMS OF YOUR
ROOTS TO CANADIAN HISTORY.
DO YOU WANT TO TELL OUR AUDIENCE
WHO YOUR GREAT GRANDFATHER WAS?

The caption changes to "Political roots."

Peter says I TEND NOT TO TALK ABOUT THAT
PUBLICLY, NOT BECAUSE IT'S
ANYTHING I'M ASHAMED OF,
CLEARLY.
MY GREAT GREAT FATHER WAS GEORGE
BROWN OF WHAT WAS THE FOUNDER OF
THE GLOBE AND MAIL AND OBVIOUSLY
A REALLY INTERESTING AND SORT OF
QUIRKY PART OF MY FAMILY
HISTORY.
HE WAS... FOR THOSE WHO DON'T
KNOW, HE WAS ACTUALLY SHOT BY
ONE OF HIS EMPLOYEES AT THE
GLOBE AND MAIL, AND HIS WIFE AT
THAT TIME, WHO... THEY HAD ONLY
BEEN MARRIED A RELATIVELY SHORT
PERIOD OF TIME.
SHE HAD NEVER SORT OF ADAPTED TO
CANADIAN LIFE IN THE SAME WAY HE
HAD.
SO WHEN HE DIED, SHE MOVED BACK
TO SCOTLAND WITH THE KIDS, AND
THEREFORE ALL OF MY LINEAGE PAST
THAT WAS FROM SCOTLAND.
SO WHEN I MOVED HERE TO CANADA,
I KNEW THAT THERE WAS SOME
DISTANT SORT OF FAMILY
CONNECTION HERE TO CANADA, BUT I
WASN'T REALLY SURE WHAT IT ALL
MEANT.
AND WHEN I STARTED TO RESEARCH
IT, I DISCOVERED IT WAS THIS
INCREDIBLY PROMINENT AND VERY
WONDERFUL MAN CALLED GEORGE
BROWN.
SO, YEAH, I THINK HE WOULD BE
SMILING IF HE KNEW HERE IN
CHARLOTTETOWN, THE BIRTHPLACE OF
CONFEDERATION, ONE OF HIS
DESCENDANTS WAS SORT OF AN
ARRIVING POLITICAL PLAYER IN THE
GAME HERE ON P.E.I.

Steve says DR. BEVAN-BAKER, I
DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO THIS
WITHOUT JUST DOING IT.
IT'S A HARD TURN, BUT I'VE NEVER
SEEN THIS HAPPEN IN AN ELECTION
CAMPAIGN IN THIS COUNTRY BEFORE
WHERE TRAGEDY STRIKES RIGHT NEAR
ELECTION DAY.
ONE OF YOUR CANDIDATES AND HIS
SON DIED IN JUST AN APPALLINGLY
TRAGIC CANOEING ACCIDENT.
I'M CURIOUS HOW ONE PERSEVERES
THROUGH THAT KIND OF INJUSTICE
AND, YOU KNOW, GOES ON.
HOW DID YOU DO IT?

A picture shows a young man and a toddler lying on a meadow laughing as they hug.

The caption changes to "tvo.org/theagenda; agendaconnect@tvo.org."

Peter says WELL, I'M NOT GOING TO
PRETEND THAT IT WASN'T DIFFICULT.
THE FIRST COUPLE OF DAYS AFTER
WE HEARD THE NEWS THAT JOSH AND
HIS SON OLIVER HAD DIED, I
COULDN'T FUNCTION, STEVE, I
COULDN'T THINK OF ANYTHING ELSE.
I CERTAINLY WASN'T UP FOR ANY
SORT OF ACTIVE CAMPAIGNING.
AND THIS HAPPENED JUST THREE
DAYS BEFORE ELECTION DAY.
I MEAN, IT COMPLETELY DEVASTATED
EVERYBODY IN OUR CAMPAIGN, AND
YOU KNOW WHAT?
EVERYBODY ELSE INVOLVED IN THE
OTHER PARTIES' CAMPAIGNS AS
WELL.
AND THERE WAS A REAL SENSE... I
TALKED EARLIER IN ONE OF MY
ANSWERS ABOUT THE INTIMACY OF
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND, AND I
DON'T THINK IT'S TOO SORT OF
MELODRAMATIC TO SUGGEST THAT THE
ENTIRE ISLAND WAS IN PAIN FOR A
COUPLE OF DAYS AFTER THAT.
I MEAN, IT WAS AN UNSPEAKABLE
TRAGEDY AT ANY TIME, TO HAPPEN
TO ANYBODY, BUT, YOU KNOW, THREE
DAYS BEFORE AN ELECTION, TO HAVE
A CANDIDATE WHO WAS... YOU KNOW,
HE HAD WORKED REALLY HARD TO WIN
THAT SEAT.
FOR HIM TO BE THERE NO MORE
WAS... IT WAS JUST... IT WAS SO
HARD.
BUT WE DID PULL OURSELVES
TOGETHER.
THE ELECTION WAS GOING TO HAPPEN
AND WE MANAGED, AFTER A COUPLE
OF DAYS OF SPACE AND TIME AND
MOURNING, TO GET OUT THERE ON
ELECTION DAY.
WE CEASED CAMPAIGNING.
BY THE WAY, AS DID ALL OTHER
PARTIES IN A SORT OF INCREDIBLY,
INCREDIBLY TOUCHING MOMENT OF
COMMUNITY, ALL THE PARTIES
STOPPED CAMPAIGNING FOR THE LAST
THREE DAYS, AND IT WAS JUST AN
ASTONISHING THING, STEVE.
BY THE WAY, THIS BUTTON ON MY
LAPEL HERE IS SOMETHING TO
COMMEMORATE JOSH.

Steve says VERY NICE.
I REMEMBER ASKING MIKE SCHREINER
AFTER HE HAD THE BREAKTHROUGH IN
THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO AND WON
HIS SEAT AFTER LOSING AND LOSING
AND LOSING AND LOSING.
HE LOST A LOT BEFORE HE WON.
SO DID YOU.
HOW MANY TIMES DID YOU LOSE
BEFORE YOU WON?

The caption changes to "Start of a green wave?"

Peter says I LOST NINE TIMES BEFORE I
WON, STEVE.
RUNNING FOR THE GREEN PARTY IS
NOT THE FAST TRACK TO ELECTORAL
SUCCESS.
YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT.
AND PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN AROUND
THE PARTY FOR A LONG TIME ARE
DOING IT FOR DIFFERENT REASONS.
WE'RE NOT... YOU KNOW, WE
GENERALLY ARE NOT HUNGRY FOR
POWER.
WE DON'T HAVE ANY PARTICULAR
PERSONAL AMBITIONS.
WE'RE DOING IT BECAUSE WE THINK
THAT POLITICS NEEDS A DIFFERENT
VOICE.
WE NEED TO DEVELOP SOME
LONG-TERM SOLUTIONS TO THE
PROBLEMS.
AND THAT SORT OF UNDERPINNING
THAT WE NEED TO LOOK AFTER OUR
HOME PLANET EARTH BEFORE AND
ABOVE EVERYTHING ELSE.
YOU KNOW, WE CAN'T HAVE A
VIGOROUS, PROSPEROUS ECONOMY ON
A DYING PLANET.
WE CAN'T HAVE HEALTHY PEOPLE IF
WE DON'T LOOK AFTER THE WATER
AND THE SOIL AND THE AIR.
SO THOSE SORT OF GREEN PARTY
PRINCIPLES UNDERLIE EVERYTHING.
AND LIKE MIKE, I WAS INSPIRED BY
WANTING TO LEAVE A PLACE FOR MY
CHILDREN WHERE THEY COULD LIVE
OUT HAPPY, PROSPEROUS, AND SAFE
LIVES.
AND THAT'S STILL WHAT INFORMS
ALL OF MY POLITICAL DECISIONS
TODAY.
SO LOSING WAS... YOU KNOW, I
NEVER... WINNING IS MUCH BETTER,
LET ME BE CLEAR ABOUT THAT.
BUT LOSING WAS NEVER CRUSHING
FOR ME BECAUSE I KNEW I WAS
CONTRIBUTING SOMETHING TO THE
DISCUSSION, WHICH WOULDN'T BE
THERE IF THE GREEN PARTY WAS NOT
PART OF THE DEBATE SO IT WAS AN
IMPORTANT PART OF MY LEARNING
EXPERIENCE. I WOULDN'T BE THE
POLITICIAN I AM TODAY AND THE
LEADER I AM TODAY HAD I NOT HAD
ALL OF THOSE DEFEATS OVER THE
YEARS; MANY OF THEM IN ONTARIO.

Steve says INDEED, MANY OF THEM
IN ONTARIO. WHY... I DON'T MEAN
THIS TO SOUND AS SNIPPY AS IT
MIGHT, BUT WHY DIDN'T YOU JUST
TAKE THE HINT SOMEWHERE ALONG
THE WAY AND GIVE UP?

Peter says YOU KNOW, I THOUGHT ABOUT IT
MANY TIMES.
EVEN BEFORE THE 2015 ELECTION IN
WHICH I WAS FINALLY ELECTED, SIX
MONTHS BEFORE THAT, I WROTE A
LETTER TO THE PROVINCIAL COUNCIL
SAYING, YOU KNOW, BECAUSE WE
WERE SITTING AT 4 percent IN THE POLLS
THERE.
I HAD BEEN THE LEADER FOR A
COUPLE YEARS.
I REALLY FELT THAT I HAD BEEN
INEFFECTIVE, AND I SAID, LOOK,
WE KNOW THERE'S AN ELECTION
COMING.
I'D LIKE TO GIVE SOMEBODY ELSE
TIME TO ESTABLISH THEMSELVES TO
BE THE NEW LEADER BEFORE THE
NEXT ELECTION, AND THEY CAME TO
MY HOUSE AND CORRALLED ME IN MY
KITCHEN AND SORT OF SAT ME DOWN
IN THE CHAIR AND SAID, "NO,
PETER, YOU'RE GOING TO STAY ON
AS THE LEADER UNTIL THIS
ELECTION IS OVER AND THEN WE'LL
PASS IT OFF."
YOU KNOW, MANY TIMES I DID THINK
OF GIVING UP AND OF COURSE THAT
WAS THE ELECTION IN WHICH I WAS
FINALLY ELECTED, WE TURNED
THINGS AROUND, AND, YOU KNOW, I
THINK THAT'S A MESSAGE TO
PEOPLE, THAT PERSEVERANCE OR
PERHAPS STUBBORNNESS IS NOT
NECESSARILY A BAD TRAIT TO HAVE.

Steve says LET'S FINISH UP ON
THIS: POLLSTER NIK NANOS SAID
THAT IF THERE WAS SUCH A THING
AS A POLITICAL PARTY STOCK, THE
GREEN PARTY WOULD BE THE PENNY
STOCK YOU'D INVEST IN JUST IN
CASE THEY HIT THE JACKPOT.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
I GUESS WITH THE ALBERTA
ELECTION THIS YEAR, YOUR
ELECTION THIS YEAR, PEOPLE ARE
SORT OF SPECULATING AS TO WHAT
IMPACT THOSE PROVINCIAL
ELECTIONS MAY HAVE ON THE GRAND
CONSULTATION WITH THE PEOPLE
LATER THIS YEAR ACROSS THE
COUNTRY IN OCTOBER.
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE FEDERAL
GREENS ARE NOW CAPABLE OF IN THE
OCTOBER NATIONAL VOTE?

Peter says WELL, I THINK THEY'RE CAPABLE
OF GREAT THINGS, STEVE.
AND I SAY THAT BASED ON THE
QUALITY OF THE CANDIDATES THAT I
SEE BEING NOMINATED ACROSS THE
COUNTRY. I KNOW MANY OF THEM.
AND OF COURSE ELIZABETH AND
I ARE CLOSE FRIENDS.
WE'VE KNOWN EACH OTHER FOR A
LONG TIME.
GOING BACK TO WHAT I SAID
EARLIER, I THINK PEOPLE ARE
HUNGRY FOR DIFFERENT CHOICES,
FOR CREDIBLE CHOICES, AND I
THINK THE GREEN PARTY IS ON THE
CUSP OF... IF A DENTIST CAN USE
THAT TERMINOLOGY... I THINK
WE'RE ON THE CUSP OF THAT
TIPPING POINT WHERE PEOPLE ARE
LOOKING FOR OTHER ALTERNATIVES
AND THE GREEN PARTY IS MATURE
ENOUGH, WE'RE SOPHISTICATED
ENOUGH, AND WE'RE POPULATED BY
PEOPLE WHO CAN WIN THE RESPECT
AND THE COMFORT OF CANADIANS
ACROSS THIS COUNTRY, THAT THIS
COULD BE A BREAKTHROUGH ELECTION
FOR THE GREENS.
THAT WOULDN'T SURPRISE ME ONE BIT.

The caption changes to "Producer: Patricia Kozicka, @TrishKozicka."

Steve says DR. BEVAN-BAKER,
ONCE AGAIN, CONGRATULATIONS ON
YOUR HISTORIC BREAKTHROUGH, AND
IF YOU EVER DO COME TO THE
PROVINCE OF ONTARIO, DO LET US
KNOW.
WE'D BE HAPPY TO HAVE THIS
CONVERSATION ANOTHER TIME IN
THIS STUDIO HERE.

The caption changes to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcast: tvo.org/theagenda."

Peter says THAT'S VERY KIND, STEVE.
I'VE ENJOYED THIS IMMENSELY.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Steve says TAKE GOOD CARE.

Peter says YOU TOO.

Watch: Historic Election for PEI