This morning, P.E.I. Ghizzed for the last time. The province’s long-time Premier, Robert Ghiz, resigned his leadership of the governing Liberal party, but announced that he will stay on as leader until a leadership convention in the new year. Okay, P.E.I. can keep its Ghiz for a few more months, but, after the convention winds down, the Ghiz era will officially end in Canada’s tiniest maritime province.
The Premier resigned at an apparent high point in his career. Ghiz exploded onto the scene in 2003, and has since won back-to-back majority governments in 2007 and 2011. Under his leadership, the Liberal Party holds almost every seat in the Legislative Assembly. Ghiz said he is proud of his government’s record, and is happy that the party is strong when he departs. However, he did not say why he was resigning. That’s usually a bad thing because it invites speculation.
While Ghiz says he is happy to take a break from government and does not have any plans for the future, he did not rule out running in the upcoming federal election. This is another mistake the seasoned Ghiz should have avoided. Worse, he followed up by saying that he is a “friend” and a “fan” of Justin Trudeau. With that news, it seems Justin is primed to summon P.E.I.’s Ghiz.
Ghiz is only 40 years old; he has plenty of time to pursue his interests, Justin or otherwise. To his credit, he transformed a pretty boring news day in P.E.I. into a gossip frenzy. Good for him. Had he remained in office, Islanders would have spent their mornings discussing either recalled potatoes or snow. Seriously, those were two of the top four stories The CBC reported for P.E.I. today. If you’re curious, the other was an “exciting” 1 cent-per-pound lobster levy. The point here is that Islanders undoubtedly woke up happy to see Ghiz on their television and computer screens. It was the sign of a great day to come.