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Island Party Demanding All Leaders Be In CBC Debate

The Island Party is protesting the CBC's decision to only have the Liberal and Conservative leaders in their televised "all leaders debate".

"It's ridiculous to only have two of five leaders present in such a debate," says Billy Cann, leader of the Island Party. "This decision is a lapse in judgment by the CBC, and we are calling on them to reverse the move so that this election is fought on completely level grounds. Free media is the backbone of our democratic society. This decision is undemocratic and goes against our system."

For Souris-Elmira candidate, 23 year old Jason MacGregor, who studied journalism at the University of King's College, the CBC's decision goes against the values of journalism he was taught at the academic level.

"I truly respect the CBC for the work they do," says MacGregor. "But this decision, I don't respect. The editorial board in Toronto is making assumptions on how our election is going to play out on PEI. From day one, every journalist is taught never assume anything and always be objective. That's what I was taught and that's what they were taught. With this decision, the CBC is presuming the outcome and in a very subjective manner. That's disappointing."

Island Party leader, Billy Cann, has taken part in leaders' debates for different organizations across the province and plans to attend all other debates that are inclusive to registered parties.

SEP 9, 2011

District 1 - Nomination Meeting

The Island Party is happy to announce that it will be holding a nomination meeting in District 1 on Thursday, August 18th. Everyone is welcomed to attend the event at the Fishermen's Monument on the Souris waterfront, starting at 7pm.

Thursday's nomination will mark the fifth confirmed-candidate for one of the Island's newest political parties. The party has already received interest from someone willing to be the candidate for Souris-Elmira and anyone else interested in being nominated is welcomed to attend.

"We are confident that our candidate in District 1 will have the full support of the community," says Billy Cann, Leader of The Island Party. "No one can deny that the current government has brought the Souris and Eastern Kings community to its knees and before that the conservatives also ignored the needs of the area. We want to reverse that and revitalize the eastern end."

The Island Party is planning to hold more nomination meetings across the province over the next few weeks. Anyone interested in being a candidate is welcomed to contact Cann.

"We're happy with the amount of interest and participation by Islanders in our party," says Cann. "We strongly encourage all members of the public to attend this meeting to help enhance the democracy on our island."

AUG 16, 2011

Island Party Hopes to Run Full Slate

After receiving more interest than anticipated, The Island Party is hoping to run a full slate in the upcoming election in October.

On Thursday, the party will announce their fifth confirmed candidate and are planning to confirm more candidates in Queens and Prince County over the next two weeks.

"A year ago, we were unsure if we would have as many candidates and interested nominees as we have now," says Billy Cann, the party's leader. "But after receiving so much interest we're sure that we will have someone in each district come October."

There are still several districts where The Island Party wishes to find suitable nominees to run. Anyone who is interested is welcome to contact the party and learn more about their platform.

"This is a great opportunity for anyone who is concerned about the way things are in our province." says Cann. "Especially over the past few months, Islanders we've spoken to have made it clear that they've lost faith in the two leading political parties. We know there are people interested in running for The Island Party, we just hope they can overcome this backwards fear that exists here of being stigmatized for choosing a 'different' party."

AUG 16, 2011

The Guardian Article: Island Party elects new leader

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P.E.I. has its fifth political party leader after the Island Party picked its new leader Monday morning.

Former Montague-Kilmuir Liberal candidate Billy Cann will lead P.E.I.'s newest party into the next election, filling a void left by interim leader Jay Gallant who stepped down in September.

Cann is now tasked with building a party that has been polling at zero per cent with a fall election drawing closer and the reigning Liberals showing a strong lead over the other parties.

While he will be changing political stripes after running as a Liberal in the 2007 election, Cann said he is disappointed in what the Premier Robert Ghiz government has done since it came into power.

"For me when I ran for the Liberals I expected more from them and I'm not seeing that since the election," he said.

When the Island Party formed last year it needed a leader in order to register as an official party, but Gallant never intended to stay on long-term and stepped down in September.

Cann, who lives in Gaspereaux, has run his own construction business on and off for 20 years and ran as a Liberal in the last election against Montague-Kilmuir MLA Jim Bagnall.

He lost by 134 votes.

Party spokesman Paul Smitz said the party's core members chose Cann by acclamation, although both men agreed it was not the ideal way to pick a leader.

"It would have been nice to have an open thing, but time is so short and Billy is a good candidate, a known candidate," he said.

Cann said with close to six months left before the election the party had to do something about its vacant leadership.

"That spearheaded the decision more than anything," he said.

As of Monday the Island Party had eight people who have committed to run, but the party hopes to have a full slate on election day, he said.

"Hopefully the fact that we have a leader now will help in having people come onside."

Cann said the Island Party is mainly a grassroots rural party with regionalization as one of the big issues for in the upcoming election and he wants to know what Ghiz's plans are for regionalization in P.E.I.

"They haven't answered that. They've kind of avoided the question," he said.

Health care and education have dominated political discussions in the past and while they are important issues, they have taken away from working to strengthen P.E.I.'s economy, Cann said.

"Health care and education are very important. They are probably the most important things is your health, but if you don't have a strong economy you can't pay for all those things that are necessary to have good health in the province."

The Island Party will also focus on energy concerns and open up the government to make information more accessible to the public.

Cann said the Island Party has people out recruiting to increase its membership but the party won't have as much money to spend on a campaign as the Liberals or Conservatives which means it will rely more on social media and the Internet to try and win over voters.

"Hopefully people will jump on side and show their support," he said.

With about 45 per cent of voters undecided in the latest poll, Cann said there is the potential for the Island Party to gain support from those undecided voters.

"The next poll if we get eight to 10 per cent we're on our way."

Source: The Guardian (Ryan Ross), published March 15, 2011

MAR 28, 2011

Plans underway to develop a long-term plan to capitalize on future opportunities for both fishers and processors

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Billy Cann of the Island Party says his party would appoint a commission to take a comprehensive look at the status of the fishing industry in Prince Edward Island and beyond in order to develop a long-term plan to capitalize on future opportunities for both fishers and processors. He says “rationalization of the industry as a result of global competition has created enormous pressures on profit margins for both fishermen and processors. While overall there have been record catches of lobster, which is the main fishery, this has not necessarily translated into record profits for fishers or processors. The differential between shore prices and market prices in big city centers can be staggering. Increasing fuel, bait and material costs for fishers have contributed to the problem as well”.

Mr. Cann says the same time profit margins are declining some officials are saying there is great market demand for Island lobster which is the main fishery in Prince Edward Island. There should be significant opportunities to develop new markets for lobster considering world populations are increasing, new economic powers are emerging, and worldwide fish stocks are dwindling. Our party would mandate a commission to explore ways of strengthening the fishers' power base and ensure a fair return for their product, says Mr.Cann. In addition, we would charge it with the responsibility of addressing opportunities for growth and efficiencies in the processing industry. These measures will ensure that the fishing industry continues to make a significant contribution to the Island economy.

APR 15, 2010

 

 

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