What experience do I have that qualifies me to be the next leader of the Progressive Conservative party and the next Premier of PEI?
I grew up on a beef farm where we grew sweet corn as a cash crop in the summer. Agriculture is the largest primary industry on PEI and the potato industry alone contributes over $1 billion to the PEI economy each year. I have a background in agriculture and know what it means to be a farmer. I think this is important. In fact in the late 1980’s I was the provincial representative to the National 4-H Conference in Washington DC . It was a working conference where much of the time was spent writing resolutions – and it was a key moment in sparking my interest to be a legislator. We have some very serious agricultural-related issues that need addressing in our province and it’s critically important that government meaningfully engage farmers to lead the way in solving these problems.
Also, I think it is time that government gave both our Agriculture and Fishing industries proper attention and assigned both a dedicated Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Deputy Minister of Fisheries.
I was educated in a small elementary school with 110 students across 9 grades, and then a small high school with around 500 students. I believe these small schools were key in my development because the opportunities to participate – particularly in extra-curricular activities – are greater in small schools.
After high school I studied Computer Science, Physics & Business at U. of Waterloo in the co-op program – working 4 months, then studying 4 months – allowing for low debt on graduation and gaining work experience in my field of choice – a model we should expand in PEI.
SMALL BUSINESS OWNER AND ENTREPRENEUR
When it comes to my work experience, I’ve spent the last 25 years working with computers in the information systems industry. I am a self-employed entrepreneur, and incorporated my business 12 years ago. I understand what it means to be a small business owner – because I am one. The proposed federal government changes for “tax fairness” will impact me directly – and in a negative way. As PC Leader I will continue the work started by the Island business community and the Opposition Office to lobby the federal Liberal government to withdraw the proposed changes.
Over my career I’ve worked as both an employee and manager at small entrepreneurial start-up companies, large multi-nationals, and as a government contractor. I understand how large organizations work – both private and government. In fact I once helped perform an organizational review for the Government of Manitoba. As PC Leader and future Premier I will closely review government administration and increase front-line personnel.
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY EXPERT
Also, I believe there are great efficiencies, improvements and cost savings to be achieved with information systems in government. Solutions range in scope from new email systems all the way to technology-enabled health care. PEI needs a leader that understands information systems so we can prioritize solutions and realize these benefits.
I believe I have the knowledge and experience to lead this province. But I understand that a leader is only as good as the team around him or her – and we have an amazing PC Caucus team – and are already lining up great PC candidates for the next election.
We also have some of the best and brightest people working in the PEI government. A good leader needs to provide direction, and enable and support their organization – providing the “why” not the “how”.
Maintenant il est temps de retourner aux fondations.
Now is the time to get back to basics.
That is why I ask for your support.