Excitement at AGM as P.E.I. Green Party sees signs of momentum

Matt MacFarlane's victory in the District 19 byelection in February gave the Green Party three seats in the legislature, the same number as the Liberals, who hold the status of Official Opposition. (Alex MacIsaac/CBC - image credit)
Matt MacFarlane's victory in the District 19 byelection in February gave the Green Party three seats in the legislature, the same number as the Liberals, who hold the status of Official Opposition. (Alex MacIsaac/CBC - image credit)

The fall sitting of the P.E.I. legislature is still months away but the Green Party is eager to get back in the house and build on the momentum from recent polls and its victory in the Borden-Kinkora byelection in February.

"It's really exciting to see the momentum that the party has right now," said Matt MacFarlane, whose win in the District 19 byelection gave the Greens three seats in the legislature.

The Greens held their annual general meeting Saturday in New London. They voted for the party's council and treasurer, but also vowed to keep the heat on the governing PCs when MLAs return to the legislature Nov. 5.

MacFarlane said the province is still not seeing enough improvement in health care, housing and the high cost of living.

"Until we start seeing real success from this government in solving and addressing some of those problems, we're going to keep asking those questions."

The Green Party suffered a setback in the 2023 general election when it fell from eight seats to two, losing its status as Official Opposition to the Liberals. MacFarlane's win in the byelection, taking a seat the PCs previously held, was the start of a rebound for the Greens, said interim leader Karla Bernard.

Green Party interim leader Karla Bernard chats with supporters during the annual general meeting in New London on Saturday. (Alex MacIsaac/CBC)

Then, a poll by Narrative Research conducted in May showed the percentage of Islanders who said they were mostly or completely satisfied with the government of Premier Dennis King fell below 50 per cent.

The PCs were still the preferred choice among the 300 people polled, but support was down from 2021 when the percentage of those polled by Narrative who said they were mostly or completely satisfied with the PCs reached as high as 80 per cent.

Much of that support has shifted to the Greens.

"Islanders are greener than they think and we're seeing that more and more," Bernard said. "So we just need to harness that and really show Islanders that indeed we are ready to step up to the plate and govern the province."

The next provincial election on P.E.I. is scheduled for Oct. 4, 2027.