Pat Mella's resignation statement as party leader

Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of PEI

It’s a little over five years ago that I appeared before a similar gathering of the media to announce my candidacy for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party of Prince Edward Island. I believe today as strong as I did then in the principles of the Progressive Conservative Party and in the importance of our party to the political life of this province.

Since my assumption of the leadership on November 10, 1990, the party has experience a great deal of change. We have eliminated a significant party debt, completely restructured our organization to reflect the new electoral districts, and revised the party constitution. We also experienced a significant electoral defeat. It has been an exciting and challenging time as we worked together to position the party to achieve the ultimate objective – the formation of the government of the province.

As the organization has come together, we have turned our attention to placing before the people of the province the best possible team as an alternative to the present government. This required extensive consultations by me with the executive of the party.

As a result of these deliberations I have accepted their recommendation that the party would, at this time be better served by a leadership convention than by my continuing to serve as leader.

It was out of respect for and loyalty to the party that I ran for the leadership. That same respect and loyalty to the party compels me to submit my resignation as Leader of the party, effective on the selection of my successor.

I will continue to serve as a member of the Legislative Assembly and as Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. As always I will continue to work hard to represent my constituents in Third Queens as their member in the Legislative Assembly. I also intent to fulfil my commitment to the citizens of the Province in providing effective opposition to present government.

I want to assure the members of the Progressive Conservative Party of my ongoing commitment to our party and of my willingness to continue working on the goal we share, the goal of providing good government to the people of P.E.I.

I want to express my sincere thanks to those in the party and in the wider community who have been so supportive and encouraging to me in my position as party leader. Thank you also to the members of the media for the respect you have shown me.

I will remain for a brief time to answer questions. After that I will be with my family and, on this question, unavailable for comment.

- December 1, 1995