First Female Premier For NL; Liberal Majority In PEI

Kathy Dunderdale; Photo by Maria Afonso
Photo by Maria Afonso

The province of Newfoundland and Labrador has its first female premier. Kathy Dunderdale made history on Tuesday as she led her Progressive Conservative party to its third majority in a row.

A “majority” means the PCs have more seats in the legislature than the other parties combined.

A majority means that if there is a vote in the legislature, the PCs will win it (assuming all of them vote, and vote the same way) – even if everyone else in the legislature votes against it.

Having a majority often lets a government do more of the things it wants to do, because its projects won’t get voted down by the other parties.

Dunderdale has been Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador since Dec., 2010. She is only the sixth female premier in Canada’s history.

The second-place Liberals had changed leaders in the final weeks of the election. Yvonne Jones stepped down in August to focus on her recovery from breast cancer. Kevin Aylward became the leader of the NL Liberals.

Prince Edward Island

In Prince Edward Island, Liberal Premier Robert Ghiz won a majority government last Monday.

He defeated Progressive Conservative leader Olive Crane.

At 37 years old, Robert Ghiz is Canada’s youngest premier. He has been Premier of PEI since 2007.

Robert Ghiz; photo by Justin Schuck
Photo by Justin Schuck

Robert Ghiz’s father, Joe, served as premier of PEI from 1986 to 1992. The Ghizes are the second father-son pair to both become premiers in PEI (the other pair was Thane Campbell, 1936-1943, and his son Alexander, 1966-1978).

The election in PEI became heated at times, with accusations of bribery leveled against the Liberals. Ghiz said he was proud that he ran a positive campaign, in which he took the high road against “false accusations.”

By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Why do you think there have been so few female premiers in Canada’s history?
Do you think a female leader would govern any differently from a male leader?  Why or why not?

Reading Prompt
In the article, it states that Ghiz was proud that “he took the high road against ‘false accusations.'”
What do you think the phrase “take the high road” means?  What characteristics could you use to describe someone who “takes the high road?” Can you think of an example when you “took the high road?”

Use stated and implied ideas in texts to make inferences and construct meaning (OME, Reading: 1.5).

Develop and explain interpretations of increasingly complex or difficult texts using stated and implied ideas from the texts to support their interpretations (OME, Reading: 1.5).

Grammar Feature: Semicolon
One of the ways that a semicolon (;) is used is to separate two ideas.  The title of the article uses a semicolon as follows: “First Female Premier for NL; Liberal Majority in PEI.”

Insert a semicolon into the following sentences so they make sense:
1. I don’t like doing my homework I like to play outside.
2. I like fishing I don’t like putting worms on hooks.
3. My cat likes to play with mice my cat doesn’t like dogs.
4. I stayed up late last night I am tired during school.
5. Yellow is my favourite colour I like wearing grey sometimes.