On not bumming a ride from the Premier

One of my favourite passages in the biography of former Prince Edward Island Premier Alex B. Campbell written Hon. Wade MacLauchlan just before he became Premier himself:

Campbell went on to build good relationships with NFU leaders. Wayne Easter recalls one meeting “at which we had given the premier shit likely,” after which Campbell offered to drive him back to his truck which was parked several blocks away. Easter says, “I’ve never forgotten it to this day. I was twenty-two or twenty-three. Alex was driving the car and chatting away, not about the meeting. This was quite something, driving in the car with the premier.

Premier MacLauchlan co-chairs the Learning Partners Advisory Council of which I’m a member.

We have our second meeting tomorrow night, up in Summerside, about an hour’s drive to the west. I thought seriously about asking the Premier for a ride up to the meeting, but in the end I chickened out: I’m nowhere near as fast on my feet as Wayne Easter, and I’m pretty sure I couldn’t hold my own. He’d say something like “how do you feel about our fixed capital formation for fiscal 20141” and my most considered response would be “um.”

Of course, we could just talk about seafood pie. And I’ve missed a great opportunity.

I had my own delightful encounter with Alex Campbell about 15 years ago. I was working as a new product developer for the Anne of Green Gables Store, and was sent to meet with Alex to see if he might consider selling his driftwood creations. He welcomed me to his Stanley Bridge cottage, served me a glass of lemonade or two, and we had a nice chat. No new products were secured, but it was otherwise a remarkable afternoon for a young pup like me.

Postscript: the Premier read this post, gave me a call, and offered me a ride. What a strange, wonderful world we live in.

1. Just in case it ever comes up in casual conversation – or you should find your hitchhiking self picked up by the Premier – Prince Edward Island gross fixed capital formation increased by 3.7 per cent in fiscal 2014. According to the World Bank, gross fixed capital formation “includes land improvements (fences, ditches, drains, and so on); plant, machinery, and equipment purchases; and the construction of roads, railways, and the like, including schools, offices, hospitals, private residential dwellings, and commercial and industrial buildings.”


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