P.E.I. Green Party candidate Josh Underhay and his young son died in a canoeing accident on Friday afternoon. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

P.E.I. Greens suspend activities after tragedy in campaign’s final days

CHARLOTTETOWN — With the provincial election campaign drawing to a close in P.E.I., Green party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker has suspended all canvassing and other events today as the party grieves the tragic loss of one of its candidates.

Josh Underhay, a candidate in the district of Charlottetown-Hillsborough Park, and his young son died in a canoeing accident on Friday afternoon.

The Greens, who have led recent opinion polls, cancelled all campaigning on the weekend, and Bevan-Baker issued a statement Sunday confirming the party had cancelled all events for today.

Bevan-Baker says he was struck by the unconditional support he has received from other politicians and from concerned citizens from across Canada.

The Green leader also noted that his rivals in the campaign, which wraps up with a vote on Tuesday, also stopped campaigning on the weekend.

Elections P.E.I. has cancelled the vote in Underhay’s district, saying a byelection will be held within the next three months.

“The past two days have been among the most difficult of my political life, torn between my private grief at the death of candidate and friend, Josh Underhay, and my obligations as Green party leader,” Bevan-Baker said in his statement.

“In politics, it is often tempting to remember the negative and forget the positive, but this weekend I am reminded how blessed we are to have politicians and a political culture that can be counted on to put people and community ahead of partisan differences.”

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