Elizabeth Hubley

Former Senator, Deputy Speaker, and MLA

A Sense of Community

Hon. Elizabeth ‘Libbe’ Hubley was born Sept. 8, 1942, in Howlan, PEI, to Bennett (BJ) and Florence (Brown) Haywood. Her early education took place in local schools, the Prince of Wales College in Charlottetown, as well as the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.

Early in her career, she worked as a secretary at Trans Canada Credit in Charlottetown and held various positions with companies and organizations in Calgary, Montreal and Halifax.

She married Richard Beck Hubley on Nov. 12, 1966. Together, they raised six children: Brendon, Susan, Allan, Amos (deceased), Jennifer, and Florence. She is the founder and owner of Stepping Out, a traditional dance studio in Kensington, and home of the Lady Slipper Dancers.

Political History

  • First elected in 1989 as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of PEI in the dual-seat riding of 4th Prince, and re-elected in 1993;
  • Served as an MLA from 1989 to 1996;
  • Served as Deputy Speaker from 1991 to 1995;
  • Served on several legislative committees including: Economic Development and Tourism; Health and Social Services; the Special Committee on the Constitution of Canada; and the Election Act and Electoral Boundaries Commission;
  • Appointed to the Veterans Review and Appeal Board of Veterans Affairs Canada following her time in the Legislative Assembly of PEI.

Hubley was appointed to the Senate of Canada on March 8, 2001, by Governor-General Adrienne Clarkson on the recommendation of Prime Minister Jean Chretien. As a Senator, she served in various capacities, including:

  • Deputy Leader of the Senate Liberals from Nov. 15, 2016, to June 28, 2017;
  • Deputy Whip of the Senate Liberals from December 2005 to November 2016;
  • Deputy Opposition Whip from February 2006 to November 2015;
  • Vice-chair of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans;
  • Member of Standing Joint Committee on the Library of Parliament, Standing Joint Committee on Scrutiny of Regulations and Standing Joint Committee on Official Languages;
  • Vice-chair of the national branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association;
  • Founder of National Fiddling Day;
  • Participated in a diplomatic partnership with Turks and Caicos

She retired from the Senate of Canada after 16 years on her 75th birthday in September 2017. Hubley remains active in her community, in her church, with her family, and, in her free time, plays the fiddle and paints.​​ She resides in Kensington, PEI.

Read the her feature story: A Sense of Community


In Her Own Words

Our population is 51 per cent women. That says it all. We have to look at the diversity within our society. Politics should reflect the diversity of our province and country. We, as women, have to be there.”

advice to girls and women for success


on the privilege of being an elected representative

“It is something that you can’t fathom until you are there. All of a sudden, the reality of sitting in the legislature in Charlottetown, in that historic building. For me that sense of public service or that opportunity to become involved in public service, that’s been the greatest gift.”

on some of the challenges for women in politics

"It is important that in order to get women into politics or keep them there, assure them that they are going to be able to maintain their family” was Hubley’s advice to those hoping to see more women elected. “We can’t compete like a man competes. We have to do it a way a woman will do it. That means there has to be changes.”

Group image of Pat Mella, Marion Reid and Catherine Callbeck at Government House, 2018

on the PEI Famous 5 photo

“After 25 years it still fills me with a sense of pride that I have been part of that photograph. It is interesting. At the time, we underestimated its historic significance. We were all just doing the job that we were elected to do.”

Her PEI Famous 5 Role

Deputy Speaker

The role of Deputy Speaker is to support the speaker by filling in for that person when he or she is absent from the House. That means the Deputy Speaker, once in that chair temporarily, has the same duties as the Speaker.

The following women have held the position of Deputy Speaker in the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island:

  • Hon. Marion L. Reid, 1979 to 1983
  • Hon. Elizabeth Hubley, 1993 to 1996
  • Paula Biggar, 2007 to 2015
  • Kathleen Casey, 2015 to 2019