The Role of Premier

A position of power. The head of government. Leader of the Province of Prince Edward Island. The Premier

Before it joined Confederation, Prince Edward Island became a British crown colony in 1763 and became the British Colony of St. John Island in 1769. Since 1851, it has had its own system of responsible governance. Even after joining Confederation, the province kept its own legislature to deal with provincial matters, with its system of governance virtually unchanged since its inception.

Prince Edward Island has a unicameral Westminster-style of government, where the premier is the leader of the party that controls the most seats in the legislative assembly.

The Premier acts as the province’s head of government and, as well, the president of the Executive Council of Prince Edward Island, for which the premier selects a cabinet from the elected members of their party.

The current Premier is Progressive Conservative Dennis King. 

To date, the Hon. Catherine Callbeck is the only woman to serve in the role of Premier in Prince Edward Island. She first took over the role on Jan. 25, 1993, after winning the leadership of the Liberal Party of Prince Edward Island following the resignation of then Premier Joe Ghiz. She led her party to victory in the general election of March 29, 1993, and served more than three years before retiring on Oct. 9, 1996.

To view a full list of premiers who have served PEI, from the first to the current premier, visit the Historical Premier’s Gallery