The Honourable Alex B. CampbellPublished on 5 June 2014 Hansard and Statements by Senator Catherine Callbeck (retired)
Hon. Catherine S. Callbeck:
Honourable senators, this past week the Prince Edward Island Museum and Heritage Foundation launched a biography of that province’s longest-serving premier, the Honourable Alex B. Campbell.
Mr. Campbell became premier in 1966 and was re-elected in 1970, 1974 and 1978. He is one of the most important public figures in the history of the province, not simply because of his long service but also because, under his government, some of the most far-reaching reforms were undertaken which helped to transform the province and its people.
The Campbell government accelerated the growth and development of the primary industries of agriculture, forestry, fisheries and tourism. It diversified the economy, attracting many new industries. It established the University of Prince Edward Island and Holland College, consolidated schools, and opened up many new opportunities for young Islanders. The new Queen Elizabeth Hospital was initiated and major changes were made in the way social programs were developed and delivered. There were major investments in infrastructure and housing, along with many other long-overdue initiatives that helped to address the problems of regional disparity and narrow the income gap between Islanders and other Canadians. The Campbell government made much-needed investments and reforms that the province had never before experienced and which still resonate today.
Most appropriately, the book is entitled Alex B. Campbell: The Prince Edward Island Premier Who Rocked The Cradle.
I was privileged to serve in the Campbell government for four of those years as Minister of Health and Social Services. Much of my inspiration in public life came from working with Alex Campbell.
The biography was written by Wade MacLauchlan, president emeritus of the University of Prince Edward Island, following extensive research. It is both comprehensive and highly readable, telling us all about Alex Campbell and the period in which he was such a dominant figure.
I want to congratulate Wade MacLauchlan and the Prince Edward Island Museum and Heritage Foundation on the completion of this ambitious and highly worthy project.