Prince Edward Island

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Prince Edward Island, province (2001 pop. 135,294), 2,184 sq mi (5,657 sq km), E Canada, off N.B. and N.S.


One of the Maritime Provinces, Prince Edward Island lies in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and is separated on the S from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick by the Northumberland Strait, which is crossed by the Confederation Bridge (1997). It is Canada's smallest province but also has Canada's highest population density. The generally low, level island is c.140 mi (225 km) long and 5 to 35 mi (8–56 km) wide. Sandy beaches line the deeply indented north shore, and much of this popular resort spot is now Prince Edward Island National Park (est. 1937). Low red sandstone cliffs rim the south shores, and the tides reach to the headwaters of the island's short rivers.

With its fertile and distinctive red soil and its agreeable climate, the island has become known as the Garden of the Gulf. About 90% of the land is arable. The capital is Charlottetown.

Economy and Higher Education

Agriculture and fishing have long dominated the economy. Since earliest settlement, fishing has been important, yielding an abundance of lobsters, oysters, halibut, mackerel, and herring. Livestock, fruit, and vegetables are produced, and potatoes are exported.

Because of the lack of raw materials and cheap sources of power, manufacturing is largely limited to food processing, such as the making of butter and cheese and the canning of pork and lobsters. There has been little diversification of the economy, but the tourist industry has grown. Sites and events associated with Anne of Green Gables, the story by islander Lucy Maud Montgomery, draw many visitors, and the Confederation Bridge is expected to greatly increase tourism.

The Univ. of Prince Edward Island is at Charlottetown.

History and Politics

The Micmac lived on the island before Europeans arrived. Jacques Cartier wrote enthusiastically about it after landing there in 1534. Samuel de Champlain named it Île St. Jean in 1603, and it was known by that name (or Isle St. John) until 1799, when it was renamed after Edward, duke of Kent, who later fathered Queen Victoria. The first permanent settlement was made by the French in 1719 near present-day Charlottetown, but the British gained control under the Treaty of Paris in 1763. Many French settlers were deported by the British (see Acadia), but others remained; their descendants still live here. In 1803, Lord Selkirk's first colony of impoverished Scots settled here; persons of Scottish extraction now constitute about one third of the inhabitants.

In 1763, Prince Edward Island was annexed to Nova Scotia, but it became a separate colony in 1769. Responsible, or cabinet, government was granted in 1851. In 1864 delegates from the Maritime Provinces met in Charlottetown to discuss union—the first step toward forming the Canadian confederation, which was achieved in 1867. However, Prince Edward Island did not join the confederation until 1873. Throughout the 20th cent. the island's economy was relatively stable, although lack of energy and technology caused it to lag behind the rest of Canada.

The Progressive Conservatives (or Conservatives) and the Liberals are the only parties to have formed provincial governments since 1873. In 1993, Catherine Callbeck, who led the Liberals to a sweep, became Canada's first female provincial premier. Progressive Conservative Patrick Binns became premier in 1996 and was returned to office in 2000 and 2003. In 2007 the Liberals won a majority, and Robert Ghiz became premier; they remained in power after the 2011 vote. Ghiz stepped down in 2015 and Wade MacLauchlan succeeded him. The Liberals retained power after elections later in the year. The province sends 4 senators and 4 representatives to the national parliament.


See A. H. Clark, Three Centuries and the Island (1957); D. C. Harvey, The French Regime in Prince Edward Island (1926, repr. 1970); J. M. Bumsted, Land, Settlement, and Politics on Eighteenth-Century Prince Edward Island (1987).

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Prince Edward Island


550 University Ave.
Charlottetown, PE, Canada C1A 4P3
Tel: (902)566-0439
Admissions: (902)566-0361
Fax: (902)566-0795
Web Site:


Province-supported, comprehensive, coed. Awards bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and first professional degrees. Founded 1834. Setting: 130-acre small town campus. Total enrollment: 3,912. Faculty: 208 (all full-time). Student-undergrad faculty ratio is 16:1. 1,224 applied, 67% were admitted. Students come from 11 provinces and territories, 25 other countries, 0% from out-of province, 24% 25 or older, 10% live on campus. Retention: 68% of full-time freshmen returned the following year. Calendar: Canadian standard year. ESL program, services for LD students, honors program, distance learning, double major, summer session for credit, part-time degree program, co-op programs and internships. Study abroad program.

Entrance Requirements:

Options: Common Application, electronic application, early admission, international baccalaureate accepted. Required: high school transcript, minimum 2.0 high school GPA. Required for some: 3 recommendations. Entrance: moderately difficult. Application deadlines: 8/15, 4/1 for nonresidents. Notification: continuous until 8/31, continuous until 6/30 for nonresidents.

Costs Per Year:

Application fee: $50 Canadian dollars. Tuition, fee, and room and board charges are reported in Canadian dollars. Province resident tuition: $4620 full-time. Mandatory fees: $1060 full-time. Full-time tuition and fees vary according to course load and degree level. College room and board: $7490. College room only: $4300. Room and board charges vary according to board plan and housing facility. International student tuition: $8430 full-time.

Collegiate Environment:

Orientation program. Drama-theater group, choral group, student-run newspaper. Social organizations: 20 open to all. Most popular organizations: Business Society, Biology Club, Music Society, intramurals, Theatre Society. Student services: health clinic, personal-psychological counseling, women's center. Campus security: 24-hour emergency response devices and patrols, late night transport-escort service, controlled dormitory access, late night residence hall security personnel. 300 college housing spaces available; all were occupied in 2003-04. Option: coed housing available. Robertson Library with 394,000 books, 92,000 microform titles, 1,700 serials, an OPAC, and a Web page. 120 computers available on campus for general student use. Computer purchase/lease plans available. A campuswide network can be accessed from student residence rooms and from off campus. Staffed computer lab on campus.

Community Environment:

Charlottetown is the provincial capital and the largest community, approximately 30,000, on the island. It has an excellent harbor and is the center of the cultural and commercial activities of the island. Scenic attractions include Province House, St. Dunstan's Basilica, St. Peter's Anglican Cathedral, the Confederation Center and Government house.

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Legislative Assembly - Prince Edward Island
Lieutenant Governors - Prince Edward Island
The Binns Administration - Prince Edward Island
Administrations - Prince Edward Island
Legislatures Since 1873 - Prince Edward Island
List of Members - Prince Edward Island
List of Constituencies - Prince Edward Island
Biographies - Prince Edward Island
Principal Officials of the Legislative Assembly - Prince Edward Island
General Election - 2003: Prince Edward Island
Standing of Parties - Prince Edward Island


Confederation Date / Fit son entrée dans la Confédération

July 1, 1873 / le 1er juillet 1873

Area / S uperficie

Land / Terre - 5,660

Water / Eau - 0

Total - 5,660


(Census / Recensement): 1891 - 109,000; 1901 - 103,000; 1911 - 94,000; 1921 - 89,000; 1931 - 88,000; 1941 - 95,000; 1951 - 98,400; 1956 - 99,300; 1961 - 104,600; 1966 - 108,500; 1971 - 111,600; 1976 - 118,200; 1981 - 122,500; 1986 - 126,600; 1991 - 129,765; 1996 - 137,312; 2001 - 138,500; 2003 - 137,781; (Estimate/Estimation 2004) - 137,864

Capital / Capitale


Major Centres / Centres principaux (2003)

Charlottetown: 32,245

Summerside: 14,654

Cornwall: 4,412

Montague: 1,945

Kensington: 1,385

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Prince Edward Island


550 University Ave.
Charlottetown, PE, Canada C1A 4P3
Tel: (902)566-0439
Admissions: (902)566-0361
Fax: (902)566-0795
Web Site:
President/CEO: Prof. Wade MacLauchlan
Registrar: Alan Buchanan
Admissions: Alan Buchanan
Financial Aid: Philip Hooper
Type: Comprehensive Sex: Coed % Accepted: 67 Admission Plans: Early Admission Application Deadline: August 15 Application Fee: $50.00 H.S. Requirements: High school diploma required; GED not accepted. For students 22 or over and out of high school at least 2 years: High school diploma or equivalent not required Costs Per Year: Application fee: $50 Canadian dollars. Tuition, fee, and room and board charges are reported in Canadian dollars. Province resident tuition: $4620 full-time. Mandatory fees: $1060 full-time. Full-time tuition and fees vary according to course load and degree level. College room and board: $7490. College room only: $4300. Room and board charges vary according to board plan and housing facility. International student tuition: $8430 full-time. Scholarships: Available Calendar System: Miscellaneous, Summer Session Available Enrollment: FT 2,912, PT 476, Grad 141 Faculty: FT 208 Student-Faculty Ratio: 16:1 % Residing in College-Owned, -Operated, or -Affiliated Housing: 10 Library Holdings: 394,000 Credit Hours For Degree: 120 semester hours, Bachelors Professional Accreditation: AVMA Intercollegiate Athletics: Basketball M & W; Field Hockey W; Golf M; Ice Hockey M & W; Rugby M & W; Soccer M & W; Volleyball W

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Prince Edward Island


Anatomy, MD

Anthropology, B

Bacteriology, MD

Biological and Biomedical Sciences, M

Biology/Biological Sciences, B

Business Administration and Management, B

Canadian Studies, B

Chemistry, BM

Computer Science, B

Economics, B

Education, BM

Educational Leadership and Administration, M

Elementary Education and Teaching, B

English Language and Literature, B

Epidemiology, MD

Family and Consumer Economics and Related Services, B

Foods, Nutrition, and Wellness Studies, B

French Language and Literature, B

Geography, M

German Language and Literature, B

History, B

Hospitality Administration/Management, B

Immunology, MD

Mathematics, B

Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist, B

Music, B

Music Teacher Education, B

Nursing - Registered Nurse Training, B

Parasitology, MD

Pathology/Experimental Pathology, MD

Pharmacology, MD

Philosophy, B

Physics, B

Physiology, MD

Political Science and Government, B

Pre-Dentistry Studies, B

Pre-Medicine/Pre-Medical Studies, B

Pre-Veterinary Studies, B

Psychology, B

Religion/Religious Studies, B

Science Teacher Education/General Science Teacher Education, M

Secondary Education and Teaching, B

Sociology, B

Spanish Language and Literature, B

Toxicology, MD

Veterinary Medicine, P

Veterinary Sciences, MD

Virology, MD

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Prince Edward Island was ceded by France in 1763, becoming a separate colony in 1769. The island was granted to absentee proprietors in 1767. It was called St John's Island until 1799. Most settlers came direct from the British Isles, bringing sectarian conflict. Attempts by tenants to dispossess landlords provided models for land legislation in Ireland. Although the dominion of Canada was planned at a conference in Charlottetown, the island's capital, in 1864, Prince Edward Island remained aloof until 1873. L. M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables (1908) was set on ‘the only island there is’.

Ged Martin

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Prince Edward Island Province in e Canada, an island in the Gulf of St Lawrence off the coast of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia; the capital is Charlottetown. The island was discovered by Jacques Cartier in 1534. In the early 18th century, it was colonized by French settlers as the Ile St Jean. Ceded to Britain in 1763, it was renamed in 1799 and became a province of Canada in 1873. Fishing and agriculture are the most important economic activities. Area: 5657sq km (2184sq mi). Pop. (2001) 135,294.

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PEI • abbr. Prince Edward Island.

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