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Catherine S. Callbeck
|28th Premier of Prince Edward Island|
January 25, 1993 – October 9, 1996
|Lieutenant Governor||Marion L. Reid
|Preceded by||Joe Ghiz|
|Succeeded by||Keith Milligan|
|MLA (Assemblyman) for District of 4th Prince|
|Preceded by||Robert Schurman|
|Succeeded by||William MacDougall|
|MLA (Councillor) for District of 1st Queens|
|Preceded by||Leone Bagnall|
|Succeeded by||riding abolished|
|Member of the Canadian Parliament
December 12, 1988 – January 25, 1993
|Preceded by||Melbourne Gass|
|Succeeded by||Wayne Easter|
|Senator from Prince Edward Island|
September 23, 1997 – July 25, 2014
|Appointed by||Jean Chrétien|
July 25, 1939 |
Central Bedeque, Prince Edward Island
|Prince Edward Island Liberal Party|
|Residence||Central Bedeque, Prince Edward Island|
|Alma mater||Mount Allison University
|Cabinet||Minister of Health and Social Services (1974-1978)
Minister responsible for Native Affairs (1974-1978)
Minister responsible for the Disabled (1974-1978)
|Religion||United Church of Canada|
|Website||*Catherine Callbeck – Parliament of Canada biography|
Catherine Sophia Callbeck (born July 25, 1939) is a retired Canadian politician.
She was the 28th Premier of Prince Edward Island from 1993 to 1996, the second female provincial premier in Canadian history, and the first to win a general election (the first female premier, Rita Johnston of British Columbia, became premier after winning the party leadership but lost the subsequent election). She was subsequently a member of the Senate of Canada from 1997 until her retirement in 2014.
Born in Central Bedeque, Prince Edward Island, the daughter of Ralph R. Callbeck and Ruth Campbell, she received a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Mount Allison University in 1960 and a Bachelor of Education degree from Dalhousie University in 1962. She took post-graduate courses in business administration from Syracuse University.
Early political career
A Liberal, she was first elected to the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island in 1974. She was appointed to Cabinet as Minister of Health and Social Services and Minister Responsible for Disabled Persons. She decided not to seek re-election in 1978 in order to work in the family business.
Premier of Prince Edward Island
In January 1993 she returned to provincial politics to successfully run for the leadership of the Prince Edward Island Liberal Party and was appointed Premier on 25 January. Under her leadership the Liberals won the 1993 provincial election, making her the first female leader of a political party in Canada to lead her party to victory in a general election.
Callbeck was premier at the same time as the other three most important public offices in the province were also held by women: Elizabeth II was Sovereign in Prince Edward Island, Marion Reid was the Lieutenant Governor, and Patricia Mella was the Leader of the Official Opposition.
Callbeck's government proved to be unpopular, however, mainly because of her breaking of a signed legal contract to implement a 7.5 per cent rollback on public sector employees salaries, as well as implementing controversial municipal amalgamation policies, staining her party's image for years to come. Callbeck's administration had been faced with rapidly increasing health care costs at the same time as federal equalization and transfer payments were decreased.
Callbeck resigned in October 1996 after only three and a half years as PEI's premier. The Liberal party lost the provincial election in November 1996 as well as the next two general elections, only returning to power in the 2007 election.
On January 29, 2014, Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau announced all Liberal Senators, including Callbeck, were removed from the Liberal caucus, and would continue sitting as Independents. According to Senate Opposition leader James Cowan, the Senators will still refer to themselves as Liberals even if they are no longer members of the parliamentary Liberal caucus.
Callbeck retired from the Senate on July 25, 2014, when she reached the upper house's mandatory retirement age.
- Weeks, Blair (2002). Minding the House: A Biographical Guide to Prince Edward Island MLAs. Acorn Press. ISBN 1-894838-01-7.
- "Canadian Who's Who 1997 entry". University of Toronto Press.
- "Trudeau’s expulsion catches Liberal senators by surprise". Globe and Mail. January 29, 2014. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
- Catherine Callbeck – Parliament of Canada biography
- Liberal Senate Forum
- Ontario College of Teachers Record