James Lee (Canadian politician)

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The Honourable
James Matthew Lee
26th Premier of Prince Edward Island
In office
17 November 1981 – 2 May 1986
Monarch Elizabeth II
Lieutenant Governor Joseph Aubin Doiron
Lloyd MacPhail
Preceded by Angus MacLean
Succeeded by Joe Ghiz
Personal details
Born (1937-03-26) March 26, 1937 (age 77)
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Nationality Canadian
Political party Progressive Conservative
Spouse(s) Patricia Laurie (m. 1960)
Children Laurie Anne, Patricia Susan, and Jason
Residence Stanhope, Prince Edward Island
Alma mater Saint Dunstan's University
Occupation real estate broker, tourist operator, and businessperson
Profession Politician
Cabinet Minister of Tourism, Parks and Conservation (1979-1980)
Minister of Health and Social Services (1980-1981)
Religion Roman Catholic

James Matthew Lee, PC (born March 26, 1937) was the 26th Premier of Prince Edward Island (1981–86). He was the leader of the PEI Progressive Conservative Party from 1981 to 1987.

Born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, the son of James Matthew Lee and Catherine Blanchard, Lee was educated at Saint Dunstan's University. He married Patricia Laurie in 1960.[1]

Island MLA[edit]

After a successful career in real estate and development, Lee ran in 1974 as a Progressive Conservative but failed to win a seat in the provincial legislature. Lee was elected to the PEI Legislature one year later after winning a by-election in 1975. Lee was re-elected in 1978, 1979 and 1982.[1] Lee ran for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party of PEI in 1976 and narrowly lost to future premier J. Angus MacLean. When MacLean was elected Premier in 1979, Lee served in the provincial cabinet as Minister of Social Services and Minister of Tourism, Parks and Conservation from 1979 to 1980 and as Minister of Health and Social Services from 1980 to 1981.[2]


In 1981 Premier Angus MacLean resigned as PC leader and James M. Lee won the PC leadership convention held to choose MacLean's successor, thus becoming the 26th Premier of Prince Edward Island. Lee led his party to re-election in 1982. In April 1982, he was sworn into the Privy Council of Canada by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.[1]

A major accomplishment by the Lee government was the successful negotiation with the federal government to obtain the establishment of a school of veterinary medicine at the University of Prince Edward Island. Lee's government was defeated in the 1986 election which also cost him his seat in the legislature.[3]

Life after politics[edit]

He was appointed to be a commissioner on the Canadian Pension Commission and in 1998 became chairman of the PEI Workers' Compensation Board.[3]


  1. ^ a b c "James Matthew Lee". Premiers Gallery. Government of Prince Edward Island. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  2. ^ "Hon. James M. LEE". Canadian Who's Who. University of Toronto. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  3. ^ a b "Lee, James Matthew". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2009-05-26.