Robert Ghiz

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Robert Ghiz
Robert Ghiz.jpg
31st Premier of Prince Edward Island
In office
June 12, 2007 – February 23, 2015
MonarchElizabeth II
Lieutenant GovernorBarbara A. Hagerman
Frank Lewis
DeputyGeorge T. Webster (2010-2015)
Preceded byPat Binns
Succeeded byWade MacLauchlan
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island for
Charlottetown-Rochford Square (2003-2007)
In office
September 29, 2003 – February 24, 2015
Preceded byJeff Lantz
Succeeded byJordan Brown
Leader of the Prince Edward Island Liberal Party
In office
April 5, 2003 – February 21, 2015
Preceded byRon MacKinley (interim)
Succeeded byWade MacLauchlan
Personal details
Robert Watson Joseph Ghiz

(1974-01-21) January 21, 1974 (age 46)
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada[1]
Political partyLiberal
Kate Ellis (m. 2006)
RelationsJoe Ghiz (father), RoseEllen McGowan (mother)
Alma materBishop's University
OccupationPolitical adviser, banker
CabinetMinister Responsible for Intergovernmental Affairs (2007–15)
Minister Responsible for Acadian and Francophone Affairs (2007–15)
Minister Responsible for Aboriginal Affairs (2007–15)

Robert Watson Joseph Ghiz (born January 21, 1974) is a Canadian politician who served as the 31st premier of Prince Edward Island[1] from 2007 to 2015. He is the son of the 27th premier, Joe Ghiz.[2] On November 13, 2014 Ghiz announced he would be resigning as Premier in early 2015 as soon as the Liberal Party elected a new leader.[3]

Life and career[edit]

Ghiz was born and raised in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, the son of Rose Ellen (born McGowan) and Joe Ghiz. He served in the Canadian Forces Primary Reserves, while attending high school in the early 1990s. He attended Bishop's University where he earned a bachelor's degree in political science; his father spoke at Ghiz's graduation.

Ghiz moved to Ottawa following his father's death from cancer, where he worked as a political aide for Deputy Prime Minister Sheila Copps before joining the Bank of Nova Scotia in 1998. In 2001 Ghiz joined the office of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien where he served as Atlantic Canada advisor before leaving to run for leader of the Prince Edward Island Liberal Party in 2003.[1]


In 2003, Ghiz narrowly defeated former provincial Health Minister Alan Buchanan for the leadership of the party[4] and went on to win a seat in the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island in the 2003 provincial election.[5] The MLA for Charlottetown-Rochford Square (now Charlottetown-Brighton) served as Leader of the Official Opposition in the provincial legislature from 2003-2007.

Ghiz faced a controversy during the lead-up to the 2007 provincial election when he intervened in the nominating procedure in a rural electoral district northeast of Charlottetown. Ghiz refused to sign his party's nominating papers for the winning candidate who had made a controversial speech endorsing patronage.[6]

Ghiz led his party to power in the general election held on May 28, 2007, defeating Pat Binns after 11 years of Progressive Conservative government.[7] Ghiz won 23 of the 27 seats, reversing the standings in the legislature at the time of dissolution. Ghiz and his 11-member cabinet were sworn in on June 12, 2007. A 24th member was elected in October in a by-election held after the resignation of Pat Binns.[1]

Ghiz's election resulted in the second time in the history of Prince Edward Island that a father-son team both became premier; the other pair (also Liberal) being Thane Campbell (1936–1943) and Alexander B. Campbell (1966–1978).[8]

On October 3, 2011 the Ghiz Liberals were elected to a second term, winning 22 of 27 seats. The PEI Progressive Conservative party under the leadership of Olive Crane won the remaining 5 seats.[9]

Following the 2011 provincial election Ghiz announced that he would find a high-level position for Allan Campbell, who had lost his seat during the election. Campbell was later appointed Chief of Staff in the Premier's Office.[10]

Ghiz resigned as Premier of Prince Edward Island on February 23, 2015. He was succeeded by the new Liberal Party leader, Wade MacLauchlan. He resigned his seat in the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island the next day.[11]

Life after politics[edit]

In June 2016, Ghiz joined the international law firm Gowling WLG in a business advisory role.[12] By November of the same year it was announced that he would step into the role vacated by former New Brunswick premier Bernard Lord when Ghiz was hired to take over the leadership as CEO of the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association in the new year.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d "Ghiz, Hon. Robert W.J." Telephone Directory. Government of Prince Edward Island. Retrieved 2009-06-09.
  2. ^ "Ghiz Page". The Family Corner Store, A P.E.I. History. Government of Prince Edward Island. Retrieved 2009-06-09.
  3. ^ "Robert Ghiz quits as PEI premier, may run federally". Toronto Star. November 13, 2014. Retrieved November 13, 2014.
  4. ^ "Ghiz wins Liberal leadership". CBC News. April 5, 2003. Retrieved 2014-09-23.
  5. ^ "Ghiz gets to work". CBC News. April 7, 2003. Retrieved 2014-03-30.
  6. ^ "New candidate for Liberals in Morell- Mermaid". CBC News. March 10, 2007. Retrieved 2014-03-30.
  7. ^ "Robert Ghiz wins P.E.I. election, ending 11-year run by Pat Binns". The Guardian. May 28, 2007. Retrieved 2014-09-23.
  8. ^ "Ghiz, Robert W.J.". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2009-06-09.
  9. ^ "Ghiz wins 2nd term as P.E.I. premier". CBC News. October 3, 2011. Retrieved 2014-09-23.
  10. ^ "Allan Campbell new chief of staff". CBC News. October 11, 2011. Retrieved 2014-11-14.
  11. ^ "Experienced faces make up Wade MacLauchlan cabinet". CBC News. February 23, 2015. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
  12. ^ Yarr, Kevin. "Robert Ghiz takes new job in law firm". CBC Prince Edward Island. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  13. ^ Yarr, Kevin. "Former P.E.I. premier Robert Ghiz to lead wireless industry group". CBC Prince Edward Island. Retrieved 28 November 2016.

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