Changing our future by exploring PEI’s past

Seated (l-r), Hon. Catherine Callbeck, Hon Marion Reid, Hon Elizabeth Hubley, Pat Mella and Nancy Guptill. (l-r), Kathleen Casey, Hon. Wade MacLauchlan, Laura Ross, Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Canada Chair, MLA (Sask) and Hon. Paula Biggar

Today, over 100 people gathered for the PEI’s Famous Five 25th Anniversary Conference to celebrate the remarkable milestone that PEI’s Famous Five made to provincial and national history 25 years ago.

In 1993, five Island women held the most influential seats in government. At the time, the Honourable Marion Reid was the first female Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island, the Honourable Catherine Callbeck was PEI’s first female Premier, Nancy Guptill held the position of Speaker of the House, the Honourable Elizabeth Hubley was the Deputy Speaker and Pat Mella was leader of the Official Opposition. Each and everyone of these women continue to make invaluable contributions to their communities and to the Province of Prince Edward Island.

The full day event at the University of Prince Edward Island campus featured PEI’s Famous Five and celebrated their individual and collective contributions to our living political history. After engaging panel discussions by PEI’s Famous Five and UPEI’s student leaders, participants from all walks of life took part in an interactive forum.

“It was incredibly powerful and inspirational to hear trailblazers like PEI’s Famous Five speak. It is also a reminder that this milestone has not been repeated since,” said Paula Biggar, Minister Responsible for the Status of Women. “We are listening to Islanders and are working to create an enduring gender-balanced society where equal opportunities are accessible for everyone”.

"To be given the opportunity to speak at an event celebrating women in leadership, is an honour and one I fully appreciate,” said Emma Drake, UPEI Student Union Vice-President Academic & External. “We must acknowledge not only the success that we have had in the past, but also how we can learn from it and take it with us moving forward, in each of our leadership roles as we shape the future."

The day’s events were jointly organized by the Interministerial Women’s Secretariat, The Coalition for Women in Government and the University of Prince Edward Island. 

Learn more about PEI’s Famous Five on the new website: http://www.peifamousfive.ca 

Media contact:
Vicki Tse
Interministerial Women’s Secretariat

Nicole Phillips
University of Prince Edward Island

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