Fonds Acc4073 - Council of Maritime Premiers Oral History Project fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Council of Maritime Premiers Oral History Project fonds

General material designation

  • Sound recording
  • Textual record

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Janet Toole, interviewer

Title notes

  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of the fonds

Level of description


Reference code

CA PCA Acc4073

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1987-1988 (Creation)
    Council of Maritime Premiers. Oral History Project

Physical description area

Physical description

30 audio cassettes
.2 m of textual records

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator

Council of Maritime Premiers. Oral History Project

Biographical history

The Council of Maritime Premiers created in the wake of the Maritime Union Study (1968-1970), is a unique intergovernmental body which fosters greater cooperative effort amongst the Maritime governments, institutions and peoplesof New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. The three premiers act unanimously when taking decisions or not at all. The Council has been influential in the promotion of better exchanges of ideas in many areas.

The Council's Oral History Project to interview twelve persons who were closely involved with the establishment of the Council was commissioned by the Council of Maritime Premiers at its December meeting in 1986 to commemorate its fifteenth anniversary.

Name of creator

Campbell, Alexander Bradshaw

Biographical history

Premier of Prince Edward Island, 1966-1978.

Alexander Bradshaw Campbell was born in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, on 1 December 1933 to Thane A. Campbell and Cecilia Lillian Bradshaw. He married Marilyn Ruth Gilmour, daughter of Melville A. Gilmour of Guelph, Ontario, on 19 August 1961. They had three children: Blair Alexander; Heather Kathryn; and Graham Melville.

Campbell was educated at Summerside Elementary School and Summerside High School before attending Dalhousie University from which he graduated with a BA. And LL.B. After he graduated in 1959, he was admitted to the bar and practiced law in Summerside in partnership with his brother Melville until he took up politics full time. Campbell was awarded the designation of Queen's Counsel in 1966.

In 1963, Campbell made his first attempt to enter politics. His name was put forward for the Liberal nominating convention to choose the Federal Representative for the electoral district of Prince. He lost by one vote to Watson MacNaught who went on to became Federal Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys. Campbell then turned his attention to provincial politics.

On 9 February 1965, Campbell offered as the Liberal candidate and won the seat in a Provincial by-election in Summerside, for the Fifth District of Prince. Upon the retirement of Premier Alex W. Matheson, Campbell was elected leader of the Liberal party for Prince Edward Island on 11 December 1965. He acted in the role of Leader of the Opposition for one full session of the Legislative Assembly in early 1966. When a general election was called, he led the Liberals to victory and was sworn in as Premier on 28 July 1966, just 16 months after first entering Island politics. At the age of 32, he became the third youngest Canadian ever elected Premier.

During Campbell's first term in office, he also held the portfolio of Attorney General, a position he retained until 1969. In 1967, he was sworn in as a member of Privy Council of Canada. In the general election of 1970, Campbell and the Liberals again formed the government taking 27 of 32 seats in the Provincial Legislature. Following the election, Campbell was sworn in as Minister of Development. He held this portfolio until May 1972 when he was took on the role of Minister of Agriculture and Forestry.

As premier, Campbell concentrated on developing programs and policies to strengthen P.E.I.'s economy, improve social conditions, and "foster greater understanding and respect for P.E.I. history and cultural traditions." Several of these programs were viewed by some as controversial. His early years in office were marked by much debate over a proposed federally-funded project to build a causeway between Prince Edward Island and the mainland, a proposal which was finally dropped in March of 1969. It was later that month that Campbell announced the government policy for which he is perhaps best known, the Comprehensive Development Plan which was designed to address the need for economic growth in the province. Industrial parks were built in West Royalty and Summerside, economic development grants were given to local entrepreneurs, and efforts were made to encourage manufacturers to establish businesses within the province. Changes to the health and welfare system, including movement towards the establishment of a single, non-sectarian, general hospital to serve all Islanders, and to the tourism industry also came as a result of the CDP. The Institute of Man and Resources was created with the mandate to explore alternative energy sources.

Campbell's government was responsible for growth in the provincial civil service which increased from 1,435 in 1966 to 2,658 in 1974. During this period, the Island also saw the population in urban areas increase as well as the rural non-farming population. In order to address the concerns of the rural population of the Island, Campbell's government developed education programs for agricultural producers who were also encouraged to organize producer-owned marketing agencies. The administration created the Land Development Corporation and the P.E.I. Lending Authority so farmers would continue to have access to affordable land. In reaction to concerns caused by the CDP, Campbell instituted the Family Farm Capital Grants Program to slow the decrease in the number of family farms and implemented legislation restricting non-resident land ownership. The government also set up the Royal Commission on Land Ownership and Land Use in 1972 to further study this issue.

In an environment of intense controversy, Campbell's government brought about the amalgamation of Prince of Wales College and St. Dunstan's College to form the University of Prince Edward Island and Holland College in 1969. Public education was restructured with the implementation of School Consolidation whereby 370 local school boards were reduced to 5 and with the actual number of schools being reduced from 380 in 1969 to 70 by 1978. Many new educational facilities were built and older structures were renovated during this period.

Campbell's government, with much financial assistance from the federal government, was also involved various endeavors to promote culture and heritage on P.E.I. During Campbell's term in office, Centennial celebrations were held province wide in 1967 in honor of the hundred year anniversary of the creation of Canada and in 1973 to celebrate the hundred year anniversary of Prince Edward Island's entry into Confederation. In 1967, communities across the Island received assistance with local Centennial projects, such as the construction of ice hockey rinks, playgrounds, and community halls as well as improvements to schools and other public buildings while in 1973 "Centennial" money provided the necessary funding for the creation of the Prince Edward Island Heritage Foundation.

After leading his party to yet another victory in April 1978, Campbell resigned as premier when, in November of that year, he was appointed to the Supreme Court. He retired from this position in 1994.

Throughout his life, Campbell was heavily involved in the community. He was a member and former secretary of the Summerside Board of Trade. He was a member of the Summerside Y's Men's Club, acting as president from1980-1991. He also served as an elder at Trinity United Church, Summerside. Campbell was appointed P.E.I. coordinator of the Governor General's Canadian Study Conference which was held in 1983. In that year, he also took on the role as chair of the Summerside and Area Historical Society, a position he held until 1990. Between 1984 and 1990, he was the P.E.I. chairman of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards. He also served on the board of the Prince Edward Island Museum and Heritage Foundation and was chairman of the Institute of Man and Resources. Campbell was awarded a Doctor of Laws degree from McGill in 1967 and a Doctor of Laws degree from UPEI in 1979.

In 2002, Alex Campbell was living in Stanley Bridge, Prince Edward Island.

Name of creator

Hatfield, Richard J.

Biographical history

Richard J. Hatfield (9 April 1931 - 26 April 1991) served as Premier of New Brunswick from 1970-1987.

Name of creator

Regan, Gerald A.

Biographical history

Premier of Nova Scotia, 1970 to 1978.

Name of creator

Robichaud, Louis J.

Biographical history

Premier of New Brunswick, 1960-1970

Custodial history

Scope and content

This fonds is comprised of thirty tapes, and transcripts thereof, of interviews with twelve persons closely involved in the establishment of the Council of Maritime Premiers. These individuals include former premiers Louis Robichaud, Alex B. Campbell, Robert Stanfield, Gerald Regan, and Richard Hatfield, as well as their advisors and members of the Secretariat of the CMP. Topics of concentration are Maritime union, and cooperation in general as well as the creation, role, operation and difficulties of the Council in particular. Interviews with the former premiers go beyond the parameters of Maritime cooperation to talk of their personal involvement in politics, federal/provincial relations, and issues specific to their own political jurisdictions during their terms in office.
Of particular interest to Prince Edward Island are the interviews with Alex B. Campbell who speaks of many significant Island issues such as the Development Plan, the causeway, non-resident ownership of land, nuclear power, municipal/provincial relations as well as the various projects initiated by the CMP.

Notes area


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

Originals were returned to the Public Archives of New Brunswick

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Restrictions vary from no restrictions to no access without written-permission of the interviewee. SEE Item Listing for details.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication


Finding aids

Associated materials

Documents of the Maritime Union Study (1968-1970) are also located in the Public Archives of New Brunswick

Related materials


The project may be added to as there are still key players of the past who have not been interviewed, and there are, of course, new players created with changes in government in the Maritime Provinces

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Level of detail

Language of description

  • English

Script of description

Accession area

Related subjects

Related places

Related genres