Provincial Treasurer

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

Provincial Treasurer

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

  • Minister of Finance
  • Colonial Treasurer
  • Treasurer

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence


The Department of Provincial Treasurer evolved from the office of Colonial Treasurer. Although this position does not appear on the estimated cost of personnel for the newly established government of Prince Edward Island, Phillips Callbeck was appointed “Treasurer of the Island for the public money and uses of the same” in 1770, the same year the first members of the Executive Council were appointed. The Colonial Treasurer, also known as Treasurer or Provincial Treasurer, was to hold office during the pleasure of the Governor, later the Lieutenant Governor-in-Council.

The Treasurer was a minor official who did not sit on the Executive Council although the individual holding the position was often himself a member of the council. Members of the Executive Council could hold more than one post and the individual in the position of Treasurer appears to have occasionally been also the Receiver General of Quit Rents as the duties of the respective offices often overlapped. If the individual appointed to the position of Treasurer was a member of the House of Assembly, he was required to vacate his position in the Assembly as Joseph Pope did in 1851.

The Treasurer’s duties included recording all financial transactions of the government of Prince Edward Island including all monies received at and payments made by the Provincial Treasury. He received no remuneration for these services except a small percentage of the revenue collected until 1833 when a fixed salary was established. In 1855, the Treasurer was authorized by the Assembly to appoint a deputy or clerk who was to assume the duties of the Treasurer in his absence.

An act relating to certain departments of the public service, passed 29 April 1876 (39 Victoria, Cap. 10) combined the offices of Colonial Secretary and Colonial Treasurer, and renamed the office Provincial Secretary and Treasurer, an appointment to be held by a member of government. George Wastie DeBlois, was appointed first Provincial Secretary-Treasurer. This act also established the offices of Assistant Provincial Secretary, who also served as Clerk of the Executive Council, and Assistant Provincial Treasurer. The act respecting certain departments of the Public Service passed 7 June 1879 (42 Victoria, Cap. 5) combined the offices of Provincial Secretary and Treasurer and Commissioner of Crown and Public Lands in one person. The office of Clerk of Executive Council was transferred from the Assistant Provincial Secretary's duties and combined with Provincial Auditor to form one position.

In 1897, the Department of Agriculture was established in P.E.I. An act to amend the acts respecting certain departments of the public service, assented to 1 May 1897 (60 Victoria, Cap. 1) combined the positions of Provincial Secretary-Treasurer and Commissioner of Agriculture. The offices of Registrar of Deeds and Commissioner of Public Lands, were also combined. An act respecting certain departments of the Public Service assented to 30 April 1904 (4 Edward VII, Cap. 8) returned the duties of Clerk of the Executive Council to the Assistant Provincial Secretary-Treasurer.

Section 7-1 of The Statute Law Amendment Act (14 George V., Cap. 12) in 1924 changed the name of Commissioner of Agriculture to Minister of Agriculture and section 9 of the same act indicated that one person might hold any one or more of the following offices: Premier, President of the Executive Council, Attorney General, Minister of Public Works, Minister of Agriculture, Provincial Treasurer or Provincial Secretary, a scenario which was often followed.

An act to amend an act respecting certain departments of the public service (18 George V., Cap. 17) in 1928 changed the name of Assistant Provincial Secretary-Treasurer to Deputy Provincial Secretary-Treasurer. This office also included the duties of Clerk of the Executive Council, a position appointed by, and held during the pleasure of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.

The Public Departments Act (3 George VI, Cap. 42) in 1939 provided for a separate Treasury Department, presided over by a Minister of the Crown know as the Provincial Treasurer, and for a Minister of the Crown known as the Provincial Secretary. Yet one person still held the office of Deputy Provincial Secretary-Treasurer and Clerk of the Executive Council whose duties included the registering of all proclamations and orders-in-council of the Privy Council of Canada signifying the Royal allowance or disallowance of any act passed by the Legislature. This act also gave the Department of Agriculture a separate department and minister.

In 1951, the department went through yet another name change although its functions remained the same. It was renamed the Department of Finance “over which a Minister of the Crown, styled the Minister of Finance, shall preside and he shall have the management and direction of the department.” (1951, Elizabeth, II, Cap. 165)

By 1988, the Minister was responsible for “the management and direction of the Department of Finance, the Consolidated Fund, the public debt, federal-provincial fiscal relations, and government computer services, and supervision, control and direction of all matters relating to the financial affairs, accounts, revenues, payments and expenditures of the province which are not by law assigned to another Board or any other Minister.” (Financial Administration Act - 1988, Elizabeth, II, Cap. F-9)

The Government Reorganization Act (42 Elizabeth, II, Cap. 29) of 1993 changed the name of the Department of Finance to that of the Department of the Provincial Treasury and, as a result, the terms Provincial Treasurer was substituted for Minister and Deputy Provincial Treasurer for Deputy Minister.

By 2003, the Department of Provincial Treasury was organized into the following divisions and agencies: Interministerial Women's Secretariat; Administration; Information Services; Economics, Statistics and Federal Fiscal Relations; Fiscal Management; Office of the Comptroller; Policy and Evaluation; Taxation and Property Records; Information Technology Management Group; Advisory Council on the Status of Women; Classification Appeal Committee; Lending Agency; Lotteries Commission; Maritime Geomatics Committee; Northumberland Strait Crossing Advisory Group; PEI Master Trust Advisory Board: Public Service Commission; Self-Insurance and Risk Management Fund Advisory Committee; and the Treasury Board. The department continues to be governed by the duties set out for the Provincial Treasurer in the Financial Administration Act.


Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used



Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

23 April 2003





Maintenance notes