Speaker of the Legislative Assembly
Hon. Carolyn Bertram was elected as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly on November 1, 2011. In the past, Ms. Bertram also served as Minister of Health and Wellness; Minister of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour; and Minister responsible for Aboriginal Affairs, and Acadian and Francophone Affairs.
As Minister of both Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour, and Health and Wellness, Ms. Bertram led many initiatives in supporting Island communities, including:
· The creation of the $27.5 million Island Community Fund;
· The signing of three Federal/Provincial Bilateral Agreements for Sport, Recreation and Healthy Living;
· The creation of the Learning Elders Arts Program (LEAP);
· Secured over $1 million to support Fire Services across PEI;
· Minister responsible for the 2009 Canada Summer Games;
· Negotiating the $270 million Canada and Prince Edward Island Infrastructure Framework Agreement;
· The creation of an Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat within the Provincial Government;
· The construction of new Manors in Souris, Alberton and Summerside;
· The new O’Leary Health Centre;
· Expanded dialysis services and facilities at the Prince County Hospital;
· The expansion of the new Emergency Department and facilities at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
She was first elected to the Prince Edward Island Legislature in September 2003 to represent District 17, Crapaud-Hazel Grove. As a member of the Opposition, Ms. Bertram served as the Opposition Critic for Education, Tourism, the Status of Women, and Community and Cultural Affairs. She also served on a number of legislative committees.
Ms. Bertram was re-elected in both provincial general elections of May 2007 and October 2011 as a candidate for District 18, Rustico-Emerald. As a member of the governing party, in 2007 she was appointed to cabinet and held several different portfolios and responsibilities before becoming Speaker on November 1, 2011.
Before her appointment to Cabinet, Ms. Bertram was a dedicated school teacher at Central Queens Elementary School in Hunter River, and a community-minded Member of the Legislative Assembly, representing the people of Crapaud-Hazel Grove.
Ms. Bertram is fluently bilingual and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Prince Edward Island, and a Bachelor of Education Degree from Mount St. Vincent University.
Ms. Bertram has always been actively involved in her community. She serves as the organist and choir director at the Hunter River Presbyterian Church.