Prince Edward Island

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Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island
coat of arms flag
Prince Edward Island Coat of Arms
( Details )
Prince Edward Island flag
( Details )
Motto : Parva Sub Ingenti
"The little one under the protection of the Great"
Dänemark Island Frankreich Alaska Vereinigte Staaten Prince Edward Island Nova Scotia New Brunswick Neufundland und Labrador Québec Ontario Manitoba Saskatchewan Alberta British Columbia Nunavut Nordwest-Territorien Yukonmap
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Basic data
Official language English
Capital Charlottetown
Biggest town Charlottetown
surface 5660 km² (13.)
Population (2011) 140.204 (10.)
Population density 23.9 inhabitants / km²
GDP in CAD (2006) Total: 4.32 billion (10th)
Per capita: 31,278 (13th)
Time zone UTC −4
ISO 3166-2 CA-PE
Postal abbreviation PE
Joined Confederation July 1, 1873
Deputy Governor Frank Lewis
prime minister Wade MacLauchlan ( Liberals )
Sit in the lower house 4th
Seat in the Senate 4th

Prince Edward Island [ ˌpɹɪns‿ˌɛdwɚd‿ˈaɪ̯lɨnd ] ( Eng . Prinz-Eduard-Insel; French. Île-du-Prince-Édouard ; Mi'kmaq Epekwitk or Abegweit; short PEI or PEI ) is an island in the Atlantic and a province of three maritime provinces in eastern Canada . The neighboring provinces of the island in the west are New Brunswick and Nova Scotia , in the east Newfoundland . Prince Edward Island is the country's smallest province in terms of area. It is named after Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent and Strathearn , the father of Queen Victoria .


The coast of Prince Edward Island at Cavendish

The island, known as the "Garden of the Gulf", is located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence west of Cape Breton Island , north of the Nova Scotia peninsula and east of New Brunswick. The south coast of the island forms the Northumberland Strait .

There are two metropolitan areas: the larger is located around the natural harbor Charlottetown Harbor in the middle of the south coast and includes the capital Charlottetown and the suburbs Cornwall and Stratford . The city of Summerside on the eponymous Summerside Harbor, a natural harbor formed by a ria , forms the second metropolitan area in the west.


The island has a humid continental climate , compared to the mainland more moderate due to its location on the southern edge of the St. Lawrence Gulf. The winters are comparatively mild with January average temperatures of −7.7 ° C. Due to the coastal location, a lot of snow falls, a total of 290.4 mm. In spring, the air warms up relatively slowly due to the maritime location. The summers are mild: maximum temperatures of 23.3 ° C can be expected in July. In total, precipitation reaches 1158.24 mm per year, with slightly more falling from October to January than in the other months.


Archaeological traces point to a first settlement around 9000 BC. BC (see History of the First Nations ) when there was a bridge to the mainland. The island was settled at an unknown time by the predecessors of today's Mi'kmaq , whom they called Abegweit ("land in the cradle of waves"). Excavations at the Sutherland site in St. Peters Bay have shown settlement at least from 800 to 1400 AD.

Jacques Cartier was the first European to discover them in 1534 . Numerous visits by French and Basque fishermen followed, but they did not settle the island for the time being. Port-la-Joye was founded in 1720 , the first permanent French settlement on what was then known as Île Saint-Jean . The island formed part of the Acadia colony and was inhabited by around 1000 French- speaking Acadians . Many moved to the island in 1755, a year after the outbreak of the proxy war between France and Great Britain known in North America as the French and Indian War, to avoid deportation by the British .

Map from 1765

After conquering the French fortress of Louisbourg , the British took the island in 1758 and drove out most of the Acadians. In the Peace of Paris in 1763 , France ceded the island, now called St. John's Island , to Great Britain . Samuel Holland carried out extensive surveys on the island in 1764/65, which served as the basis for raffling the land to British settlers. In 1765, Charlottetown , later the capital, was founded. Walter Patterson , the first British governor of the colony, took office in 1770. As one of the first official acts he ordered the renaming of the colony in New Ireland in order to attract Irish settlers and thus promote the rather sluggish settlement. The British government immediately revoked this decision, as it was an overstepping of competencies.

During and after the American War of Independence (1776–1783), numerous loyalists fled to the island. On November 29, 1798, the British government decided to change the name of the colony to Prince Edward Island in honor of Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent and Strathearn , in order to avoid confusion with the cities of Saint John and St. John’s . In the same year the first census took place; the number of settlers was accordingly 4,372.

In September 1864, the Charlottetown Conference took place, at the first discussion on the possible amalgamation of various British colonies to form the Canadian Confederation . Prince Edward Island was not satisfied with the outcome of the negotiations and did not join the new state for the time being. In 1871, construction began on a railroad network on the island, and negotiations were also held about a possible accession to the United States . Canadian Prime Minister John Macdonald wanted to prevent American expansion and was therefore also conducting negotiations. The Canadian federal government committed to cover the cost of building the Prince Edward Island Railway , after which the colony joined the Confederation on July 1, 1873.

During the 20th century the island remained dominated by agriculture. In addition to agriculture, tourism developed into the most important branch of the economy. The Green Gables farm served the writer Lucy Maud Montgomery as a template for the Anne of Green Gables children's book series , which is set on the island. In 1937 the Prince Edward Island National Park was established. The Confederation Bridge has been connecting the island to the mainland since 1997 .


Language majorities on Prince Edward Island (red: English, blue: French)

The 2011 census found a total population of 140,204 residents. In the 2006 census, 39% of the population identified themselves as "Canadians", 40% of whom were Scottish , 32% English , 29% Irish , 23% French and 5% German (multiple answers possible). The original inhabitants, the Mi'kmaq , are only a small minority today. This consists of the Abegweit First Nation (around 300 members) who live near Charlottetown, and the Lennox Island First Nation . The 245 members of this First Nation live on an island in Malpeque Bay north of the Tyne Valley. In July 2016, 373 of the members of the Abegweit First Nation were registered as Indians, of which the Lennox Island First Nation were 950. This means that the two tribes make up 1% of the population.

The most widely spoken language is English with 93.78%, followed by 4.00% who speak French . 47.4% of the population are Roman Catholic , 19.9% ​​belong to the United Church of Canada , 5.9% are Presbyterians , 4.9% are Anglicans and 4.5% are Baptists .

Development of the total population
year Residents year Residents year Residents
1851 062,678 1911 093,728 1971 111,635
1861 080,857 1921 088,615 1981 122.506
1871 094.021 1931 088.038 1991 129,765
1881 108,891 1941 095,047 2001 135.294
1891 109,078 1951 098,429 2006 135.851
1901 103.259 1961 104,629 2011 140.204
Urban population development
Biggest cities 2006 2011
Charlottetown 32,174 34,562
Summerside 14,500 14,751
Stratford 7083 8574
Cornwall 4677 5162
Montague 1802 1895


Prince Edward Island Province map

Prince Edward Island is divided into three counties :


The political system is based on the Westminster system , with a unicameral parliament, the legislative assembly . This consists of 27 members who are elected in as many, roughly equal-sized constituencies according to the majority system. The maximum length of a legislative period is five years. The lieutenant governor but may, on the advice of the prime minister to dissolve parliament prematurely and start new elections. Acting Prime Minister is Wade MacLauchlan and Lieutenant Governor is Frank Lewis .

Political events are dominated by two parties: Since joining the Confederation in 1873, the Prince Edward Island Liberal Party and the Prince Edward Island Progressive Conservative Party have alternated in government. Politicians from other parties were elected to the provincial parliament only twice, in the 1996 and 2015 elections. The reason for this is probably that the liberals and conservatives hardly differ from one another and both position themselves at the center of the political spectrum.

According to the Canadian constitution , Prince Edward Island has four seats each in the Senate and four seats in the House of Commons . At the federal level, the province is the stronghold of the Liberal Party , which has held all the seats to be allocated since 1988.


Fishing is an important industry in the province

The province's economy is dominated by agriculture , tourism and fishing . There are few industrial operations and Prince Edward Island has no significant mineral resources. However, extensive natural gas reserves are suspected off the east coast .

In agriculture, the cultivation of potatoes predominates. Around a third of Canada's total potato harvest, around 1.3 million t, comes from the island, which is why the nickname “ potato province ” is widespread. Seed potatoes are exported to more than twenty countries. The fishery is mainly based on catching and processing American lobster , oysters and clams .

Around 25% of the electricity is generated from wind turbines with a total capacity of 203.6 MW. The construction of two further large wind turbines with 30MW and 40MW output are planned for 2019 and 2025. Despite the introduction of wind energy, the province is dependent on electricity imports through an underwater pipeline from New Brunswick . The Charlottetown Thermal Generating Station , a 112MW oil power plant, produces electricity primarily during periods of high energy demand.


The Confederation Bridge is the only road link to mainland Canada

The island's transportation network developed from the port towns of Charlottetown, Summerside, Borden, Georgetown and Souris. The Canadian National Railway took over the Prince Edward Island Railway in 1918 , but stopped rail traffic entirely in 1989. In return, the federal government promised to expand the poorly maintained road network. The railway lines were integrated into a cycle path system.

By 1997, three ferry lines established the connection to the mainland. The company Marine Atlantic operated all year a line between Borden and Cape Tormentine in New Brunswick. Seasonal lines from Northumberland Ferries Limited between Wood Islands and Caribou in Nova Scotia and from CTMA between Souris and Cap-aux-Meules in Québec and to the Magdalene Islands are still in operation .

On June 1, 1997, the Confederation Bridge was opened between Borden-Carleton and Cape Jourimain, which replaced the ferry service from Marine Atlantic. The Trans-Canada Highway runs over the 12.9 km long, two-lane bridge . A toll is only charged for a trip to the mainland (47.75 Canadian dollars (CAD), approx. 32 €, as of 2019), use of the bridge in the opposite direction is free. Intercity buses run between Charlottetown and Moncton . The most important airport is Charlottetown Airport with numerous domestic connections.


The province has its own university , the University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown. It was created in 1969 through the merger of Prince of Wales College with Saint Dunstan's University . The Holland College is a technical college.

Personalities from Prince Edward Island


  • Georges Arsenault: Initiation à l'histoire acadienne de l'ïle-du-Prince-Edouard. Société Saint-Thomas d'Aquin, Charlottetown 1984
  • Douglas Baldwin: Far away. Land of the Red Soil. Ragweed Press, Charlottetown 1985
  • Anne V. Charlebois: The Conquest of Acadia and the Conquest of Canada. A Comparative Study. Thèse de BA (histoire), Mount Allison University, 1984
  • Jean Chaussade: La pêche et les pêcheurs des trois provinces maritimes du Canada. Contribution à l'étude du sous-développement à l'intérieur d'un pays riche. Presses de l'Université de Montréal , Montréal 1983
  • Frank Cramm, Garfield Fizzard: Our Province. Newfoundland and Labrador . Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Markham (Ontario) 1983
  • Frank Cramm, Garfield Fizzard: The Atlantic Edge. Living in Newfoundland and Labrador. Breakwater, St. John's 1985

Web links

Commons : Prince Edward Island  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, 2011 and 2006 censuses . Retrieved March 17, 2012.
  2. Pronunciation .
  3. Canadian Climate Normals 1981-2010 Station Data. Charlottetown A. In: Climate. Environment Canada, February 11, 2015, accessed March 18, 2015 .
  4. In: KNOWLEDGE. Research at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Spring 2005.
  5. ^ Report on Archaeological Research in Prince Edward Island, 2000. In: Archaeological Survey of Canada - Field Reports. Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation, January 30, 2002, archived from the original April 12, 2008 ; accessed on March 18, 2015 (English, It is the largest settlement in St. Peters Bay to date.).
  6. Population by selected ethnic origins, by province and territory (2006 Census). (Prince Edward Island). In: 2006 Census of Population. Statistics Canada, July 28, 2009, archived from the original on January 15, 2015 ; accessed on March 18, 2015 .
  7. ^ Lennox Island ( August 23, 2016 memento in the Internet Archive ), Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.
  8. ^ Lennox Island ( August 23, 2016 memento in the Internet Archive ), Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.
  9. Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), 2006 and 2001 censuses - 100% data. Prince Edward Island. Statistics Canada, January 6, 2010, archived from the original on March 18, 2015 ; accessed on March 18, 2015 .
  10. ^ Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), 2011 and 2006 censuses. Prince Edward Island. Statistics Canada, January 13, 2014, accessed March 18, 2015 .
  11. ^ Prince Edward Island - primary resources
  12. Why PEI Potatoes? Prince Edward Island Potato Board, archived from the original October 7, 2008 ; accessed on March 18, 2015 .
  13. ^ Prince Edward Island 2016 Provincial Energy Strategy. PEI Energy Corporation, March 17, 2016, accessed May 17, 2019 .

Coordinates: 46 ° 20 ′  N , 63 ° 22 ′  W