Ella Jean Canfield

Ella Jean Canfield

Served during the following dates: 1970-05-11; 1974-04-29; 1978-04-24

CANFIELD, ELLA JEAN, merchant; b. 4 October 1919 in Westmoreland, daughter of Everett Garrett and Lydia Granville McVittie; m. 30 June 1939 Parker Ellsworth Canfield, and they had one child, Mildred Joyce; Anglican; d. 31 December 2000 in Charlottetown. Canfield, a Liberal, was first elected to the Legislative Assembly in the general election of 1970 for 1st Queens. She was re-elected in the general elections of 1974 and 1978. She was defeated in the general elections of 1966 and 1979. Canfield's election in 1970 marked a milestone in provincial history, as she was the first woman elected to the Legislative Assembly and the first woman to serve on Executive Council. On 10 October 1972, she was appointed Minister without Portfolio and Minister Responsible for the Prince Edward Island Housing Authority. Canfield served in these positions until 2 May 1974. She also served as the chair of the Advisory Committee on the Status of Women. Jean Canfield received her primary education at Crapaud Elementary School. When her family moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, she attended Cambridge High and Latin School. Canfield also attended Union Commercial College in Charlottetown and the Lincoln School of Nursing in Los Angeles. For 15 years she and her husband ran a general store in Crapaud. Canfield was involved in a number of community activities. She was chair of the management committee of the Crapaud Exhibition, a member of the Home and School Association, and secretary-treasurer of the Englewood School Board. Canfield was an organizer of the Community Schools, served as president and treasurer of the Crapaud Women's Institute, and was a secretary of the St. John's Anglican Church Women's Organization. In 1977 she was awarded the Queen's Jubilee Medal. Canfield was a member of the Crapaud Community Curling Club, the Zonta Club, the Canadian Club, and the Chamber of Commerce of Crapaud and Victoria. Ella Jean Canfield died 31 December 2000 at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Parker Canfield, the son of Alfred A. Canfield of Westmoreland, died in July 1971.

References: CPG 1966, 1978. 1979, 1980; WWPEI p. 25; Atlantic Advocate 63 (5) January 1973; Guardian 24 April 1974, 16 April 1979, 2 January 2001. Guide to abbreviations

Photograph courtesy of PEI Public Archives and Records Office, Reference Number Acc3177/233