PEI gets a princely sum for the Diamond Jubilee

Canada's smallest province will celebrate the Queen with picnics, tea parties and concerts

Considering it’s the only Canadian province named after a member of the royal family, perhaps it’s fitting that Prince Edward Island received a windfall from the Canadian government for Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee. Canada’s smallest province is to receive nearly $170,000 for tea parties, concerts and picnics. It’s the second-largest slice of the government’s $2-million budget for community celebrations, behind only Ontario.

Nearly all of P.E.I.’s local celebrations were approved for funding. The town of Souris received nearly $7,000 to offer a free picnic lunch. Revellers get to keep both the lunch bag and the ice pack put inside it to keep it cold. Federal bureaucrats approved Alberton’s $500 request for a tea party, but rejected one for $300 to plant shrubs and trees at the town hall. “It just seemed like a good idea to commemorate the anniversary and get what we needed done as well,” Mayor Michael Murphy told the CBC. The town still plans to go ahead with the project with plants donated from the provincial nursery.

The federal government is spending nearly $7.5 million to mark the occasion, including $75,000 for 682,000 paper flags and $52,000 for 300,000 lapel pins.

Monarchists in P.E.I. will have to be content with celebrating among themselves, however. Despite the plethora of community celebrations planned for the island, Prince Charles and wife, Camilla, duchess of Cornwall, are planning to visit only New Brunswick, Ontario and Saskatchewan when they come to Canada next week.

Canadian Heritage couldn’t provide details on how much money each province requested. But the government approved 147 of 200 funding requests, totalling just $1.2 million of its $2-million budget. Alberta and Quebec got the least: $46,600 will go to Jubilee celebrations in Alberta and $52,500 in Quebec.