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Joseph Atallah Ghiz
Joseph Atallah Ghiz (January 27, 1945 - November 9, 1996) was Premier of Prince Edward Island and a lawyer. He became president of the Prince Edward Island Liberal Party in 1977 and then party leader in 1981. His party lost the 1982 election but Ghiz was elected to the legislature and became leader of the opposition. He led the party to victory in 1986 with the Liberals gaining 22 seats to 11 for the Prince Edward Island Progressive Conservative Party.
In January, 1988 Ghiz declared that Islanders would vote in a plebiscite on the question of a "fixed link" to mainland North America—probably the single most divisive topic in Prince Edward Island during the latter part of the 20th century. His vote in the plebiscite is unknown.
Ghiz supported the Meech Lake Accord and opposed the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. His participation in both debates made him a national figure. His government was re-elected in 1989 winning 30 out of 32 seats.
Ghiz became dean of the faculty of law at Dalhousie University until 1995, when he was appointed to the PEI Supreme Court. Ghiz died of cancer in 1996. His son Robert Ghiz became leader of the PEI Liberal Party in 2003.
James M. Lee
|Premier of Prince Edward Island
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