Note from Michael March 30 2023 | Explaining the Caretaker Convention During an Election

From the desk of Dr. Michael Gardam, Health PEI CEO


Notes from MichaelHi everybody,

The next provincial election is in full swing.  Many of you may be hearing in media and elsewhere about the Caretaker Convention, a set of practices that takes effect during election periods that impact how Health PEI and all provincial public bodies do business. 
During an election, the legislative assembly is dissolved and the government moves to a caretaker mode. 
Under this convention, the Public Service maintains most functions of government while restricting actions that could be considered significant changes or decisions, or that could have political implications. 
Health PEI, as a Crown Corporation, has been advised by government that it falls under the Caretaker Convention, as do all departments, boards and agencies of government. While this should not affect daily work in the delivery of health care, any significant changes or decisions made outside of operational matters require review up the chain of command to your executive leadership team member, who will ensure any decisions or actions do not breach the convention.
Anything not urgent and not routine is generally to be deferred. 
This includes deferring work that involves:

  • matters of policy 
  • matters of expenditure 
  • appointments 
  • announcements 
  • negotiations or consultations 

We should continue activity that is: 

  • routine, 
  • non-controversial, 
  • urgent and in the public interest, 
  • reversible by a new government without undue cost or disruption, or 
  • agreed to by opposition parties (in those cases where consultation is appropriate 

Please note that, as an organization, we will are restricting media responses to factual and necessary operational announcements only during this time, such as announcements of service closures and openings, or promotion of important initiatives for health such as scheduled vaccination campaigns.
I hope this clarifies any questions you may have. Please feel free to email Everton McLean, Chief Communications Officer, if you have any questions or concerns at



Please send questions, comments, or submissions for these notes to, subject line “Notes for Michael”.