Frost-Wicks brings 27-years of legal experience to the role
The Government of Prince Edward Island has appointed Jessie Frost-Wicks as the new ethics and integrity commissioner.
Serving for a five-year term, Frost-Wicks will serve and support senior government leaders by providing oversight of accountability and governance matters within the provincial government. Frost-wicks offers guidance to government employees who come to her with ethical issues. On a day-to-day basis she also interacts with senior staff to make sure their annual accounting is up to date, and she corresponds with the premier.
The role of ethics and integrity commissioner was established in 2015 as part of a series of measures to strengthen public confidence in the government’s work. Frost-Wicks is only the second person to be appointed to the role.
“It fosters confidence in the public that the people in positions of authority aren’t abusing that authority to their own personal advantage,” says Frost-Wicks, who was appointed to the role on September 18, 2023. “It also adds a layer of transparency so you can see that people are working in your interest, and not in their own interest. We live in a social media world, so it’s very easy for confidence in any government to get diminished by public opinion,” she adds.
Based in Charlottetown, PEI, Frost-Wicks brings 27-years of legal experience to the role, having worked in various departments for the provincial government. Most recently, she was the public trustee, public and official guardian for the province until she retired in 2021. Prior to that position, she spent 15 years in the legal services team with the Department of Justice, providing advice and representation to various government departments and agencies.
“It’s certainly in keeping with my skillset,” says Frost-wicks, who chose to come out of retirement for the prestigious position. “The role doesn’t require that you be a lawyer, but it is certainly helpful because there’s a lot of research involved, interpreting cases, and even just understanding and applying policies.”
Frost-Wick is very familiar with government operations after spending her entire legal career working in the civil service. Her background in interpreting legislation positions her well for the role, together with her understanding of the hierarchy within the government, and her abilty to approach different groups and organizations in the appropriate way.
“I would like to congratulate Jessie Frost-Wicks for being appointed as the ethics and integrity commissioner,” says PEI premier Dennis King. “We are very pleased to have her in this position and I know her extensive experience in the various legal roles she held while working in the public service for over two decades, will be invaluable.”
Frost-Wicks takes over from Shauna Sullivan Curley who served as the first ethics and integrity commissioner for the Government of Prince Edward Island. She held the role for over eight years and will now be retiring.