Prior to his extensive experience in public office, Basil Stewart served with the Summerside Police Department, in Prince Edward Island from 1971 to 1984. He was elected mayor of Summerside in 1985, and subsequently re-elected eight times, most recently in 2010. In addition, Basil was elected third as vice-president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) in Montréal (2006), second as vice-president in Calgary (2007), first as vice-president in Québec City (2008), and as FCM president in Whistler, British Columbia (2009). He chaired the FCM National Economic Development Committee (1998–2000) and the Atlantic Caucus for FCM in 1998. He has served as a board member for the Summerside Regional Development Corporation, and as member of the Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce. In 2003, he was elected vice-chair and, in 2011, chair, of the Atlantic Mayor’s Congress. Basil served on the National Board of Directors of the Canada 125 Corporation, in 1992, and was a founding member of the Trans Canada Trail Foundation 1992 Legacy Project for Canada’s 125th anniversary.
He was chosen Citizen of the Year for Summerside in 1989, received the Canada 125 Medal in 1992, and the Paul Harris Fellow from the Rotary Foundation in 2005, and was recognized with the Holland College Distinguished Alumni Award in 2010. In 2013, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and was inducted into the FCM’s Hall of Honour in Edmonton in 2015. In early 2017, he was awarded a life membership to Summerside Chamber of Commerce and the mayor’s medal of honour by the City of Summerside for his contribution to the city, spanning 43 years, as a police officer, businessman and mayor. In December 2017, he was appointed to the Order of Canada.
Basil Stewart graduated from the Holland College Atlantic Police Academy in 1971 with a certificate in Police Science.