Mr. MacAleer was born in Summerside, raised in Sherwood, and educated at St. Dunstan’s University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1966. In 1969, he went to Yellowknife to organize the first Arctic Winter Games. During his eighteen-year stay in the north, he helped pioneer the installation of cable television and satellite communications technology in the Northwest Territories and operated businesses in the areas of construction, property development, insurance and management consulting. He served two terms on the Yellowknife municipal council.
In 1994-95, MacAleer worked as publisher of the Guardian/Evening Patriot, one of PEI’s daily newspapers. In 1996 he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island. He was elected again in April 2000, and re-elected in September, 2003. From 1996-1998 he held the portfolios of Economic Development and Tourism, and from 1998-2000 he was Minister of Community Services and Attorney General.
MacAleer served as chairman of the Standing Committee on Fisheries, Intergovernmental Affairs and Transportation during the Third Session of the Sixty-first General Assembly. He currently serves as a member of Treasury Board, is Chair of the Standing Committee on Fisheries, Intergovernmental Affairs and Transportation, and is a member of both the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, and the Standing Committee on Privileges, Rules and Private Bills. MacAleer aso serves on the Special Committee on Climate Change.
Since returning to the Island in 1988, MacAleer has served on the boards of the University of Prince Edward Island, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the PEI Scout Council, Camp Gencheff, Special Olympics and has been an active member of the Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce. He is a major supporter of the PEI Junior Achievement Program. As a member of the Charlottetown Rotary Club, he has served as a mentor in the small business program for young entrepreneurs. He has been a member of the Board of Directors for Springboard Atlantic since 2009.
Nationally, MacAleer has represented PEI on the boards of United Way/Centraide, Scouts Canada, Junior Achievement and the Canadian Cancer Society. He participated as an “ordinary” Canadian in the constitutional conferences in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver prior to the Charlottetown Accord. He is a member of the C.D. Howe Institute.