NLIS 2
April 4, 2002
(Executive Council)

 

Premier Grimes announces Cabinet changes

Premier Roger Grimes today announced changes in several Cabinet portfolios.

Julie Bettney, former Minister of Health and Community Services, will assume responsibility for the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation.

Kevin Aylward, former Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, will assume responsibility for the Department of Environment.

Ralph Wiseman, former Minister of Environment, will assume responsibility for the Department of Human Resources and Employment.

Gerald Smith, former Minister of Human Resources and Employment and Minister responsible for the Strategic Social Plan, will assume responsibility for the Department of Health and Community Services. He will also maintain responsibility for the Strategic Social Plan.

All changes take effect today following a swearing-in ceremony by the Lieutenant-Governor, Dr. A. M. House, at Government House.

Premier Grimes also announced today that Kelvin Parsons, in addition to his role as Minister of Justice and Attorney General, will be acting Minister of Industry, Trade and Rural Development.

Media contact: Carl Cooper, Director of Communications, (709) 729-3960.

BIOGRAPHIES

JULIE BETTNEY
MHA - Mount Pearl

Ms. Bettney was born in Port au Port. She received her early education in Stephenville and Grand Falls, before attending Memorial University. Following university, she began her career as a physical education/special education teacher in Labrador. It was during this time that she became interested in and later began promoting recreation integration for people with disabilities.

Prior to being elected to the House of Assembly, Ms. Bettney worked with the Public Service Commission for 10 years, specializing in supervisory development, communications training, strategic planning and service quality.

Ms. Bettney has been actively involved in politics since she was elected deputy mayor of Mount Pearl in 1985. In 1993, she was the first woman to be elected mayor of Mount Pearl and later successfully contested the seat for the District of Mount Pearl in the1996 provincial general election. She was subsequently appointed to Cabinet by Premier Brian Tobin as the Minister of

Works, Services and Transportation and the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women. In May 1997, Ms. Bettney was appointed the Minister of Human Resources and Employment, while retaining responsibility for the Status of Women. In October 2000, she was appointed Minister of Health and Community Services (Acting). She was appointed minister of that department in February 2001.

KEVIN AYLWARD
MHA - St. George’s - Stephenville East

A native of Stephenville, Mr. Aylward graduated from St. Stephen's High. Mr. Aylward attended Memorial University, where he attained a bachelor of commerce degree and a teaching certificate.

He was first elected as MHA for Stephenville district in 1985 at the age of 24. In 1989, he was re-elected and served as both the Liberal Whip and parliamentary assistant to the premier. In 1993, Mr. Aylward was again re-elected and named ministerial assistant for small business. In August 1994, he was appointed Minister of Environment. In February 1996, he was elected in the newly formed district of St. George's-Stephenville East. He was appointed Minister of Environment and Labour in March of 1996 and, in July 1997, he was appointed Minister of Forest Resources and Agrifoods. In February 2001, Mr. Aylward was appointed Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation.

He has served as a member of the Economic Policy Committee of Cabinet, the Cabinet Committee on Routine Matters/Appointments and the Cabinet Committee on Rural Revitalization.

RALPH WISEMAN
MHA - Topsail

Mr. Wiseman has been involved in politics since 1989, beginning as executive assistant to the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations and later Environment and Lands. In 1995, he worked as the Economic Diversification and Growth Enterprises program (EDGE) facilitator with the Department of Industry, Trade and Technology.

Since being elected as Member of the House of Assembly for the District of Topsail in 1996, Mr. Wiseman has been a very active member of the Liberal caucus and of the House of Assembly. He was appointed chair of the Government Services Committee and later elected as Liberal Caucus Chair in 1996. In 1999, he was named parliamentary secretary to the Government House Leader. On November 6, 2000, Mr. Wiseman was appointed parliamentary assistant to the premier and Deputy House Leader. In February 2001, he was appointed Minister of Environment.

Mr. Wiseman started his professional career in 1966. He has had a 19-year career in the private business sector, 14 of those years as a business owner and general manager.

GERALD SMITH
MHA - Port au Port

Mr. Smith has had a distinguished career as an educator, holding teaching positions at St. Joseph's High School in St. George's and then at Our Lady of Lourdes All Grade School in Lourdes. He was also the principal of Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary School for 23 years. Mr. Smith holds a bachelor of arts, bachelor of education and masters of education from Memorial University.

Mr. Smith has been actively involved in his community for many years. He served for 10 years as a member of the Retention Committee for the Lourdes School System and as vice-chairman of the Port au Port Community Employment Strategy Association (CESA). He was on the board of directors of the Port au Port Work Activity Project and was president of the Port au Port Economic Development Association for nine years. He also served five years as president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Rural Development Council.

In 1999, Mr. Smith was named by Premier Tobin as Chair of Committees and was named Deputy Speaker in 2000. On November 6, 2000, he was appointed to a dual parliamentary secretary position to the ministers responsible for Government Services and Lands as well as Development and Rural Renewal. In February 2001, Mr. Smith was appointed Minister of Human Resources and Employment and Minister responsible for the Strategic Social Plan.

KELVIN L. PARSONS
MHA - Burgeo & LaPoile

Mr. Parsons graduated from St. James Regional High School in Port aux Basques in 1972. From there, he attended Memorial University of Newfoundland, where he graduated with a bachelor of arts (honours) degree in 1976. In 1979, Mr. Parsons was awarded an L.L.B from the University of New Brunswick, and was called to the Newfoundland Bar in 1980.

He practiced law in Port aux Basques from 1980 to 1981 with the firm Wells, Monaghan and Company, before opening his own Port aux Basques law firm, Kelvin L. Parsons Law Office. Mr. Parsons operated his own practice until his election to the House of Assembly on February 9, 1999 as MHA for the District of Burgeo & LaPoile.

Mr. Parsons has been an active member of the Town of Port aux Basques. Over the years, he has served as chairman and CEO of the Port aux Basques Innovative Regional Community Futures Committee; chairman of the Marine Atlantic Restructuring Committee; a member of the Bruce-Bullett 100th Anniversary Committee; chairman of the Port aux Basques ‘‘Matthew’’ Committee; chairman of the Port aux Basques Come Home Year Committee (1994-1995); an executive member of the Port aux Basques Minor Hockey Association; chairman of the board, and member of the Charles L. Legrow Health Centre; executive member of the Port aux Basques Integrated School Board; and president of the Port aux Basques Chamber of Commerce.

In his legal capacity, besides operating his own law firm, from 1987-1992 Mr. Parsons acted as an agent for the Attorney General of Newfoundland and Labrador on Criminal Code prosecutions, for the Attorney General of Canada for fishery and unemployment prosecutions starting in 1983, and on drug prosecutions starting in 1994. From 1990, until his election to the House of Assembly, Mr. Parsons was an adjudicator with the Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Board.

On January 13, 2000, Mr. Parsons was appointed Minister of Justice and Attorney General for the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. On May 16, 2000, he was appointed Queen’s Counsel.

2002 04 04                          9:45 a.m.


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