Executive Council
October 30, 2007

Premier Announces the Appointment of New Cabinet

With a renewed mandate from the people of the province, the Williams Government is moving forward with implementing its strategic vision for Newfoundland and Labrador, as laid out in the 2007 General Provincial Election. The Honourable Danny Williams, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, said today his new Cabinet will provide sound and strong leadership for the province, as Newfoundland and Labrador enters a period of historic economic self-reliance. The new Cabinet was sworn in today at a ceremony at Government House in St. John’s.

"Our team has been blessed with another strong mandate to govern Newfoundland and Labrador, based on our approach to economic and resource development, strong social programs and a meaningful plan for prosperity and growth," said Premier Williams. "Our Cabinet and entire caucus are energetic and enthusiastic about the four years ahead, as we will continue to implement our vision for a province that is more self-reliant, healthier, better-educated and in control of our own destiny."

The Premier said his new Cabinet represents a combination of experienced ministers and new faces that will breathe fresh ideas into the decision-making process. "I am very proud of the team we have assembled, and I have every confidence in the depth of leadership, strength of capabilities and diversity of experience around the Cabinet table," added the Premier. "In addition to a strong Cabinet, we also have very capable parliamentary secretaries who will contribute their voice and experience."

The Premier said the province is very fortunate to have the talent and level of commitment that is evident in his new caucus and Cabinet. "I am excited about the next four years, as our entire team leads this province through a pivotal time in our province’s history. We are proud, strong and determined. And we will work tirelessly to deliver for the people what they deserve and expect, as their duly elected leaders."

The following is a list of Cabinet ministers by department:

Premier – The Honourable Danny Williams

Deputy Premier, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture and Government House Leader – The Honourable Thomas G. Rideout

Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development and Minister Responsible for the Rural Secretariat – The Honourable Trevor Taylor

Minister of Education and Minister Responsible for the Status of Women – The Honourable Joan Burke

Minister of Natural Resources and Minister Responsible for the Forestry and Agrifoods Agency – The Honourable Kathy Dunderdale

Minister of Finance, President of Treasury Board and Minister Responsible for the Public Service Secretariat – The Honourable Thomas W. Marshall, Q.C.

Minister of Transportation and Works – The Honourable Dianne C. Whalen

Minister for Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister Responsible for the Volunteer and Non-Profit Sector – The Honourable Thomas J. Hedderson

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation – The Honourable Clyde Jackman

Minister of Labrador Affairs – The Honourable John Hickey

Minister of Government Services and Minister Responsible for the Government Purchasing Agency – The Honourable Kevin O’Brien

Minister of Health and Community Services – The Honourable Ross Wiseman

Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment, Minister Responsible for Persons with Disabilities, Minister Responsible for the Labour Relations Agency and Minister Responsible for the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation – The Honourable Shawn Skinner

Minister of Municipal Affairs, Minister Responsible for Emergency Preparedness, and Registrar General – The Honourable Dave Denine

Minister of Environment and Conservation – The Honourable Charlene Johnson

Minister of Business – The Honourable Paul Oram

Minister of Justice and Attorney General – The Honourable Jerome P. Kennedy, Q.C.

Minister of Aboriginal Affairs – The Honourable Patty Pottle


Premier Williams also announced the following appointments:

Parliamentary secretaries by department:

Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier – Bob Ridgely

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and Community Services – Terry French

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister Responsible for the Forestry and Agrifoods Agency – Harry Harding

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment– Keith Hutchings

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Education – Darin King

See attached backgrounder for additional details.

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Media contact:
Elizabeth Matthews
Office of the Premier
709-729-3960, 351-1227
elizabethmatthews@gov.nl.ca

BACKGROUNDER

Biographies

Hon. Thomas G. Rideout - Member for Baie Verte - Springdale

Former Premier, Progressive Conservative Party Leader, long-serving Cabinet Minister and veteran MHA Tom Rideout is a lawyer and former high school teacher who was born in 1948. He was elected to the House of Assembly by the people of Baie Verte-White Bay District in 1975, 1979, 1982, 1985 and 1989. In 1999 and 2003, he was elected to represent the people of Lewisporte District. While serving as MHA, Mr. Rideout was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier (1982-85), Minister of Culture, Recreation and Youth (1984-85), and Minister of Fisheries (1985-89). In 1989, he was elected Leader of the Newfoundland and Labrador Progressive Conservative Party and, on March 22, 1989, became the province’s fourth Premier since Confederation, and served in the First Minister’s post and as Intergovernmental Affairs Minister until May 5, 1989. From May 1989 until September 1991, he served as Leader of the Official Opposition. From 1991 to 1993, he served as a Member of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. In 1994, he enrolled in the University of Ottawa law school, graduating in May 1997 with a Baccalaureate of Laws (LL.B.). While studying, he worked with Ottawa’s Mike Bell and Associates and with the International Directorate of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. He articled in St. John’s with Morris, Pittman, Powell (formerly Morris & Pittman). He was admitted to the Law Society of Newfoundland as a Barrister, Solicitor & Notary in June 1998, and served as an associate in the practice of law with Fraize Law Offices. Mr. Rideout has served as the Opposition Justice critic, Deputy House Leader, a Member of the Strategy Committee and Chair of the Economic Development Committee of Caucus. In the Williams administration he has also held the Cabinet portfolios of Aboriginal Affairs, Works, Services and Transportation and Attorney General.

Hon. Trevor Taylor - Member for The Straits & White Bay North

Raised in Gunners Cove, Trevor Taylor has been extensively involved in the fishery at several levels. He worked as a fisherman harvesting cod until the moratorium in 1992 and was skipper for three years of the 55-foot shrimp / crab boat Cull's Eclipse. He is a past executive board member of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers' (FFAW) Union and worked for six years as a staff member of the union. He served two terms as a member of the Fisheries Resource Conservation Council (FRCC) and served as a member of the Oxfam fisheries delegation to Nicaragua. He has served on the boards of the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation (CCFI), the St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc. (SABRI), and the White Bay North Rural Development Association. Mr. Taylor has also taught off-campus fisheries courses for the Marine Institute.

Mr. Taylor was elected to the House of Assembly in a by-election in the district of The Straits & White Bay North on January 30, 2001, and served as the Opposition critic for Fisheries and Aquaculture and for Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs. On October 21, 2003, he was re-elected as the Member of the House of Assembly (MHA) for The Straits & White Bay North and, on November 6, he was sworn in as the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture and the Minister Responsible for Labrador Affairs. He was confirmed as Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture in the government restructuring of February 20, 2004. On November 8, 2005, Mr. Taylor was appointed Minister of Transportation and Works. On July 5, 2006, Mr. Taylor was appointed Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development.

Hon. Joan Burke - Member for St. George’s - Stephenville East

Joan (Shea) Burke was born and raised in Bishop's Falls, Newfoundland and Labrador. Settling with her husband Brian and daughter Jeanne in Stephenville, she was first elected to the House of Assembly in the District of St. George's - Stephenville East in October 2003.

Ms. Burke’s first cabinet appointment was as Minister of Human Resources and Employment and Minister Responsible for the Status of Women in November 2003. In February 2004, her responsibilities expanded to include the newly formed Labour Relations Agency, the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation, and the Workplace Health and Safety Compensation Commission. She was also named lead Minister for Immigration in the Province.

On November 8, 2005, Ms. Burke was appointed Minister of Education and has retained her responsibilities for the Status of Women.

Ms. Burke’s work in government is greatly supported by her prior educational and professional experience. In 1987 she graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work from Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador and obtained her Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto in 1990. Prior to entering public life she worked as a parole officer with the Correctional Services of Canada and served on the executive of the Union of Solicitor General Employees and as a Shop Steward for Local 90098. Ms. Burke has also spent many years volunteering for a variety of community events and initiatives.

Hon. Kathy Dunderdale - Member for Virginia Waters

Kathy Dunderdale was the first woman to be elected President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Municipalities and the only woman to have been made an honourary member of that organization. She has served as a Director with the Canadian Federation of Municipalities, and as President of the Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador. Ms. Dunderdale has worked in the fields of community development, communications, fisheries and social work. In both her work and volunteer capacities, she has exhibited an ongoing commitment to women's issues, and to rural development in our province.

Prior to her appointment as Minister of Natural Resources, Ms. Dunderdale served as Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development, and Minister Responsible for the Rural Secretariat.

Ms. Dunderdale has two children, Sara (Matt) and Tom (Jillian), and two grandsons, Jack and Nathan. She makes her home in St. John's.

Hon. Thomas W. Marshall, Q.C. - Member for Humber East

Tom Marshall is the son of the late Sylvia Marshall and Jack Marshall, former Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament for Humber - St. George's - St. Barbe. He grew up in Corner Brook before attending Memorial University of Newfoundland, where he was awarded a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1969, and Dalhousie University in Halifax, where he was awarded a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1972. After graduation, he returned to Corner Brook and joined the law firm of Barry, Wells and Monaghan as an associate lawyer, articling with Kevin Barry, Q.C., and became a partner in the firm of Barry, Wells, Monaghan, Seaborn and Marshall in 1975. He remained senior partner with the firm of Monaghan, Marshall, Murphy and Watton until his election and subsequent appointment to Cabinet in 2003 (Minister of Justice and Attorney General). In 1986, he was appointed Queen's Counsel. On December 29, 2006 Mr. Marshall was appointed Minister of Finance and President of Treasury Board.

Mr. Marshall has been an active member of the law community, having served as a Bencher of the Law Society of Newfoundland for Western Newfoundland, a member of the Canadian Bar Association, a member of the Newfoundland Law Society, a member of the Humber Real Estate Association, a former member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Law Reform Commission and the former chair of Lottery Licences Review Board. He has also lectured in Business Law, Banking Law, Real Estate Law and Construction Law for Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, the Institute of Canadian Bankers, the Canadian Real Estate Association and the Atlantic Home Building Institute.

Mr. Marshall is married to Lin Crosbie of Steady Brook. They have three children: Rebecca, Seth and Kami.

Hon. Dianne C. Whalen - Member for Conception Bay East & Bell Island

Prior to becoming MHA for Conception Bay East and Bell Island in 2003, Dianne Whalen was mayor of Paradise for 18 years, where she was responsible for managing and serving the need of the town's citizens. She served on numerous committees relating to the promotion and development of the town which helped it earn the reputation of the fastest- growing town in Atlantic Canada.

Originally from Port Blandford, Ms. Whalen has lived in Paradise for 40 years. She spent two decades in municipal politics, where she served as a director of the provincial and national federation of municipalities and served on such standing committees as Economic Development, Community Safety Crime Prevention, Northern Remote Forum and the Environmental Membership Development Committee. Ms. Whalen also served as director Avalon Region on the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Municipalities. She held the position of chair of the Finance Committee and the Municipal Training and Development Committee and was a member of the Communication Committee and Social Strategic Committee. She chaired the North East Avalon Joint Councils, and was a member of the subcommittee that rewrote the Municipalities Act. Ms. Whalen is a past member of the Women Mentor Committee and helped develop training literature to promote gender equity in municipal government and school boards.

During that time, Ms. Whalen was also heavily involved in the community beyond municipal politics. She is a past provincial director of the Heart and Stroke Foundation and past chairperson of the Paradise War Memorial Committee. She was a marriage commissioner and remains a Justice of the Peace. Ms. Whalen was employed at the College of the North Atlantic for 29 years. During part of that employment, she also held the position of President of Nape Local 7852.

Hon. Thomas J. Hedderson - Member for Harbour Main

Tom Hedderson graduated with Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) and Bachelor of Education (English) degrees from Memorial University of Newfoundland and a Master of Education (Psychology) from Mount Saint Vincent University in Nova Scotia. He served as principal of Bishop O’Neill Collegiate in Brigus.

He was first elected to the House of Assembly on February 9, 1999 to represent the District of Harbour Main Whitbourne. Mr. Hedderson has served as Opposition Critic for Education (K 12), Parliamentary Assistant to the Leader of the Opposition and as Critic for Youth Services and Post Secondary Education. Re-elected for a second term on October 21, 2003, Mr. Hedderson was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Education and Youth Services & Post-Secondary Education. The department's name later changed to Education in the departmental restructuring on February 20, 2004. Mr. Hedderson was appointed Minister of Education October 1, 2004. Mr. Hedderson was appointed Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation on November 8, 2005.

Born on May 7, 1954 , he is the youngest son of Bernard and Josephine (nee Philpott). Mr. Hedderson is the youngest of 19 in a family of nine brothers and 10 sisters. He married Rosemary, daughter of the late Richard and Nora Conway of Marysvale. As proud parents of Christa Marie and Julia Anne, the family resides in the community of Georgetown.

Hon. Clyde Jackman – Member for Burin-Placentia West

Clyde Jackman was born in Grole, Hermitage Bay, to Clyde and Theresa (Cribb) Jackman and is the eldest of 10 children. His family resettled to Marystown in 1968. Mr. Jackman has resided in Baine Harbour for the past 29 years where he and his wife Elizabeth (Kilfoy) raised their five children Mary, Colin, Owen, Darren, and Byron. Mr. Jackman completed his high school years at Pearce Regional High School and went on to complete a Bachelor of Arts and Education from Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador. In 1993, he received a Master's of Education from Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Mr. Jackman has worked in education for 27 years. His first two years of teaching took him to Cartwright, Labrador. He then returned to the Burin Peninsula and worked as a teaching principal at St. Matthew's Elementary, Boat Harbour West, and as principal at Jacques Fontaine All-Grade School, Jacques Fontaine.

Mr. Jackman has served as a volunteer at both the local and provincial levels. He has been a member of the Board of Directors for the T. J. Macdonald Youth Group Home and, for 21 years, he worked as a volunteer firefighter. He has held several positions within his local church community and, for a period of time, he and his family provided foster care support. Mr. Jackman is an avid outdoors person. He particularly enjoys kayaking and canoeing. He has fished alongside trawlermen and inshore fishermen and he has a deep interest in the future of rural Newfoundland and Labrador. He was sworn in as the Member for Burin - Placentia West on November 12, 2003. He was appointed as Parliamentary Secretary for the Department of Education in June 2005. He was sworn in as Minister of Environment and Conservation on March 14, 2006.

Hon. John Hickey - Member for Lake Melville

John Hickey came to Twin Falls, Labrador, in 1962, and graduated from JR Smallwood Collegiate in Wabush. He lived in Churchill Falls, Labrador West and is currently a resident of Happy Valley - Goose Bay. He is a graduate of the College of the North Atlantic as a high voltage linesman. He has spent his working career of 25 years with Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, where he has held various positions including senior management serving communities throughout Labrador.

Mr. Hickey has served the citizens of Happy Valley-Goose Bay for 16 years as mayor, deputy mayor and councillor. He has held the position of president for the Combined Councils of Labrador and served as a National Director for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities representing the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Mr. Hickey has volunteered his time as a Director for the Goose Bay Airport Corporation (GBAC), a Director on the Central Labrador Economic Development Board (CLEDB), and a member of the Labrador North Chamber of Commerce (LNCC). In March of 2003, he received the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal from the Governor General of Canada, which is bestowed upon individuals who make significant contributions to their community and regions. Currently he is a member of the Goose Bay Citizens Coalition for 5 Wing Goose Bay.

For the past 15 years, he has been a strong voice in the community championing the many issues at hand. As the MHA for Lake Melville, he is committed to working to "maximize the benefits" of Labrador's natural resources for all Labradorians.

On October 21, 2003, Mr. Hickey was elected as the Member of the House of Assembly for the Lake Melville District. He was appointed Minister of Transportation and Works and Minister Responsible for Labrador Affairs on July 5, 2006.

Hon. Kevin O’Brien – Member for Gander

Kevin O'Brien was sworn in as the Member for the District of Gander on November 12, 2003. Born at Ferryland, where he received his early education, Mr. O’Brien graduated with honours from Baltimore High School. He first moved to Gander District in 1974 to complete his pharmacy internships under the watchful eyes of Albert and Roy Jenkins at Gander Drugs.

Upon his graduation from the School of Pharmacy, he moved to Gander to make it his permanent home. He started his career in pharmacy at Gander Drugs, moving on to Kelways where he worked for 16 years. Mr. O’Brien’s belief in Gander as a viable and growing area was demonstrated in 1995 when he established his own business - O'Brien's Pharmacy and Medical Centre.

During his career, Mr. O’Brien has been elected to the Board of Directors of the ARP pharmacy banner program, where he has served as a director and chaired several committees. He was appointed to the Board of Directors of Medi-Plus Pharmacies, a national pharmacy chain, and served as chair of the board for two years. He was presented with the National Commitment to Community Care Award by the Canadian Pharmaceutical Association.

Mr. O’Brien has also served as director on both the Gander Area Chamber of Commerce and Gander World Wide. Prior to 2003, he served as President of Aero Marine Products Ltd, an aerospace supply company. Mr. O’Brien comes with International experience doing business in several countries. But due to the long-term relationship between Gander and Cubana Airlines, his main focus has been the country of Cuba.

Mr. O'Brien served as Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier from April 6, 2005 to July 5, 2006. He was appointed Minister of Business on July 5, 2006. Mr. O’ Brien is married to Rhonda Graham, and they have three girls: Adrianne, 19; Tricia, 16, and Taylor, 11.

Hon. Ross Wiseman - Member for Trinity North

Ross Wiseman, Minister of Health and Community Services, was first elected in a by-election in Trinity North on April 25, 2000.

Prior to entering political life, he had a successful 15-year career in health administration with the Peninsulas Health Care Corporation and the former Clarenville Area Hospital Board.

While a Member of the House of Assembly, Mr. Wiseman has served as the deputy chair of Public Accounts Committee. On September 26, 2001, he was appointed the Opposition critic for Health and Community Services. Following his victory in the General Election in the district of Trinity North on October 21, 2003, Mr. Wiseman was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and Community Services.

He chaired of the Provincial Advisory Council on Aging and Seniors and in that capacity chaired the Public Consultations on Healthy Aging, a process to assist Government in developing a Provincial Healthy Aging Plan. On January 19, 2007, he was appointed Minister of Health and Community Services.

Mr. Wiseman is committed to being accessible to the residents of Trinity North. Along with his wife Sandra, he continues to reside in the district of Trinity North.

Hon. Shawn Skinner - Member for St. John’s Centre

Shawn Skinner was born and raised in St. John's. Mr. Skinner was elected as a Progressive Conservative Member of the House of Assembly in the 2003 General Election. Prior to entering provincial politics, Mr. Skinner served as a municipal councillor (Ward II) in the City of St. John's.

A proud graduate of both Holy Cross Junior High and Brother Rice High School, Mr. Skinner attended Memorial University, Cabot College and St. Francis Xavier University earning a Diploma in Applied Arts and a Certificate in Adult Education.

For 20 years, Mr. Skinner worked in the field of Adult Education and Skills Training with Keyin College, St. John's campus. He served in the capacities of instructor, faculty supervisor, principal, and operator. Since 1998, he has held the Canadian Institute of Management's Professional Manager Designation which recognizes a combination of academic and professional work experience.

Throughout his career, Mr. Skinner has actively been engaged in community service. He has served as a vice-president of the St. John's Boys and Girls Club, a member of the Royal St. John's Regatta Committee, the president of the Benevolent Irish Society, and a board member of Friends of Victoria Park. His volunteer work includes the Canadian Blood Services, the St. John's Canada Day Committee, and past chair of the CNIB Visions Luncheon.

Mr. Skinner was appointed Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier on July 5, 2006. On January 19, 2007, he was appointed Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment and Minister responsible for Newfoundland and Labrador Housing.

Hon. Dave Denine – Member for Mount Pearl South

Dave Denine was elected and sworn in as a Member of the House of Assembly in November 2003. He subsequently served as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs and Minister Responsible for the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation. He was appointed the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Education on March 14, 2006.

The former Mount Pearl Mayor is a graduate of Memorial University of Newfoundland, where he received a Bachelor of Education degree in 1972, and a retired junior and senior high school teacher. He served as a member of the Mount Pearl City Council since November 1989, holding the positions of Councillor, Deputy Mayor and, since 1996, Mayor. He has served on the executive of the Mount Pearl Minor Hockey Association; chaired the Torch Relay Committee; and was a member of the Coordinating Committee for the 1988 and 2000 Newfoundland and Labrador Summer Games. He also recently co-chaired the 2002 Irving Cup Hockey Tournament held in Mount Pearl. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Children's Wish Foundation. He has received several community awards including the 1988 City Builders Award, the 1988 Brian Waklin Award for Minor Hockey Executive of the Year, the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal for community service, and the Mount Pearl Minor Hockey Builders Award. He has been involved in many capacities with hockey, basketball, and soccer, and volunteered for the 2000 Summer Games.

Mr. Denine, his wife Shirley and their two sons, Keith and Mark, live in Mount Pearl.

Hon. Charlene Johnson – Member for Trinity - Bay de Verde

Charlene Johnson, the youngest woman ever elected to serve in the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly, is passionate about sustainable development and the protection of our natural resources. Born in Carbonear and raised in the Conception Bay community of Gull Island, Charlene holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Engineering from the University of New Brunswick and a Masters of Applied Science degree in Environmental Engineering from Memorial University of Newfoundland. Prior to politics Charlene worked in the fields of forestry and environmental engineering.

Charlene was first elected to the House of Assembly in November 2003. On July 5, 2006, she was appointed the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources.

 

Hon. Paul Oram - Member for Terra Nova

Paul Oram, son of Dawson and Elizabeth Oram, was born in Gander on January 13, 1966. He was raised in Glovertown, where he attended Glovertown Academy. After graduation he enrolled in college and was later awarded a diploma in Business Management.

In 1985, Mr. Oram married Karen Greenham. They moved to St. John's later that year where he joined the marketing branch of a medical company. One year afterwards, with a desire to own and operate his own business, Mr. Oraml returned home to Glovertown where he started a construction company.

In 1994 Mr. Oram received his Funeral Director's licence and in 1996 purchased his first funeral home. Since that time, the business interests of Mr. Oram and his wife Karen have grown, acquiring an additional funeral home, personal care home facilities, and a travel agency.

Aside from his businesses, Mr. Oram has also been active as a volunteer. He has held various positions such as church appointments, school councillor, trustee with the Central Health Board, as well as Deputy Mayor of Glovertown.

Mr. Oram was elected to the House of Assembly as MHA for the Terra Nova District on October 21, 2003. Since being elected he spearheaded the establishment of the Red Tape Reduction Committee, and serves as the committee Chair. He also served as Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier.

Mr. Oram and his wife Karen reside in Glovertown with their two children - Crystal and Victoria.

Hon. Jerome Kennedy – Member for Carbonear-Harbour Grace

Jerome Kennedy is the oldest of ninechildren of Patrick and Flora Kennedy of Carbonear. Mr. Kennedy grew up on London Road and attended St. Joseph's Elementary School in Carbonear. He attended high school at St. Francis in Harbour Grace and graduated in 1976. Mr. Kennedy graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1981 with a B.A.(Hons.). He then attended the University of New Brunswick Law School and graduated in 1984 with an LL.B. Mr. Kennedy was admitted to the Newfoundland Bar in 1985.

Mr. Kennedy has been a criminal lawyer for 20 years and was counsel at the Lamer Inquiry in St. John's. He is a director of the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted (AIDWYC) and has worked on wrongful conviction cases throughout Canada. Mr. Kennedy was appointed Queen's Counsel in 2005.

Mr. Kennedy has served as a director of the LSPU Hall and the Stella Burry Foundation (which provides housing and education in the downtown community). He also has been involved as a volunteer in minor hockey and basketball.

Mr. Kennedy lives in St. John's with his wife Rachel and their two children, Julia (age 12) and Michael (age 10).


Hon. Patty Pottle – Member for Torngat Mountains

Patty Pottle has a Bachelor of Education (Native and Northern) and has been the Owner/Operator of Amaguk Inn (9 years) and D. J. Gift Shop Ltd. (12 years). She has also been a Manager of Wm. Normore Ltd in Hopedale (5 years), an Agent for Provincial Airlines in Hopedale (8 years), and a Former School Teacher of Amos Comenius Memorial School (6 years). Ms. Pottle has served on a variety of boards and committees including: Tourism Nunatsiavut – Chair; Tasiujatsoak Trust – Trustee; Kamatsiatet Committee – Chair; Former Town Councillor Hopedale Heritage Festival; Former Agvituk Historical Society Member; Former Board Member of Labrador Inuit Association; Former Government Member of Government Nunatsiavut (Transitional).

Ms. Pottle resides in Hopedale.

Parliamentary Secretaries

Bob Ridgley – Member for St. John’s North

Bob Ridgley was born and raised in St. John's. He graduated from St. Patrick's Hall School, after which he obtained a B.A. from Iona College in New York. He later obtained a B.Ed. and a Graduate Diploma in Education Administration from Memorial University. After 18 years as a teacher, principal and school board supervisor, Mr. Ridgley pursued a career in business for 13 years. In 2000, Mr. Ridgley was appointed Executive Assistant to St. John's East M.P. Norman Doyle.

Mr. Ridgley has had extensive experience in public life, having served eight years as a Town Councillor in Torbay. He is a Life Member of the Kinsmen Club of Canada and has served on the Board of Directors of the Kinsmen Manor for Seniors. He has received national recognition for his writing and public speaking abilities.

He was sworn in as the Member for St. John's North on November 12, 2003. He was appointed Chair of the P.C. Caucus on July 7, 2006.

Bob is married to Elizabeth (Manning) and they have two daughters, Carolyn and Erin.


Terry French - Member for Conception Bay South

Terry French was first elected in a by-election on November 12, 2002, to succeed his father, Bob, who passed away while in office, Terry French has served as the Intergovernmental Affairs critic for the Official Opposition, as critic for Government Services and Lands and as the Parliamentary Assistant to Opposition Leader Danny Williams.

From 1997 to 2002, he served as Executive Assistant to St. John's East Member of Parliament Norman Doyle.

Mr. French is a graduate of Queen Elizabeth High School in Foxtrap in 1984. He subsequently attended Memorial University until joining his father in a family business in 1986.

He has strong involvement in the community, particularly in community sports. He served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Conception Bay South Sports Hall of Fame, a volunteer in the Summer Games in Conception Bay South, a Conception Bay South Minor Softball Coach, a member of the Conception Bay South Softball Umpire Association, and a Level 4 Umpire working at the National Softball Tournament.

Mr. French was appointed Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier on November 6, 2003. He was sworn in as the Member for Conception Bay South on November 12, 2003. On January 19, 2007, he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment.

Mr. French is married to Denise (Butt) and they have a daughter, Abbey, and son, Harold.

Harry Harding - Member for Bonavista North

First elected to the House of Assembly in 2002, Harry Harding was re-elected as Member for Bonavista North in 2003.

Originally from Greenspond, he attended Bishop's College in St. John's, Gander District Vocational School, and Memorial University. For the past 29 years, Mr. Harding and his wife Abbie have lived in Badger's Quay. They have two children, Jamie and Patty. Immediately prior to being elected to the House, Mr. Harding was employed as resource manager with Beothic Fish Processors Ltd. in Valleyfield for 14 years. He has also worked as a town clerk/manager for 15 years with the rural district of Badger's Quay-Valleyfield-Pool's Island. He also worked as a payroll clerk/office manager with St. Lawrence Construction at Churchill Falls and Labrador City, as a teacher at Greenspond and Wareham, as a plant worker with Fishery Products International and as a labourer with Fishermen's Union Trading Company in Greenspond. Mr. Harding has been very active in community life, having served with distinction as a volunteer in many organizations, including with Lions, Badger's Quay Fire Department, Cape Freels Development Association and Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Municipal Administrators. Awards he has received include the Melvin Jones Fellow (the highest award from the International Association of Lions Clubs).

On March 14, 2006, he was appointed to serve as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment. On January 19, 2007, he was appointed to serve as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

Keith Hutchings – Member for Ferryland

Mr. Hutchings was born the youngest of six children and grew up in the small community of Mobile on the Southern Shore. He attended St. Bernard's Elementary School in Witless Bay and Mobile Central High in his later years. He was an avid athlete and participated in many sports including hockey, running, ball hockey and golf. Mr. Hutchings stills plays today and also has coached minor softball, soccer and hockey. He has also been active as a volunteer.

Mr. Hutchings attended Memorial University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Major in Political Science and Minor in History) and completed a Certificate in Public Administration. He continued his education in later years and completed an Occupational Health and Safety Program from Ryerson University in Toronto. Keith has also completed courses toward a Masters Program in Public Administration from Dalhousie University in Halifax.

Mr. Hutchings professional career has included 11 years with the Workplace Health Safety and Compensation Commission in various positions including managing various departments within the organization.

On February 8, 2007 Mr. Hutchings offered himself as the Progressive Conservative Party candidate in the by-election for the District of Ferryland and was bestowed a tremendous privilege by the voters when elected as the 9th Member of the House of Assembly for the District of Ferryland since Confederation.

Mr. Hutchings is married to Lynn Croft of Aquaforte and they have 2 young children age 8 and 10.

Darin King – Member for Grand Bank

Dr. Darin King has served as the CEO/Director of Education for the Eastern School District. He has been responsible for the District's 121 schools and approximately 45,000 students.

Dr. King joined the newly created Eastern School District in 2004 as the Assistant Director of Education (Programs). Prior to this appointment, he spent four years as the Assistant Director of Education (Programs) and two years as the Associate Assistant Director (Human Resources) with the former Burin Peninsula School Board. Dr. King has also taught at all levels in the K-12 school system; five years as a school administrator.

Dr. King holds a Bachelor of Education degree and a Diploma in School Resources Services from Memorial University of Newfoundland; a Master of Education Degree from Saint Mary's University, Halifax; and a Ph.D from Northcentral University, Arizona.

Throughout his career, Dr. King has developed a number of research interests including performance appraisal of educational leaders, organizational change in an educational setting, school district restructuring, the effective delivery of student programming, school-community partnerships and school development. He has written numerous papers and articles, and shares his experiences and research widely. Currently, Dr. King serves as an external Ph.D candidate supervisor, and is a session lecturer at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

2007 10 30                                           12:35 p.m.


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