Executive Council
October 31, 2008

Premier Announces Changes to Cabinet

As the Provincial Government continues to implement their vision for a prosperous and self-reliant Newfoundland and Labrador, the Honourable Danny Williams, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, today announced changes to his Cabinet. The Premier said this renewal in a number of portfolios will enable the Provincial Government to continue to provide strong leadership for the people of the province. The new Cabinet was sworn in today at a ceremony at Government House in St. John’s.

"I am pleased to announce today, changes to my Cabinet that will serve to further promote our government’s progressive economic and social agenda for the province," said Premier Williams. "It is always valuable to have fresh and new perspectives, and I am confident our team will continue to deliver strong and strategic governance for Newfoundland and Labrador. This new Cabinet will guide our province through one of the most significant periods in our history, as we take our place as net contributors to the country."

The following is a list of new Cabinet Ministers by department (Cabinet portfolios not listed remain unchanged):

Deputy Premier, Minister of Natural Resources, Minister Responsible for the Forestry and Agrifoods Agency and Minister Responsible for the Status of Women – The Honourable Kathy Dunderdale

Minister of Finance, President of Treasury Board, Minister Responsible for the Public Service Secretariat and Minister Responsible for the Office of the Chief Information Officer – The Honourable Jerome P. Kennedy, Q.C.

Minister of Transportation and Works and Minister Responsible for the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation – The Honourable Trevor Taylor

Minister of Justice and Attorney General – The Honourable Thomas Marshall, Q.C.

Minister of Municipal Affairs, Minister Responsible for Emergency Preparedness, and Registrar General – The Honourable Dianne C. Whalen

Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture – The Honourable Thomas J. Hedderson

Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development and Minister Responsible for the Rural Secretariat – The Honourable Shawn Skinner

Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister Responsible for the Volunteer and Non-Profit Sector – The Honourable Dave Denine

Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment, Minister Responsible for the Status of Persons with Disabilities, Minister Responsible for the Labour Relations Agency and Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs – The Honourable Susan Sullivan

The Premier also announced that, effective immediately, the Honourable Clyde Jackman will serve as Acting Minister of Environment and Conservation, as the Honourable Charlene Johnson is on a medical leave of absence.

As well, effective immediately, the Pippy Park Commission will move under the jurisdiction of Department of Environment and Conservation.

See attached backgrounder for additional details.

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Media contacts:

Elizabeth Matthews
Director of Communications
Office of the Premier
709-729-3960
elizabethmatthews@gov.nl.ca
Roger Scaplen
Press Secretary
Office of the Premier
709-729-4304, 727-0991
rogerscaplen@gov.nl.ca

 

BACKGROUNDER

Biographies

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. He 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. 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 honorary 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, he 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 was 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 – Whitbourne

Mr. 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.

First elected to the House of Assembly on February 9, 1999 to represent the District of Harbour Main Whitbourne, he 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, he 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 as the youngest son of Bernard and Josephine (nee Philpott). Tom is the youngest of 19 -- a family of nine brothers and ten 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. Shawn Skinner - Member for St. John’s Centre

Mr. 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, Shawn served as a Municipal Councilor (Ward II) in the City of St. John's.

A proud graduate of both Holy Cross Junior High and Brother Rice High School, Shawn 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 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 Brain 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. Jerome P. Kennedy – Member for Carbonear-Harbour Grace

Jerome Kennedy is the oldest of nine children 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 and Michael.

The Honourable Susan Sullivan – Member for Grand Falls-Windsor – Buchans

Born and raised in Grand Falls-Windsor, Susan is fiercely proud of her hometown and its rich legacy of social, cultural, and economic leadership.

She has a bachelor of arts (French major) and a bachelor of education from Memorial University. She has a masters of education (literacy) from Mount St. Vincent University and a French immersion diploma from l'Université Laval.

Susan retired in June of 2007 following a 30-year teaching career, working the last seven years as the French Department Head for the Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation where she taught senior high French to all parts of the province via the Internet.

In the 2005 municipal election, Susan was elected Deputy Mayor of Grand Falls-Windsor. As Deputy Mayor, she served as Chair of the Public Works and Engineering Committee and the 2006 Salmon Festival. She was a member of the Economic Development and Tourism Committee, the Finance and Human Resources Committee, and the Post Secondary Education Committee. She was also a director of the EXCITE Corporation and a board member of the Exploits Valley Economic Development Corporation where she served on the Municipalities Committee as well as the Education and IT Committees.

Susan was elected in the deferred general election in Grand Falls-Windsor - Buchans district on November 6, 2007.


2008 10 31                                                10:45 a.m.
 


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