October 3, 2010
Premier Mourns the Passing of Minister Dianne Whalen;
Honours Her Contribution to Newfoundland and Labrador
The Honourable Danny Williams, Premier of
Newfoundland and Labrador today issued the following statement on the
passing of the Honourable Dianne Whalen, Minister of Municipal Affairs,
Minister Responsible for Emergency Preparedness, Registrar General and
Member of the House of Assembly for Conception Bay East - Bell Island.
"It is with a very heavy heart that I
mourn the passing of my cabinet colleague and dear friend, Dianne
Whalen; one of the most courageous individuals I have ever known and one
of our province’s most devoted champions.
While valiantly battling cancer the
strength of her spirit and the conviction behind her words was as
passionate and unshakable as ever. Even during her illness, she
continued to diligently advance the work of her department and
participate fully in Cabinet, always determined to carry on with her
Dianne has left behind a legacy of a
compassionate, caring and determined individual, whose main goal was to
work on behalf of the province she so dearly loved. Of all her
contributions, one of the initiatives she was most proud of was
advocating for more women in elected office – an issue on which she
could speak with great authority and passion. I know that she inspired
many others to continue on with that important work.
Dianne’s approach to her illness was one
of the most extraordinary things I have ever witnessed, and it truly
humbled all of us who were privileged to work with her. Determined to
make every single moment of her life count for those she served and
those she loved, Dianne was truly inspiring to us all.
Above all, Dianne was a beloved mother,
grandmother and most recently a great-grandmother. On behalf of all
Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, I extend my deepest and most heartfelt
condolences to Dianne’s family, friends and staff. All of us were truly
blessed to share her life’s journey, and none of us will ever forget
her. I feel absolutely blessed and privileged to have counted her as a
Minister Whalen was elected to represent
the people of Conception Bay East – Bell Island in the general election
of 2003 and was re-elected in the general election of 2007.
Premier Williams appointed Minister
Whalen to cabinet on November 6, 2003 as Minister of Government Services
and Lands, and Minister Responsible for the Strategic Social Plan.
October 30, 2007, he appointed her to serve as Minister of
Transportation and Works. On October 31, 2008, he appointed her to serve
as Minister of Municipal Affairs, Minister Responsible for Emergency
Preparedness, and Registrar General.
Born in Come-By-Chance and raised in Port
Blandford, Minister Whalen made Paradise her home about four decades ago
and served this fastest-growing town in Atlantic Canada for 18 years as
The wife of the late Joseph Whalen, she
was the mother of three, grandmother of four and great grandmother of
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Director of Communications
Office of the Premier
Office of the Premier