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Executive Council
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 responsibilities.

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 friend."

Backgrounder

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 mayor.

The wife of the late Joseph Whalen, she was the mother of three, grandmother of four and great grandmother of one.

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Media contacts:

Elizabeth Matthews
Director of Communications
Office of the Premier
709-729-3960
elizabethmatthews@gov.nl.ca

Andrea Nolan
Press Secretary
Office of the Premier
709-729-4304, 727-0991
andreanolan@gov.nl.ca

 


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