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March 14, 1996
(Executive Council)
New Cabinet Sworn in
Backgrounder - Government Restructuring and Reorganization
Cabinet Ministers by Department
Deputy Ministers by Department
Biographies of Ministers

New Cabinet Sworn In

The new Cabinet was sworn in today at Government House. Premier Brian Tobin emphasized that now he and his Cabinet have a mandate to govern.

"We have a mandate from the people to carry out our plan for a better tomorrow," said Mr. Tobin. "We have a strong team to carry out that plan." "This is a new Cabinet," said Mr. Tobin. "There are six newly-elected ministers. Only four ministers hold the same portfolios as before."

Sandra Kelly, Judy Foote, Julie Bettney, Joan-Marie Aylward, Ernest McLean and the premier are all newly-elected. Ernest McLean will serve as the Minister of Government Services and Lands. Beaton Tulk also joins Cabinet for the first time as Minister of Forest Resources and Agrifoods, as well as Government House Leader.

Paul Dicks (Finance), Charles Furey (Industry, Trade and Technology), Lloyd Matthews (Health), and Art Reid (Municipal and Provincial Affairs) retain their portfolios.

Other ministers have new portfolios. These are: John Efford (Fisheries and Aquaculture); Rex Gibbons (Mines and Energy); Roger Grimes (Education); Chris Decker (Justice) and Kevin Aylward (Environment and Labour).

"I have appointed four women to Cabinet, more than ever before," said Mr. Tobin. "They add strength in key economic and social portfolios." These ministers are: Judy Foote (Development and Rural Renewal), Julie Bettney (Works, Services and Transportation), Sandra Kelly (Tourism, Culture and Recreation), and Joan-Marie Aylward (Social Services).

"The government has been reorganized to focus on growth, jobs and efficiency," said Mr. Tobin. "In this, we are delivering on our commitments in the Liberal platform."

There are now 16 departments (and Cabinet ministers), rather than 14. This implements a commitment in the Liberal platform to create a new Department of Development and Rural Renewal and three departments for resource management (Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mines and Energy, and Forest Resources and Agrifoods) to replace two previous departments (Fisheries, Food and Agriculture, and Natural Resources).

As well, a new Department of Government Services and Lands was added to provide "one stop shopping" for most government permits (e.g. motor vehicle registration). This was offset by the consolidation of two small departments into one, the Department of Environment and Labour.

"There has also been renewal and change in the senior public service," said Mr. Tobin. "I have promoted five young officials to become deputy ministers. Four other deputy ministers will serve in new departments."

The new deputy ministers are: Barbara Wakeham (Government Services and Lands), Joan Dawe (Social Services), John Scott (Development and Rural Renewal), John Abbott (Municipal and Provincial Affairs) and Michael Buist (Tourism, Culture and Recreation). The number of departments where the deputy minister is a woman has increased from two to four.

"We have a new mandate, a new plan, a new Cabinet, a new government structure and a new group of deputy ministers," said Mr. Tobin. "We are ready to work with Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to overcome the challenges and seize the opportunities."

Contact: Heidi Bonnell, Office of the Premier, (709) 729-3570.


The new Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture will consist of all the fisheries related functions of the former Department of Fisheries, Food and Agriculture.

The new Department of Mines and Energy will consist of the "Mineral" and "Energy" sections of the former Department of Natural Resources. As well, the Hibernia Project Monitoring office will be transferred from the Executive Council Secretariat.

The new Department of Forest Resources and Agrifoods will consist of the "Forestry and Wildlife" sections of the former Department of Natural Resources, and the "Agrifoods" section of the former Department of Fisheries, Food and Agriculture.

The new Department of Development and Rural Renewal will have a mandate to create jobs and growth in rural areas. Among other things, it will take over the functions of Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador and the Economic Recovery Commission. The new Department will promote development in the 19 economic zones. The Crafts Program from the existing Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation will be transferred to the Department of Development and Rural Renewal. The Employment Services division from the existing Department of Employment and Labour Relations will be transferred to the Department of Development and Rural Renewal.

The new Department of Environment and Labour will consolidate the major functions of the former Department of Environment and the Labour Relations and Occupational Health and Safety functions of the former Department of Employment and Labour Relations.

The new Department of Government Services and Lands will combine all Government front line services to the public. The new department will include (1) the Commercial and Corporate Affairs Division of the Department of Justice; (2) the Lands Division from the former Department of Natural Resources; (3) the Motor Vehicle Registration Division from the Department of Works, Services and Transportation; (4) the Vital Statistics Division from the Department of Health; and (5) responsibility for credit unions from the Department of Finance. There will be a government review to identify other services to be transferred to this new department.

To reduce overhead, support services (e.g. personnel and financial administration) will be shared by several departments, (e.g. for the Department of Municipal and Provincial Affairs and the Department of Government Services and Lands). As well, there will be reductions in senior staffing in a number of departments, to reduce overhead. These changes will result in savings that more than offset the modest additional costs from establishing the new departments.


Department of Industry, Trade and Technology               Charles Furey
Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture                    John Efford
Department of Mines and Energy                             Rex Gibbons
Department of Forest Resources and Agrifoods and
   Government House Leader                                 Beaton Tulk
Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation              Sandra Kelly
Department of Development and Rural Renewal                Judy Foote
Department of Health                                       Lloyd Matthews
Department of Education                                    Roger Grimes
Department of the Environment and Labour                   Kevin Alyward
Department of Justice and Attorney General                 Christopher Decker
Department of Social Services                              Joan Marie Aylward
Department of Government Services and Lands                Ernest McLean
Department of Municipal and Provincial Affairs             Arthur Reid
Department of Works, Services and Transportation
 and Minister Responsible for the Status of Women          Julie Bettney
Department of Finance and President of Treasury Board      Paul Dicks

Oliver Langdon will be appointed as Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier.


Department of Industry, Trade and Technology               Oake, David
Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture                    Dean, Les
Department of Mines and Energy                             Way, Fred
Department of Forest Resources and Agrifoods               Stanley, Hal
Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation              Buist, Mike (Acting)
Department of Development and Rural Renewal                Scott, John
Department of Health                                       Williams, Bob
Department of Education                                    Fry, Debbie
Department of Environment and Labour                       Fleming, John
Department of Justice                                      Spracklin, Lynn
Department of Social Services                              Dawe, Joan
Department of Government Services and Lands                Wakeham, Barbara
Department of Municipal and Provincial Affairs             Abbott, John
Department of Works, Services and Transportation           Granter, Clyde
Department of Finance                                      Wall, Phil
Treasury Board Secretariat                                 Kennedy, Peter


Member for St. John's Centre

Joan Marie Aylward first served as an intensive care nurse at the General Hospital and at St. Clare's Mercy Hospital. She then served as a faculty member of St. Clare's Mercy Hospital in 1982 and continued in that capacity until 1990. During that time she became a member of the Board of Directors of the Newfoundland and Labrador Nurses' Union and was elected President in 1990, a position she has held since that time.
Currently, Joan Marie Aylward serves on numerous committees that reflect her dedication to her career and her community. These include: a Cabinet-appointed Pension Investment Committee; Back Injury Advisory Committee; the Oxfam Board of Directors; MUN School of Nursing Advisory Committee on Distance Education; and the Transfer Advisory Committee of St. John's Hospital Corporation.

Prior to being elected on February 22, 1996, Joan Marie Aylward served her third term as Provincial President of the NLNU and was a member of the National Federation of Nurses' Union, the Canadian Nurse Educators Association, the Nurse Educators of Newfoundland and the Newfoundland and Labrador Employee Assistance Association.

Member for Stephenville

A native of Stephenville, Kevin Aylward graduated from St. Stephen's High and was named Athlete of the Year in 1977. Mr. Aylward attended Memorial University and received a Bachelor of Commerce degree and a Teaching Certificate. He was first elected as the Liberal Member to the House of Assembly for Stephenville District in 1985 at the age of 24. In 1989 he was re-elected and served as both the Liberal Whip and as Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier. In 1993 Mr. Aylward was elected for a third term and named the Ministerial Assistant for Small Business. In August of that year he was appointed Minister of Environment. He is a member of the Resource and Social Policy Committees of Cabinet and the Cabinet Committee on Appointments. Mr. Aylward is married to Ann McCormack of Port au Port and they have two children, Mark, who is four, and Katie, who is three years of age.

Member for Mount Pearl

Julie Bettney has resided in Mount Pearl since 1979. She began her career as a Physical Education teacher in Labrador. Her profession contributed greatly to her work promoting recreation integration for people with disabilities. Previous to entering public life, Julie worked for 10 years with the Newfoundland Public Service Commission, specializing in supervisory development and communications related training, strategic planning and service quality.

In 1985, Julie Bettney was elected Deputy Mayor of Mount Pearl. She was the first woman to serve on the Mount Pearl Council in 20 years and, in 1993, was elected Mayor.

Julie Bettney has served as Provincial Director on the Board of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and is a member of the Board of Directors for Public Technology Canada.

Ms. Bettney has always considered it a priority to increase public involvement in local government by establishing public advisory committees and promoting public consultation; striving continually to improve the quality of life for citizens; and to foster partnerships for community safety and business development.

Member for the Straits - White Bay North

Christopher Decker was born in St. Anthony in 1941 and raised in Roddickton. He completed high school in Roddickton in 1959.

In 1966, Mr. Decker graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland with a Bachelor of Arts with a major in English and a minor in Philosophy. He continued his studies at Pine Hill Divinity Hall in Halifax, Nova Scotia where he graduated with a Master of Divinity in 1969.

Mr. Decker served as a United Church clergyman throughout the country until 1972. He returned to Roddickton, and while there served two terms as mayor of the town, and owned or operated several businesses including a nursing home.

Under his tenure as mayor major water and sewer projects were undertaken, roads were upgraded, the municipal centre was expanded and a Fire Hall and crab plant were constructed.

Mr. Decker was a founding member of the White Bay Central Rural Development Association.

Mr. Decker served as a member and chairman of the Integrated School Board for the Strait of Belle Isle and as a member and chairman of the Vinland Integrated School Board. He also served for four years as a member of the Integrated Education Council for Newfoundland and Labrador.

Mr. Decker was a member of the Baie Verte - White Bay Liberal Association and the White Bay North Liberal Association. In 1985, he was elected to the House of Assembly and served in the opposition until 1989. While a member of the opposition, he was the education critic, health critic and transportation critic.

Christopher Decker was re-elected in 1989 and invited into the Wells Cabinet as Minister of Health. Under his direction, major reforms took place in the Department of Health.

Member for Humber West

Paul Dicks was born in Corner Brook in 1950. After graduating from high school Mr. Dicks completed a B.A. and B.Ed. at Memorial University. On graduation, he won the University Gold Medal in Philosophy and the Newfoundland Teachers' Association Medal for the Outstanding Student in Education.

Mr. Dicks continued his education at Dalhousie Law School where he was awarded the Sir James Dunn Scholarship and he graduated with an LL.B. in 1976. He was called to the Bar of Newfoundland later that year and practised law in Corner Brook for the next 13 years.

In the general election of 1989, Paul Dicks was elected MHA for Humber West. He subsequently held the positions of Minister of Justice and Attorney General until November of 1991; was re-elected in 1993 and appointed Speaker of the House of Assembly. In 1995, Paul Dicks became Minister of Finance and President of Treasury Board .

Mr. Dicks' considerable expertise was utilized during the constitutional negotiations process when he served as Chair of the Province's Legislative Committee on Constitutional Matters. He has been an advisor to Premier Wells for several First Ministers' Conferences.

Member for Port de Grave

John Efford was born at Port de Grave in 1944. He attended high school in his home community and upon graduating, successfully completed a Business Administration Program.

Mr. Efford went on to establish Efford's Wholesale, Snow's Plumbing and Heating, and the Della Lee Retail Clothing Store.

In the early 1960s, John Efford became actively involved with the Liberal Party. He was first elected to the District Liberal Association in 1969 and served as Vice-President.

In 1985, Mr. Efford was elected as MHA for the district of Port de Grave. While in opposition, he was responsible for the Departments of Consumer Affairs, Public Works, Fisheries, Health and Social Services. In the general election of 1989, Mr. Efford was re-elected and appointed to the Provincial Cabinet as Minister of Social Services. In the 1993 election, he was re-elected with the largest majority in the Province and was appointed to the Cabinet as Minister of Works, Services and Transportation.

Prior to his appointment to the Cabinet in 1993, Mr. Efford held the position of Chairperson of the United Fisherpersons of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Member for Grand Bank

Judy Foote is a Memorial University graduate with degrees in Arts and Education. Following graduation she returned to her home in Grand Bank to teach at Partanna Academy. In 1977, she moved to Sarnia, Ontario to attend Lambton College, graduating in 1979 with an Honours Diploma in Journalism. Judy also completed studies in Public Relations at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and is past president of the Canadian Public Relations Society.

For the past 18 years, Ms. Foote has been dedicated to community service. In addition to her volunteer work with the Girl Guides of Canada and the St. John's Association for the Mentally Delayed, she has served in various capacities with UNICEF and several other community organizations.

Prior to her involvement in politics, Judy Foote worked in television journalism with "Here & Now" and also as the Director of University Relations with Memorial University of Newfoundland. For the past seven years she worked in the Premier's Office as the Director of Public Relations.

Member for St. Barbe

Chuck Furey was born in the rural community of Avondale, Conception Bay. After completing high school in St. John's, he studied at Memorial University of Newfoundland and St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

Currently, Mr. Furey is serving his twelfth year as Member of the House of Assembly for the District of St. Barbe and is the Minister responsible for Industry, Trade and Technology. His responsibilities include Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador Corporation, Newfoundland and Labrador Science and Technology Advisory Council, Marystown Shipyard Limited and Newfoundland Hardwoods Limited.

Member for St. John's West

Rex Gibbons was born in Lumsden, Newfoundland. He is a graduate of Memorial University of Newfoundland with a B.A. and B.Sc. degrees in 1967 and M.Sc. (Geology) in 1969. He moved to California in 1969 to study at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and received his Ph.D. in Geology in 1974.

Dr. Gibbons and his family moved to Houston Texas where he worked for two years in the Geology and Geophysics Branch of NASA'S Lyndon Johnson Space Centre.

In 1976, Rex Gibbons returned to Newfoundland to work with the provincial Department of Mines. In 1989 he successfully won the Liberal seat for St. John's West in the Provincial General Election and in May of that year he was appointed Minister of the Department of Mines and Energy. This portfolio is responsible for the development and management of the mining and oil and gas industries in the province as well as Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro Corporation.

Dr. Gibbons was re-elected to the House of Assembly in 1993 and was re-appointed as Minister of Mines and Energy. The following year he was appointed as Minister of Natural Resources a department which encompasses responsibility for Mines and Energy as well as forestry, lands, wildlife and inland recreational fishery management.

Member for Exploits

Roger Grimes is a graduate of Memorial University with degrees in Science (B.Sc.) and Education (Ed.) as well as a Masters degree in Education (M.Ed.).

Prior to becoming involved in politics, Roger Grimes taught school in central Newfoundland for 15 years. While teaching, he also served as the President of the Newfoundland Teachers Association and as Director of the Canadian Teachers Federation.

In the general election of 1989, Roger was elected as the Member of the House of Assembly for the district of Exploits. He was appointed Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier, a position he held until 1991 when he became the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations. Following the election in 1993, Roger was re-appointed to Cabinet and became the Minister responsible for Tourism, Culture and Recreation in 1994.

Member for Gander

Sandra Kelly was born in Gander and graduated from Gander Collegiate in 1968. She pursued a career in nursing, graduating from the General Hospital School of Nursing in 1970 and obtaining a Diploma in Community Health Nursing from Dalhousie University. Upon finishing her studies, Sandra spent five years as a public health nurse and two years as an intensive care and surgical nurse.

Ms. Kelly has been involved in municipal politics since 1985 when she ran successfully for Council. She served as Deputy Mayor of the town of Gander for eight years and was elected Mayor in 1993.

She has served her community as Chairperson of the Airport Transfer Committee and the Economic Development Zone for the region. As well, Ms. Kelly was appointed, by the Premier, to the Newfoundland and Labrador Round Table on the Environment and Economy.

In the last decade Sandra Kelly has also sat on the Board of Gander Worldwide Inc., Cara Transition House Board, the Waterford Hospital Board and the Gander and Area Development Corporation.

Member for St. John's North

Lloyd Matthews has enjoyed a successful career in both the public and private sectors before entering political life. Mr. Matthews began with a career in banking and later worked with Revenue Canada. As an entrepreneur, Mr. Matthews has enjoyed a great deal of success in a variety of business ventures. He has been involved in the private sector for 20 years culminating in the establishment of the Matthew Group of Companies which includes Lumber World, Metal World, Offshore Supplies International and Matthews Investments Inc.

For eight years Mr. Matthews was an elected School Board Trustee and he has also served as Provincial Treasurer and Vice-President of the Newfoundland and Labrador School Trustees Association. He is the founding Chairperson of the Children's Wish Foundation of Canada in Newfoundland and has served as both President and Chairman of the national board for the past three years. Mr. Matthews is also the founding Chairperson of the environmental organization, St. John's Clean and Beautiful. He has served on the YM/YWCA Board of Directors, the VOCM Cares Foundation Board of Directors and is a member of the St. John's Board of Trade.

In 1993, Mr. Matthews was elected to the House of Assembly as the Liberal member for St. John's North. He was appointed to Cabinet on August 26, 1994 as Minister of Health.

Member for Carbonear Harbour Grace

Art Reid is a native and resident of Carbonear. In 1974, he graduated from Memorial University with a B.A., B.Ed., taught school for 16 years and served as Mayor for seven years.

In 1989 Mr. Reid was elected MHA for the district of Carbonear. He has served on numerous government committees including the Social Legislative Review Committee and the Conflict of Interest Committee. In 1993 Mr. Reid was appointed to the Provincial Cabinet as the minister responsible for Municipal and Provincial Affairs and the Minister responsible for housing.

Art Reid is an active community leader; he is past President of both the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 23 and the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Municipalities. As well, he has served as President of the Carbonear branch of the Canadian Cancer Society.

During his time in office, Art Reid has continued his dedication to his community. His constituents have enjoyed an influx of over $20 million in water and sewer systems, road work, assistance to recreation, fire departments and fisherpersons' committees. New projects and programs have brought over 1,000 full and part time jobs to the district. The Carbonear-Harbour Grace Summer Games raised the area's tourism profile and potential throughout the summer of 1992.

Among Art's accomplishments however, are the Conception Bay North By-pass Road, a multi-million dollar project and the implementation of first year university in Trinity Conception.

Member for Bonavista North

Beaton Tulk was educated at Memorial University obtaining Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Education and Masters of Educational Administration degrees. He later obtained his Canadian Securities Investment Diploma.

From 1974-1979 Mr. Tulk was the Supervising Principal with the Carmanville School System. During his time as an educator, Mr. Tulk was also involved in the Provincial Liberal party as President of the Fogo District Liberal Association.

In 1979, he was elected the Member of the House of Assembly for the District of Fogo. In this capacity he was Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee on Elections and Privileges, the Select Committee on Parliamentary Reform and the Internal Economy Commission. He has been the Opposition Critic for Education, Social Services, Fisheries, Labour Relations, Forestry and Agriculture, Treasury Board and Environment. Beaton has also served as Chairman of the Inshore Fisheries Committee and President of the Provincial Liberal Party. In 1990 he became Assistant Deputy Minister for Children and Youth Services. Beaton was re-elected in the district of Fogo in 1993.

Member for Lake Melville

Ernest McLean was born in NorthWest River, Labrador. He graduated from Yale High School in 1963 and later trained with the Public Service Personnel Management Program.

In 1972 Ernest began his life in public service with Grenfell Regional Health Services as the Assistant Maintenance Supervisor for NorthWest River and the coastal nursing stations. Since 1980, Ernest has been Regional Manager for the Provincial Department of Municipal and Provincial Affairs in Goose Bay. During his time in this office, Ernest has administered municipal service programs including water and sewer and road upgrading for communities throughout Labrador. He has also developed and implemented a Municipal Councillor training program and participated in the development of a two-year Canada/Newfoundland Native Communities agreement.

Ernest has served his community in various capacities, including Mayor of NorthWest River and chairperson for that community's Recreation Commission. He has been a member of the Labrador East Integrated School Board and is currently the Treasurer of the Labrador Heritage Society. Ernest was also a member of the Board of Management for the Melville Hospital and in 1994 was appointed to the Labrador Health Board.

Ernest McLean will be a vocal representative of his district, making sure the needs and concerns of his constituents are brought to the attention of government.

1996 03 14 3:00 p.m. ct

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