April 19, 2002
(Executive Council)


Premier outlines details of Royal Commission

Premier Roger Grimes today announced the composition of the Royal Commission on Renewing and Strengthening our Place in Canada. The commission will be chaired by Mr. Vic Young, and will include commissioners Sister Elizabeth Davis and Judge James Igloliorte. Barbara Knight has been appointed deputy minister responsible for the commission on behalf of government.

Mr. Young has extensive experience in both the public and private sectors. He has served as deputy minister of Treasury Board, chairman and chief executive officer of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro and chairman and chief executive officer of Fishery Products International. Sister Davis previously served as chief executive officer of the Health Care Corporation of St. John�s. Judge Igloliorte has served as a judge in the province since 1981. Barbara Knight has held a number of senior positions within government during her 28-year career.

"These commissioners, chaired by Mr. Young, have the critical and ambitious task of researching and consulting on Newfoundland and Labrador�s place in Canada," said Premier Grimes. "More importantly, these individuals will work closely with the people of this province to develop a broad consensus on a vision for the future which will identify ways to achieve prosperity and self-reliance."

Premier Grimes also stated that Newfoundland and Labrador must examine its place in the global context. The province�s geographic location between two of the world�s largest trading blocks is a competitive advantage the province can use to reach new markets and strengthen existing opportunities. The premier noted that reduced borders and new technologies would provide a means by which to build Newfoundland and Labrador�s presence on the world stage.

"The work of government must and will continue during the term of the commission�s mandate," said Premier Grimes. "Government will continue to move forward with the actions it has committed to on behalf of the people of the province."

"The commission�s report will not be judged by its length, thickness or its weight," said Mr. Young. "It will be judged on its success in capturing the views of the people of the province in terms of how we intend to work together to make our future more prosperous. I am delighted that the premier has said from the beginning that the work of the government will not be stopped while the commission is undertaking its tasks."

"I am very excited to lead the work of this Royal Commission as it consults with the people of Newfoundland and Labrador on our present circumstances and our future direction," said Mr. Young. "Our objective will be to search for new ideas, new solutions and new directions in the context that the next decade will be a true turning point in our history."

"When our vision led us to join Canada 53 years ago, we had certain expectations and hopes. Those expectations and hopes are held by Newfoundlanders and Labradorians a generation later. Through the Royal Commission, we hope to develop a broad consensus on what we expect to achieve as we move forward as a resource rich province of Canada."

The Royal Commission�s Terms of Reference, outlining its mandate for the coming months, were also made public. The commission will file its report with recommendations on matters considered in its research and consultations on or before June 30, 2003.

Through research and consultation, the Royal Commission will examine and make recommendations with respect to, among other things:

  • the Terms of Union;

  • the contributions of Newfoundland and Labrador to Canada;

  • aspects of arrangements with Canada which may affect prosperity and self-reliance;

  • demographic changes, and challenges and opportunities for the future; and

  • the province�s strategic geographic location, and global advantages it provides.

Media contact: Carl Cooper, Office of the Premier, (709) 729-3960.



Victor L. Young
Vic Young has extensive experience in the private and public sectors. He worked in Treasury Board with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador from 1968 to 1976, serving as an Officer, Assistant Deputy Minister and Deputy Minister. In his last two years with Treasury Board, in addition to his position as Deputy Minister, he also served as special advisor to the premier. In 1978, Mr. Young moved to chair and chief executive officer of the Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro Group of Companies, and held this position for six years. In 1984, he became chair and chief executive officer of Fishery Products International Ltd. In 2001, he became the Executive-in-Residence at Memorial University of Newfoundland. In addition to serving on a number of boards, Mr. Young holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from Memorial University of Newfoundland and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario.

Sister Elizabeth Davis
Sister Elizabeth Davis fulfilled the duties of chief executive officer with the Health Care Corporation of St. John�s (HCCSJ) for six years. It was in her role as head of the HCCSJ that Sister Davis helped oversee a major reorganization of the health care system in the province. During her time with HCCSJ, a number of services were integrated, and the corporation was a partner in creating the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information and the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Applied Health Research. Prior to her service with the HCCSJ, Sister Davis was executive director of St. Clare�s Mercy Hospital and a high school teacher prior to working with the HCCSJ. Sister Davis has been an active participant on many boards and recently been working on her Ph.D. She holds a B.A. and B.Ed. from Memorial University of Newfoundland, a M.A. (Theology) from the University of Notre Dame and an M.H.Sc (Administration) from the University of Toronto.

Judge James Igloliorte
Judge James Igloliorte took up duties as a circuit magistrate for Labrador in 1981 and served in his duties from Mary�s Harbour in southern Labrador to Nain on the north coast. Judge Igloliorte began service in Happy Valley-Goose Bay in 1985 and later transferred to Corner Brook from 1993-96. He was then seconded to the negotiating team with the Labrador Inuit Association in their bid for a Comprehensive Land Claim with Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador. Upon returning to Happy Valley-Goose Bay in 1997, Judge Igloliorte took up shared responsibilities for circuit visits to all Labrador communities with another judge. In 1999, Judge Igloliorte was awarded a National Aboriginal Achievement Award in the field of law. Judge Igloliorte holds Bachelors in Science and Education from Memorial University as well as a Bachelor of Law from Dalhousie University.


Royal Commission
Renewing and strengthening our place in Canada

WHEREAS 53 years ago the people of Newfoundland and Labrador merged their destiny with the people of Canada, a decision they took after vigorous debate and with firm faith in the future;

AND WHEREAS the people of Newfoundland and Labrador have a fierce determination to improve their province and all who live in it by striving to achieve prosperity and maintaining the spirit of self-reliance and belief in themselves which have sustained them for hundreds of years;

AND WHEREAS the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador has an ideal geographic location between two of the world's leading trading blocks, and the ability through natural resources, technology, reduced borders and other factors to seek opportunities in a more globalized world;

AND WHEREAS the people of Newfoundland and Labrador are determined to do so by developing all of their resources, human and natural, and by renewing and strengthening their place within the Canadian Confederation;

AND WHEREAS it is timely for the people of the province to develop a broad consensus on a vision for the future and identify ways for Newfoundland and Labrador to achieve prosperity and self-reliance, and renew and strengthen our place in Canada.

NOW THEREFORE by Commission under the Great Seal and under the authority of the Public Inquiries Act, the Lieutenant Governor-in-Council appoints as Commissioners: Mr. Victor Young (chairperson), Sister Elizabeth Davis, and Judge James Igloliorte.

AND BE IT ORDERED that the commissioners undertake a critical analysis of our strengths and weaknesses and make recommendations as to how best to achieve prosperity and self reliance.

AND IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that in the process of making recommendations and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the commissioners specifically examine and report on:

1. the expectations of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador prior to joining Canada, and how Newfoundland and Labrador has changed since Confederation, with a review of how the prosperity and self-reliance of our people has been affected over time;

2. how Newfoundland and Labrador is viewed in Canada, in particular by the federal government and its institutions, and to recommend ways in which Canadians may obtain a better understanding of our province;

3. the effect on the province of the Terms of Union as embodied in the Constitution of Canada and the evolution of these arrangements since 1949;

4. the special and unique contributions Newfoundland and Labrador has brought to Canada;

5. any arrangements with Canada which have or may hamper or detract from the ability of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador to attain prosperity and self reliance including, but not limited to, federal jurisdiction over natural resources; federal/provincial fiscal arrangements; and the application of federal government policies as they pertain to Newfoundland and Labrador;

6. demographic changes and the impact of these trends as they relate to challenges and opportunities for our youth and the future of the province; and

7. the means by which Newfoundland and Labrador can take maximum advantage of its strategic location between the North American and European trading blocks and the challenges which must be met and the opportunities which can be seized by Newfoundland and Labrador in a global economy.

AND THAT, the commissioners undertake their mandate in three phases:

1. a research phase, to be guided by public input, during which the commissioners may enter into research contracts with qualified, objective groups and individuals and thus provide an information base for further discussion and a stimulus to that debate;

2. a roundtable consultation phase, during which the commissioners shall consult with pertinent constituencies on relevant matters; and

3. a formal public consultation phase, during which the commissioners will use the necessary means and methods to ensure that meaningful consultation occurs with citizens of the province.

AND THAT the commission shall consider whether a Newfoundland and Labrador Conference should be held prior to the submission of a final report.

AND THAT the commissioners, are vested with the powers and authority set out in the Public Inquiries Act;

AND BE IT FURTHER ORDERED THAT, the commission may provide interim or specific issue reports as appropriate and shall submit its final report with recommendations to the Lieutenant Governor-in-Council on or before June 30, 2003.

2002 04 19                         1:20 p.m.

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