July 27, 2004
(Executive Council)


Premier announces appointment of Bill Rowe to newly established Ottawa office

Premier Danny Williams today announced that the province is moving forward on the establishment of an official office in the country's capital. The Premier has appointed Mr. Bill Rowe as the province�s representative in the Newfoundland and Labrador Office of Federal-Provincial Relations in Ottawa. As outlined in Budget 2004, this office will give the province a stronger presence in Ottawa and focus attention on our concerns about equalization, transfers, resource benefits and the numerous other issues that affect our people and economy.

"We made a commitment to the people of this province prior to being elected to establish an office in Ottawa and today we are fulfilling that commitment. I am delighted to announce that Mr. Rowe has accepted this position and will head up our newly established office in Ottawa which will serve to promote and advance issues of importance to the people of this province," said Premier Williams. "I cannot think of a more well-equipped and informed individual to bring forth our issues in the nation�s capital and, specifically, on Parliament Hill. Mr. Rowe has an intimate and first-hand knowledge of the issues that are of greatest importance to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, in addition to his knowledge and experience in the day-to-day operation of the federal government."

Mr. Rowe has become a provincial icon in serving as host of VOCM's open line show for the past 20 years. He is a former member of the provincial House of Assembly and has the distinction of being the youngest individual to serve in a provincial cabinet. Mr. Rowe is a lawyer by profession.

"For many years as a public affairs commentator, I have focused on the unfair circumstances confronting our province in the Canadian federation," said Mr. Rowe. "I am now extremely pleased, therefore, to be in a position to help Premier Williams and his government find solid solutions to those problems. The challenge is a difficult one. I am under no illusions about that. But, I believe Newfoundland and Labrador can meet the challenge, and I am most eager to join the Premier and his colleagues in this essential work."

The Premier commented that the new Ottawa office is especially important in the current federal political climate with the minority government in place. "We are facing a parliamentary situation where deals will likely be brokered and compromises made," added the Premier. "While the province is well represented by our Members of Parliament, Mr. Rowe will be the provincial government's voice in Ottawa. I have committed to fostering improved, more consultative federal-provincial relations, and these efforts to date have been successful as evidenced through progress on issues such as the Atlantic Accord. I am confident that Mr. Rowe will be a great asset and contributor in this regard."

Mr. Rowe will be responsible for developing relationships with officials and politicians at the federal level and to promote and advance issues of priority for the provincial government and the people of the province. The Premier added that two files which Mr. Rowe will immediately turn his attention to are the fishery, including custodial management, the 20 per cent shrimp tariff into Europe and increased enforcement for our salmon rivers, and 5 Wing Goose Bay.

The office will be officially opened early this fall, once office space has been identified in Ottawa. The appointment is effective immediately. A biography of Mr. Rowe is attached.

Media contact: Elizabeth Matthews, Office of the Premier, (709) 729-3960 or (709) 690-5500.



Bill Rowe was born in Grand Bank, Newfoundland and Labrador, son of Dr. F.W. Rowe of Lewisporte and Edith Butt Rowe of Bonne Bay. He entered Memorial University on an Electoral District Scholarship, attended Law School at the University of New Brunswick on the Sir James Dunne Scholarship and completed his legal studies at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, graduating from Oxford with an Honours M.A. in Law.

Bill was elected to the House of Assembly at the age of twenty-four and re-elected four more times in the Districts of White Bay South and Twillingate. He was appointed, at twenty-six, as Minister of Community and Social Development in the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador where he negotiated numerous multi-million dollar infrastructure agreements with the Government of Canada. He also acted as minister in the departments of Housing, Economic Development and Justice, and was later elected Leader of the Official Opposition in the House of Assembly.

He practiced Law in St. John's over three decades, concentrating in recent years on labour-management arbitrations.

As a public affairs commentator for many years, Bill has appeared regularly on national and local media, including CBC TV's Newsworld, the National and Canada Now, as well as various CTV programs and CBC Radio's Morningside. He also wrote public affairs columns in the former St. John's Daily News and the St. John's Evening Telegram. For twenty years, he was host of VOCM Open Line, a daily radio call-in show focusing on public issues, carried throughout the province and beyond. There he also discussed important federal-provincial matters with national politicians.

Bill has written three books: Clapp's Rock, a best-selling novel published by McClelland and Stewart of Toronto and serialized on CBC national radio; The Temptation of Victor Galanti, another novel published by McClelland and Stewart; and a volume of columns on politics and government published by Jesperson Press of St. John's.

He is married to Penelope Ayre Rowe CM of St. John's. They have a son and a daughter.

2004 07 27                                       12:30 p.m.

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