November 8, 2005
(Executive Council)

Premier announces new Cabinet appointments

In the week that marks the official second anniversary of this administration, Premier Danny Williams announced today some changes to his Cabinet.

�I have been blessed to have strong and capable leadership in each and every one of my ministers and, together with the support of caucus, we have made tremendous strides over the past two years to create a stronger and more prosperous Newfoundland and Labrador,� said Premier Williams. �I am pleased today to announce some changes within Cabinet, as we carry on with implementing our vision for the future. Our new Cabinet will continue to provide direction and strong leadership for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.�

The following portfolios will be under new leadership effective immediately:

  • Deputy Premier, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture and Minister Responsible for Aboriginal Affairs � Tom Rideout
  • Minister of Education and Minister Responsible for Status of Women � Joan Burke
  • Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment; Minister Responsible for Labrador Affairs; and Minister Responsible for Newfoundland and Labrador Housing � Paul Shelley
  • Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation � Tom Hedderson
  • Minister of Transportation and Works � Trevor Taylor

�Each and every one of these ministers has provided very effective leadership in their previous portfolios, and I wish to sincerely thank them for the contributions they have made to date,� added the Premier. �I look forward to their continued advice and guidance in their new roles.�

In addition to Cabinet changes, Premier Williams also appointed Minister Tom Rideout as Deputy Premier. �As a former premier and outstanding parliamentarian and MHA, I am so pleased to appoint Minister Rideout as Deputy Premier,� said the premier. �The role of Premier is incredibly demanding, including frequent travel outside of the province. In these circumstances, it is important to have in my stead an individual who can effectively fulfill some of the duties of the Premier�s office.�

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

Member for Lewisporte

Former Premier, Progressive Conservative Party Leader, long-serving Cabinet Minister and veteran MHA Tom Rideout is a lawyer and former high school teacher who was born in 1948. Prior to entering politics in 1975, he was a teacher at St. Theresa�s All-Grade School at Fleur de Lys and St. Pius X Central High School at Baie Verte, where he also served as vice-principal. He was elected to the House of Assembly by the people of Baie Verte-White Bay District in 1975, 1979, 1982, 1985 and 1989. In 1999 and 2003, he was elected to represent the people of Lewisporte District. While serving as MHA, Mr. Rideout was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier (1982-85), Minister of Culture, Recreation and Youth (1984-85), and Minister of Fisheries (1985-89). While a Cabinet Minister, he served on the Cabinet Committees for Social Policy, Resource Policy (Vice-Chair), Treasury Board, Research and Development, Fisheries Restructuring (Chair), and Planning and Priorities. In 1989, he was elected Leader of the Newfoundland and Labrador Progressive Conservative Party and, on March 22, 1989, became the province�s fourth Premier since Confederation, and served in the First Minister�s post and as Intergovernmental Affairs Minister until May 5, 1989. From May 1989 until September 1991, he served as Leader of the Official Opposition. From 1991 to 1993, he served as a Member of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. In 1994, he enrolled in the University of Ottawa law school, graduating in May 1997 with a Baccalaureate of Laws (LL.B.). While studying, he worked with Ottawa�s Mike Bell and Associates and with the International Directorate of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. He articled in St. John�s with Morris, Pittman, Powell (formerly Morris & Pittman). He was admitted to the Law Society of Newfoundland as a Barrister, Solicitor & Notary in June 1998, and served as an associate in the practice of law with Fraize Law Offices. Mr. Rideout has been heavily involved in the community in many capacities, and with community organizations including the Kinsmen Club of Canada, the Royal Canadian Legion and the Boy Scouts of Canada. He has served as the Opposition Justice critic, Deputy House Leader, a Member of the Strategy Committee and Chair of the Economic Development Committee of Caucus. Tom and his late wife, Jacinta, have four children.

Member for St. George�s - Stephenville East

Raised in Bishop�s Falls, Joan Burke attended Memorial University of Newfoundland where she earned a degree in Social Work in 1987, following which she accepted a position in Stephenville as an Adult Probation Officer with the Department of Justice. She graduated in 1990 from the University of Toronto with a Masters degree in Social Work, following which she accepted employment in Toronto as a Parole Officer with the Correctional Services of Canada, and also worked part-time as a counselor with the Kids� Help Line. With her husband Brian, she moved to St. John�s where she worked with the Correctional Services of Canada and also owned and operated a small business, offering counseling and assessment services. In 1996, she was asked by the Correctional Services of Canada to coordinate the Exchange of Service Agreement between the federal and provincial governments, which resulted in federal offenders being maintained at the West Coast Correctional Centre in Stephenville. In 1996, she applied for and was granted a transfer to Stephenville to work at the West Coast Correctional Centre as a Parole Officer with the Correctional Services of Canada. She handled case preparation for federal offenders and served as the Staff Trainer for new Parole Officers in the Atlantic region. She has served as an Executive Member of the Association of Social Workers and as a member of their Committee of Examiners. She has been a volunteer with the Canadian Mental Health Association. She also served on the executive of the Union of Solicitor General Employees (USGE) and as Shop Steward for Local 90098. She has been very active in the Guiding movement and, in addition to being a Brownie leader, has served as the Girl Guides of Canada Deputy Area Commissioner and Area Training Coordinator for the southwest region. She is also a founding member of the Stephenville Gymnastics Club and continues to volunteer as a coach. Ms. Burke and her husband have an eight-year old daughter.

Member for Baie Verte

Born in Baie Verte in 1959 and raised in a family of 12 children, Paul Shelley graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland with a conjoint Bachelor of Physical Education / Bachelor of Education degree. He began his career as a construction worker from 1977 to 1981. After graduating from Memorial, he served as Technical Director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Basketball Association in 1986-87. He worked as a teacher in Baie Verte from 1987 to 1989; served as Special Assistant to the Premier in 1989; and taught at R.T. Elementary in Baie Verte from 1989 to 1993. Mr. Shelley was elected to represent the former Baie Verte-White Bay and the current Baie Verte districts in 1993, 1996, 1999 and 2003. He has served as the Opposition critic for Works, Services and Transportation, Forest Resources and Agrifoods, Labrador Affairs, Post-secondary Education, Municipal and Provincial Affairs, Intergovernmental Affairs, and Mines and Energy. He also served as a member of the Public Accounts Committee, Deputy House Leader and Deputy Leader of the Opposition. Mr. Shelley is married to Beverly Whitten and they have three children - Maria, Laura and Adam.

Member for Harbour Main - Whitbourne

The youngest of 19 - a family of nine brothers and ten sisters - Tom Hedderson graduated with Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) and Bachelor of Education (English) degrees from Memorial University of Newfoundland and a Master of Education (Psychology) from Mount Saint Vincent University in Nova Scotia. He served as principal of Bishop O�Neill Collegiate in Brigus. He is a past president of the Bay Roberts Branch of the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers� Association, a past vice-president of the NLSH Sports Federation and a past regional director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Home and School Federation (NLHSF) Sports Federation. He has served as a coordinator of the Conception Bay North Volleyball Club, auditor of the Georgetown Recreation Committee, a member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #65, and a member of Cabot Assembly. Elected to the House of Assembly in 1999 and 2003, Mr. Hedderson has served as Opposition critic for Education (Primary, Elementary and Secondary) and Youth Services and Post-secondary Education. He also served as the Parliamentary Assistant to the Leader of the Opposition. Mr. Hedderson and his wife, Rosemary, have two daughters: Christa Marie and Julia Anne. They reside in Georgetown.

Member for The Straits & White Bay North

Born and raised in Gunners Cove, Trevor Taylor graduated from Truman Eddison Memorial in Gunners Cove in 1984 and attended Memorial University and the Marine Institute. He has been extensively involved in the fishery at several levels. He worked as a fishermen harvesting cod until the moratorium in 1992. He was skipper for three years of a 55-foot shrimp / crab boat Cull�s Eclipse. He is a past executive board member of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers� Union and worked for six years as a staff member of the union. He served two terms as a member of the Fisheries Resource Conservation Council. He taught off-campus fisheries courses for the Marine Institute. He served as a member of the Oxfam fisheries delegation to Nicaragua. He served on the boards of the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation, the St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc. (SABRI), and the White Bay North Rural Development Association. He was first elected to the House of Assembly in a by-election in The Straits & White Bay North on January 30, 2001 and subsequently served as the Opposition critic for Fisheries and Aquaculture and for Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs. Mr. Taylor and his wife, Michelle, have two children: Ian and Nicholas.

2005 11 08                                   3:45 p.m.

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