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May 3, 2006
(Executive Council)

Province appoints new provincial representative in
Newfoundland and Labrador Office of Federal-Provincial Relations in Ottawa

Premier Danny Williams today announced the appointment of Dr. John FitzGerald as the province's new representative in the Newfoundland and Labrador Office of Federal-Provincial Relations in Ottawa.

"Dr. FitzGerald is an exceptionally well-educated, passionate Newfoundlander and Labradorian and his astute knowledge of federal-provincial constitutional issues positions him well to successfully take on the role of provincial representative in the Ottawa," said Premier Williams. "I am delighted that he has accepted the position and I know that he will be an effective advocate for the people of our province."

Premier Williams reemphasized the importance of having an effective provincial representative in Ottawa to ensure a strong provincial presence in our nation's capital, and to add another voice to the issues that affect our people and economy. "In addition to our Members of Parliament, a dedicated effort by the Office of the Provincial Representative ensures that we are exercising every opportunity to ensure our province's voice is heard loud and clear in Ottawa," added the premier. "This includes meeting with and building relationships with federal officials and other stakeholders. Eight other provinces and territories have offices in Ottawa, with Nova Scotia being the most recent opening their office in February of this year. It is clearly important that Newfoundland and Labrador also has a presence there to ensure issues specific to our province are being actively promoted on the ground."

Dr. FitzGerald said he is looking forward to starting in his new position on behalf of the people and government of Newfoundland and Labrador. "It is a real privilege and an honour to have been invited by the Premier to help him and his government advance the province's agenda in Ottawa. This work also presents a whole new range of opportunities to be of service to the government and the people of the province. As a researcher and historian, I have spent a lot of time studying and writing about the evolution of the province's historical relationship with Ottawa, but now there is the opportunity to bring that research and knowledge to the benefit of the province in its relationship with the federal government."

Premier Williams said the office has already provided invaluable assistance on files such as health care reform, equalization, 5-wing Goose Bay and the Atlantic Accord. "Dr. FitzGerald's professional success in writing, lecturing and studying intergovernmental relations will certainly be of great benefit as we work to focus the federal government's attention on the fishery, equalization, resource benefits and numerous other issues of importance to the province," said Premier Williams.

Media contact:

Elizabeth Matthews, Office of the Premier, (709) 729-3960, (709) 690-5500,
Billy Hickey, Intergovernmental Affairs, (709) 729-6985, (709) 691-6390


John Edward FitzGerald, B.A., B.Ed., M.A., Ph.D., (b. 11 January 1968) is a university teacher, researcher, author and historian.

John Edward FitzGerald attended Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador from which he earned a B.A. (1989), B.Ed. (1990) and M.A. (History, 1992) degrees. His Masters thesis in history (The Confederation of Newfoundland with Canada, 1946-1949) was awarded the University Medal for Academic Excellence in Graduate Studies by Memorial University in May 1993. In September 1992 he began doctoral studies in history at the University of Ottawa, completing the PhD in Canadian History in 1997.

Dr. FitzGerald has received many academic awards including the J.W. Pickersgill Fellowship of Newfoundland and Labrador for Ph.D. Studies in Canadian History; doctoral and post-doctoral fellowships from both the Institute for Social and Economic Research of Memorial University, and the Social Studies and Humanities Research Council of Canada; and research grants from the J.R. Smallwood Centre for Newfoundland Studies.

He has conducted research on Newfoundland's 19th and 20th century political history at archives in Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as in Ottawa, Toronto, Washington, London, Oxford, Cambridge, Paris, Dublin, Waterford, Wexford, and in Rome. A substantial amount of his research has concerned the history of Newfoundland's union with Canada, particularly with a variety of aspects of federal-provincial relations. His expertise in these areas has seen him retained as a consultant to legal firms and he has been qualified in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland as an expert witness on Newfoundland constitutional and political history.

Dr. FitzGerald has taught Irish, intellectual, and Newfoundland history at Memorial University in St. John's for the Department of History, and in 2001, the history of education and pedagogical methods of teaching, social studies for the Faculty of Education. In 2002 he became an adjunct professor in the Department of History, and in 2004, a visiting assistant professor in the Faculty of Education.

FitzGerald has written and published numerous refereed academic articles in journals such as Newfoundland and Labrador Studies, Historical Studies, The Newfoundland Quarterly, The Beaver, and The Parliamentarian. He has edited two books: A Gift of Heritage 2nd. Ed. (St. John's, 1998, with Paul O'Neill and Shane O'Dea) and he compiled and edited Newfoundland at the Crossroads: Documents on Confederation with Canada (St. John's, 2002). In 2003 he served as first chairman of the Editorial Advisory Board of the new newspaper The Sunday Independent, and contributed a column to that newspaper.

An important part of Dr. FitzGerald's life has consisted of voluntary service to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador and Canada in the cultural and heritage sectors, and a strong commitment to public history. From 1991-1998 he was a member of the board and president (1996-7) of the Newfoundland Historic Trust. As a doctoral candidate at the University of Ottawa, he represented Newfoundland and Labrador on the Religious Heritage working group of the Canadian Committee of ICOMOS, the International Council on Monuments and Sites. He has served as a member of the boards of directors of many heritage and history organizations, including the Historic Sites Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Beothuk Institute, the Newfoundland Quarterly Foundation, the Newfoundland Historical Society, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Historical Society, the Canadian Catholic Historical Association, and the Friends of Fort Townshend. From 1996-1998, he was a member of the Newfoundland Historical Society's "History in the Schools" Committee, which successfully lobbied for a mandatory Grade 8 course in Newfoundland and Labrador history in the provincial school curriculum, and more recently, he was a member of the advisory committee on the restoration of the Colonial Building. In 2005, Premier Danny Williams invited Dr. FitzGerald to serve as a member of the board of the Ireland Business Partnerships.

2006 05 03                         12: 55 p.m.

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