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July 5, 2006
(Executive Council)


Premier announces changes to Cabinet  

As the Provincial Government continues to move forward with an agenda for growth and prosperity for Newfoundland and Labrador and in light of a recent resignation of a Cabinet Minister, Premier Danny Williams today announced a restructuring of his Cabinet.  

�I am pleased to announce today the addition of two new Ministers to our Cabinet, as well as new responsibilities for some of our current Ministers,� said Premier Williams.   �I extend a warm welcome to our new Ministers and I am confident they will serve the people of the province well in their new roles.  Our government remains committed to implementing our vision for a stronger, more self reliant province, and we are equally committed to ensuring we are accountable and open as we continue to serve the people who have entrusted us to lead Newfoundland and Labrador .�  

The following portfolios will be under new leadership effective immediately:  

Minister of Natural Resources � The Honourable Kathy Dunderdale
Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development and Minister Responsible for Rural Secretariat � The Honourable Trevor Taylor
Minister of Transportation and Works and Minister Responsible for
Labrador Affairs � The Honourable John Hickey
Minister of Business � The Honourable Kevin O�Brien

�Obviously, the events in recent weeks have resulted in necessary changes to our Cabinet team,� added Premier Williams.  �As we move forward with the business of government, I am certain that the stakeholder groups related to the affected departments will see an invigorated and dedicated effort from our ministers and indeed our entire team in Cabinet and Caucus.  For example, in the Department of Business we have worked hard to lay the foundation for a strong, effective and relevant department and the time has now come to bolster that department with a dedicated full-time minister.�  

The Premier added he is especially pleased to welcome MHA John Hickey into Cabinet and looks forward to his continued contribution as Labrador �s representative.  �Minister Hickey has been a tremendous advocate for the people of Labrador both in Caucus and as a Parliamentary Secretary, and I am so pleased to welcome him to Cabinet, not only as a representative for Labrador but in the portfolio of Transportation and Works.�  

Premier Williams also announced a new Parliamentary Secretary and Parliamentary Assistant, which will replace previous appointments.  The following appointments will be effective immediately:  

Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier � Shawn Skinner
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources � Charlene Johnson

Media contact:  Elizabeth Matthews, Office of the Premier, (709) 729-3960 or 351-1227 ,  



Member for Virginia Waters

The former Deputy Mayor of Burin, Kathy Dunderdale was the first woman ever to be elected President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Municipalities (NLFM). She also served as a Director on the Canadian Federation of Municipalities. She is also the only woman to have been made an honorary member of the NLFM. She is a past Chair of Burin Peninsula Roman Catholic School Board and has volunteered her time with such organizations as the Canadian Paraplegic Association, the Association for Community Living, the Community Alliance for Better Solutions, the Coalition Against Violence and Soccer/Hockey Moms. She has also worked in the fields of social work, fisheries, communication and community development. She served as President of the Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador .  Kathy served as the Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development from November 2003 to present.

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. Trevor served as both Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture and Minister of Transportation and Works.

Member for
Lake Melville

John Hickey has served in various capacities with the Town Council of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, including serving as Mayor. He has held the position of President for the Combined Councils of Labrador and served as a Director for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities for four years. He has also volunteered his time as a Director for the Goose Bay Airport Corporation (GBAC), a Director on the Central Labrador Economic Development Board (CLEDB), and a member of the Labrador North Chamber of Commerce (LNCC). In March of 2003, he received the Queen�s Golden Jubilee Medal from the Governor General of Canada , which is bestowed upon individuals who make significant contributions to their community and regions. He was first elected to the House of Assembly in 2003 and has served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister Responsible for Labrador Affairs since November 2003.

Member for

Kevin O'Brien was sworn in as the Member for the District of Gander on November 12, 2003 . Born at Ferryland, where he received his early education, Kevin graduated with honours from Baltimore High School . He first moved to Gander District in 1974 to complete his pharmacy internships under the watchful eyes of Albert and Roy Jenkins at Gander Drugs. Upon his graduation from the School of Pharmacy , he moved to Gander to make it his permanent home. He started his career in pharmacy at Gander Drugs, moving on to Kelways where he worked for 16 years. Kevin's belief in Gander as a viable and growing area was demonstrated in 1995 when he established his own business � O'Brien's Pharmacy and Medical Centre. During his career, Kevin has been elected to the board of directors of the ARP pharmacy banner program; been appointed to the board of directors of Medi-Plus Pharmacies; been presented with the National Commitment to Community Care Award by the Canadian Pharmaceutical Association; served as director on both the Gander Area Chamber of Commerce and Gander World Wide; served as president of Aero Marine Products Ltd; been active in the Royal Canadian Legion; served in the Canadian Forces reserves for 16 years; and, been active with the Knights of Columbus. The accomplishment that gives Kevin the most pleasure lies in his involvement with the seniors of the district. He served as chair of the board of the Golden Legion Manor, a non-profit organization providing apartment housing to seniors.  Kevin served as Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier from April 2005 to present.


Member for St. John�s Centre

Shawn was born and raised in the heart of St. John�s, where he attended Holy Cross Junior High and Brother Rice High Schools, followed by studies at Memorial University.  Later, he earned a Diploma in Applied Arts from Cabot College, in addition to a Certificate in Adult Education from St. Francis Xavier University. In 1998, Shawn became a member of the Canadian Institute of Management, from which he was granted the Professional Manager designation.  This designation denotes a combined academic and practical experience background and is awarded to individuals who successfully meet an established set of criteria that is reflective of high standards of professional integrity, work performance and recognition.

For 20 years, Shawn was been involved with Keyin College, St. John�s campus, in the capacities of instructor, faculty supervisor, principal, and operator.  Shawn has worked with many people in St. John�s over the years and has been a very active member in his community.  He has served as a St. John�s Municipal Councillor for Ward 2 and has been involved with various community and volunteer groups, including the following: Vice-president of the St. John�s Boys and Girls Club; Member of the Royal St. John�s Regatta Committee; President of the Benevolent Irish Society ; Board Member of Friends of Victoria Park; Active Volunteer with the Canadian Red Cross; Volunteer with St. John�s Canada Day Committee; Founding Member of the St. John�s Sports and Entertainment Committee, responsible for Mile One Stadium; Chair of the CNIB Visions Luncheon. Shawn was first elected to the House of Assembly in November 2003.

Member for Trinity � Bay De Verde

Charlene Johnson, the youngest woman ever elected to serve in the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly, is passionate about sustainable development and the protection of our natural resources. Born in Carbonear and raised in the Conception Bay community of Gull Island, Charlene holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Engineering from the University of New Brunswick and a Masters of Applied Science degree in Environmental Engineering from Memorial University of Newfoundland. She is currently working towards a Masters in Business Administration on a part-time basis.

Charlene has been active in consulting work, and was employed with a regulatory agency where she worked with electric and water utilities. She has also been involved in the family business at Northern Bay Sands Park. She has volunteered with the North Shore Volunteer Fire Department and has also served as a consultant with the North Shore Regional Development Association.  Charlene strongly believes Newfoundland and Labrador's most valued resource is its people and is determined to help put an end to the exodus of our people and resources through the creation of new, sustainable opportunities.  Charlene was first elected to the House of Assembly in November 2003.  

2006 07 05                                                        10:00 a.m.  

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