Former federal cabinet minister John Crosbie will be the next lieutenant-governor of Newfoundland and Labrador, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced on Thursday.
"Mr. Crosbie's dedication to public life shows his commitment to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. As lieutenant-governor, he will serve his province well," Harper said in a release.
Crosbie, who retired from federal politics in 1993,will assume his post as the Queen's representative for a five-year term beginning Jan. 31.He will turn 77 the day before he takes over from Ed Roberts, who is completing his term.
Crosbieservedin thecabinets of Progressive Conservative Prime Ministers Brian Mulroney and Joe Clark. Under Mulroney, heheld thejustice, transport, trade and fisheries portfolios.
An officer of the Order of Canada, he is currently chancellor of Memorial University and a lawyer with the Atlantic firm Cox and Palmer.
Crosbie's public life hasn't been without controversy.
Heapologizedto then Liberal MP Sheila Copps more than 20 years ago for calling her "baby,"and even 14 years after his retirement from federal politics, he chastised both provincial and federal governments for their ongoing war of words over the Atlantic Accord while at a spring fundraiser held in his honour.
"We need our premier and our federal minister to achieve this, not to be at one another's throats. That's futile," he said at the time.
Crosbie has also waded into the Karlheinz Schreiber affair, saying recently that he always thought the German-Canadian businessman was "bad news."
After his new posting was announced, Crosbie acknowledged that as lieutenant-governor, he'll have to show morerestraint in saying what he thinks.
"You have to be neutral and not give opinions about public, political issues," he told CBC News. "So that'll be quite a change for me, so I'll have to be very disciplined."
Leslie MacLeod, president of the Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women, told CBC News she is disappointed with Crosbie's appointment.
"Prime Minister Harper had a chance to get this right, he had a chance to appoint a woman for the first time in our province, and no offence to Mr. Crosbie, but he [Harper] got it wrong," MacLeod said, noting that all 11provincial lieutenant-governors have been men.
"We are the only province that has never had a female, and as far as we're concerned, this was the time to get it right, and he has definitely got it wrong."