Rob Moore of N.B. takes over cabinet role for N.L.

Newfoundland and Labrador has a new regional minister in Prime Minister Stephen Harper's cabinet.

Conservatives have no MPs in province since Peter Penashue's byelection defeat

In this 2010 file photo, Rob Moore arrives at Rideau Hall in Ottawa to be sworn in as minister of state for small business and tourism. He is now the regional cabinet minister for Newfoundland and Labrador. (Pawel Dwulit/The Canadian Press)

Newfoundland and Labrador has a new regional minister in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s cabinet.

New Brunswick MP Rob Moore will take on the job, along with the duties of minister of state for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

He will also be regional minister for New Brunswick.

Moore was first elected MP in 2004, and has won re-election three times since then.

He comes from the Reform/Alliance side of the merged Conservative Party, having run unsuccessfully under the Alliance banner in 2000.

Moore, who was born in Gander, represents the southeastern New Brunswick riding of Fundy Royal.

He spent part of his childhood in the United States, when his father served as Pentecostal minister there.

Moore, 39, replaces Nova Scotia’s Peter MacKay.

MacKay was appointed to the role after Peter Penashue stepped down amidst a scandal over electoral financing and lost a byelection in May.

MacKay also served as regional minister for Newfoundland and Labrador from the "goose egg" election of 2008 until 2011, when Penashue was the sole Conservative elected in the province.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s Progressive Conservatives and their federal cousins in Ottawa have had a complicated relationship in recent years.

In 2008, the Danny Williams-led provincial Tories launched the so-called ABC campaign — Anything But Conservative — aimed at shutting out the Harper Conservatives in Newfoundland and Labrador. It succeeded.

The ascension of Premier Kathy Dunderdale to the province’s top political job a few years later eased tensions.

Dunderdale and Harper appeared on stage together during the 2011 federal election campaign.

But Dunderdale has since bemoaned the province’s level of influence in Ottawa.