Tom Marshall orders review of Bill 29, shuffles cabinet
Premier Tom Marshall made his first big move as premier on Wednesday, by ordering a review of Bill 29, the controversial legislation that gives government more power to withhold information from public view.
The announcement came as Marshall shuffled his cabinet on Wednesday. The swearing-in ceremony took place at Government House in St. John's.
The premier told reporters on Wednesday that he wants the review because of the criticism he's hearing.
"One of the things I said we're going to do is that we're going to listen to the people of the province ... and I think people have real concerns over Bill 29," Marshall said.
"There's going to be a review I think in 2015 anyway, so why don't we just move it ahead?"
Marshall said he hasn't yet decided how the review will be done — but he said it may involve a judge reviewing the law, and possible public hearings.
Marshall shuffles cabinet
Charlene Johnson was appointed minister of Finance, president of Treasury Board and minister responsible for the Human Resource Secretariat, the Public Service Commission and the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation.
Johnson takes over the finance portfolio, making her the first woman to hold the portfolio since Liberal Joan Marie Aylward was appointed in February 2001.
Terry French was appointed minister of Innovation, Business and Rural Development and minister Responsible for the Research and Development Corporation. French continues his responsibility as minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation.
Steve Kent was appointed minister responsible for the Office of Public Engagement, which he has held in an acting capacity since November 2013. Kent continues as minister of Municipal and Intergovernmental Affairs, minister responsible for Fire and Emergency Services-NL and the Registrar General.
Felix Collins is back in cabinet as the province's Attorney General.
Marshall has placed Clayton Forsey in Paul Lane's former job, as Parliamentary Secretary in the Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development.
David Brazil was named the new caucus chair.
Marshall did not drop any of the possible contenders for the PC leadership from cabinet, and said he will deal with that as it happens.
Marshall was sworn in as premier last Friday, following Kathy Dunderdale's resignation.