Premier Danny Williamsbrought innew blood and dropped old faces while introducing an enlarged Newfoundland and Labrador cabinet on Tuesday.


'We're a government that's open to rejuvenation and a new look,' Premier Danny Williams said Tuesday. ((CBC))

Flush with 43 of the 48 seats in the house of assembly after the Oct. 9 provincial election, Williams introduced the new faces during a swearing-in ceremony at Government House in St. John's.

Including Williams, the size of the cabinet has grown by two seats to 18. While there are five new members of cabinet,the premier dropped two former ministers.

"It's a whole new term we're going into and a whole new look on cabinet," Williams told CBC News as he approached Government House.

"We're saying to the people of the province that we're treating this as a whole new launch, I guess, of our government, that there's new faces in cabinet,that we're showing we're a government that's open to rejuvenation and a new look."

In one of the most notable moves, Williams appointed Jerome Kennedy — a St. John's criminal defence lawyer who has been outspoken in defending the rights of the accused — as justice minister and attorney-general.

Patty Pottle, the newly elected representative for the northern Labrador district of Torngat Mountains, was appointed minister of aboriginal affairs.

Williams attracted attention — and criticism from opposition politicians during the election campaign — for telling Torngat voters that he was inclined to appoint Pottle to cabinet.


Newly appointed Justice Minister Jerome Kennedy, right, walks to a swearing-in ceremony Tuesday at Government House with Labrador Affairs Minister John Hickey. ((CBC))

Kennedy and Pottle are two of five rookies brought into cabinet.

Dave Denine, a former Mount Pearl mayor who had been a backbencher during the last term, was appointed minister of municipal and provincial affairs.

Paul Oram, who had been re-elected in Terra Nova district, entered cabinet as minister of business.

Williams also tapped Charlene Johnson, the MHA for Trinity-Bay de Verde, to serve as minister of environment and conservation.

2 Labrador seats in cabinet

Two former ministers were not appointed to cabinet on Tuesday: Tom Osborne, who had been the justice minister, and Jack Byrne, the former municipal affairs minister. Byrne had taken medical leave between September and November 2006.

John Hickey remained in cabinet as minister of Labrador affairs, but lost responsibility for transportation.

The presence of Hickey and Pottle means two Labrador seats at the cabinet table, which may help the Progressive Conservatives answer critics who have said Labrador had been neglected during the first term.

While opposition critics had been calling for the dismissal of Health Minister Ross Wiseman, who has come under fire for his handling of flawed breast cancer testing, he was reappointed to the portfolio.

Other key ministers remained in their portfolios, including Deputy Premier Tom Rideout in fisheries, Tom Marshall in finance, Joan Burke in education and Trevor Taylor in the innovation, trade and rural development portfolio.