New Brunswick

Government departments reduced, 'priority units' created

Premier Brian Gallant has announced changes to senior government management, the merger of several departments, and the creation of five so-called priority units.

Changes will bring 'renewed focus' to priorities, says Premier Brian Gallant

Premier Brian Gallant has announced changes to senior government management, a decrease in the number of departments, and the creation of five so-called priority units.

Premier Brian Gallant says changing the government structure to focus on priority areas will lead to better results. (CBC)
The changes, which take effect next week, will bring a renewed focus on the provincial government's priorities of job creation, education and better services for families, he said in a statement.

The Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Energy and Mines will be merged into one — the Department of Energy and Resource Development.

This is similar to how the provincial government was structured prior to 2006, the statement said.

It's unclear what the merger means for Denis Landry, who is currently the minister of Natural Resources, and Donald Arseneault, who is currently the minister of Energy and Mines. Government officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Department of Justice and the Department of Public Safety will also be merged into a single Department of Justice and Public Safety.

The Department of Human Resources and parts of the Department of Finance, the Executive Council Office and Service New Brunswick with responsibility for human resources, expenditure management and fiscal oversight, and information management, will be merged into a new Treasury Board‎.

Responsibilities for financial consumer services will be moved to the Department of Finance.

5 priority units

Priority units on jobs, education, families, federal-provincial relations, as well as fiscal responsibility and strategic program review will be established and led by deputy ministers.

Their mandates will be to "oversee cross-departmental initiatives to significantly reduce silo thinking so it does not interfere with results for New Brunswickers," the statement said.

Judy Wagner, who will become clerk of the Executive Council and head of the public service, will oversee the development and expansion of this new management style across the new priority units, it said.

A deputy minister responsible for intergovernmental affairs will be appointed distinct from the deputy minister of the Executive Council Office to allow for greater focus on opportunities for New Brunswick in federal-provincial relations, according to the statement.

  • Jobs Priority Unit, to be led by Jacques Pinet, CEO of the Jobs Board Secretariat.
  • Education Priority Unit, to be led by Jean-Marc Dupuis, deputy minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour.
  • Families Priority Unit, to be led by Craig Dalton, deputy minister of Social Development.
  • Federal-Provincial Relations Priority Unit, to be led by Bill Levesque, deputy minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and president of the Regional Development Corporation.
  • Fiscal Responsibility and Strategic Program Review Priority Unit, to be led by Gordon Gilman, deputy minister and secretary to the Treasury Board.

A permanent CEO of the new Service New Brunswick will be recruited through a merit-based process led by a private-sector firm.

The positions of deputy attorney general, deputy minister of Finance and deputy minister of Tourism, Heritage and Culture will also be filled following a merit-based process.

The government will "seek to fill a majority of these jobs with female candidates," according to the statement.

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