New Brunswick

Robert MacLeod, Margaret-Ann Blaney cut in deputy minister shuffle

Premier Brian Gallant used a shakeup of the top ranks of the civil service to push out two more senior government officials, who were supporters of the previous Progressive Conservative administration.

Efficiency New Brunswick and Invest NB will be closed, ending positions held by Tory-appointed CEOs

Premier Brian Gallant used a shakeup of the top ranks of the civil service to push out two more senior government officials, who were supporters of the previous Progressive Conservative administration.

Gallant announced on Monday that Invest NB and Efficiency New Brunswick would be “wound up,” meaning Robert MacLeod and Margaret-Ann Blaney would be soon out of a job.

MacLeod, who ran against former premier David Alward in the 2008 Tory leadership race and was subsequently named the 2010 campaign manager, was the chief executive officer of Invest NB.

Blaney was a long-time Progressive Conservative MLA and former cabinet minister. She was given the position of president and chief executive officer of Efficiency New Brunswick, even though the Alward government had eliminated the position by merging it with another position just weeks before.

Both Blaney and MacLeod earned six-figure salaries and both appointments were widely seen as patronage appointments.

Before Gallant was sworn in as premier in October, he told reporters that he was assured by Alward that MacLeod and Blaney would be laid off with six other deputy ministers who were closely associated with the Progressive Conservatives.

When the Liberals took power, however, Blaney and MacLeod were still in their civil service jobs.

The premier's news release doesn't say when Invest NB and Efficiency NB will be closed or what MacLeod and Blaney will be paid in severance.

On Monday, Gallant also announced that three deputy ministers will retire before the end of 2014.

Three deputy ministers were given new departments to run, while three other deputy ministers were given additional departments on top of their existing positions.

Jean-Marc Dupuis was named the province’s interim deputy minister of finance, but he will also keep his job as the deputy minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Denis Caron will now become the interim deputy minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture, as well as continue as the deputy minister of Economic Development.

Edith Doucet, the province’s deputy minister of Social Development, will also become the interim deputy minister of Healthy and Inclusive Communities.

Marc Léger, the clerk of the executive council, will be taking on additional deputy ministerial responsibilities that were previously held by political appointees within the Executive Council Office on an interim basis, according to the premier’s statement.

Gallant’s statement said more changes will be coming to the senior level of the public service. He said there will be a restructuring that will cut the number of departments, deputy ministers and other senior bureaucrats.

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