No politics in replacement of CNA president, minister says

Ann Marie Vaughan was replaced as College of the North Atlantic president simply because the provincial government is following its new appointment rules, Education Minister Gerry Byrne says.
Gerry Byrne, minister of advanced education and skills, says there was no politics involved in the contract decision. (CBC)

Ann Marie Vaughan was replaced as president of the College of the North Atlantic simply because the provincial government is following its new rules, says Advanced Education and Skills Minister Gerry Byrne.

On Monday, he said there were no politics involved in the government's decision not to renew Vaughan's contract. He said the Liberals are going to fill the job through the newly-established independent appointments commission, as required by law.

"This is strictly a matter of the independent appointment process moving forward to make sure that we not [only] adhere to the spirit, but to the letter of the law," Byrne said.

The provincial government announced Monday that Vaughan was being replaced by an assistant deputy minister in government, who will be filling the college position until an full-time replacement is found.

Byrne says Vaughan's contract expired on July 31. She will not be paid severance.

Commission in action

Ann Marie Vaughan was president of the College of the North Atlantic for five years, but her contract is not being renewed. (CBC)

The government has asked the appointments commission to fill the job as quickly as possible, without compromising the quality of the candidates.

"It's not about timing, it's not about anything else, it's making sure a position, a key position, of this nature is held by the best possible candidate that we can find," Byrne said.

The commission was created in May, and the Liberals say it will help take patronage and politics out of government appointments.

In a statement, MHA David Brazil, the PC opposition critic for education, thanked Vaughan for her work at CNA.

"It is my understanding that Ms. Vaughan has done an exceptional job during her time as president of CNA and her success has been to the benefit of thousands of students in Newfoundland and Labrador."

Brazil did ask why Vaughan wasn't considered for re-appointment.

Byrne said the former college head is free to re-apply for her old job.

With files from Jeremy Eaton