Dunderdale unveils leaner cabinet
Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Kathy Dunderdale unveiled a smaller cabinet Friday while collapsing several government departments.
Three members of the PC caucus have entered cabinet for the first time. They are:
Nick McGrath: Intergovernmental Affairs and Labrador Affairs
Paul Davis: Service Newfoundland and Labrador
Keith Hutchings: Innovation, Business and Rural Development
Dunderdale added three rookies to cabinet, shuffled some key portfolios and presented some clues on how she plans to govern the province.
Four departments — intergovernmental affairs, aboriginal affairs, business, and human resources, labour and employment — have been dissolved as stand-alone portfolios, with their mandates absorbed by other portfolios. A new portfolio of advanced education and skills was created.
In what could be a signature move, Dunderdale appointed Darin King as fisheries minister. The role could be significant, as Dunderdale has said that tackling overcapacity in the fisheries industry will be a priority of the coming term. King had most recently been responsible for human resources, labour and employment.
Dunderdale also moved Jerome Kennedy, a former minister of health and finance, to the important portfolio of natural resources. That post was left vacant when former minister Shawn Skinner was defeated in the Oct. 11 election.
Susan Sullivan was appointed to the health portfolio, a large promotion from innovation, trade and rural development.
Jackman out of fisheries
Clyde Jackman, who had been a lightning rod of controversy as fisheries minister, goes to the education portfolio.
Joan Burke, the former education minister, takes on a newly created portfolio called Advanced Education and Skills.
Terry French, the former tourism minister, moves to environment and conservation. That post was most recently held by Ross Wiseman, who was acclaimed Thursday as Speaker of the house of assembly.
Derrick Dalley, the former minister of business, was appointed minister of tourism, culture and recreation.
Dunderdale brought back some key ministers to familiar portfolios. For instance, Tom Marshall stays in finance, which will bring continuity to a budget planning process that is already well underway.
Felix Collins is staying on in the justice portfolio, while Charlene Johnson stays in Child, Youth and Family Services.
As well, Kevin O'Brien is staying in municipal affairs, while Tom Hedderson holds the transportation and works portfolio.
Three politicians are new to cabinet.
Nick McGrath, who won his first election in Labrador West, is responsible for both intergovernmental affairs and Labrador affairs.
Paul Davis, the MHA for Topsail, is responsible for Service Newfoundland and Labrador.
Finally, Ferryland MHA Keith Hutchings is the new minister responsible for innovation, business and rural development.