PEI·Q & A

'We're all going ahead together:' Premier discusses cabinet shuffle

P.E.I. Premier Wade MacLauchlan shuffled cabinet on Wednesday. New to cabinet are MLAs Sonny Gallant, now the Minister of Workforce and Advanced Learning and Pat Murphy, who becomes Minister of Rural and Regional Development.

MLAs Sonny Gallant and Pat Murphy sworn into cabinet on Wednesday

P.E.I. Premier Wade MacLauchlan shuffled cabinet on Wednesday. (CBC)

P.E.I. Premier Wade MacLauchlan shuffled cabinet on Wednesday. New to cabinet are MLAs Sonny Gallant, now the Minister of Workforce and Advanced Learning and Pat Murphy, who becomes the Minister of Rural and Regional Development. 

Gallant replaces Richard Brown while Murphy assumes the newly created portfolio.

MacLauchlan appeared on CBC News: Compass on Wednesday to explain the changes. 

Here is some of what he had to say.

CBC: When and why should cabinet shuffles occur?

WM: We are approaching the midway point of our mandate and next week it will be two years since I was sworn in as premier. So, you look at how much you're accomplishing, where you really want to put a push on or that we're building on our successes. There was one about a year ago. That periodic look at where you've got the talent and make sure everybody's getting a chance to show their part.

CBC: Could we see another cabinet shuffle before the end of your mandate?

WM: I think it's highly likely.

CBC: What does Sonny Gallant bring to the Workforce and Advanced Learning portfolio?

WM: Sonny comes from the private sector. He's a man of the people. He's out in the community. And we want to make sure we're emphasizing the development of all of the province and all of our sectors. 

CBC: How did Richard Brown take the news of being shuffled out of Workforce and Advanced Learning?

WM: Richard has shown leadership and contributed in many ways. We expect that to continue. And he's been a team player all the way through, in fact our longest elected MLA. We came in as friends and we're still friends.

CBC: Pat Murphy was outspoken about school closures. Perhaps you gave him this portfolio (Rural and Regional Development) to appease him?

WM: We want people at the cabinet table who will put up their hand and speak their mind. That's the way public policy works. That's the way people represent their constituents. There's evidence in this debate that there are sensitivities around rural communities, and I think it's very important that Islanders see that we're all going ahead together.

With files from Compass