PEI

Shea named revenue minister

Prince Edward Island MP Gail Shea has been named Minister of National Revenue in the latest cabinet shuffle on Wednesday in Ottawa.
Minister of National Revenue Gail Shea is sworn in by Clerk of the Privy council Wayne Wouters as Prime Minister Stephen Harper looks. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Prince Edward Island MP Gail Shea has been named Minister of National Revenue in the latest cabinet shuffle on Wednesday in Ottawa.

Shea was Minister of Fisheries and Oceans at the dissolution of the last Parliament.

"I, Gail Shea, do solemnly and sincerely promise and swear that I will truly and faithfully and to the best of my skill and knowledge execute the powers and trust reposed in me as Minister of National Revenue," Shea said during her swearing-in ceremony.

The Egmont MP was first elected to Parliament in 2008, the first non-Liberal MP on the Island in 20 years. While her 2008 victory was very narrow and came down to a recount, Shea easily won in her second run for a federal seat earlier this month, winning more than 50 per cent of the votes cast.

As revenue minister, Shea will be responsible for the Canada Revenue Agency, which administers tax laws for the federal government and for most provinces and territories, as well as incentive programs delivered through the tax system.

Shea told reporters she enjoyed her time in the fisheries portfolio and is also looking forward to new role.

"I certainly enjoyed working with the fishers, not just on P.E.I. but across the country. I think that we've done many things to benefit the fishery," she said.

"Fisheries and Oceans is in the hands of my very capable colleague Keith Ashfield and I know he'll make a wonderful Minister of Fisheries and Oceans."

P.E.I. Finance Minister Wes Sheridan said Shea's appointment in Prime Minister Stephen Harper's cabinet is good news for the province.

"It's a seat around the federal cabinet table and anytime you have the opportunity to sit there it's great news. And this is obviously a reward for a job very well done by the prime minister," Sheridan said.

"Canada Revenue Agency is a big piece of business in Ottawa and her voice will be heard very strongly."

Sheridan said the province already has 1,000 people working for the Canada Revenue Agency on P.E.I., with about 900 people working at the Summerside Tax centre in Shea's riding of Egmont. He said he would love to see Shea help that number grow.

Mike McGeoghegan, the president of the P.E.I. Fishermen's Association, said he has mixed feelings about Shea's new cabinet position. He said the association enjoyed a close relationship with Shea and that will be missed.

"It was nice having Gail as Minister of Fisheries coming from Prince Edward Island. It is always nice to be able to call and you know, Gail was just like having a next door neighbour as a minister. So that's going to be different," he told CBC News.

"We're not going to have that same kind of carte blanche that we had with Gail, that's for sure. But hopefully the door will be open for us when we need to get in."