When Carol Anne Haley woke up on Thursday morning, she didn’t know she would end the day with a seat at the cabinet table.
In fact, her new cabinet colleagues Bernard Davis and Graham Letto found out less than two hours before the swearing-in ceremony that they were being considered for a cabinet portfolio.
Haley, the MHA for Burin-Grand Bank, will get a rare title in the Newfoundland and Labrador government, as Minister Responsible for the Status of Women. It’s the first time since the portfolio was introduced in 1988 that it’s being handled as a stand-alone ministerial responsibility.
Haley says it’s good to let the portfolio stand alone. While Davis and Letto found out about their appointments at 2:30 p.m., it didn’t quite go that way for Haley.
“It was a little bit later, actually,” she said.
Previously, the portfolio was handled by Siobhan Coady, who will now serve solely as minister of Natural Resources.
Premier Dwight Ball says a report is forthcoming on the status of women in the province, which Haley will focus on in her new duties.
“We want to bring a focus on women in leadership roles,” he said.
“I wanted to make sure that we have a minister in place that will take those recommendations and implement them.”
Davis, MHA for Virginia Waters-Pleasantville, now becomes Minister of Advanced Education, Skills, and Labour, taking the portfolio from Al Hawkins, who will now serve as Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. Originally, the portfolio was held by Mount Scio MHA Dale Kirby, who now sits as an Independent member, having been found in breach of the MHA Code of Conduct earlier this week.
Letto, MHA for Labrador West, becomes Minister of Municipal Affairs and Environment, taking the portfolio from Minister Andrew Parsons. Humber-Bay of Islands MHA Eddie Joyce held the portfolio in Ball’s first cabinet, before he was also found in breach of the MHA Code of Conduct.
Ball says he’s been eyeing his caucus for new members of his cabinet for the last week or so.
The major changes come less than a year away from the fixed election date for the province, which is scheduled for Oct. 8, 2019.
Ball says he can’t guarantee there won’t be further changes to the leadership of his party — even musing about his eventual replacement as Liberal leader.
“Anything can happen in life,” he said.
“When I look around the table or this province, I always look at people who could be the next premier. Why wouldn’t I?”
Elsewhere, St. George’s-Stephenville East MHA Scott Reid is now parliamentary secretary to Gerry Byrne, minister of Fisheries and Land Resources. Stephenville-Port au Port MHA John Finn is now parliamentary secretary to Minister of Health John Haggie. Harbour Grace-Port de Grave MHA Pam Parsons becomes Deputy Chair of Committees — third in line for the Speaker’s chair.
New faces in cabinet, new stand-alone Status of Women portfolio
St. John's, N.L. — Some new faces were added to Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball’s cabinet today, along with a new stand-alone portfolio, during a ceremony at Government House.
Carol Anne Haley, MHA for Burin-Grand Bank, was appointed Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, which became a stand-alone portfolio for the first time.
“I am pleased to establish the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women as a stand-alone ministerial role to further advance women’s issues and to promote women in leadership,” Ball said.
“And I am excited to have this team carry our government’s mandate into 2019.”
Status of Women had been part of the position held by Siobhan Coady, Minister of Natural Resources and Deputy Government House Leader.
Graham Letto, MHA for Labrador West, also became a first-time cabinet minister. He was appointed Minister of Municipal Affairs and Environment, Registrar General, Minister Responsible for the Multi-Materials Stewardship Board.
Bernard Davis, Virginia Waters-Pleasantville MHA, is the new Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour — a position that had been part of the portfolio of Al Hawkins.
Hawkins was officially made Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, formerly Dale Kirby’s post before he was stripped of the position and sidelined for breaching the MHAs' code of conduct.
The following is a list of all other Cabinet Members by Department:
• Premier, President of Executive Council, Minister for Intergovernmental and Indigenous Affairs, Minister of Labrador Affairs - Dwight Ball
• Minister of Finance and President of Treasury Board, Minister Responsible for the Human Resource Secretariat, Minister Responsible for the Public Service Commission, Minister Responsible for the Office of the Chief Information Officer and Minister Responsible for the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation — Tom Osborne
• Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation and Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs — Christopher Mitchelmore
• Minister of Justice and Public Safety, Attorney General and Government House Leader — Andrew Parsons
• Minister of Transportation and Works — Steve Crocker
• Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources — Gerry Byrne
• Minister of Natural Resources and Deputy Government House Leader - Siobhan Coady
• Minister of Service NL, Minister Responsible for WorkplaceNL and Minister Responsible for the Public Procurement Agency – Sherry Gambin – Walsh
• Minister of Health and Community Services — John Haggie
• Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development — Al Hawkins
• Minister of Children, Seniors and Social Development, Minister Responsible for the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation and Minister Responsible for the Status of Persons with Disabilities –Lisa Dempster
The following is the list of all Parliamentary Secretaries and the Parliamentary Assistant to The Premier:
• Randy Edmunds, Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier and Parliamentary Secretary for Indigenous Affairs
• Betty Parsley, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Service NL
• Scott Reid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources
• Derrick Bragg, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Environment
• Derek Bennett, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Children, Seniors and Social Development
• John Finn, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and Community Services
• Mark Browne, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation