Top Burke contributor appointed CNA chairman

Rob Antle
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Politics

Education Minister Joan Burke has appointed a top contributor to her 2003 and 2007 election campaigns as chairman of the College of the North Atlantic board of governors.

Burke announced this week that Terry Styles will take over the position.

According to a government news release, Styles is owner and operator of Appalachia Distributing Ltd. in Stephenville.

Burke represents a Stephenville district.

Education Minister Joan Burke

Education Minister Joan Burke has appointed a top contributor to her 2003 and 2007 election campaigns as chairman of the College of the North Atlantic board of governors.

Burke announced this week that Terry Styles will take over the position.

According to a government news release, Styles is owner and operator of Appalachia Distributing Ltd. in Stephenville.

Burke represents a Stephenville district.

Appalachia Distributing Ltd. - a brewery distributor on the west coast - contributed to Burke's past two election campaigns.

In 2003, according to Elections Newfoundland and Labrador records, Appalachia Distributing gave Burke's campaign $1,192.50. Appalachia was the campaign's third-highest contributor.

In 2007, Appalachia gave Burke's re-election campaign $1,000. The company was tied for second-highest campaign contribution for her that year.

Officials said Burke was in meetings Friday, and unavailable for an interview before deadline.

But the minister issued a prepared statement saying it would be unfair to exclude Styles from consideration for the CNA position because he had donated to her campaign.

"Mr. Styles' ability to chair the board of governors stands on its own merit," Burke's statement noted.

"He has been selected for this position based on his contribution to the province in both a volunteer and business capacity. He is a well-known and well-respected member of the business community who will bring the skills gained from this experience to the board. It would be unfortunate to overlook an individual based on previous campaign support."

Education Department officials said the chairman's position is voluntary, and there is no compensation.

Travel costs, accommodations and meals are covered.

Burke has come under fire in recent months for her handling of the presidential search at Memorial University.

She personally interviewed two candidates shortlisted for the job, rejecting them both. Traditionally, cabinet only gave formal approval to the search committee's chosen candidate.

And in recent weeks, Burke has dumped several members of Memorial's board of regents before the expiry of their terms, citing the need for "renewal."

rantle@thetelegram.com

Organizations: CNA, Appalachia Distributing, Education Department

Geographic location: Appalachia, Stephenville

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Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • Eugene
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    Hmm, guess the beers going to flowing at CNA events in future. You don't have to receive a paycheck to find some profit in these type of appointments, especially considering the influence the individual has on spending decisions. Don from NL you don't have to know how to spell 'screw' in order to do it to someone.

  • Howard
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    People, why get upset over this appointment, ait,s not a paid appointment. So what if the fellow get a free meal or a trip to some conference at public expense. I think we have more problems in this province to complain about. This is part of the political process which has been going on worldwide since the beginning of time.

  • tom
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    THE ILLINOIS GOVERNOR IS ONLY A JOKE COMPARED TO QUEEN BURKE. I HOPE SHE IS CHARGING AN APPROPRIATE FEE FOR HER APPOINTMENTS THIS MINISTER IS OUT OF CONTROL

  • John
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Leave the poor....well maybe not so poor in the case of Danny.....politicians alone. If you had all studied harder in school you too could have been lawyers and know all the little tricks that they teach in those law schools. But then again imagine the horror of a world with nothing but lawyers. We would all be walking around blind looking for the eyes that were stolen out of our heads. And we would all be too blind to steal anyone else's eyes. We would spend the whole day screaming..... Mom, give me back my eyes!! So too many lawyers is probably NOT a good thing.

  • Chris
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    Patronage is not new. All parties are guilty of it. But it seems the Williams administration has raised it to a new level, almost to an art form. Burke is really in over her head the MUN fiasco, the issue or, in her words, non-issue with school bus safety, a blind eye to mouldy schools, stacking the Board of Rejects, sorry Regents, with her buddies and now the CNA appointment. I wonder what I could get for a $5000 donation. So much for accountability and a new approach there Danny.

    For a supposedly bright guy, Williams has surrounded himself with some dandies Burke, Wiseman and Kennedy for starters. These kool-aid drinking, bobble-headed lapdogs must be waiting by the phone for the next executive order from King Danny.

    Typical scenario: Phone rings at Burkes house.

    Hello your majesty.

    Did you appoint (insert PC cronys name here) to the Board of (insert government agency name here) like I ordered?

    Yes your majesty.

    Good. Did you pick up my dry cleaning?

    Yes your majesty.

    Finished bedazzling my seal skin coat?

    Yes your majesty.

    Good, good. You can stop bowing now.

    Ah yes, the perks of being a lemming.

  • Reg
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    I don't know what is more bothersome here. The fact that once again Joan Burke has appointed another patronage appointment, paid or not doesn't make a difference, or the fact that some here accept it as no big deal or even worse try to downplay it. This woman has made a farce of the dept of education as far as I am conerned and should RESIGN.

    I support Danny, but this patronage BS has got to stop. I expect better of this administration and so should all of the people reading this.

  • Aubrey
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    George W. Bush was the Decider and Joan Burke is the Appointer and Terminator. Perhaps she should devote herself full time to appointing and terminating people from boards. They need revolving doors in these boardrooms, the way bodies are flying in and out. No doubt Mr. Styles is the best person for the job, after all, this was determined by his good friend who is only too glad to reward him for services rendered. These characters are priceless. Stay tuned, she'll have another fit of renewal at any time and yank a few more bodies out of their chairs before their terms are up. So many people to thank and appoint, and time is of the essence.

  • Max
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    What's wrong people? All politicians operate in this manner from coast to coast. Complaining is pointless - sad but true.

  • Gloria
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    Joan is spending too much time with Danny she is acting just like him these days. Arrogant self centred and ever so high and mighty. Oh well as the old saying goes. Give her enough rope and she will eventually hang herself. Open honest and transparent. Three simple little words that neither Joan or her master Danny apparently never quite got the full meaning of.

  • Frank
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    What is the alternative to this behaviour?

    No one will step up to become opposition leader.

    So it goes on and on ....

  • Don
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    Terry Styles couldn't spell when we were in school together.

    • Darlene
      June 13, 2011 - 21:03

      Don, you would be interested to know that Terry Styles has been trying to finish a phys ed degree that he began in 1977. Yes, it is taking a long time - perhaps a slow learner.

  • Cris
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    Brilliant,
    After 12 years of post-secondary education and $25K debt (only that low a dollar value thanks to my forward thinking parents}, little did I know that all it took was a few thousand dollars to secure such a post...such is life I suppose. Money begets money.

    Cheers,
    One who has sacrificed to stay in NL

  • mercedes
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    Get her out of here for Gods' sake! She will destroy everything we have for patronage appointments.

  • Fred
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    I think it's about time to replace Minister Joan Burke the way she is replacing others.

  • ivan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    COMPLAIN COMPLAIN COMPLAIN
    I AM SURE THAT IF SOME OF THESE PEOPLE ORDERED 2 EGGS, 1 FRIED 1 BOILED . THE WOULD COMPLAIN THAT YOU FRIED THE WRONG ONE.
    GET A LIFE AND CONTRIBUTE SOMETHING TO THIS WORLD

  • Peter
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    What is all the fuss? If the chair had been from outside of Burke's riding, or from St. John's, would this still be an issue?

    The contribution to her campaign was less than $2,200 over two elections. This hardly seems like reason to reward someone with a volunteer position (one that probably has a lot of headaches to go along with it).

    Every board member for every government appointed board in this province is likely made up of good PCs. When the Liberals were in, the members were all good Liberals. Doesn't make sense to put in a board chair that has different political views than the current govenrment (whether this may be better for the institution involved or not).

    While I am not from Stephenville, I do live on the west coast and know of Terry Styles. From what I know about the man, I think he seems like a very good candidate for a position such as this one.

  • DB
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    Thats funny. A 'Top contributor' is some one who gave a thousand dollars in each election. Municipal politcians have receive bigger contributions. But maybe that's a reflection of the kind of support for Burke - not much.

  • greg
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    As a proud boil-order Tory , I want to say Min. Burke is doing a good job and I would like to know how much i have to donate to get a job on a Health Board?Perhaps there is a scale running from dustman to ADM. PS .......I comb my hair like the Premier's.

  • Randall
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    There really is nothing new under the sun. PC, Liberal, both do the exact same thing, they use commitees and boards to reward those who get them elected, just look at Williams and Drover, another recent example.

  • Ralph
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Joan screwed up the HRLE profile and made it worse than it ever was so now she is going to make a mess of The Education profile. Yeah, she's got to be Danny's protege. Just like him. Another meddling dictator.

  • Barry
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Come on now Danny its time to put a stop to this woman's position as minister. You have booted better ministers out for less, she has lost the faith of the public. Lets shuffle the deck.

  • Dwayne
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    It amazes me of all the negative comments about Mr. Styles appointment!Should Ms. Burke have appointed a complete stranger? No. Should she have appointed someone not from the west coast? No. Should she have appointed someone with no business experence? No. It sounds like all the negative comments are from disgruntled liberals. Get over it. I personally know Mr. Styles and he is well respected on the west coast. He knows the value of a good education system. His 4 kids are a doctor, an engineer, an executive running a multimillion dollar american company and a PR executive. I know Mr. Styles will make a huge contribution to CONA.

    • Darlene
      June 13, 2011 - 20:52

      Dwayne, if you know Terry Styles so well, you would know that he was just a spectator when it came to the education of his children. No credit due there.

  • Timboy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    I'm still amazed she's in that position to begin with given the fiasco over the MUN President's job farce. Good work by the Tely to dig into this.

  • Neil
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    If anything needs dumping here, I think it should be BURKE herself. I think using her owns words the time has come for RENEWAL.

  • J
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    If this is such a huge news story why aren't the other news sources talking about it? The Telegram is just creating it's own drama... again.

  • Annd
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Maybe it's time to expand the Auditor General's scope to include the expense claims of people sitting on Government funded Boards. It's still tax payers' money & double billing is not restricted to MHAs.

  • Pierre
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    This admistration is absolutley shameless. Minister Burke has ruined our university's reputation, has ignored inspection reports from our schools and should have been made to resign by now but is still there to hand out blatant patronage appointments to whoever !! The Minister is a digrace.

  • Tony
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    I like how Joan Burke has come under fire for doing what's right.

    While she hasn't been perfect, no minister has nor ever will be.

    This guy that she appointed won't be paid so what's the big deal?

    Also about the MUN controversy, that's a publicly funded university, I think that our government should have a say on who is running it.

    Keep up the great work Joan!

  • Roxanne
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    I am amazed this lady is even a minister. I am a PC supporter but not of Joan Burke. This appointment stinks, and it has nothing to do about it not being a paid position, it role of the position has its own benefits. Shame on you again !

  • Eugene
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    Hmm, guess the beers going to flowing at CNA events in future. You don't have to receive a paycheck to find some profit in these type of appointments, especially considering the influence the individual has on spending decisions. Don from NL you don't have to know how to spell 'screw' in order to do it to someone.

  • Howard
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    People, why get upset over this appointment, ait,s not a paid appointment. So what if the fellow get a free meal or a trip to some conference at public expense. I think we have more problems in this province to complain about. This is part of the political process which has been going on worldwide since the beginning of time.

  • tom
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    THE ILLINOIS GOVERNOR IS ONLY A JOKE COMPARED TO QUEEN BURKE. I HOPE SHE IS CHARGING AN APPROPRIATE FEE FOR HER APPOINTMENTS THIS MINISTER IS OUT OF CONTROL

  • John
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    Leave the poor....well maybe not so poor in the case of Danny.....politicians alone. If you had all studied harder in school you too could have been lawyers and know all the little tricks that they teach in those law schools. But then again imagine the horror of a world with nothing but lawyers. We would all be walking around blind looking for the eyes that were stolen out of our heads. And we would all be too blind to steal anyone else's eyes. We would spend the whole day screaming..... Mom, give me back my eyes!! So too many lawyers is probably NOT a good thing.

  • Chris
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    Patronage is not new. All parties are guilty of it. But it seems the Williams administration has raised it to a new level, almost to an art form. Burke is really in over her head the MUN fiasco, the issue or, in her words, non-issue with school bus safety, a blind eye to mouldy schools, stacking the Board of Rejects, sorry Regents, with her buddies and now the CNA appointment. I wonder what I could get for a $5000 donation. So much for accountability and a new approach there Danny.

    For a supposedly bright guy, Williams has surrounded himself with some dandies Burke, Wiseman and Kennedy for starters. These kool-aid drinking, bobble-headed lapdogs must be waiting by the phone for the next executive order from King Danny.

    Typical scenario: Phone rings at Burkes house.

    Hello your majesty.

    Did you appoint (insert PC cronys name here) to the Board of (insert government agency name here) like I ordered?

    Yes your majesty.

    Good. Did you pick up my dry cleaning?

    Yes your majesty.

    Finished bedazzling my seal skin coat?

    Yes your majesty.

    Good, good. You can stop bowing now.

    Ah yes, the perks of being a lemming.

  • Reg
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    I don't know what is more bothersome here. The fact that once again Joan Burke has appointed another patronage appointment, paid or not doesn't make a difference, or the fact that some here accept it as no big deal or even worse try to downplay it. This woman has made a farce of the dept of education as far as I am conerned and should RESIGN.

    I support Danny, but this patronage BS has got to stop. I expect better of this administration and so should all of the people reading this.

  • Aubrey
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    George W. Bush was the Decider and Joan Burke is the Appointer and Terminator. Perhaps she should devote herself full time to appointing and terminating people from boards. They need revolving doors in these boardrooms, the way bodies are flying in and out. No doubt Mr. Styles is the best person for the job, after all, this was determined by his good friend who is only too glad to reward him for services rendered. These characters are priceless. Stay tuned, she'll have another fit of renewal at any time and yank a few more bodies out of their chairs before their terms are up. So many people to thank and appoint, and time is of the essence.

  • Max
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    What's wrong people? All politicians operate in this manner from coast to coast. Complaining is pointless - sad but true.

  • Gloria
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    Joan is spending too much time with Danny she is acting just like him these days. Arrogant self centred and ever so high and mighty. Oh well as the old saying goes. Give her enough rope and she will eventually hang herself. Open honest and transparent. Three simple little words that neither Joan or her master Danny apparently never quite got the full meaning of.

  • Frank
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    What is the alternative to this behaviour?

    No one will step up to become opposition leader.

    So it goes on and on ....

  • Don
    July 01, 2010 - 20:11

    Terry Styles couldn't spell when we were in school together.

  • Cris
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    Brilliant,
    After 12 years of post-secondary education and $25K debt (only that low a dollar value thanks to my forward thinking parents}, little did I know that all it took was a few thousand dollars to secure such a post...such is life I suppose. Money begets money.

    Cheers,
    One who has sacrificed to stay in NL

  • mercedes
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    Get her out of here for Gods' sake! She will destroy everything we have for patronage appointments.

  • Fred
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    I think it's about time to replace Minister Joan Burke the way she is replacing others.

  • ivan
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    COMPLAIN COMPLAIN COMPLAIN
    I AM SURE THAT IF SOME OF THESE PEOPLE ORDERED 2 EGGS, 1 FRIED 1 BOILED . THE WOULD COMPLAIN THAT YOU FRIED THE WRONG ONE.
    GET A LIFE AND CONTRIBUTE SOMETHING TO THIS WORLD

  • Peter
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    What is all the fuss? If the chair had been from outside of Burke's riding, or from St. John's, would this still be an issue?

    The contribution to her campaign was less than $2,200 over two elections. This hardly seems like reason to reward someone with a volunteer position (one that probably has a lot of headaches to go along with it).

    Every board member for every government appointed board in this province is likely made up of good PCs. When the Liberals were in, the members were all good Liberals. Doesn't make sense to put in a board chair that has different political views than the current govenrment (whether this may be better for the institution involved or not).

    While I am not from Stephenville, I do live on the west coast and know of Terry Styles. From what I know about the man, I think he seems like a very good candidate for a position such as this one.

  • DB
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    Thats funny. A 'Top contributor' is some one who gave a thousand dollars in each election. Municipal politcians have receive bigger contributions. But maybe that's a reflection of the kind of support for Burke - not much.

  • greg
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    As a proud boil-order Tory , I want to say Min. Burke is doing a good job and I would like to know how much i have to donate to get a job on a Health Board?Perhaps there is a scale running from dustman to ADM. PS .......I comb my hair like the Premier's.

  • Randall
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    There really is nothing new under the sun. PC, Liberal, both do the exact same thing, they use commitees and boards to reward those who get them elected, just look at Williams and Drover, another recent example.

  • Ralph
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    Joan screwed up the HRLE profile and made it worse than it ever was so now she is going to make a mess of The Education profile. Yeah, she's got to be Danny's protege. Just like him. Another meddling dictator.

  • Barry
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    Come on now Danny its time to put a stop to this woman's position as minister. You have booted better ministers out for less, she has lost the faith of the public. Lets shuffle the deck.

  • Dwayne
    July 01, 2010 - 19:57

    It amazes me of all the negative comments about Mr. Styles appointment!Should Ms. Burke have appointed a complete stranger? No. Should she have appointed someone not from the west coast? No. Should she have appointed someone with no business experence? No. It sounds like all the negative comments are from disgruntled liberals. Get over it. I personally know Mr. Styles and he is well respected on the west coast. He knows the value of a good education system. His 4 kids are a doctor, an engineer, an executive running a multimillion dollar american company and a PR executive. I know Mr. Styles will make a huge contribution to CONA.

  • Timboy
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    I'm still amazed she's in that position to begin with given the fiasco over the MUN President's job farce. Good work by the Tely to dig into this.

  • Neil
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    If anything needs dumping here, I think it should be BURKE herself. I think using her owns words the time has come for RENEWAL.

  • J
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    If this is such a huge news story why aren't the other news sources talking about it? The Telegram is just creating it's own drama... again.

  • Annd
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    Maybe it's time to expand the Auditor General's scope to include the expense claims of people sitting on Government funded Boards. It's still tax payers' money & double billing is not restricted to MHAs.

  • Pierre
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    This admistration is absolutley shameless. Minister Burke has ruined our university's reputation, has ignored inspection reports from our schools and should have been made to resign by now but is still there to hand out blatant patronage appointments to whoever !! The Minister is a digrace.

  • Tony
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    I like how Joan Burke has come under fire for doing what's right.

    While she hasn't been perfect, no minister has nor ever will be.

    This guy that she appointed won't be paid so what's the big deal?

    Also about the MUN controversy, that's a publicly funded university, I think that our government should have a say on who is running it.

    Keep up the great work Joan!

  • Roxanne
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    I am amazed this lady is even a minister. I am a PC supporter but not of Joan Burke. This appointment stinks, and it has nothing to do about it not being a paid position, it role of the position has its own benefits. Shame on you again !