On the eve of a cabinet shuffle Tuesday night, Premier Kathy Dunderdale gave every hint that it could be a big one.
© — Photo by James McLeod/The Telegram
Premier Kathy Dunderdale says she’ll make some big changes to her cabinet today.
This Friday will mark exactly two years since the 2011 general election, and Dunderdale said that’s a good time to make changes.
“It’s been some time since we’ve had a big cabinet shuffle,” Dunderdale said. “It’s always good to move your ministers around so they’re intimately familiar with the internal workings of different departments. It broadens their experience and their knowledge base.”
The past month or two has been pretty busy for Dunderdale’s ministers. Just before resigning, Finance Minister Jerome Kennedy announced a trio of deals for four-year contracts with public-sector unions, and he also started the ball rolling on pension reform.
Justice Minister Darin King has announced the province is looking at building a new prison, Natural Resources Minister Tom Marshall is poised to loan millions to the Corner Brook paper mill as part of a revitalization plan and Health Minister Susan Sullivan has made some big announcements in her portfolio, too.
Dunderdale said all of that isn’t necessarily a co-ordinated effort to revitalize things and shift focus away from bad polling numbers, and issues which have been plaguing the PC government.
“We’re a working government. This is what we do,” she said. “These are important issues that need to get resolved and, you know, particularly take time during the summer to get ourselves organized so that when we come out in the fall, we’re coming with a full thrust of initiatives and pieces of work.”
With Kennedy leaving the government, Dunderdale will have to call a byelection, but she said she’ll hold off until mid-November.
“The leadership of the Liberal party is mid-November and I understand that two of the three leads in that race don’t have a seat in the House of Assembly, so I’ve made the committment not to call the election if they’re interested in running for the seat until after their leadership convention,” she said. “They certainly don’t want to sit in the Speaker’s Gallery, I’m sure, if they’re successful.”