Half a dozen members of the Progressive Conservative government were given summer jobs on Thursday, as Premier Tom Marshall moved around a few ministers and promoted three backbench MHAs to fill holes in cabinet.
© — Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram
Premier Tom Marshall (centre) stands with newly sworn-in cabinet ministers following the ceremony Thursday afternoon — (from left) Dan Crummell, David Brazil, Vaughn Granter, Marshall, Tony Cornect, Sandy Collins and Clyde Jackman.
For the next couple months, Clyde Jackman will take over the Department of Health and Community services — one of the largest departments in government.
Dan Crummell picks up responsibility for Municipal and Intergovernmental Affairs, and Sandy Collins moves into the role of Child, Youth and Family Services minister.
Vaughn Granter, Tony Cornect and David Brazil are all new faces in cabinet.
Cornect is responsible for tourism, Brazil is taking over Service NL and Granter is minister of Environment and Conservation.
The cabinet shuffle was preciptated by Steve Kent and Paul Davis resigning to run for the leadership of the PC party. Ever since then-premier Kathy Dunderdale resigned in January, the party leadership has been in flux.
Either Davis, Kent or retired cabinet minister John Ottenheimer will become premier shortly after the Tory leadership convention in September and, in all likelihood, the new boss will rework the cabinet then.
But for the next couple of months, at least, Marshall said, it wasn’t fair to the politicians to ask them to double up on portfolios, and it wasn’t fair to the public.
One of the holes that Marshall filled Thursday was left by Joan Shea, who resigned as Environment and Conservation minister in early June.
But a month and a half later, Marshall won’t commit to when, exactly, he’ll call a byelection to replace her in the district of
St. George’s-Stephenville East.
When asked by reporters about when he’ll call a byelection, Marshall said, “Soon.”
When asked to be more specific about when he’ll call the byelection, Marshall said, “Very soon.”