Judy Foote is excited to be named the first female lieutenant-governor for the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
The announcement came Tuesday morning and taking the job for the former MP for the riding of Bonavista-Burin-Trinity was something she is doing so readily.
”I am looking forward to the opportunity to serve the province again, this time in a different capacity,’’ she said.
“There are many things I have worked on in the past I will continue to support like gender parity, mental health and literacy, something I have been concerned about since I was minister of education many years ago,’’ she added.
Foote is a two-time cancer survivor who announced she was stepping away from politics last summer for family reasons. She has inherited the BRCA2 cancer causing gene, something testing has shown has been passed along to her children.
“Because I carry the gene, I am susceptible to other forms of cancer and unfortunately two of my three children have inherited it as well,’’ she said.
“Therefore, my priority was to be here in the province and be close to my family.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the appointment official on Tuesday morning.
“Judy has dedicated her career to public service and making a meaningful difference in the lives of Canadians,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a news release.
“Her work ethic and strength of character make her the perfect choice to be the new lieutenant-governor for Newfoundland and Labrador. I know she will continue to serve with passion and commitment and make important contributions to the future of her province and the country," he added.
She has been involved in politics for 28 years including eight years working for former premier Clyde Wells as his communications director, 11 years as an MHA (Grand Bank) and the final eight years as MP for Bonavista-Burin-Trinity.
Foote was first elected at the federal level as MP for Random–Burin–St. George’s in 2008 and was re-elected in 2011. She served as a deputy house leader and as a whip until she was elected as MP for the new riding of Bonavista–Burin–Trinity in October 2015.
On Nov. 4, 2015, she was named to cabinet and sworn-in as the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, a position she held until April 2017, when she took a leave of absence to be with her family.
“Ms. Foote has represented and served the citizens of this province with unwavering dedication. She has long been an activist for social and economic change in Newfoundland and Labrador,” Premier Dwight Ball said on the announcement.
“As a friend and former colleague, I am tremendously proud to see Ms. Foote appointed as the first female lieutenant-governor of this province. She is, and will continue to be, a role model to many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians,” he added.
She takes over the role currently held by Frank Fagan.
“As lieutenant-governor, Frank Fagan, and his wife Patricia opened up Government House to the people of this province through their caring and kind nature,” Ball said.
“I offer my sincere thanks to Mr. Fagan and Patricia, and wish the family all the very best in the future.”
Foote is not sure of the timeframe of when she will be installed as lieutenant-governor, but until she is, she was quick to make note of the job the Fagan’s have done in the position.
“I appreciate what the their Honours have accomplished in their time at government house,’’ she said.
“I just hope I am able to do as good a job as they have.”
In addition, in his news release, Trudeau thanked the outgoing lieutenant-governor Frank F. Fagan, for his dedication and service to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Prior to entering politics, Foote worked as a journalist and communications director.
In addition to mentoring cancer patients, she has volunteered her time over the years with several organizations, including the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador and the United Nations Children's Fund.
Foote and her husband Howard have three children and four grandchildren. She and her husband will move into Government house following the installation and carry out the duties bestowed on them by the position.