John­son pleased with new cabi­net post

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE -

Trin­ity-Bay de Verde MHA Char­lene John­son says she’s ex­cited about her new cabi­net post. But ad­mits to be­ing sad ab o u t l e av i n g the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Con­ser­va­tion.

“It was a great op­por­tu­nity in a depart­ment where I have a back­ground in it, hav­ing my masters in en­vi­ron­men­tal en­gi­neer­ing. I was thor­oughly en­joy­ing it,” John­son told The Com­pass shortly af­ter her swear­ing in Jan. 13 as the new Min­is­ter of Child, Youth and Fam­ily Ser­vices.

“There’s a lot of good things hap­pen­ing in that depart­ment around cli­mate change, drink­ing wa­ter and en­vi­ron­men­tal as­sess­ments for all the projects. It’s a re­ally hap­pen­ing depart­ment.”

John­son was in en­vi­ron­ment and con­ser­va­tion for a lit­tle over three years. But she says it’s not pos­si­ble to stay in a depart­ment for­ever, and knew the time would come even­tu­ally. And be­sides, she’s ex­tremely ex­i­cted about her new du­ties.

“The best re­source we have in our prov­ince is our chil­dren, and any­thing I can do to shape pol­icy and im­pact and im­prove the well-be­ing of chil­dren ... I re­ally look for­ward to that.”

John­son has a 20-month-old daugh­ter, Jorja, and has a re­newed un­der­stand­ing of how pre­cious chil­dren are.

She was in­formed of the shuf­fle on Wed­nes­day evening, and looks for­ward to get­ting up to speed on the is­sues in her new depart­ment.

John­son’s move was one of sev­eral an­nounced by Premier Kathy Dun­derdale on Thurs­day morn­ing.

Der­rick Dal­ley was wel­comed into the cabi­net, tak­ing over as the new Min­is­ter of Busi­ness; Joan Burke takes over the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion; Ross Wise­man will take over from John­son as Min­is­ter of the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Con­ser­va­tion; and Darin King will lead Hu­man Re­sources, Labour and Em­ploy­ment, as well as the Min­is­ter Re­spon­si­ble for the Sta­tus of Per­sons with Dis­abil­i­ties, Min­is­ter Re­spon­si­ble for the Labour Re­la­tions Agency, Min­is­ter Re­spon­si­ble for Youth En­gage­ment, and Min­is­ter Re­spon­si­ble for New­found­land Labrador Hous­ing Cor­po­ra­tion.

Car­bon­ear-Har­bour Grace MHA Jerome Kennedy re­mains the Min­is­ter of Health and Com­mu­nity Ser­vices.

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