Char­lene John­son named fi­nance min­is­ter

Trin­ity-Bay de Verde MHA ’pleased’ to take on new role

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BYMELISSA JENK­INS Melissa.jenk­ins@tc.tc

The MHA for Trin­ity- Bay de Verde Char­lene John­son is the first fe­male to run the fi­nance port­fo­lio for the prov­ince of New­found­land and Labrador since 2001.

John­son joins the depart­ment just prior to the be­gin­ning of govern­ment bud­get dis­cus­sions for 2014 and ne­go­ti­a­tions for the New­found­land and Labrador Nurses Union and the prov­ince’s teach­ers. John­son said she is ac­tively con­sult­ing with stake­hold­ers on what they would like to see in the bud­get, which will be an­nounced when the house re­opens this spring.

Speak­ing to The Com­pass Jan. 30, John­son said she was not ex­pect­ing the move to the high pro­file po­si­tion.

“I ap­pre­ci­ate Premier (Tom) Mar­shall ’s con­fi­dence in me,” she ex­plained. “I’m ex­cited to be in cab­i­net, and pleased to be in this role.”

John­son has also been named the pres­i­dent of the Trea­sury Board and Min­is­ter re­spon­si­ble for the Hu­man Re­source Sec­re­tariat, the Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sion and the New­found­land and Labrador Liquor Cor­po­ra­tion.

“Peo­ple in my dis­trict have been very sup­port­ive,” she ex­plained. “I’ve heard from dozens and dozens of peo­ple through email and twit­ter. They’ve been say­ing that they are re­ally proud their MHA is the new fi­nance min­is­ter.

“I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to dig­ging in.”

There are a num­ber of high pro­file de­part­ments John­son has been re­spon­si­ble for since 2007, when she was ap­pointed Min­is­ter of En­vi­ron­ment and Con­ser­va­tion. She was named Min­is­ter of Child, Youth and Fam­ily Ser­vices in 2011 and held that port­fo­lio un­til Oc­to­ber 2013, when she was named Min­is­ter of In­no­va­tion, Busi­ness and Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment. Dur­ing her time as CYFS min­is­ter, she was also the Min­is­ter re­spon­si­ble for the Sta­tus of Women.

Other po­si­tions in her reper­toire in­clude the Min­is­ter re­spon­si­ble for both the Of­fice of Pub­lic En­gage­ment and the Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion.

John­son’s first big step into a lead­er­ship role was be­ing named Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary to the Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources in 2006 — a depart­ment headed by for­mer premier Kathy Dun­derdale, her men­tor.

In 2 0 0 3 , John­son was the youngest fe­male to ever get elected to the pro­vin­cial govern­ment.

Mean­while, other changes to the cab­i­net in­clude MHA Terry French be­ing named Min­is­ter of In­no­va­tion, Busi­ness and Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment and the Min­is­ter re­spon­si­ble for the Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion. He will still re­main the Min­is­ter of Tourism, Cul­ture and Re­cre­ation.

Felix Collins will take on the role of At­tor­ney Gen­eral, and MHA Steve Kent will take on the ad­di­tional role of Min­is­ter re­spon­si­ble for the Of­fice of Pub­lic En­gage­ment, on top of his po­si­tions as Min­is­ter of Mu­nic­i­pal and In­ter­gov­ern­men­tal Af­fairs, the Min­is­ter re­spon­si­ble for Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices and Reg­is­trar Gen­eral.

Trin­ity-Bay de Verde MHA Char­lene John­son has been named the govern­ment’s new fi­nance min­is­ter.

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