Letto moves into cabinet
Labrador West MHA is now Minister of Municipal Affairs and Environment
Premier Dwight Ball shuffled his cabinet on Nov. 8 and Labrador West MHA Graham Letto is now the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Environment. It appears to be a logical choice, as Letto was involved in municipal politics for 20 years.
Letto started his political career as a councillor in Labrador City in 1989 and was the mayor of the town from 2001 to 2009. During that time he served as the president of the Combined Councils of Labrador and the president of Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador.
Letto, who also served as parliamentary secretary to the minister of Natural Resources Siobhan Coady, told the Aurora he believes his municipal experience is a big reason why he was chosen for the portfolio.
“I’ve experienced the municipal world at pretty well all levels so I think that will help me, no doubt about it,” he said. “I know a lot of the mayors and councillor around the province, I’ve met a lot of them and worked with a lot of them. I’m looking forward to that actually. I think my experience will help me greatly in that portfolio.”
He said there are a myriad of issues in both departments and Labrador West MHA Graham Letto is now Minister of Municipal Affairs and Environment.
he’s excited to get up to speed on and move forward. Wastewater and drinking water are high on the list, he said, as are carbon pricing and methylmercury concerns.
“There’s lots of thing to get my head around,” he said. “It’ll take a little while but the people in the department are well versed and know what the issues are; I look forward to getting involved.”
Labrador is well positioned within the provincial government.
With Letto getting promoted to a ministerial position and Cartwright-L’Anse au Clair MHA Lisa Dempster serving as Minister of Children, Seniors and Social Development, that makes two Labrador MHAs in cabinet. Lake Melville MHA Perry Trimper is the Speaker of the House and Torngat MHA Randy Edmunds is Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs.
Letto said in his opinion, it’s fair to say that Labrador hasn’t been better represented than it is today.
“All four of us have really strategic roles and we’re in a position to influence outcomes,” he said. “We’ve been working together since we’ve been elected and that will continue of course.”
Also in the cabinet shuffle Carol Anne Haley, MHA for Burin-Grand Bank, was appointed Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, which became a stand-alone portfolio for the first time. Bernard Davis, Virginia Waters-Pleasantville MHA, is the new Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour — a position that had been part of the portfolio of Al Hawkins. Hawkins was officially made Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development.