Letto moves into cab­i­net

Labrador West MHA is now Min­is­ter of Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs and En­vi­ron­ment

The Aurora (Labrador City) - - Front Page - BY EVAN CAREEN THE AURORA

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.

FILE PHOTO

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