FREDERICTON (CNB) - Phil LePage has been appointed acting deputy minister of Business New Brunswick effective May 27, Premier Shawn Graham announced today. LePage replaces Brian Dick, who is retiring from public service May 26.

LePage, currently assistant deputy minister business development with Business New Brunswick, is a career public servant with an extensive background in economic development and investment with Business New Brunswick and the Executive Council Office..

"Phil LePage brings a wealth of experience in business development and investment, and a great enthusiasm to the post of acting deputy minister for Business New Brunswick," said Graham. "I have great confidence in his abilities to lead this crucial portfolio as we work to achieve self-sufficiency."

Dick began his career with the provincial Department of Municipal Affairs before joining the federal government, working primarily in regional economic development. He most recently served as Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency vice-president for the New Brunswick region, and finally as senior vice-president, until rejoining the provincial government as deputy minister for self-sufficiency in November 2006. He became deputy minister of Business New Brunswick in September 2007.

"I'd like to thank Brian Dick for his dedication and his service to building the economy and fostering entrepreneurship and innovation in the business communities of both New Brunswick and the entire Atlantic Region," said Graham. "Brian brought a steady hand and a wealth of experience to the job at Business New Brunswick, and he will be sorely missed. We wish him well as he embarks on a well-earned retirement."