FREDERICTON (GNB) – Premier David Alward announced today a series of cabinet and senior leadership changes to focus government’s efforts on strengthening the economy and building healthier, more inclusive communities.

In recognition of the value that New Brunswick’s natural resources add to the provincial economy, priorities will be realigned between two departments: forestry and Crown lands will remain the responsibility of the Department of Natural Resources;  energy and mining will be combined to form a new department, led by minister Craig Leonard.

These moves come in addition to a new integrated Department of Economic Development, announced in March, and minister Paul Robichaud’s recent announcement of a more decentralized approach to community economic development at the local level.

“The provinces that are succeeding across the country have one thing in common: a renewed focus on natural resources,” Alward said. “These changes put in place the leadership required to rebuild New Brunswick’s forestry sector, while at the same time strengthening our efforts to groom and grow our energy and mining sectors for the future.”

A new department, to be led by Saint John Lancaster MLA Dorothy Shephard, has been established to promote healthy living and integrate a number of socially oriented policies, programs and services. In addition to overseeing sport and wellness programming, the Department of Healthy and Inclusive Communities will work in partnership with the non-profit sector and stakeholders to better address the needs of seniors, young people, people living in poverty and persons with disabilities.

“Our government is committed to working with communities to ensure that we are all included as full citizens through opportunities for employment, personal development and community engagement,” Alward said. “I am confident that the redistribution of priorities I am announcing today will allow us to truly focus our efforts on enhancing our quality of life.”

Government restructuring initiatives announced to date have created the conditions necessary to streamline administration, improve performance and better align resources with government renewal goals. 

In anticipation of the retirement of the department’s deputy minister, Management Board functions related to financial resource planning will return to the Department of Finance. Human Resources will become a separate department. The Chief Information Office will remain part of the Executive Council Office. 

The following leadership changes and appointments were also announced today to further focus government renewal efforts:

  • Four MLAs join cabinet:

o   Rothesay MLA Hugh (Ted) Flemming has been appointed Minister of Health;

o   Grand Falls-Drummond-Saint-André MLA Danny Soucy has been appointed Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour;

o   Fredericton-Nashwaaksis MLA Troy Lifford has been appointed Minister of Human Resources; and

o   Saint John-Lancaster MLA Dorothy Shephard has been appointed Minister of Healthy and Inclusive Communities.

  • Minister Madeleine Dubé will move from the Department of Health to the Department of Social Development, where she will draw on her professional background and past experience to lead a significant policy review in the department.
  • Minister Sue Stultz will move from the Department of Social Development to the Department of Government Services, where she will draw on her business experience to manage the department’s $2.5 billion budget and government’s overall procurement objectives.

All changes will come into effect Oct. 9, 2012.

 “We are acting on our strategic plan to rebuild New Brunswick by strengthening our economy, enhancing our quality of life and living within our means,” Alward said. “With this leadership team in place, my government is in the best position to reach these goals.”

Cabinet list:

David Alward
Premier, President of the Executive Council, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Minister responsible for Aboriginal Affairs, Minister responsible for the Premier's Council on the Status of Disabled Persons, Minister responsible for Citizens' Engagement, Minister responsible for the Office of Government Review, Chair of the Policy and Priorities Committee of Cabinet.

Paul Robichaud
Deputy Premier, Government House Leader, Minister of Economic Development (responsible for the Regional Development Corporation, Invest NB, Northern New Brunswick Initiative, and Rural Affairs), Minister responsible for La Francophonie.

Marie-Claude Blais
Attorney General, Minister of Justice, Minister responsible for Women’s Issues.

Mike Olscamp
Minister of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries.

Jody Carr
Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development.

Craig Leonard
inister of Energy and Mines.

Bruce Fitch
Minister of Environment and Local Government, Minister responsible for Efficiency New Brunswick.

Blaine Higgs
Minister of Finance, Minister responsible for the New Brunswick Liquor Corporation, Minister responsible for the New Brunswick Investment Management Corporation, Minister responsible for the New Brunswick Lotteries and Gaming Corporation, Chair of the Board of Management.

Susan (Sue) Stultz
Minister of Government Services (responsible for Service New Brunswick and the New Brunswick Internal Services Agency).

Hugh (Ted) Flemming
Minister of Health.

Dorothy Shephard
Minister of Healthy and Inclusive Communities.

Troy Lifford
Minister of Human Resources.

Bruce Northrup
Minister of Natural Resources.

Danny Soucy
Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour.

Robert Trevors
Minister of Public Safety.

Madeleine (Mado) Dubé
Minister of Social Development.

Trevor Holder
Minister of Tourism, Heritage and Culture.

Claude Williams
Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.