October 20, 2016
For Immediate Release

Patronage Appointments Continue Under Ball Liberals

Paul Davis, Leader of the Official Opposition, said, “The appointment of prominent Liberal Dennis Browne as the province’s Consumer Advocate continues the pattern of handing out government jobs to Liberal friends – contrary to what the Liberals promised to do.”

“Many people in the province are qualified to serve as Consumer Advocate, but when the Cabinet considered who to appoint – because this was indeed a Cabinet appointment, not an Independent Appointments Commission appointment – the Liberals have repeated the pattern of favouring the candidates with the strong Liberal pedigrees,” said Davis.

“Instead of taking politics out of appointments, as Mr. Ball promised, the Liberals have cloaked their patronage by pretending the Independent Appointments Commission makes these appointments, when it does not. The IAC has no power to appoint, and the Cabinet has no obligation to abide by any of their recommendations or to tell the public when they have not; and the Liberals rejected our amendments to put an independent lens on the appointments process to determine if the merit principle is indeed being respected. Now we see why,” said Davis.

Davis said Mr. Browne’s appointment is part of a barrage of patronage appointments in recent months:

• Bern Coffey, former Liberal leadership candidate, appointed Clerk of the Executive Council;

• George Joyce, former Liberal candidate (and cousin of Minister Eddie Joyce), appointed Assistant Deputy Minister (Labour Relations) to the Human Resources Secretariat;

• Lynn Sullivan, former Liberal candidate, appointed Assistant Deputy Minister (Royalties and Benefits) in the Natural Resources department;

• Paula Walsh, former Liberal candidate, appointed ‎Assistant Deputy Minister (Public Safety and Enforcement) with the Justice and Public Safety department;

• Ted Lomond, former Liberal Party executive member, appointed Deputy Minister of the Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development department;

• Tony Grace, former Liberal political assistant in the Tobin era, appointed Assistant Deputy Minister (Lands) in the Municipal Affairs department;

• Carla Foote, former Liberal political assistant (and daughter of Federal Minister Judy Foote), appointed Associated Secretary to Cabinet (Communications);

• Lauren Wiseman, former Liberal political assistant, appointed Director of Communications ‎with the Education and Early Childhood Development department.

The Premier repeats the line that ‘Newfoundland and Labrador is the first Canadian province to establish a legislated, merit-based appointment process.’ Davis said, “That is patently false. Ontario and British Columbia have well-established independent appointments processes while Newfoundland and Labrador has nothing more than a patronage appointment process dressed up to look like something it’s not. It’s the Liberals’ vain attempt to hide what they’re doing to benefit their friends and surround themselves with supporters who won’t rock the boat when the government messes up.”

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Media Contact: Heather MacLean, Director of Communications, Office of the Official Opposition
(709) 729 6105, [email protected]