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July 31, 1998
For immediate release

Cabinet Shuffle Announced

Premier's Office

Premier Pat Binns today announced a Cabinet shuffle involving shifts in responsibility for three Ministers, and the appointment of Don MacKinnon as Minister of Development.


It is the first shuffle since the new government was formed in November of 1996, and Premier Binns says "After 20 months there are some changes and additions that I feel are appropriate in order to meet the objectives we set as a government and to provide the best service to Islanders."


Don MacKinnon will head up a reorganized Department of Development that will have exclusive focus on economic and community development. Tourism and Technology were also singled out for special attention as economic opportunities.


Hon. Kevin MacAdam will serve as Minister of Fisheries and Tourism. With more than a million visitors a year and increasing importance in terms of the economy of the province, Premier Binns says tourism offers growth potential that generates jobs for Islanders.


Hon. Mitch Murphy will move to the Department of Technology and Environment. This department will take the lead in advancing public sector developments in technology as well as establishing strong partnerships with the private sector and other governments. Environment will be responsible for the implementation of the province-wide Waste Watch system.


Premier Binns says with those changes three departments will now have extensive focus on development and job creation.


Hon. Wes MacAleer will replace Murphy at Community Services. He is also slated to assume the role of Attorney General, but those responsibilities will be held by the Premier while the Conflict of Interest allegation against Mr. MacAleer is before the courts.


Five Ministers will retain their present assignments: Hon. Chester Gillan, Education; Hon. Mildred Dover, Health and Social Services; Hon. Mike Currie, Minister of Transportation and Public Works; Hon. Pat Mella, Provincial Treasurer; and Hon. Eric Hammill, Agriculture and Forestry.


At the Deputy level, Premier Binns announced that Jim Johnston, Executive Vice-President with Rodd Hotels and Resorts, will join government as Deputy Minister of Development. "Jim has a strong background in business development, a solid understanding of the province, and a clear understanding of the direction we want to pursue in economic development."


Bill Harper, now Director of Policy and Evaluation in Provincial Treasury, will become the Assistant Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services responsible for finance. 36% of the total provincial budget is expended on health and social services.


Bill Drost will serve as Deputy Minister of Environment and Information Technology, with Diane Griffin as Assistant Deputy Minister responsible for Environment.


Frank Butler, Chief Operating Officer of Tourism PEI, will become Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Tourism, with Louie Creed Assistant Deputy Minister for Fisheries.


With a number of federal-provincial and intergovernmental agreements in the works, Leo Walsh will serve as Deputy Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.


The Ministers were sworn in at Government House this morning by Lieutenant Governor Gilbert Clements.


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Media Contact: Maurice Rodgerson
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