Biographies of Ministers
Raised in Bishopís Falls, Joan Burke attended Memorial University of Newfoundland where she earned a degree in Social Work in 1987, following which she accepted a position in Stephenville as an Adult Probation Officer with the Department of Justice. She graduated in 1990 from the University of Toronto with a Masters degree in Social Work, following which she accepted employment in Toronto as a Parole Officer with the Correctional Services of Canada, and also worked part-time as a counselor with the Kidsí Help Line. With her husband Brian, she moved to St. Johnís where she worked with the Correctional Services of Canada and also owned and operated a small business, offering counseling and assessment services. In 1996, she was asked by the Correctional Services of Canada to coordinate the Exchange of Service Agreement between the federal and provincial governments, which resulted in federal offenders being maintained at the West Coast Correctional Centre in Stephenville. In 1996, she applied for and was granted a transfer to Stephenville to work at the West Coast Correctional Centre as a Parole Officer with the Correctional Services of Canada. She handled case preparation for federal offenders and served as the Staff Trainer for new Parole Officers in the Atlantic region. She has served as an Executive Member of the Association of Social Workers and as a member of their Committee of Examiners. She has been a volunteer with the Canadian Mental Health Association. She also served on the executive of the Union of Solicitor General Employees (USGE) and as Shop Steward for Local 90098. She has been very active in the Guiding movement and, in addition to being a Brownie leader, has served as the Girl Guides of Canada Deputy Area Commissioner and Area Training Coordinator for the southwest region. She is also a founding member of the Stephenville Gymnastics Club and continues to volunteer as a coach. Ms. Burke and her husband have an eight-year-old daughter.
Former Opposition Leader Ed Byrne was born in 1963. He entered Memorial University of Newfoundland where he embarked on a joint Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Education program majoring conjointly in Newfoundland Studies and Religious Studies. In 1984, he was elected President of the Universityís Council of the Studentsí Union where he represented the concerns of a student body more than 10,000 strong. He began his career as an adult educator specializing in curriculum development and serving as a skills training coordinator, and he went on to serve as Administrator of the Atlantic Labour Training Trust Fund. For five years, as well, he served as a management consultant. Mr. Byrne was elected to represent Kilbride in the elections of 1993, 1996, 1999 and 2003. As a Member of the House of Assembly in the PC Caucuses of three Leaders, he served in several shadow portfolios including Post-secondary Education, Employment and Labour Relations, Environment, and Industry, Trade and Technology; and as Chair of the Public Accounts Committee. He served as Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition from 1998 to 2001. He and his wife, Bernie Ottenheimer, have two young children - Olivia, 9, and her younger brother, Isaac, 5.
Born in 1951, Jack Byrne is a certified Member of the Association of Newfoundland Land Surveyors who obtained his Commission as a Canada Land Surveyor in 1982 and received his education in basic drafting, architectural drafting and surveying technology at the College of Trades and Technology, winning the Association of Newfoundland Land Surveyors Scholarship in Surveying Technology in 1973-74. He has also obtained his Certificate of Administration from Memorial University of Newfoundland. He began his professional career in surveying in 1970 as a rodman, chainman, levelman, instrument man and party chief, rising to Chief Surveyor of the Eastern Newfoundland Office of Gorman Butler Associates Limited in 1974. In 1976, he became Land Titles Officer of the Crown Lands Division of the provincial Department of Forest Resources and Lands; in 1977, became Land Survey Inspector in that Division; and in 1979, became Supervisor of the Divisionís Cadastral Mapping Project. In 1983, while vice-president of Geodata Limited, he became President of J.J. Byrne and Associates Limited and, in 1985, became President of J.J. Byrne Surveyís Limited. Between 1988 and 1994, he served as Vice-president Administration of Hawco, King, Byrne Surveys Limited, a professional incorporated land survey company. He holds professional memberships in the Association of Newfoundland Land Surveyors, the Association of Canada Land Surveyors, and the Canadian Institute of Surveying and Mapping. He was a Member of the Council of Management of the Association of Newfoundland Land Surveyors, Vice-president of the Association in 1983-84, and President in 1984-85. For seven years from 1986 to 1993, Mr. Byrne served as Mayor for the Town of Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove. Between 1991 and 1993, he was chair of the North East Avalon Joint Councils, and in 1991 was a member of the Northeast Avalon Business Development Board. He was elected in the former district of St. Johnís East Extern and subsequently elected in the new district of Cape St. Francis in 1996, 1999 and 2003. He has served as Opposition critic for Environment and Lands, Works, Services and Transportation, Government Services and Lands, Municipal and Provincial Affairs, Intergovernmental Affairs, Finance, Health and Labour. He has also served as a Member of the House of Assembly Internal Economy Commission, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, and Party Whip. He lives at Outer Cove along with his wife, Bridget, and their son, Matthew.
The former Deputy Mayor of Burin, Kathy Dunderdale was the first woman ever to be elected President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Municipalities (NLFM) and served as a Director on the Canadian Federation of Municipalities. She is also the only woman to have been made an honorary member of the NLFM. She is a past Chair of Burin Peninsula Roman Catholic School Board and has volunteered her time with such organizations as the Canadian Paraplegic Association, the Association for Community Living, the Community Alliance for Better Solutions, the Coalition Against Violence and Soccer/Hockey Moms. She has also worked in the fields of social work, fisheries, communication and community development. She served as President of the Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador. Ms. Dunderdale has two children, Sara and Tom, and with her husband, Peter, makes her home in St. Johnís.
Former Auditor General Elizabeth Marshall has 23 years of experience in the provincial public service. She has served in several senior positions including Deputy Minister of Social Services and Deputy Minister of Works, Services, and Transportation. She served as the provinceís Auditor General for a term of 10 years. Ms. Marshall was born in Stephenville Crossing and received her early education in St. Lawrence, Corner Brook, and Grand Falls. She holds a Bachelor of Science (Math) from Memorial University of Newfoundland, and she has been a Chartered Accountant since 1979. She is married to businessperson Stan Marshall. They reside in Topsail with their three teenage children.
Tom Marshall is the son of the late Sylvia Marshall and Jack Marshall, former Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament for Humber - St. Georgeís - St. Barbe. He grew up in Corner Brook before attending Memorial University of Newfoundland, where he was awarded a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1969, and Dalhousie University in Halifax, where he was awarded a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1972. After graduation, he returned to Corner Brook and joined the law firm of Barry, Wells and Monaghan as an associate lawyer, articling with Kevin Barry, Q.C., and became a partner in the firm of Barry, Wells, Monaghan, Seaborn and Marshall in 1975. He then became senior partner with the firm of Monaghan, Marshall, Murphy and Watton. In 1986, he was appointed Queenís Counsel. Mr. Marshall has been an active member of the law community, having served as a Bencher of the Law Society of Newfoundland for Western Newfoundland, a member of the Canadian Bar Association, a member of the Newfoundland Law Society, a member of the Humber Real Estate Association, a former member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Law Reform Commission and the former chair of Lottery Licences Review Board. He has also lectured in Business Law, Banking Law, Real Estate Law and Construction Law for Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, the Institute of Canadian Bankers, the Canadian Real Estate Association and the Atlantic Home Building Institute. As an active member of the community, he is a past member of Board of Directors of Western Memorial Regional Hospital Corporation and a past member of the Board of Directors of Western Memorial Regional Hospital Foundation. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of Humber Community Development Corporation, past President of Blomidon Golf Club and a Charter member of the Rotary Club of Humber - Corner Brook. He has also been active in the business community as a former member of the Board of Directors of Shellbird Cable Limited, a former Chair of the Board of Directors of Gateway Cable Limited and a former Director of Cable Atlantic Inc. Mr. Marshall is married to Lin Crosbie of Steady Brook. They have three children: Rebecca, Seth and Kami.
Born in St. Johnís in 1964, Tom Osborne graduated from Cabot College in St. Johnís and continued his studies at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. He worked with Statistics Canada from 1986 to 1990, with Small Business Enterprise from 1990 to 1995, and with the Penney Group of Companies from 1990 until his election in 1996. He was elected in the general elections of 1996, 1999 and 2003. He was elected Opposition Caucus Vice-Chair, was appointed Parliamentary Assistant to the Leader of the Opposition, and served as Opposition critic for Industry, Trade and Technology, Government Services and Lands, and Environment and Labour. He has also served as a Member of the Public Accounts Committee. Mr. Osborne is married to Yvonne (McGrath) of Placentia.
Born in St. Johnís in 1953, John Ottenheimer graduated from Memorial University with Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education degrees in 1974, a Graduate Diploma in 1980, and a Masters of Education in 1986. He attended the University of Windsor, graduating with a Bachelor of Laws in 1982. He worked as a high school teacher in French and German at Holy Heart of Mary High School at St. Johnís in 1974-75; as principal at St. Josephís Academy at Lamaline in 1976-78; and as principal at St. Stephenís Elementary at Stephenville in 1978-79. He practised law in St. Johnís beginning in 1982. He has been a lecturer in property law at Cabot College and a lecturer in Law and Education at the Faculty of Education of Memorial University of Newfoundland. Mr. Ottenheimer was elected in St. Johnís East in the general elections of 1996, 1999 and 2003. He has served in the PC Caucus as the Chair of the Strategy Committee, the Chair of the PC Caucus and the critic for the portfolios of Education, Justice, Treasury Board, Mines and Energy, and Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs. He is a past Director and Fundraising Chairperson with the Newfoundland and Labrador Heart and Stroke Foundation; he served as Subcommittee Chairperson with the Law Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador; and he has served as Honourary Chair of the Eastern Avalon Chapter of the Crohnís and Colitis Foundation of Canada. Mr. Ottenheimer is married to Leona (King), a visual artist, of Long Harbour, Placentia Bay. They have four sons.
Born and raised in Gunners Cove, Trevor Taylor graduated from Truman Eddison Memorial in Gunners Cove in 1984 and attended Memorial University and the Marine Institute. He has been extensively involved in the fishery at several levels. He worked as a fishermen harvesting cod until the moratorium in 1992. He was skipper for three years of a 55-foot shrimp / crab boat Cullís Eclipse. He is a past executive board member of the Fish, Food and Allied Workersí Union and worked for six years as a staff member of the Union. He served two terms as a member of the Fisheries Resource Conservation Council. He taught off-campus fisheries courses for the Marine Institute. He served as a member of the Oxfam fisheries delegation to Nicaragua. He served on the boards of the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation, the St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc. (SABRI), and the White Bay North Rural Development Association. He was first elected to the House of Assembly in a by-election in The Straits & White Bay North on January 30, 2001 and subsequently served as the Opposition critic for Fisheries and Aquaculture and for Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs. Mr. Taylor and his wife, Michelle, have two children: Ian and Nicholas.
Former Premier, Progressive Conservative Party Leader, long-serving Cabinet Minister and veteran MHA Tom Rideout is a lawyer and former high school teacher who was born in 1948. Prior to entering politics in 1975, he was a teacher at St. Theresaís All-Grade School at Fleur de Lys and St. Pius X Central High School at Baie Verte, where he also served as vice-principal. He was elected to the House of Assembly by the people of Baie Verte-White Bay District in 1975, 1979, 1982, 1985 and 1989. In 1999 and 2003, he was elected to represent the people of Lewisporte District. While serving as MHA, Mr. Rideout was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier (1982-85), Minister of Culture, Recreation and Youth (1984-85), and Minister of Fisheries (1985-89). While a Cabinet Minister, he served on the Cabinet Committees for Social Policy, Resource Policy (Vice-Chair), Treasury Board, Research and Development, Fisheries Restructuring (Chair), and Planning and Priorities. In 1989, he was elected Leader of the Newfoundland and Labrador Progressive Conservative Party and, on March 22, 1989, became the provinceís fourth Premier since Confederation, and served in the First Ministerís post and as Intergovernmental Affairs Minister until May 5, 1989. From May 1989 until September 1991, he served as Leader of the Official Opposition. From 1991 to 1993, he served as a Member of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. In 1994, he enroled in the University of Ottawa law school, graduating in May 1997 with a Baccalaureate of Laws (LL.B.). While studying, he worked with Ottawaís Mike Bell and Associates and with the International Directorate of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. He articled in St. Johnís with Morris, Pittman, Powell (formerly Morris & Pittman). He was admitted to the Law Society of Newfoundland as a Barrister, Solicitor & Notary in June 1998, and served as an associate in the practice of law with Fraize Law Offices. Mr. Rideout has been heavily involved in the community in many capacities, and with community organizations including the Kinsmen Club of Canada, the Royal Canadian Legion and the Boy Scouts of Canada. He has served as the Opposition Justice critic, Deputy House Leader, a Member of the Strategy Committee and Chair of the Economic Development Committee of Caucus. Tom and his late wife, Jacinta, have four children.
Born in Baie Verte in 1959 and raised in a family of 12 children, Paul Shelley graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland with a conjoint Bachelor of Physical Education / Bachelor of Education degree. He began his career as a construction worker from 1977 to 1981. After graduating from Memorial, he served as Technical Director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Basketball Association in 1986-87. He worked as a teacher in Baie Verte from 1987 to 1989; served as Special Assistant to the Premier in 1989; and taught at R.T. Elementary in Baie Verte from 1989 to 1993. Mr. Shelley was elected to represent the former Baie Verte-White Bay and the current Baie Verte districts in 1993, 1996, 1999 and 2003. He has served as the Opposition critic for Works, Services and Transportation, Forest Resources and Agrifoods, Labrador Affairs, Post-secondary Education, Municipal and Provincial Affairs, Intergovernmental Affairs, and Mines and Energy. He also served as a member of the Public Accounts Committee, Deputy House Leader and Deputy Leader of the Opposition. Mr. Shelley is married to Beverly Whitten and they have three children - Maria, Laura and Adam.
Former Opposition Leader Loyola Sullivan, the son of a Newfoundland fisherman and one of 12 children, was born and raised in the Southern Shore fishing community of Calvert. He received his primary and elementary education at Calvert and attended high school at Ferryland where he graduated with honours at the top of his class. He went on to attend Memorial University, graduating with Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Education degrees. He was first elected to the House of Assembly in a by-election on June 25, 1992 and was re-elected in 1993, 1996, 1999 and 2003 as the member for the District of Ferryland. He served from 1996 to 1998 as Leader of the Official Opposition and the Interim Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party. He served in Opposition as Party Whip, Deputy House Leader, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, and critic for Health, Education, Finance and Treasury Board. He is a former high school teacher with extensive background in both private business and municipal government. He served as Mayor of Fermeuse from 1979 to 1982; Chairperson of the Southern Shore Primary Health Care Community Board from 1990 to 1992; and Area Coordinator of the Newfoundland and Labrador Summer Games. He has been involved in community sports organizations, having served as President of the Southern Shore Arena Association from 1988 to 1991; Southern Shore Recreation Director; and coach of 12 provincial high school championships in cross-country, wrestling and hockey. He has also served with the national Kinsmen organization and was elected to the organizationís highest office, National President, in 1986-87. Mr. Sullivan and his wife Verna (nee Walsh) have three children: Julie, Shelley, and Stefan. The Sullivans reside at Fermeuse.
Dianne Whalen served for 18 years as the Mayor of Paradise, and also worked as a director and finance chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Municipalities and a director of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. She was the vice-president of the Municipal Training Development Corporation, a chair of the North East Avalon Joint Councils, and a member of the subcommittee that rewrote the Municipalities Act. A former employee of the College of the North Atlanticís Student Services Division, Ms. Whalen has also been heavily involved in other areas of community service over the years. She is a past provincial director of the Heart and Stroke Foundation, chair of the War Memorial Committee, a Justice of the Peace, and a marriage commissioner. She also developed considerable expertise in labour relations as past president of Local 7853 of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE). Born in Come-By-Chance and raised in Port Blandford, Ms. Whalen has resided in Paradise for the past 38 years. The wife of the late Joseph Whalen, she is the mother of three and the grandmother of three.