Hal Perry out, Tina Mundy, Robert Henderson in after P.E.I. cabinet shuffle

Teresa Wright
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Hal Perry is no longer P.E.I.’s minister of education as part of a cabinet shuffle today at Government House.

Perry was the only minister to be shuffled out.

Doug Currie has replaced him as Minister of Education, Early Learning and Culture.

Premier Wade MacLauchlan firmly denied any suggestion Perry was removed over a concern over his performance in cabinet.

“You’re always working with the fit and the team to go forward. In the case of Minister Perry, what I’ve said and I say with all sincerity, we appreciate his leadership,” MacLauchlan said.

“He’s been through two legislative sessions… and, in fact, has been the focus of much of the attention and he has led the structural changes in educational governance. I absolutely appreciate the work that he has done in leading that work."

The premier noted education is undergoing major structural changes and that Currie has been provided with a mandate letter that has been “substantially revised” from the letter provided to Perry last May.

Currie, who formerly led both Health and Wellness and Family and Human Services, has been replaced by two returning faces to MacLauchlan’s cabinet.

O’Leary-Inverness MLA Robert Henderson, who served as tourism minister under Robert Ghiz’s administration and briefly under Maclauchlan’s leadership before the spring election was called, is now the province’s Minister of Health and Wellness.

He admits he was ‘shocked’ when he got the call from the premier Wednesday.

“I guess shocked would be the term,” he laughed.

“I really didn’t expect it. I wasn’t hearing any issues of shuffles or anything of that nature.”

He said when he first answered the phone, he thought it would be to cancel a trip to Colorado he was scheduled to take as the member of the legislative standing committee on agriculture.

“I was kind of surprised to get appointed to an executive council position.”

Henderson has been on the Liberal backbench since the provincial election and told The Guardian last fall he did not believe he would ever be back in cabinet.

Also returning to cabinet from the backbench is Summerside-St. Eleanor’s MLA Tina Mundy, who has been sworn in as Minister of Family and Human Services.

RELATED: P.E.I. MLA Tina Mundy resigns from cabinet

Mundy was originally named to cabinet after MacLauchlan’s Liberals won the May 4 election, but was removed one day later over a personal financial matter.

MacLauchlan says this has since been resolved and says he welcomes her return to his cabinet table.

“As a single mom, I’ve been working through financial issues for many, many years,” Mundy told reporters.

“I had to take a step back in May and address those issues and with the support of the premier, with the support of my family and with the support of hundreds, if not thousands, of Islanders I was able to address those challenges and so now I’m going to move forward.”

This marks MacLauchlan’s fourth cabinet swearing-in since first taking office last February, after the resignation of former premier Robert Ghiz.

Thursday’s cabinet shuffle also comes just seven months after the provincial election and increases the size of the provincial cabinet by one to a total of 10, including the premier.

MacLauchlan says he felt the beginning of a new year was a good time to refresh his executive council.

“We’re looking at our first opportunity to have 12 months to work together, we’ll have a couple of legislative sessions, we have a large policy agenda to develop and bring forward to the house,” MacLauchlan said.

“As we look at the economy of Canada and the world on a day by day basis, we can see that are large challenges for the government and, frankly, for the people to see that we as a government have a plan going forward into these 12 months and that we have the team that’s going to do that work.”

But Opposition Leader Jamie Fox says the multiple changes to MacLauchlan’s cabinet within the last year reflect what he believes is ‘disarray’ in government.

Fox also noted this latest shuffle grows the size of cabinet at a time when some programs and services are being cut.

“What we are hearing from the public and the public service is a concern that more and more power is being centralized in the premier’s hands,” Fox said in a statement.

“There’s also a growing sense that government is a one man show so who sits around the cabinet table doesn’t really matter.”




Organizations: Government House

Geographic location: Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • Islander
    January 07, 2016 - 19:59

    Very easy to see Premier Wade runs the show and if someone bucks him you are gone. He likes everything his way and becomes irate when someone does something against his vision. The Premier did not clean up and mess left over from the last Government. He still has Ministers in cabinet that were a big part of the egaming and PNP, all of which to date has been covered up. Shameful The Premier is not fooling anyone, just watch the body language. Jamie Fox , you dissappointed Islanders for your apology to the Premier when he was evasive about the egaming fiasco. You should of walked out and left the record as is. We will nenver see a balanced budget. Cabinet should not have been increased after their raise

  • dawn
    January 07, 2016 - 19:57

    Well isn't this just great! Didn't Henderson spend us dry with all the 2015 celebrations? Now he has the check book to spend even more on the 2017 celebrations..... and Currie made a huge mess with education the last time.....looks good on Perry tho!!

  • Regular Joe
    Regular Joe
    January 07, 2016 - 19:37

    Looks like they just loosened up the manure pile

  • don
    January 07, 2016 - 16:34

    Carolyn Bertram would be better then tina at least he has some knowledge and has done a few things right. God help us please.

    • Really???
      January 07, 2016 - 21:01

      Carolyn Bertram isn't an MLA any more.

  • no thanks
    January 07, 2016 - 15:07

    relax -- they're just more barrel dipping political gofundmes

  • Indigo
    January 07, 2016 - 15:02

    Oh that Premier, he is card isn't he? Imagine springing this on us while we are waking up from the Christmas stupor. But of course he was forced into action, when Hal Perry suddenly resigned, - what could he do? Throw in that Mundle had been rehabilitated and been promised back into the fold at such time, the Premier drew it all together. That it will add another couple of hundred thousand a year to give her a gig is besides the point, - the well has no bottom. Smooth, Wade, smooth ---

  • David W. Turner CET, CBI
    January 07, 2016 - 15:01

    Doug Currie did a excellent job in the Health and Wellnessportfolio, as he had this job twice. He will do an equally good job in Education, which again he did before. I feel that the Health portfolio, is the hardest in government Thank you Doug for your fine and dedicated service.to our province. David T

  • taxpayer
    January 07, 2016 - 14:53

    Spare me the single MOM crap, - it was a matter of being up front, and managing ones financial affairs properly. Integrity one might call it. I don't care what kind of spin the Premier puts on things, but a Minister of the Crown should at least be seen as having integrity. When I think of Henderson I always get a vision of a cross between a board and a fox. It appears that the Premier's self praise about having a small cabinet is evaporating in favour of saddling the taxpayers with one more mouth (plus fringe benefits) to feed and pension off. Thanks for nothing Wade.

  • Tulpa
    January 07, 2016 - 14:28

    I think a government should explain why they do things, I see no explanation here.

  • MFH
    January 07, 2016 - 14:25

    The $49,000.00 a year pay raise should also help single mother Tina Mundy's bottom line also. I hope she does a good job like she did in Summerside town council.

    • don
      January 07, 2016 - 16:36

      what did she do in the city?? besides getting money from the tax payers of the city?

  • Garth Staples
    January 07, 2016 - 14:20

    Is there a Liberal spin here? Hal resigned? No. He was fired.

  • Kyle
    January 07, 2016 - 11:53

    If Hal resigned because he thought he wasn`t up to it. Good for him, it`s better than hanging on just to get the bigger pay . (I think there could be some school closing up near tignish )

    • martin
      January 07, 2016 - 15:41

      KYLE:If you think Hal resigned, then I can sell you some land in Florida. If you saw Hal in the house you could predict King Wade was going to dump him.

    • Kyle
      January 07, 2016 - 20:35

      Martin.he could of seen the writing on the wall and resigned ahead of the storm.Do you think he should of been kept on even if he was having trouble ?

  • West prince political observer
    January 07, 2016 - 11:15

    Good that Hal has realized his own incompetence and removed himself from cabinet. Will now have more time to operate his taxi service.Mundy will spice things up in the cabinet room. Summerside now has a voice at the table

  • Not Much Loss
    January 07, 2016 - 10:40

    Not much loss with Perry , he crossed the floor & got elected again , so has his goal reached . A government pension . The rest of the blunder is just to throw people off the recently discovered SLUSH fund issue .

  • Regular Joe
    Regular Joe
    January 07, 2016 - 10:34

    Resigned now that's a nice way of saying your not qualified for the job ..lol . How's that slide across the floor looking now ,seems your not the hero anymore ..lol

    January 07, 2016 - 10:33

    Hal didn't resign, he was forced out to make room for Currie. To be fair, Hal certainly didn't excel as a minister. Tina Mundy should have been the education minister from the beginning and Henderson should have been a minister as he was their best minister in the last government. MacLauchlan certainly hasn't excelled either and I don't think he has what it takes to be Premier.

    • Cromwell
      January 07, 2016 - 11:50

      '... I don't think he has what it takes to be Premier' I'm intrigued. What does it actually take to be Premier of PEI? Relevant political experience - MacLauchlan has none. Business understanding and competence - MacLauchlan has none. Recognition of Islanders needs - MacLauchlan has none. Recognizable family name - okay, you got me, if this is the most important criterium, then MacLauchlan is up for the job, but it is truly a sad commentary on the state of Island politics.

    • martin
      January 07, 2016 - 12:16

      I disagree as Henderson had an easy portfolio in Tourism.Over and above the Tourism budget , he had 30m in which no one has any idea where the money was spent. Other than Doug Currie the rest are pretty thin. Notice it takes two to replace Dougie, should have been Premier.

    • Fed up
      January 07, 2016 - 18:43

      Currie did a good job when Education Minister....total crap at Health Minister.....as for being premier? He needs to up his personality to be anything. Never met the man but he was an arrogant holier than thou guy! From watching Wade, so far, ANYONE would have been a better Premier! Like Trudeau...a rich kid born with a silver spoon! They kicked Ghiz to the curb...put Wade in...he's even worse! A total control freak!