Perry comments on his departure from cabinet

Eric McCarthy
Published on January 8, 2016

Premier Wade MacLauchlan looks on as Education Minister Hal Perry discusses changes announced on Thursday to the delivery of education in the province.

©Heather Taweel/The Guardian

Says he is very, very happy, blessed to be doing work in his in his constituency of Tignish-Palmer Road

TIGNISH – Tignish-Palmer Road MLA Hal Perry said Friday he is not losing any sleep over Premier Wade MacLauchlan’s decision to remove him from cabinet.

“The premier made the decision to change things up a little bit,” Perry said in a telephone interview.

“It depends on what the agenda is moving forward, and the premier believed, moving forward, that the decisions he made would assist with that, and I respect that. I really do respect that,” Perry added.

Happy in his constituency

 “I am where I am supposed to be, which is still the MLA for Tignish-Palmer Road, something that I am very, very happy and blessed to be doing. It is probably the favourite thing I’ve ever done in my life.”

Perry’s career in provincial politics started out as a Progressive Conservative MLA but partway through his first term he crossed the floor of the legislature and joined the Liberals. Leading up to last spring’s provincial election, he won the Liberal nomination for Tignish-Palmer Road over the former Liberal cabinet minister he had unseated in the previous election, and went on to reclaim the seat.

He was passed over when the post-election cabinet was selected, but was handed the Education, Early Learning and Culture ministry the following day when the premier’s first choice for the position, Tina Mundy, stepped down. Mundy is now back in cabinet but in a different department.

Perry endorsed the premier’s choice to replace him. “By putting Doug (Currie) into Education at this time, with the experience and knowledge he has, it’s a good fit,” he acknowledged. He noted Currie has been Minister of Education in the past and has a background as a teacher and administrator.

“Now we hand the torch over for the next leg.” He had no response when asked whether there is something particularly challenging on the horizon that requires Currie’s leadership, but offered up this assessment of the department’s new minister: “He has that background and he has the capabilities of moving forward with the new education system.”

Perry described his term as a cabinet minister an honor.

“Not every MLA gets the opportunity to sit in cabinet. It gave me an opportunity to really gain a lot of knowledge and to see things from a different perspective and how they work at the top level,” he acknowledged. “I’m grateful to have had that opportunity. That may again arise, but, at this time, I am quite content to be the MLA for Tignish-Palmer Road. I will do my best to help out my constituents and fulfill their needs and expectations.”