14 July 2005

Now that I have your attention

Leslie Galway is an accomplished senior executive with extensive experience in the province's energy sector both from her time at the Public Utilities Board and from her time at the Newfoundland Ocean industries Association (NOIA).

Off the top of my head, I can think of three jobs where her talents would be much better applied than as deputy minister of a department that really shouldn't exist in the first place and which, all things considered, still doesn't really have a clearly defined mandate.

1. Chair and chief executive officer of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board. The job is available. There is an active competition to fill the post. While the competition may be stiff, the CNLOPB job is one that Leslie could handle in spades and make a solid contribution. She may languish in the Business department, but at CNLOPB she could sink her teeth in.

2. Deputy Minister of Natural Resources. I know the job isn't open, but the Prem can easily re-assign people. Again, this is a place where Leslie's experience and ability are natural matches with the job and the department.

3. Energy Policy. There still isn't a comprehensive provincial energy policy. Leslie would be one strong choice to chair a small team to put the policy together. If that wasn't in the cards, then the provincial government could create a small policy section, headed by Galway, to focus on future development of the offshore in all its dimensions. There's a job where, again, Leslie could shine based on her background and her most recent experience. If we want to develop the oil business for the province, then there is a need for something like the old petroleum policy section. Let's revamp it and put Leslie in charge.

In her new job, Leslie is going to be basically following the Premier's lead because the Business department really plays to the Prem's personal strong suit. She might find it a bit limiting, but while she may rise to the challenge, I think we could better apply someone like Leslie Galway in public service than the new job she now faces.