Office of the Premier

Blood services task force appointed (09/04/07)

NB 450

April 7, 2009

FREDERICTON (CNB) - Members of a task force on blood services were announced today by Premier Shawn Graham and Opposition Leader David Alward.

On Sunday, April 5, the government and the official Opposition announced that they would appoint a non-partisan task force to work to reverse the decision of Canadian Blood Services (CBS) to cease operating a blood-product processing and distribution centre in Saint John. This followed the unanimous vote in favour of an opposition motion in the legislative assembly on Thursday, April 2, urging all levels of government to work together to preserve the CBS operations that currently exist in Saint John.

"It is critical for New Brunswickers that this decision be reversed," said Graham. "That is why I have reached out to my colleagues in opposition. We must put partisanship aside and work quickly to get this done."

"I am pleased that the government has agreed to this collaborative approach," said Opposition leader, David Alward. "This is an important issue and we believe that by working together, we can make a real difference in the lives of New Brunswickers."

Representing the government caucus will be Donald Arseneault (MLA for Dalhousie-Restigouche East, and minister of post-secondary education, training and labour), and Stuart Jamieson (MLA for Saint John-Fundy, and minister of tourism and parks). Representing the Opposition caucus will be Margaret-Ann Blaney (MLA for Rothesay) and Claude Landry (MLA for Tracadie-Sheila).

The task force will meet with experts and stakeholders in the community, CBS, and others as necessary to reach its objective of having CBS reverse its restructuring decisions with respect to New Brunswick.


EDITOR'S NOTE: Biographical information on task force members follows. MEDIA CONTACTS: Communications, Office of the Premier, 506-453-2144; Tyler Campbell, communications, Office of the official Opposition, 506-453-7494.

Biographical information on task force members

Donald Arseneault (Liberal/Dalhousie-Restigouche East)

Donald Arseneault was first elected to the legislative assembly of New Brunswick in the provincial election held June 9, 2003. He was re-elected Sept. 18, 2006. On Oct. 3, 2006, he was sworn in as a member of the Executive Council and appointed minister of natural resources. He served in this capacity until Nov. 12, 2008, when he was appointed minister of post-secondary education, training and labour.

While a member of the fficial Opposition, he was the critic for interests relating to tourism, human resources, intergovernmental affairs and international relations and the Regional Development Corporation. He also served as caucus chair. He was a member of the Standing Committee on Crown Corporations, and vice-president of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie for New Brunswick.

He was born in Dalhousie, New Brunswick, and is the son of Jacques Arseneault of Balmoral, and Ghislaine Godin of Maisonnette. A graduate of Polyvalente Aux quatre vents, he studied business administration for two years at the Université de Moncton before moving on to the Dieppe Community College, where he completed the three-year co-op marketing program.

He returned home to serve as an economic development officer with the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Culture in Dalhousie.

During this time, he became the first person in New Brunswick to earn the certification of business retention and expansion master consultant through Business Retention and Expansion International (BREI), a nonprofit professional association of economic development professionals working for the advancement of business retention and expansion (BR&E) as an economic development strategy for communities. He co-ordinated efforts to put in place the BR&E program in six pilot communities in New Brunswick, including one in Dalhousie.

He transferred to the Department of Training and Employment Development as the marketing director with the NBCC-Dieppe, and later returned to northern New Brunswick as a marketing and communications adviser with the Mouvement des caisses populaires acadienes.

He has been active in his community, where he has coached little league baseball and softball at both Dalhousie high schools. He was a member of the Dalhousie Business Improvement Area Corp., Business Retention and Expansion International, and the Dalhousie Chamber of Commerce.

Arseneault and his wife, Misty McAllister, of Nash Creek, have two young sons, Matthew and Madison.

Margaret-Ann Blaney (Progressive Conservative/Rothesay)

Margaret-Ann Blaney was born in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. She is an honours graduate of Memorial University where she received her degree and did post-graduate work in social work and psychology.

Blaney has had a long-standing interest in politics. From 1982-93 she worked as a political reporter for a number of private radio and television stations, including CTV and CBC.

In 1994, she and her husband started their own small business, the Atlantic Veterinary Hospital in Rothesay. She was active in the business as co-owner/general manager until June 1999.

She was elected to the legislature as MLA for Saint John-Kings on June 7, 1999. She was the minister of transportation from June 1999 until October 2001. On June 21, 1999, she was appointed minister responsible for the status of women, which she held for seven years. She was appointed minister of public safety in October 2001. She was appointed as minister of training and employment development and labour upon her re-election in 2003. She was re-elected Sept. 18, 2006, to the new electoral district of Rothesay. She is the Opposition critic for the department of health.

As an active member, Blaney has been involved with a number of community organizations, including the Kidney New Brunswick Foundation Campaign, the Aquatic Centre, a member of Rotary, the Children's Miracle Network Telethon, board member of the Joshua Group, committee member of the Daffodil Ball-Canadian Cancer Society, Saint John Community Loan Fund, Community Living Association., annual participant in the St. Joseph's Hospital Dragon Boat Race, honorary chair of First Steps, and honorary chair of the 2005 CIBC Run for the Cure. She received a national award from the Muriel McQueen Ferguson Foundation for the work she has done on the issue of violence against women, and has been named a cabinet member of the Muriel McQueen Foundation.

Blaney and her husband have a son and a daughter, and reside in Rothesay.

Stuart Jamieson (Liberal/Saint John-Fundy)

Frank Stuart Jamieson was born Oct. 22, 1951, in Saint John. After attending local schools, he attended the Saint John Institute of Technology, now the Saint John Community College.

A self-employed carpenter, he was first elected to the legislative assembly Oct. 13, 1987, as the Liberal Party representative for the constituency of Saint John-Fundy. He was re-elected in the Sept. 23, 1991, and the Sept. 11, 1995, general elections. He was appointed government whip in November 1995. He was appointed minister of state for rural development on June 23, 1997, and minister of agriculture and rural development on May 12, 1998.

He was re-elected to the legislative assembly June 9, 2003, and as a member of the official Opposition he was the critic for areas of interest related to the environment. He was a member of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.

During his earlier terms in the legislature, he served on the Standing Committee on Estimates and the Special Committee on Social Policy Development. He was vice-chair of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.

Jamieson was re-elected in the provincial election held Sept. 18, 2006. He was sworn in as minister of tourism and parks and government house leader on Oct. 3, 2006. He served in that capacity until Oct. 16, 2007. He chairs the Standing Committee on Privileges, and is regional minister for southern New Brunswick.

He was a member of the Rural Advisory Committee to the minister of state for rural development Canada. He helped initiate the Scenic Route Program for the province, and he initiated the returnable bottle program. He is actively involved in building and developing the Fundy Trail between St. Martins and Fundy National Park.

Jamieson and his wife, Martha, live in Saint John and are the parents of three children, Michelle, Holly and Simon.

Claude Landry (Progressive Conservative/Tracadie-Sheila)

Claude Landry was elected to the legislative assembly of New Brunswick in the provincial election held Sept. 18, 2006.

Landry is currently a member of the legislature's Standing Committee on Estimates and Standing Committee on Law Amendments. He is opposition critic for areas of interest related to education.

Landry was born on April 29, 1955 in Tracadie. His parents, Bernadette and Emile Landry, had eight children. He has a twin brother, Paul.

He graduated from Polyvalente W.-A. Losier in Tracadie in 1973, andobtained a diploma of health sciences degree from the Université de Moncton in 1976, and his doctor of dental surgery from Université de Montréal in 1982. He practiced as a dentist in Tracadie-Sheila from 1982-91 and in Neguac from 1991 to 2001.

Landry was a member of the Tracadie-Sheila municipal council from 1992-95. He served as a member of the board of several organizations: Jeux de l'Acadie as chef de mission for the Grand Falls games in 1992; the Musée historique de Tracadie; the comité sauvegarde de l'hôpital de Tracadie; and as a member of the Coopérative funéraire la Colombe.

From 2001-06 he was the executive assistant to Minister of Health and Wellness Elvy Robichaud.