July 23, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - Environment Minister T.J. Burke has stepped down from his duties as minister, effective immediately, to return to the practice of law. He will continue to serve as MLA for Fredericton-Nashwaaksis.
"Stepping down as minister was a very difficult decision for me to make," said Burke. "I've enjoyed my role as minister, and have been very grateful for the chance to serve the people of New Brunswick as a member of the Executive Council. I am resigning to return to my law practice. This decision will allow me to remain in public life and continue to serve the residents of Fredericton-Nashwaaksis in the legislature."
"It's with a great deal of regret that I accept T.J.'s resignation from cabinet," said Premier Shawn Graham. "He has been a great minister and cabinet colleague, and strove every day to serve his departments and the interests of all New Brunswickers. I know this wasn't an easy decision for him to make, but I am very pleased he will continue to serve with us as a valued member of our government caucus."
Fredericton-Silverwood MLA Rick Miles has been named to succeed Burke as minister of environment. He will be sworn in as minister at 2 p.m., Friday, July 24, at the legislative assembly.
"I am pleased to welcome Rick to cabinet as environment minister, and I know he will continue the legacy of great and conscientious service he has shown as an MLA and as caucus chair," said Graham.
Miles was elected to the legislative assembly in September 2006 as member for Fredericton-Silverwood. He joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1990, and served overseas in Germany. He attended the University of New Brunswick, graduated with honours from the Moncton Flight College as a commercial pilot in 2003, and worked for private business in Fredericton. As an MLA, he was chair of the government caucus, chair of the Crown Corporations Committee, and vice-chair of Public Accounts and Estimates. He is married to Cindy (Comeau) and they have one son, Jack.
Burke was first elected to the legislature in June 2003, and re-elected in September 2006. He was sworn in as attorney general and minister of justice and consumer affairs on Oct. 3, 2006, and was named environment minister on June 22, 2009. He served in the United States military with the 82nd Airborne Division. After graduating from the University of New Brunswick in arts, and from Dalhousie University in law, he practised law in Fredericton. He and his wife, Tanya, have three daughters, Ashley, Molly and Cindy.
"On behalf of myself and all his colleagues in caucus and around the cabinet table, I want to thank T.J. for his commitment to the people of our province as minister," said Graham. "I know he will continue to work hard for his constituents and all New Brunswickers as a member of caucus."
EDITOR'S NOTE: Graham and Burke will be available to media at 3:30 p.m. TODAY, in front of Room 209, Centennial Building, 670 King St., Fredericton. MEDIA CONTACT: Marie-Andrée Bolduc, communications, Office of the Premier, 506-444-2286.