Executive Council / Office of the Premier

New deputy ministers of Social Development, Tourism and Parks appointed (07/12/19)

NB 1638

Dec. 19, 2007

FREDERICTON (CNB) -- James Hughes has been appointed deputy minister of Social Development and Ellen Barry as deputy minister of Tourism and Parks, Premier Shawn Graham announced today.

The current director general of the Old Brewery Mission in Montreal, Hughes will assume his new duties on March 31, 2008. Barry, presently serving as assistant deputy minister responsible for the North American Division of Intergovernmental Affairs, will assume her duties effective immediately.

In addition, legislation has been introduced to change the name of the Department of Family and Community Services to the Department of Social Development effective Dec. 18.

"James Hughes has established an enviable reputation as a dedicated professional and advocate for the homeless in Montreal and Quebec," Graham said. "As we work to make our province self-sufficient, we will be counting on his knowledge and experience as deputy minister of Social Development to build stronger programs and support for all New Brunswickers in need."

A Montreal native, the fluently bilingual Hughes put aside his legal career to work in the community-services sector. Prior to joining the Old Brewery Mission in early 2004, he was the founder and president of Youth Employment Services in Montreal and spent two years as executive director of EPOC Montreal, a leading training organization for young adults on social assistance who have not completed their basic education. As head of the Old Brewery Mission, the largest organization serving homeless men and women in the province of Quebec, Hughes helped transform the way the mission works with homeless people in the city.

"His dedication to those most vulnerable in our society and his innovative approach to breaking the cycle of homelessness has dramatically changed the way we serve this segment of our population," said Ron Lawless, president of the Old Brewery Mission's board of directors.

A bilingual career public servant, Barry has extensive experience throughout government and recently worked as the assistant deputy minister for Minerals, Policy and Planning Division in the Department of Natural Resources where she was responsible for marketing the province as a destination for mineral, oil and gas exploration. A graduate of the University New Brunswick, Barry has worked in the Departments of Health, Finance and Natural Resources During her career with the New Brunswick public service, she chaired multi-stakeholder committees that saw the implementation of pay equity in Part 1 of the public service as well the implementation of the Protected Natural Areas Act.

"Tourism is integral to our self-sufficiency agenda," Graham said. "Every year, thousands of visitors are attracted to our beautiful province, creating jobs that are vital to our rural economy. Every year we must compete with other provinces and countries to make sure we position New Brunswick as the place to visit and spend time. We will be depending on Ellen to lead the revitalization of our key tourism infrastructure."

Barry also works through the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) as part of the CIDA-funded Public Sector Capacity Building and Good Governance Program in Mali, West Africa, leading a team of senior health professionals from the Beauséjour and Acadie-Bathurst Health Regions.

In addition to a new name, the Department of Social Development has received an expanded mandate which will place a focus on providing services to New Brunswickers in need while transforming the way the department operates from a passive "welfare" approach to one based on active social development.

"Our mandate as the Department of Social Development is to provide services to the most vulnerable groups in our society. These groups include children, women, youth, people with disabilities and senior citizens," Social Development Minister Mary Schryer said. "This goes further than just providing services to these groups. We must engage and empower these communities to actively participate in improving their own quality of life and building self-reliance.

"In developing and engaging our most vulnerable New Brunswickers, we will not only build a more self-sufficient province, but a more caring society as well."

As the new deputy minister of Social Development, Hughes will replace Edith Doucet, who was appointed acting deputy minister of Family and Community Services in September. Doucet is assistant deputy minister of program development and monitoring for the department. Barry will replace Ronald Durelle, who was appointed acting deputy minister of Tourism and Parks in September. Durelle is assistant deputy minister of corporate operations with the department.

"I'd like to personally thank Edith Doucet and Ron Durelle for taking on the duties of acting deputy minister for their respective departments over the past few months," Graham said. "They are both talented and experienced senior managers who have performed this important role with the grace and efficiency for which our public service is known."


MEDIA CONTACTS: Marie-Andrée Bolduc, communications, Office of the Premier, 506-444-2286; Shannon Hagerman, communications, Social Development, 506-444-2416; Danielle McFarlane, communications, Tourism and Parks, 506-444-4454.