By JIM HILDEBRAND
PROVINCIAL — Derrick Dalley, MHA for the riding of The Isles of Notre Dame, has had a meteoric rise through the ranks of politics.
First elected in 2007 where he defeated then Liberal party leader Gerry Reid by only 12 votes, he has held several prominent positions in the Progressive Conservative government. Under former Premier Danny Williams he was appointed the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Education. He was also appointed vice-chair of the Public Accounts Committee in 2008. After Premier Williams’ resignation the leadership of the party was passed to Kathy Dunderdale. Minister Dalley received his first cabinet position, appointed Minister of Business in January 2011.
As the Conservative Party went to the polls in 2011, Minister Dalley’s seat was reconfirmed by the electorate this time building on his success in the District and soundly defeating liberal candidate Danny Dumaresque by a margin of almost 1,700 votes.
In October 2011 Premier Dunderdale appointed Minister Dalley as the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation.
During this period Minister Dalley was a strong advocate of tourism in The Isles of Notre Dame District as well as the province as a whole. He emphasized the need for the cooperation of all stakeholders to unite in an effort to build an even more successful industry and at the same time to ensure that high standards were being established to make the tourists stay in the province a memorable occasion.
“The fisheries continue to be important to the province with 20,000 people working in it and many rural communities and certainly communities in my district are dependant on the fishery.” - — Derrick Dalley
During a cabinet shuffle by Premier Dunderdale in October 2012, he was appointed Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture. In a province where the issues surrounding the fishing industry are often highly contentious Minister Dalley is diving into the job with a positive outlook.
“I’m excited to be the new Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture for the province,” he said. “The fisheries are such an important part of our province — our history, our heritage and certainly our future. It has tremendous influence in our rural communities and to be able to represent rural communities and head a department that has such importance in our district and the province is a great honour.
“The fisheries are extremely valuable to this province and we are very apt to look at the challenges in the provinces in the fisheries and often times we neglect to consider the positive. The fisheries continue to be important to the province with 20,000 people working in it and many rural communities and certainly communities in my district are dependant on the fishery. Obviously within that we want to work together and try to build a sustainable fishery where we consider the stewardship, the management and the leadership that is needed in this industry. I’m excited to be part of that.”
His first day on the job, Minister Dalley was introduced to some of the challenges in the industry — the OCI and Fortune issue.