Skip to content

Message from AUNBT to members:

September 26, 2008

The following message was sent out to the membership earlier today:

Some days ago came the astounding news of the arrival at UNB, as “executive in residence”, of the provincial deputy minister associated most closely with the government’s ongoing attack on university autonomy. In response to enquiries from AUNBT, President McLaughlin told us that, whatever Nora Kelly’s UNB duties might prove to be, they would have nothing to do with issues of post-secondary education. He has since repeated that pledge to the Fredericton Senate and in the Brunswickan.

AUNBT welcomes the president’s information and awaits the promised details of what Nora Kelly actually will do. However, we remain concerned that this appointment originated in a political deal with the province. In announcing that deal, the premier said that Kelly would become “a very important conduit between the reforms we’re undertaking here through post-secondary education and the work that has to be undertaken at UNB”. The premier’s statement is wholly at variance with that of President McLaughlin.

Given the province’s disastrous but still current “Action Plan” for higher education, this contradiction is disturbing. Whether the premier’s account of the Kelly appointment was an exercise in wishful thinking or just face-saving, AUNBT members must remain vigilant.

Our PSE struggles are far from over.

  1. Linda Hansen permalink
    September 26, 2008 3:41 pm

    I may have missed this elsewhere but the Times Transcript is reporting:

    *The Liberal government gets to be its own “judge and jury” when it comes to questions over conflicts of interest and deputy ministers, charges the Opposition.

    Conservative Rothesay MLA Margaret-Ann Blaney said the only avenue open to the Opposition to ask for an investigation into questions of conflict of interest over the secondment of a deputy minister to the University of New Brunswick is to send a letter to the branch of government that approved the deal.

    “They get to be their own judge and jury,” she said.

    It was recently revealed that Nora Kelly, the deputy minister of post- secondary education, training and labour, is being seconded to the University of New Brunswick for two years. She will continue to receive her deputy minister’s salary while working for the university.

    Blaney stressed she has a lot of respect for Kelly.

    “This isn’t about Nora Kelly. This is about what has transpired and how this has unfolded,” she said.

    Blaney said at first she was going to send a letter to the province’s conflict of interest commissioner but realized he isn’t responsible for the legislation covering deputy ministers.

    She was then told she would have to send a letter listing any concerns to the clerk of the executive council office — the province’s top bureaucrat. However, the clerk oversaw the arrangement.

    “They’re policing themselves,” Blaney said. “That’s not an independent entity.”

    Although the province’s conflict of interest laws prevent a deputy minister from lobbying government for a contract on behalf of their new employer, Blaney said it’s unclear what, if any, rules Kelly would have to follow because she is still on government’s payroll.

    “That just opens up a whole bunch of questions. Nora Kelly was one of the chief architects of the post-secondary education second report. It has been an extremely contentious and sensitive issue in New Brunswick and particularly in Saint John,” said Blaney.

    A government official said they will wait until they receive a letter before commenting. *

  2. September 26, 2008 4:57 pm

    Thanks, Linda! Here is the link to the above-quoted article; it is also linked from the news page, and from this post.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: