Joan Shea is a former Canadian politician and Cabinet minister in Newfoundland and Labrador. From 2003 to 2014 Shea served as the member of the House of Assembly (MHA) for the district of St. George's-Stephenville East. Shea was the first person holding a BSW to serve in the NL legislature. Shea was also the first woman to serve as Government House Leader in the province's history.
During her entire career as a MHA she served as a minister in the Cabinets of Danny Williams, Kathy Dunderdale and Tom Marshall. Shea held the posts of Minister of Education, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment, Minister of Child, Youth and Family Services and Minister Responsible for the Status of Women. During her political career, Shea was also responsible for Newfoundland and Labrador Housing, the Labour Relations Agency, and Workplace Health and Safety Commission.
As Minister, Shea was instrumental in the establishment of the newly created Department of Child, Youth and Family Services and also lead the development of the Department of Advanced Education and Skills.
Before entering politics she worked as a Parole Officer with the Correctional Service of Canada in Ontario and Newfoundland. Shea holds a BSW from Memorial University and an MSW from the University of Toronto.
Shea was elected to politics in the 2003 election as a member of the Progressive Conservative Party. Following the election she was sworn into Cabinet as the Minister of Human Resources and Employment and as the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women. In 2005 Premier Danny Williams appointed Shea as the Minister of Education. In the 2007 general election Shea was re-elected with 75% of the vote, up from 53% in 2003. Shea remained as Minister of Education following the election and in May 2008 was also named Government House Leader, becoming the first woman appointed to this position in the history of the province.
In April 2009, she was appointed minister of the newly created Department of Child, Youth, and Family Services. She became the acting minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment in December 2010, and the following month she was re-appointed as Minister of Education.
Shea's name has been mentioned as a possible leader of the Progressive Conservatives and following the resignation of Premier Williams it was thought that Shea may try and succeed him.
Following the 2011 provincial election Shea was appointed the minister of the newly created Department of Advanced Education and Skills. The new department combines the post-secondary education component of the Department of Education and most of the former Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment. She resigned from politics on June 2, 2014.
|Progressive Conservative||Joan Burke||2,104||49.29%||–|
|Progressive Conservative||Joan Burke||3143||74.74%||–|
|Progressive Conservative||Joan Burke||2,927||52.63%||–|
- "Premier Announces Changes to Cabinet". Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. 9 April 2009. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- Gale, Frank (30 October 2011). "Burke ready to take on new challenges". The Western Star. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- "Joan Shea stepping down as MHA". CBC News. 2 June 2014. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
- Newfoundland & Labrador Votes 2007. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved May 22, 2009.
- Newfoundland & Labrador Votes 2003. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved May 22, 2009.