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Building experience

Placentia West-Bellevue MHA Mark Browne is just a little over a month into his new role as Premier Dwight Ball’s parliamentary assistant.


He was appointed to the position in mid-December.

“It has been one month and two days since we were sworn in,” Browne told The Southern Gazette on Wednesday.

“I am quite happy with the job of MHA, I mean the greatest honour that I could have been given has been given to me by the people of Placentia West-Bellevue but then that the premier of Newfoundland and Labrador saw fit to ask me to become his parliamentary assistant, you know at that high level it is also quite an honour as well.”

Given the duties of MHA for the district, coupled with his additional responsibilities as assistant to the premier, the last month has been a busy one, Browne said.

“I have to attend necessary briefings, I have to provide my counsel and advice to the premier on certain issues, and there is also a managerial aspect ... with some of the political staff and the running of the caucus office,” he said.

Browne said it is a big undertaking, but he is looking forward to the challenges that come with the role. It will give him an added opportunity to make some positive changes, he said.

“I can’t help but think that it won’t hurt my district,” he explained. “It gives me access to a lot of different issues and information that will positively affect my district.”

Some people have commented that former premiers of the province once found themselves in the same role he is serving, Browne said.

“A lot of people have made comments to me the Brian Peckford and Roger Grimes started out in this position as well,” he said.

“For me, I am not looking any further ahead than the next for years because I want to do a good job as MHA. I didn’t expect this appointment but the premier asked me to serve and I graciously accepted it.”

Browne won Placentia West-Bellevue for the Liberals in last fall’s provincial election, becoming the youngest person elected to the House of Assembly.

Kevin Aylward, who was 24-years-old when he served as an MHA in 1985, held the distinction previously.


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