Justice Minister John Hogan tapped as interim health minister as Tom Osborne retires

John Hogan is the Minister for Justice and Public Safety. He says this additional funding is long overdue.  (Mark Quinn/CBC - image credit)
John Hogan is the Minister for Justice and Public Safety. He says this additional funding is long overdue. (Mark Quinn/CBC - image credit)
John Hogan is the Minister for Justice and Public Safety. He says this additional funding is long overdue.
John Hogan is the Minister for Justice and Public Safety. He says this additional funding is long overdue.

Justice Minister John Hogan has been appointed as the interim minister of health and community services, filling the role vacated by former MHA Tom Osborne. (Mark Quinn/CBC)

In addition to John Hogan's other roles in the Newfoundland and Labrador government, he will now be filling in as the interim health and community services minister.

Hogan, the MHA for Windsor Lake, will continue in his roles of attorney general and justice and public safety minister. He's also government House leader and minister responsible for the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Office.

"We are fortunate to have someone with his keen intellect and work ethic provide direction to both the justice and public safety portfolio as well as health and community services," Premier Andrew Furey said in a statement Monday morning.

"I look forward to working with him in his new role."

Hogan is taking over the cabinet position previously held by Waterford Valley MHA Tom Osborne, who retired Friday.

At an unrelated news conference last week, Furey told reporters there has been "good interest" from candidates who would like to run in the Waterford Valley district to replace Osborne. He also said the vacancy will be filled in a byelection, not rolled into a general election.

"We've got an aggressive agenda to complete, and I have over a year left in my mandate to do so," said Furey.

NDP Torngat Mountains MHA Lela Evans said the province should have a minister dedicated to the portfolio rather than an appointment on an interim basis, especially at a time when many people don't have a family doctor and the provincial government is trying to recruit more health-care workers.

"Our health-care system is in crisis mode, and this crisis has been ongoing for several years. People in my district have been dying of treatable diseases because they can't get access to the services they need," she said in a statement early Monday afternoon.

Furey had several months to decide on Osborne's replacement, she added.

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