Minister of Advanced Education and Skills
Minister Responsible for the Status of Persons with Disabilities
Member for St. George’s-Stephenville East.
Joan Shea was born and raised in Bishop's Falls, Newfoundland and Labrador. Settling in Stephenville, she was first elected to the House of Assembly in the District of St. George's - Stephenville East in October 2003.
Ms. Shea’s first Cabinet appointment was as Minister of Human Resources and Employment and Minister Responsible for the Status of Women in November 2003. In February 2004, her responsibilities expanded to include the newly formed Labour Relations Agency, the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation, and the Workplace Health and Safety Compensation Commission. At that time she was also named lead Minister for Immigration in the province. On November 8, 2005, Ms. Shea was appointed Minister of Education and Minister Responsible for the Status of Women.
Ms. Shea was re-elected to represent the District of St. George’s - Stephenville East on October 9, 2007. On October 30, 2007, Ms. Shea was again appointed as Minister of Education and Minister Responsible for the Status of Women.
In May, 2008, Ms. Shea was named Government House Leader, the first time a woman has been appointed to this position in the history of Newfoundland and Labrador.
In April, 2009, Ms. Shea was appointed Minister of Child, Youth and Family Services. In January, 2011, she was appointed Minister of Education.
Ms. Shea’s work in government is greatly supported by her prior educational and professional experience. In 1987 she graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work from Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador and obtained her Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto in 1990. Prior to entering public life she worked as a parole officer with the Correctional Services of Canada and served on the executive of the Union of Solicitor General Employees and as a Shop Steward for Local 90098. Ms. Shea has also spent many years volunteering for a variety of community events and initiatives.
On October 11, 2011, Ms. Shea was re-elected as the Member for St. George’s - Stephenville East. On Oct. 28, she became Minister of Advanced Education and Skills.