Fresh air?

Yesterday, the provincial government announced climate action secretariat head Graham Whitmarsh would be appointed finance deputy minister effective April 1. That appointment isn't quite as surprising as when Jessica McDonald - a former ministry of environment, lands and parks manager and land management consultant - was named the premier's deputy minister. Nevertheless, unlike finance's present top bureaucrat Chris Trumpy, Mr. Whitmarsh isn't a career civil servant. So his resume does warrant scrutiny.

Prior to joining the bureaucracy in May 2007, spent at least 14 years working in the airline information technology and aerospace industries. Most recently, Mr. Whitmarsh - a former Royal Navy submariner - was on Harmony Airways's payroll. That's the now defunct full-service airline whose president was former Campbell administration finance minister Gary Collins.

He was also an executive with Sabre Airline Solutions and British Aerospace PLC. Between 1998 and 2003, he worked for airline management software manufacturer Mercury Scheduling Systems Inc. - first as vice-president and then as its president and chief executive officer. And now Mr. Whitmarsh will be managing the finances of a government that took in $37.39 billion in revenue in fiscal 2007/08.

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