From principal to politician: Tom Hedderson, former MHA and cabinet minister, dead at 68

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Longtime Newfoundland and Labrador politician Tom Hedderson, pictured here in 2013, when he was transportation minister, has died. He was 68. (CBC - image credit)
Longtime Newfoundland and Labrador politician Tom Hedderson, pictured here in 2013, when he was transportation minister, has died. He was 68. (CBC - image credit)

Tom Hedderson, a longtime Newfoundland and Labrador MHA who held a variety of ministerial portfolios over his career, has died. He was 68.

In a statement, interim PC Leader David Brazil offered condolences to Hedderson's family and friends.

"Tom was not only exceptionally diligent and hard-working as a cabinet minister in six portfolios and as an MHA for 16 years, but he was also one of the nicest people you could ever meet — loved by everyone, both in Harbour Main and around the province."

Before Hedderson embarked on a political career that spanned 16 years, he was an educator, working as the principal of Bishop O'Neill Collegiate in Brigus.

In 1999, Hedderson was elected to the House of Assembly to represent the district of Harbour Main-Whitbourne.

Elected a total of four times in general elections in 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011, Hedderson wore many hats for the Tories throughout his political career.

In opposition, he served as the PCs' critic for K-12 education. From 2003, Hedderson carried several ministerial titles, including education minister, tourism minister, intergovernmental affairs minister and minister responsible for the volunteer and non-profit sector.

In 2008, he was appointed minister of fisheries and aquaculture, and in 2009, he was appointed minister of transportation and works and minister responsible for the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation. In 2012, he became the province's minister of environment and conservation.

Hedderson, who died suddenly on Monday, retired from politics in 2015. His first wife, Rosemary, died in 2019. He is survived by his second wife, Carol, whom he married last year.

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