Premier selects senior staff
Principal secretary, EA, appointed

Arthur Milnes
Northern News Services

NNSL (Dec 23/98) - Premier Jim Antoine now has his senior staff in place.

On Friday, Antoine announced the appointment of lawyer Paul Bachand to the position of principal secretary.

As the senior political advisor to Antoine, Bachand, who recently served as executive assistant to Deputy Premier Goo Arlooktoo, will hold one of the most powerful positions in the GNWT.

"I was honoured," he said during a brief interview Monday when asked how he felt upon hearing the news of his appointment. "We're the premier's senior management team and will help put his plans into action...The challenge..(will be) to tailor advice as to what the premier needs."

Bachand, who first arrived in the North 10 years ago, has worked in private practice and within the GWNT's Department of Justice. He also served as the NWT's Registrar of Land Titles.

Originally from Quebec's Eastern Townships, Bachand earned a B.A. in political science from Bishop's University and a law degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax.

Antoine also announced the appointment of Pietro de Bastiani as his executive assistant. de Bastiani has been at Antoine's side for more than two years now, fulfilling the same role in the premier's ministerial office.

"It's been an emotional couple of weeks," he said when asked how he felt to receive such an appointment. "I enjoy working for Mr. Antoine. I believe he has the interests of all Northerners at heart."

Originally from Ontario, de Bastiani worked as a senior marine planner with the GWNT's department of transport before entering Antoine's direct employ. Before that, he worked in the Arctic shipping sector.

Both officials will hold their offices at Antoine's pleasure.