HomeJobsCannabis boss Leonid McKay moved to Jobsplus as CEO removed

Cannabis boss Leonid McKay moved to Jobsplus as CEO removed

Date:

Related stories

Malta to recognise Palestine when ‘circumstances right’

Malta has said it will recognise the State of...

Over 20 per cent increase in trade between Malta and France last year

Over €50 million have been invested in French businesses...

Hili Ventures to hit €1 billion in revenue in 2024

Hili Ventures, the Malta conglomerate whose businesses partner...
spot_imgspot_img

Leonid McKay has become the second government cannabis boss to be removed from the sector in two years, following Mariella Dimech’s failure to achieve any progress.

McKay was given a new job as CEO of government employment agency Jobsplus.

Before joining the government’s cannabis regulator (ARUC), McKay was an ardent opposer of the legalisation of cannabis and headed the church’s NGO Caritas. He will be replacing Alexia Vella.

Government sources told The Shift that the change at the top of Jobsplus is intended to continue to weaken Finance Minister Clyde Caruana’s political clout.

“Alexia Vella was Caruana’s acolyte at the agency and was originally appointed in his stead in 2020 by Caruana himself when he moved from Jobsplus CEO to become Robert Abela’s chief of staff,” a senior government official told The Shift.

“Vella’s removal was expected following last month’s mini reshuffle,” he added.

Days after Jean-Paul Sofia’s inquiry was published, Prime Minister Abela removed Jobsplus from Clyde Caruana’s portfolio and handed it to the Home Affairs Ministry.

The prime minister’s stated scope was to have more coordination between Jobsplus and Identity Malta, particularly on job permits issued to third-country nationals (those who are not EU citizens).

The move was interpreted as aimed at Caruana. It has become increasingly clear that relations between Robert Abela and Caruana turned sour a few years ago.

McKay joined the government’s bandwagon in 2018 when he was appointed CEO of the Housing Authority.

In November 2022, McKay replaced Mariella Dimech (Media Today owner Saviour Balzan’s sister) who was fired after ten months in office. In a twist, she was then given another consultancy by Minister Michael Falzon to offer him “advice on the prevention of drug abuse.”

During his short stay at ARUC, McKay issued the first licences for cannabis clubs even though no effective monitoring of licencees took place.

The former CEO of JobsPlus Alexia Vella.

McKay replaced Alexia Vella, a former canvasser of then-minister Evarist Bartolo who served as his private secretary at the Education Ministry, which was then responsible for Jobsplus.

In 2015, Clyde Caruana promoted her to a top managerial position at the jobs agency, where she served as his assistant.

The Jean Paul Sofia inquiry found Jobsplus, together with other government entities, responsible for the young worker’s death. The inquiry noted that it had more board members (16) than inspectors (11) to monitor the island’s job market.

                           

Sign up to our newsletter

Stay in the know

Get special updates directly in your inbox

Don’t worry we do not spam

- Never miss a story with notifications

- Gain full access to our premium content

- Browse free from up to 5 devices at once

Latest stories

spot_img