Following the provincial election in Alberta on March 3, 2008, Conservative Premier Ed Stelmach announced his new cabinet yesterday, reorganizing previous portfolios and adding four new ministries. The Premier said the new cabinet will focus on five new priorities including:
- ensuring Alberta’s energy resources are developed in an environmentally sustainable way;
- increasing access to quality health care and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of health care service delivery;
- enhancing value-added activity, increasing innovation, and improving the longrun sustainability of Alberta’s economy;
- reducing crime so Albertans feel safe in their communities; and,
- providing the roads, schools, hospitals and other public infrastructure to meet the needs of a growing economy and population.
The new ministries include the Ministry of Culture and Community Spirit, which reflect the government’s increased focus on culture. The new Ministry will also be responsible for the voluntary sector as well as the Human Rights Commission. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs plans to address the affordable housing issue facing Albertans, in addition to planning for emerging urban issues. The Ministry of Aboriginal Relations was created to highlight the role of Aboriginal people in Alberta’s future. Finally, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transportation was split in two, with each becoming their own separate Ministries. The split is a reflection of an increased focus on meeting the needs for roads and other public facilities as part of implementing Alberta’s 20-year strategic capital plan.
The new cabinet features seven female ministers, up from two in the previous cabinet. Appointments include first-time Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) Allison Redford (Calgary-Elbow) who will be Minister of Justice and the Attorney General. Replacing Lyle Oberg will be Iris Evans (Sherwood Park) at the Ministry of Finance. Yvonne Fritz (Calgary-Cross) has been appointed to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, a new portfolio. First-time MLA Heather Klimchuck takes on the Service Alberta portfolio while former associate minister for Tourism Cindy Ady (Calgary-Shaw) is promoted to Minister of Tourism, Parks, and Recreation.
Other notable appointments include Ron Stevens (Calgary-Glenmore) who will be keeping his position as deputy premier in addition to his responsibilities in the International and Intergovernmental Relations portfolio. Expected challenges under this portfolio may include climate change issues between the federal and provincial governments as well as Alberta and the United States.
Ron Liepert (Calgary-West) is taking on the Health and Wellness portfolio, swapping with David Hancock (Edmonton-Whitemud) who takes over Liepert’s previous posting at the Ministry of Education. Lindsay Blackett (Calgary-North West) takes on the new Culture and Community Spirit portfolio as a newly elected MLA and Alberta’s first black cabinet minister.
Several key ministers kept their previous positions:
- Mel Knight (Grand Prairie-Smoky) as Minister of Energy
- Lloyd Snelgrove (Vermillion-Lloydminster) at the Treasury Board
- Rob Renner (Medicine Hat) as Minister of the Environment
- Ted Morton (Foothills-Rocky View) as Minister of Sustainable Resources
- George Groeneveld (Highwood) as Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development
- Doug Horner (Spruce Grove-Sturgeon-St. Albert) as Minister of Advanced Education & Technology
- Ray Danyluk (Lac La Biche-St. Paul) as Minister of Municipal Affairs.
Calgary is represented in Premier Stelmach’s new cabinet with six full cabinet ministers and one parliamentary assistant, while Edmonton and the capital region has three ministers.
Along with the new cabinet, Premier Stelmach introduced the role of parliamentary assistant to give other MLA’s cabinet experience and assist the Ministers. It is expected that they will get a seat at cabinet meetings but will not have voting rights. They will perform a variety of duties including overseeing the operation of major programs and initiatives, carrying bills through the Legislative Assembly and its committees, leading ministry stakeholder consultations, and participating in special task forces or advisory groups. Former BLG associate Rob Anderson (Airdrie-Chestermere) joins this new group as parliamentary assistant to the Solicitor General and Public Security Ministry.
Premier Stelmach also appointed MLA’s as the chairs of five Cabinet Policy Committees. These policy committees will review and make recommendations on policies, programs and legislation related to: community services; public safety and services; the economy; resources and the environment; and health.
The new cabinet will be sworn in today, March 13.
Attached is a complete list of the new members of the cabinet, a list of the new Parliamentary Assistants, as well as the leaders of the cabinet Policy Committees.
(members listed in order of precedence)
- Premier Ed Stelmach (Fort Saskatchewan -Vegreville): President of Executive Council;
- Deputy Premier Ron Stevens (Calgary-Glenmore): International and Intergovernmental Relations;
- Lloyd Snelgrove (Vermilion-Lloydminster): Treasury Board
- Doug Horner (Spruce Grove-Sturgeon-St. Albert): Advanced Education and Technology
- David Hancock (Edmonton-Whitemud): Education
- Mel Knight (Grande Prairie-Smoky): Energy
- Iris Evans (Sherwood Park): Finance and Enterprise
- Ron Liepert (Calgary-West): Health and Wellness
- Rob Renner (Medicine Hat): Environment
- Luke Ouellette (Innisfail-Sylvan Lake): Transportation
- Gene Zwozdesky (Edmonton-Mill Creek): Aboriginal Relations
- Alison Redford (Calgary-Elbow): Justice and Attorney General
- George Groeneveld (Highwood): Agriculture and Rural Development
- Janis Tarchuk (Banff-Cochrane): Children and Youth Services
- Mary Anne Jablonski (Red Deer-North): Seniors and Community Supports
- Hector Goudreau (Dunvegan-Central Peace): Employment and Immigration
- Ted Morton (Foothills-Rocky View): Sustainable Resource Development
- Fred Lindsay (Stony Plain): Solicitor General and Public Security
- Ray Danyluk (Lac La Biche-St. Paul): Municipal Affairs
- Jack Hayden (Drumheller-Stettler): Infrastructure
- Yvonne Fritz (Calgary-Cross): Housing and Urban Affairs
- Lindsay Blackett (Calgary-North West): Culture and Community Spirit
- Cindy Ady (Calgary-Shaw): Tourism, Parks and Recreation
- Heather Klimchuk (Edmonton-Glenora): Service Alberta
NEW PARLIAMENTARY ASSISTANTS
- Manmeet Bhullar (Calgary-Montrose): Advanced Education and Technology;
- Doug Griffiths (Battle River-Wainwright): Agriculture and Rural Development;
- Janice Sarich (Edmonton-Decore): Education;
- David Xiao (Edmonton-McClung): Employment and Immigration;
- Len Webber (Calgary-Foothills): Energy;
- Diana McQueen (Drayton Valley-Calmar): Environment;
- Raj Sherman (Edmonton-Meadowlark): Health and Wellness;
- Tom Lukaszuk (Edmonton-Castle Downs): Municipal Affairs;
- Robert Anderson (Airdrie-Chestermere): Solicitor General and Public Security; and,
- Evan Berger (Livingstone-Macleod): Sustainable Resource Development.
CABINET POLICY COMMITTEES
- Art Johnson (Calgary-Hays): Chair of Cabinet Policy Committee on Community Services. Responsible for Culture and Community Spirit; Education; Housing and Urban Affairs; Municipal Affairs; and, Tourism, Parks and Recreation.
- Greg Weadick (Lethbridge-West): Chair of Cabinet Policy Committee on the Economy. Responsible for Advanced Education and Technology; Employment and Immigration; Finance and Enterprise; and Infrastructure; and Transportation.
- Tony Vandermeer (Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview): Chair of Cabinet Policy Committee on Health. Responsible for Children and Youth Services; Health and Wellness; and Seniors and Community Supports.
- Neil Brown (Calgary-Nose Hill): Chair of Cabinet Policy Committee on Public Safety and Services. Responsible for Aboriginal Relations; Executive Council; Justice and Attorney General; Service Alberta/Corporate Human Resources; Solicitor General and Public Security; and the Treasury Board.
- Wayne Drysdale (Grande Prairie-Wapiti): Chair of Cabinet Policy Committee on Human Resources and the Environment. Responsible for Agriculture and Rural Development; Energy; Environment; International and Intergovernmental Relations; and Sustainable Resource Development.
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