By Morinville News Staff
Edmonton – Two weeks after winning a majority in the provincial election, Premier Alison Redford swore in her new reduced cabinet Tuesday afternoon.
Some ministries have been combined into one portfolio. The seniors portfolio is moving to the Ministry of Health to enhance what the government says is continuity in the short and long-term care of Alberta’s aging population. Sustainable Resource Development and Environment are consolidating into one Ministry. Justice and Solicitor General are one under the Ministry of Justice & Solicitor General. Aboriginal relations will have its own ministry, the first priority of which will be to finish the review of the First Nations Consultation Policy. Persons with Developmental Disabilities and AISH now fall under Human Services. Under the Minister of Service Alberta, an Associate Minister is now responsible for Accountability, Transparency and Transformation, which will review Alberta’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPP) and oversee the change in the way the Government of Alberta does business.
Of interest to parents in Morinville is the removal of Thomas Lukaszuk as Minister of Education. Lukaszuk was sworn in Tuesday as Deputy Premier and is replaced as Education Minister by Athabasca-Redwater MLA Jeff Johnson who last held the position of Minister of Infrastructure.
A significant change is the position of Deputy Premier. The new Deputy Premier, Thomas Lukaszuk, will not be responsible for a Ministry. He will chair the Operations Policy Committee, which the government says will ensure that policies reflect Albertans’ needs and that government consults regularly with Albertans.
In a release issued after Tuesday’s swearing in ceremony, Premier Redford said the restructuring is about achieving the province’s goals and aligning the workforce with the priorities of the government. “This new Cabinet structure allows us to focus on the things that matter most to Albertans – a strong fiscal framework, caring for our most vulnerable citizens, promoting our resources, and solid consultation processes that ensure Albertans are heard,” Redford said in the release. “We have a good mix of new and experienced MLAs. This is a team that is committed to the positive, constructive plan that we put forward during the election campaign that will help to build Albertans’ future.”
The spring election saw several cabinet ministers lose their seats as MLA. Gone from the mix were Ted Morton, Ray Danyluk, Evan Berger and Jack Hayden who lost their seats. Other long-time MLAs did not run.
Redford also announced the appointment of seven associate ministers who will reflect the Premier’s priorities and membership in the government’s renewed committee structure.
Premier Redford held her first Cabinet Meeting after Tuesday’s swearing-in ceremony.
Thomas Lukaszuk, Edmonton-Castle Downs MLA – Deputy Premier, Chair of Operations Policy Committee
Doug Horner, Spruce Grove-St. Albert – President of Treasury Board & Minister of Finance
David Hancock, Edmonton-Whitemud – Minister of Human Services, Government House Leader
Cal Dallas, Red Deer-South – Minister of International & Intergovernmental Relations
Diana McQueen, Drayton Valley-Devon – Minister of Environment & Sustainable Resource Development
Fred Horne, Edmonton-Rutherford – Minister of Health
Ken Hughes, Calgary-West – Minister of Energy
Jeff Johnson, Athabasca-Sturgeon-Redwater – Minister of Education
Verlyn Olson, Wetaskiwin-Camrose – Minister of Agriculture & Rural Development
Jonathan Denis, Calgary-Acadia – Minister of Justice & Solicitor General, Deputy House Leader
Doug Griffiths, Battle River-Wainwright – Minister of Municipal Affairs
Robin Campbell, West Yellowhead – Minister of Aboriginal Relations, Deputy House Leader
Heather Klimchuk, Edmonton-Glenora – Minister of Culture
Manmeet Bhullar, Calgary-Greenway – Minister of Service Alberta
Wayne Drysdale, Grande Prairie-Wapiti – Minister of Infrastructure
Stephen Khan, St. Albert – Minister of Enterprise & Advanced Education
Ric McIver, Calgary-Hays – Minister of Transportation, Deputy House Leader
Christine Cusanelli, Calgary-Currie – Minister of Tourism, Parks & Recreation