by Morinville News Staff
Premier Rachel Notley introduced new cabinet ministers Tuesday morning at Government House; the NDP government’s second shuffle in their term, and a six-member expansion to the 12 Cabinet Ministers sworn in when the party took power last spring.
MLA Sarah Hoffman becomes Deputy Premier while continuing to serve in her role as Minister of Health.
Five new ministers and one new associate minister were also sworn in Feb. 2 in a move the government says will allow the workload to be shared more evenly.
Lori Sigurdson becomes Minister of Seniors and Housing; Richard Feehan takes on Minister of Indigenous Relations, Christina Gray takes the portfolios of Minister of Labour and Minister Responsible for Democratic Renewal, Stephanie McLean becomes Minister Service Alberta and Minister of the Status of Woman, Ricardo Miranda takes on the role of Minister of Culture and Tourism, Marlin Schmidt is Minister of Advanced Education, and Brandy Payne is Associate Minister of Health.
“When our government was elected we promised to bring change to Alberta,” the premier said in a media scrum Feb. 2. “Part of the change was to government itself. Last May I introduced a cabinet that truly reflected the diversity of our province’s population, including the first gender-balanced cabinet in Alberta’s history.”
Notley went on to say the current shuffle builds on that achievement, maintaining gender balance and diversity.
But the government sees the additions to the cabinet as one that spreads the workload while maintaining a cabinet that is smaller than over provinces.
Notley said when the first cabinet was announced after the election there was criticism that it could not work due to too few people doing too much work.
“It was never our plan to keep the cabinet that size,” Notley said. “It’s about two-thirds the size of the next smallest cabinet that we’ve ever had in Alberta. It was our plan to focus on our priorities and get a lay of the land and establish a key overarching framework. Now we’re in a position where we’re going to get more of that work done.”
Notley went on to say at a time when Alberta is facing difficulties; it is important to hear from and meet with Albertans. “We need to expand the cabinet in order for that to happen,” she said. “We’re hoping that we’ve struck the right balance so that our cabinet will have the time now to be able to engage even more with members of the public.”
Alberta Cabinet in order of precedence
Rachel Anne Notley – Premier of Alberta – President of Executive Council
Sarah Marjorie Hoffman – Deputy Premier – Minister of Health
Brian Mason – Minister of Infrastructure – Minister of Transportation – Government House Leader
David Manson Eggen – Minister of Education
Deron Michael Bilous – Minister of Economic Development and Trade – Deputy Government House Leader
Joseph Anthony Ceci – President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance
Kathleen Teresa Ganley – Minister of Justice and Solicitor General
Shannon Phillips – Minister of Environment and Parks – Minister Responsible for the Climate Change Office
Oneil John Carlier – Minister of Agriculture and Forestry – Deputy Government House Leader
Danielle Marie Larivee – Minister of Municipal Affairs
Margaret Ellen McCuaig-Boyd – Minister of Energy
Irfan Sabir – Minister of Human Services
Lori Dawn Sigurdson – Minister of Seniors and Housing
Richard John Feehan – Minister of Indigenous Relations
Christina Gray – Minister of Labour – Minister Responsible for Democratic Renewal
Stephanie Veronica McLean – Minister of Service Alberta – Minister of Status of Women
Ricardo Miranda – Minister of Culture and Tourism
Marlin Robert Schmidt – Minister of Advanced Education
Brandy Lynn Payne – Associate Minister of Health