EDMONTON – For the second time since being sworn in as premier, Rachel Notley announced changes to her cabinet Tuesday, introducing five new ministers and one associate minister.
Richard Feehan, MLA for Edmonton-Rutherford; Christina Gray, MLA for Edmonton-Mill Woods; Ricardo Miranda, MLA for Calgary-Cross; Stephanie McLean, MLA for Calgary-Varsity; Marlin Schmidt, MLA for Edmonton-Gold Bar; and Brandy Payne, MLA for Calgary-Acadia were promoted.
Feehan was named minister of Indigenous Relations, McLean was named minister of Service Alberta (a post previously held by Danielle Larivee) and Status of Women (previously Shannon Phillips’ portfolio), Gray was named minister of Labour (Lori Sigurdson’s former portfolio) and the minister responsible for Democratic Renewal, Schmidt was named minister of Advanced Education (formerly Sigurdson’s porfolio), Miranda was named minister of Culture and Tourism (a post formerly held by David Eggen), Payne was named associate minister of Health.
Of the six new ministers, there are three from Calgary and three from Edmonton. They are also evenly split along gender lines.
Health Minister Sarah Hoffman will also take on the responsibility of deputy premier.
Sigurdson is taking on a new role of minister of Seniors and Housing. She was previously minister of Advanced Education, Minister of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour.
Oneil Carlier became deputy house leader, but the government said Deron Bilous “also continues to serve as deputy house leader.”
“Our new cabinet team will deliver on the government’s plans to create jobs, diversify the economy during difficult times and put our province in the best position possible for future growth,” Notley said.
She said her updated cabinet remains gender balanced, and includes two women who are pregnant. It’s also believed to include the province’s first openly gay minister.
The premier said the additions continue to reflect diversity while also providing the capacity to implement the government’s policy agenda. Notley pointed to specific initiatives like its climate leadership plan, market access efforts, infrastructure, and its focus on job creation and diversification.
The swearing-in ceremony took place at 11 a.m. at Government House in Edmonton.
“You are about to take on the vital work of guiding our province through the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead,” Lt. Gov. Lois Mitchell said. “Congratulations to all.”
After winning the provincial election – pushing the Progressive Conservatives out of power after more than four decades – Notley was officially sworn in as premier May 23.
Her original, 12-person cabinet (including Notley) was also sworn in that day. Some ministers were given multiple portfolios to manage.
Notley said Tuesday it was “always the plan” to start with a small cabinet and revise as needed.
Her initial cabinet was smaller than any seen when the PCs were in power.
Even with two cabinet changes, Notley’s executive council is the smallest since the 1990s in Alberta.
“For the first time in many years we have an efficient and lean cabinet to get down to work and to deliver results,” Notley said May 24. “This is a cabinet that is built to work and to get the job done.”
Watch below: Notley speaks to the media after announcing changes to her cabinet
On Oct. 21, 2015, Notley shuffled her cabinet and added a new ministry: Economic Development and Trade. One cabinet member switched ministries, another had their responsibilities adjusted and a third MLA was called up from the backbenches. Danielle Larivee, MLA for Lesser Slave Lake, was sworn in as minister of Municipal Affairs and the minister of Service Alberta.
*EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published on Feb. 1 and was updated on Feb. 2 with the cabinet ministers.
© 2016 Shaw Media