The NDP’s John Horgan has been sworn in as the 36th premier of British Columbia, shifting the balance of power in the province for the first time in 16 years.
Horgan and his new cabinet were sworn in in Victoria on Tuesday afternoon by Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon.
WATCH: Premier John Horgan delivers message to British Columbians
Horgan is heading up a minority government of 41 MLAs propped up by the BC Greens’ small three-member caucus, together outvoting the BC Liberals’ 43 MLAs.
“I will work as hard as I’ve ever worked before to make sure I live up to the commitments I made during the election campaign to ensure that we’re reducing the costs on people, to ensure that the services they count on are there for them, and to ensure that this great economy economy works not just for the few, but for everybody,” Horgan said in his first remarks as premier.
In a statement released Tuesday, Green Leader Andrew Weaver congratulated Horgan on his new job and hailed the minority government as a chance to change B.C. politics.
“For far too long, the B.C. Legislature has been mired in a combative, hyper-partisan status quo. The new government’s challenge will be to not just talk about doing things differently, but to actually put the good of British Columbians ahead of political calculation.”
LISTEN: New NDP Cabinet unveiled
New faces, new ministries
Horgan has unveiled a gender balanced cabinet with 22 ministers, 11 men and 11 women.
He has appointed six ministers from each Vancouver and Vancouver Island, three from Surrey, five from other Metro Vancouver municipalities and just three from other parts of B.C. Fourteen ministers hail from Metro Vancouver.
Backing up Horgan in his new government will be Victoria-Beacon Hill MLA and former party leader Carole James, who will serve as deputy premier and finance minister.
Outspoken Point Grey MLA David Eby will serve as Attorney General, while Vancouver-Kingsway MLA and former party leader Adrian Dix will be minister of health.
Former education critic Rob Fleming will now be minister of education, while North Island MLA Claire Trevena will head the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
New Westminster MLA Judy Darcy has been tapped for the newly created Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions.
WATCH: First Nations legal issues and provincial abilities to be used against Trans Mountain: Horgan
It’s not the only new ministry under Horgan’s minority government.
The NDP has split housing away from the Ministry of Natural Gas, creating a new Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing to be headed by Coquitlam-Maillardville MLA Selina Robinson.
TransLink will now also fall under this ministry, instead of Community Sport and Cultural Development – and the transit authority will have its own parliamentary secretary in North Vancouver-Lonsdale MLA Bowinn Ma.
The party has also broken up the Ministry of Jobs Tourism and Labour, assigning Labour to Surrey-Newton MLA Harry Bains, while Surrey-Whalley MLA Bruce Ralston will head a new Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology.
The Ministry of Social Development is now the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, and will be headed by Vancouver-Hastings MLA Shane Simpson.
The party has also created a new Minister of State for Childcare, a job given to Burnaby-Lougheed neophyte Katrina Chen.
The party has also reconfigured the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations as the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation under Mid Island-Pacific Rim MLA Scott Fraser.
Scroll down for a full list of the new B.C. cabinet.
LISTEN: Premier-designate John Horgan lays out his priorities to CKNW host Jon McComb
Earlier Tuesday, Horgan spoke to CKNW’s Jon McComb and said his first priority one will be addressing the wildfire crisis that has seen nearly 40,000 people forced from their homes, adding his party has been working with the Liberals to ensure the file is transferred seamlessly.
Outgoing Transport Minister Todd Stone said there is no place for politics when it comes to the crisis and he and his Liberal colleagues will do whatever they can to help the new government deal with the fires.
Horgan said the next order of business will be to travel to Ottawa next week to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to talk softwood lumber, then travel to Washington to press the issue with the U.S.
Horgan: What an NDP Government will look like
He said he will also raise the issue of the fentanyl crisis with Trudeau, a file he said the NDP will act on immediately by appointing a Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.
“I don’t want to diminish the work that people have been doing on this, but we’re not making progress,” Horgan said.
Horgan said the NDP will hold its first cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
But he said after discussions with the Greens, he won’t be recalling the legislature until the first week of September.
He said the new government will use the remainder of the summer getting up to speed and acting on files that have sat idle while B.C. has been under a caretaker government.
“We haven’t had any sincere political representation since well before the start of the May 9 election campaign,” Horgan said.
Full NDP cabinet
- Premier – Hon. John Horgan
- Minister of Finance and Deputy Premier – Hon. Carole James
- Attorney General – Hon. David Eby
- Minister of Health – Hon. Adrian Dix
- Minister of Education – Hon. Rob Fleming
- Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure – Hon. Claire Trevena
- Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General – Hon. Mike Farnworth
- Minister of Mental Health and Addictions – Hon. Judy Darcy
- Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction – Hon. Shane Simpson
- Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing – Hon. Selina Robinson
- Minister of Jobs, Trade, and Technology – Hon. Bruce Ralston
- Minister of Labour – Hon. Harry Bains
- Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources – Hon. Michelle Mungall
- Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development – Hon. Doug Donaldson
- Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy – Hon. George Heyman
- Minister of Children and Family Development – Hon. Katrine Conroy
- Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training – Hon. Melanie Mark
- Minister of Agriculture – Hon. Lana Popham
- Minister of Citizens’ Services – Hon. Jinny Sims
- Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation – Hon. Scott Fraser
- Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture – Hon. Lisa Beare
- Minister of State for Child Care – Hon. Katrina Chen
- Minister of State for Trade – Hon. George Chow
- Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness – Jennifer Rice
- Parliamentary Secretary for Poverty Reduction – Mable Elmore
- Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors – Anne Kang
- Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Multiculturalism – Ravi Kahlon
- Parliamentary Secretary for Technology – Rick Glumac
- Parliamentary Secretary for Translink – Bowinn Ma
-With files from the Canadian Press