It’s official. Jason Kenney has been sworn in as Alberta’s 18th premier.
The former federal cabinet minister was sworn in, along with his members of cabinet, at a ceremony at Government House in Edmonton on Tuesday morning.
“We will focus relentlessly on creating good jobs, growing the economy and building pipelines — west, east and south — to get our products to market,” he said after the official ceremony.
“We have many more commitments to keep — 375 to be precise — and we are eager to get to work today.”
Nineteen cabinet ministers, including seven women, and three associate ministers also took the oath of office.
“This is a young, diverse, energetic cabinet,” Kenney said. “I believe that amongst us 13 languages can be spoken. We have farmers, tradesmen, oil and gas experts, small business owners, academics, a musician, public servants and teachers. We even have some lawyers.”
Watch below: Jason Kenney was officially sworn in as Alberta premier Tuesday. He also unveiled his new Cabinet, which includes 15 men, seven women and an associate minister of red tape reduction. Tom Vernon reports.
NDP MLA Deron Bilous called Kenney out for not making gender parity a priority, questioning if his cabinet really reflects Alberta.
Watch below: Calgary pollster Janet Brown joins Global News to discuss Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s appointments to cabinet.
Travis Toews, a rookie member of the legislature from Grande Prairie-Wapiti, is the new finance minister.
Toews was a chartered accountant and rancher before getting into politics.
Calgary lawyer Doug Schweitzer, who ran against Kenney for the UCP leadership, is the new minister of justice.
WATCH: Calgary is well represented in Alberta’s new cabinet with more than half of its ministers coming from the city. Lauren Pullen has more on what this means for Calgary.
Veteran legislature members Ric McIver and Jason Nixon have also been given cabinet posts — McIver in transportation and Nixon in the key environment and parks portfolio.
Calgary lawyer Sonya Savage is the new energy minister and Red Deer Catholic school trustee Adriana Lagrange is the new education minister. (See full list of cabinet ministers below).
Watch below: Gord is joined by 630CHED host Ryan Jespersen to talk about the Alberta MLAs appointed to Jason Kenney’s UCP Cabinet.
The ceremony marked the end of the four-year NDP government under former premier Rachel Notley.
Kenney’s United Conservatives won 63 seats and 55 per cent of the vote in the April 16 Alberta election, defeating Notley’s NDP.
The NDP took the remaining 24 seats — all but four of them in and around Edmonton. The party will become the official Opposition when the legislature resumes sitting in the third week of May.
Notley has promised to stay on as Opposition leader and will have an experienced caucus that includes 12 former cabinet ministers.
Watch below: Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Lois Mitchell congratulated Premier-designate Jason Kenney on his success in the provincial election. She said the incoming cabinet ministers should expect three things: an exciting, rare job, unlimited possibilities in Alberta and teamwork.
Kenney campaigned on promises to cut taxes and red tape, as well as a vow to take on anyone against Alberta’s oil and gas industry.
One of Kenney’s first acts of business, he said, is to immediately proclaim Bill 12, which was passed by the legislature under Notley, but never formally made into law.
The bill allows Alberta to reduce oil and gas shipments to British Columbia as leverage against the province’s opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.
On Tuesday, Kenney said his party will pass Bill 12 into law, but wouldn’t be using it just yet.
“We will obviously keep our electoral commitment to proclaim Bill 12, just stay tuned,” Kenney said.
“I’ve been clear it is not our intention to reduce shipments or turn off the tap at this time. We simply want to demonstrate that our government is serious about defending the vital economic interests of Alberta.”
Here is a list of the ministers who form Premier Jason Kenney’s cabinet:
- Premier Jason Kenney: President of executive council, minister of intergovernmental relations
- Demetrios Nicolaides: Advanced education
- Devin Dreeshen: Agriculture and forestry
- Rebecca Shulz: Children’s services
- Rajan Sawhney: Community and social services
- Leela Aheer: Culture, multiculturalism and status of women
- Tanya Fir: Economic development, trade and tourism
- Adriana LaGrange: Education
- Sonya Savage: Energy
- Jason Nixon: Environment and parks
- Tyler Shandro: Health
- Rick Wilson: Indigenous relations
- Prasad Panda: Infrastructure
- Doug Schweitzer: Justice and solicitor general
- Jason Copping: Labour and immigration
- Kaycee Madu: Municipal affairs
- Josephine Pon: Seniors and housing
- Nate Glubish: Service Alberta
- Ric McIver: Transportation
- Travis Toews: Treasury board president and finance
- Jason Luan: Associate minister of mental health and addictions
- Dale Nally: Associate minister of natural gas
- Grant Hunter: Associate minister of red tape reduction
Watch below: Jason Kenney takes the oath of office, becoming Alberta’s 18th premier.
Listen: Mount Royal University political science professor Duane Bratt discusses Premier Kenney’s cabinet choices.
With files from The Canadian Press