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Cullen moved from education, Gordon stays as health minister as Manitoba premier shuffles cabinet

Click to play video: 'Cullen moved from education, Gordon stays as health minister as Manitoba premier shuffles cabinet'
Cullen moved from education, Gordon stays as health minister as Manitoba premier shuffles cabinet
The education minister has been moved but the health minister stays as Premier Heather Stefanson shuffled her cabinet Tuesday – Jan 18, 2022

The education minister has been moved but the health minister stays as Premier Heather Stefanson shuffled her cabinet Tuesday.

The shuffle comes as the Progressive Conservative government continues to score low in opinion polls and faces heavy criticism over its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click to play video: 'Manitoba premier calls shuffle of finance minister to natural resources ‘really exciting’'
Manitoba premier calls shuffle of finance minister to natural resources ‘really exciting’

Cliff Cullen, previously the education minister, now takes up the mantle of minister of economic development, investment and trade. He is also Deputy Premier.

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Audrey Gordon stays as health minister, but her mental health, wellness and recovery portfolio now goes to Sarah Guillemard, who was previously environment minister, and the seniors portion heads to Scott Johnson, who will lead a brand-new portfolio called the Department of seniors and long-term care.

Doyle Piwniuk is now minister of transportation, and Andrew Smith is minister of sport, culture and heritage.

Eileen Clarke (Agassiz) returns to cabinet as minister of municipal relations.

The list:

  • Audrey Gordon (MLA for Southdale) – minister of health;
  • Sarah Guillemard – (MLA for Fort Richmond) – minister of mental health and community wellness;
  • Scott Johnston (MLA for Assiniboia) – minister of seniors and long-term care;
  • Doyle Piwniuk (MLA for Turtle Mountain) – minister of transportation and infrastructure;
  • Andrew Smith (MLA for Lagimodiere) – minister of sport, culture and heritage;
  • Eileen Clarke (MLA for Agassiz) – minister of municipal relations;
  • Rochelle Squires (MLA for Riel) – minister of families, francophone affairs, status of women and accessibility
  • Alan Lagimodiere (MLA for Selkirk) – minister of Indigenous reconcilliation
  • Cliff Cullen (MLA for Spruce Woods) as deputy premier and minister of economic development, investment and trade;
  • Kelvin Goertzen (MLA for Steinbach) as minister of justice and attorney general, and minister responsible for Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) and government house leader;
  • Cameron Friesen (MLA for Morden-Winkler) as minister of finance and minister responsible for Manitoba Hydro;
  • Scott Fielding (MLA for Kirkfield Park) as minister of natural resources and northern development, and minister responsible for the Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation (MBLL);
  • Jeff Wharton (MLA for Red River North) as minister of environment, climate and parks, and minister responsible for Efficiency Manitoba;
  • Reg Helwer (MLA for Brandon West) as minister of labour, consumer protection and government services, minister responsible for the Public Utilities Board (PUB) and minister responsible for the civil service;
  • Wayne Ewasko (MLA for Lac du Bonnet) as minister of education and early childhood learning;
  • Derek Johnson (MLA for Interlake-Gimli) as minister of agriculture; and
  • Jon Reyes (MLA for Waverley) as minister of advanced education, skills and immigration.

“I am confident this team will focus on the priorities of Manitobans as we continue to fight back against COVID-19 and work together to build a healthier, stronger and more prosperous province for all,” Stefanson said in a news release Tuesday.

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The only notable lineup change before today was the removal of Ron Schuler, the former infrastructure minister, from cabinet in December.

Stefanson said she made the move because Schuler’s messaging on COVID-19 vaccines was inconsistent with the government’s efforts to get people immunized.

Read more: Manitoba politician out of cabinet over messaging on vaccines, premier says

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Manitoba has seen the number of people with COVID-19 in hospital jump, and the number of people in intensive care is well above pre-pandemic normal capacity.

Federal statistics also show that Manitoba has recorded the second-highest per-capita death rate from COVID-19 among all provinces.

-With files from Steve Lambert and the Canadian Press

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