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Comox Valley rookie MLA lands in Clark's new cabinet

In her new, smaller cabinet announced Monday, Premier Christy Clark named Comox Valley MLA Don McRae the agriculture minister.

McRae is a first-time MLA, elected in 2009 after previous Liberal MLA Stan Hagen died unexpectedly earlier that year.

Clark said her cabinet will put families first, create jobs and change the way British Columbians engage with their government.

"Our new cabinet will reflect the priorities of British Columbians and put families at the centre of all our decision-making," Clark said in a statement. "Together, we will focus on creating jobs and building a strong economy because that is the single most important thing we can do to

support families and ensure we can invest in critical services like health and education. This is a team that will work hard to ensure that

prosperity and opportunity extend to every region of our province."

The new cabinet is made up of 17 ministers plus the premier, reduced from the previous total of 24. This includes the new Ministry of Jobs,

Tourism and Innovation, which will bring together many of the functions in government focused on job creation under a single ministry.

As well, three new cabinet committees reflect the priorities of government — the Committee on Families First; the Committee on Jobs and Economic Growth; and the Committee on Open Government and Engagement.

Responsibility for colleges and universities has been recombined under the Ministry of Advanced Education; responsibility for mining has been

returned to the Ministry of Energy and Mines; Labour and Citizen Services have been combined; and Forests and Lands has been combined with Natural Resource Operations.

Here is the new cabinet:

Premier - Christy Clark;

Finance and Deputy Premier - Kevin Falcon;

Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation - Mary Polak;

Advanced Education - Naomi Yamamoto;

Agriculture - Don McRae;

Attorney General - Barry Penner;

Children and Family Development - Mary McNeil;

Community, Sport and Cultural Development - Ida Chong;

Education - George Abbott;

Energy and Mines (Minister Responsible for Housing) - Rich Coleman;

Environment - Terry Lake;

Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations - Steve Thomson;

Health - Michael de Jong;

Jobs, Tourism and Innovation - Pat Bell;

Labour, Citizens' Services and Open Government - Stephanie Cadieux;

Public Safety and Solicitor General - Shirley Bond;

Social Development (Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism) - Harry Bloy;

Transportation and Infrastructure - Blair Lekstrom.

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