Premier Christy Clark unveiled her new cabinet at an outdoor ceremony in downtown Vancouver Friday, keeping veterans in some key roles and bringing in newcomers elected in the B.C. Liberals’ upset election win.
Clark appointed 19 ministers, adding two new ministries. Fort Langley-Aldergrove MLA Rich Coleman takes over the new ministry of natural gas development, retaining responsibilities as deputy premier and minister responsible for housing.
Newly elected Richmond Centre MLA Teresa Wat takes on a new ministry of international trade, including B.C.’s Asia-Pacific strategy and multiculturalism.
Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone, another newcomer, moves into the transportation ministry.
Vancouver-Fraserview MLA Suzanne Anton, a former Crown prosecutor and Vancouver city councillor, will be justice minister and attorney-general.
Langley City mayor and rookie Surrey-Fleetwood MLA Peter Fassbender moves into the hot seat as education minister. His first task is to work on Clark’s goal of reaching a long-term contract settlement with B.C. teachers.
Another newcomer is Surrey-Tynehead MLA Amrik Virk, taking over as advanced education minister.
Third-term Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad makes cabinet as aboriginal relations minister, where he is assigned to continue developing resource and treaty agreements around the province.
Vancouver-Quilchena MLA Andrew Wilkinson, a former deputy minister and B.C. Liberal Party president, takes over a renamed technology, innovation and citizen services ministry.
Comox Valley MLA Don McRae moves from education to another renamed role, social development and social innovation.
Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Terry Lake moves from environment to health, the largest ministry in the B.C. government.
Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett takes over from Coleman in the energy and mines ministry. Bennett was also placed in charge of the government’s “core review,” a cross-government efficiency exercise.
Rookie Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes takes over Bennett’s former role as community, sport and cultural development minister.
Veteran ministers from the Gordon Campbell era remain in key roles. Prince George-Valemount MLA and cabinet veteran Shirley Bond goes from justice to jobs, tourism and skills training, also responsible for labour.
Langley MLA Mary Polak goes from transportation to environment.
Abbotsford West MLA Mike de Jong remains finance minister and B.C. Liberal house leader, preparing for a legislative session expected to start this month to pass the budget introduced in February.
Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson remains at forest, lands and natural resource operations, and Surrey-Cloverdale MLA Stephanie Cadieux stays as children and family development minister.
North Vancouver-Lonsdale MLA Naomi Yamamoto is minister of state for tourism and small business.
Peace River North MLA Pat Pimm takes over as agriculture minister, replacing Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, one of three people dropped from cabinet.
Also shuffled out are are West Vancouver-Capilano MLA Ralph Sultan, who had briefly been minister of state for seniors, and Vancouver-Langara MLA Moira Stilwell from social development.