Premier Brian Pallister announced changes to the provincial cabinet today and welcomed one new member to cabinet.
“Since our election in April of 2016, our government has focused on fixing the finances, repairing the services and rebuilding the economy of our province,” said Pallister. “Our team has made great progress. Taxes have been lowered, the deficit has come down, we are seeing record private investment in our province, bond rating agencies are giving Manitoba a vote of confidence and emergency room wait times have come down.
“We have achieved this through a strong team. But there is much left to do. Today, I’m announcing some key changes and additions to the team that build on the significant progress achieved over the first two years and position us for further improvements in our finances, services and economy over the second half of our mandate.”
Pallister welcomed Colleen Mayer, MLA for St. Vital, as the new minister of Crown services.
He also announced new portfolios for the following ministers:
- Heather Stefanson (MLA for Tuxedo) – Department of Families and she will continue to serve as deputy premier;
- Cameron Friesen (MLA for Morden-Winkler) – Department of Health, Seniors and Active Living;
- Kelvin Goertzen (MLA for Steinbach) – Department of Education and Training, and government house leader;
- Cliff Cullen (MLA for Spruce Woods) – Department of Justice and attorney general; and
- Scott Fielding (MLA for Kirkfield Park) – Department of Finance and minister responsible for the civil service.
These changes represent a comprehensive and strategic repositioning at the mid-point of this government’s mandate of the key portfolios essential to the work of fixing the finances, repairing the services and rebuilding the economy, said Pallister.
“The energy, experience and enthusiasm these ministers will bring to their new portfolios will ensure progress continues on our task of making Manitoba the most improved province in Canada,” he said. “We are harnessing key ministers to refocus on that work at this critical point in our mandate.”
Ian Wishart (MLA for Portage la Prairie) has been appointed legislative assistant to the minister of education and training and tasked with co-ordinating a thorough review of the kindergarten to Grade 12 education system that will lead to reforms essential to ensuring youth are leaving school prepared to succeed in today’s competitive climate.
Other legislative assistant changes are:
- Reg Helwer (MLA for Brandon West) has been named legislative assistant to the minister of finance; and
- Greg Nesbitt (MLA for Riding Mountain) has been named legislative assistant to the minister of health, seniors and active living.
The following MLAs remain in their current portfolios:
- Brian Pallister (MLA for Fort Whyte) – premier and president of the Executive Council; minister of intergovernmental affairs and international relations;
- Jeff Wharton (MLA for Gimli) – Department of Municipal Relations;
- Eileen Clarke (MLA for Agassiz) – Department of Indigenous and northern relations;
- Ron Schuler (MLA for St. Paul) – Department of Infrastructure;
- Ralph Eichler (MLA for Lakeside) – Department of Agriculture;
- Blaine Pedersen (MLA for Midland) – Department of Growth, Enterprise and Trade;
- Cathy Cox (MLA for River East) – Department of Sport, Culture and Heritage; and
- Rochelle Squires (MLA for Riel) – Department of Sustainable Development and minister responsible for francophone affairs and status of women.
Updated mandate letters will be provided to the cabinet before the commencement of the fall legislative session.