Prince George, B.C. – Christy Clark has been sworn in as B.C.’s 35th Premier.
Her cabinet has also been sworn in, and there are major changes.
Local MLAs, Shirley Bond and Pat Bell are part of the cabinet although they are in very different posts. Bond is now the Minister in charge of Public Safety and the Solicitor General. Bell is now the Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation.
Clark has welcomed back Blair Lekstrom not only to the Liberal caucus but to Cabinet as well. She has also rewarded Harry Bloy, the lone member of the Liberal Caucus, who supported her leadership bid.
Cabinet is smaller, "Our new cabinet will reflect the priorities of British Columbians and put families at the centre of all our decision-making," said Premier Clark. "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.
The new cabinet appointed and sworn into office today is:
* Premier - Hon. Christy Clark
* Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance - Hon. Kevin Falcon
* Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation - Hon. Mary Polak
* Minister of Advanced Education - Hon. Naomi Yamamoto
* Minister of Agriculture - Hon. Don McRae
* Attorney General - Hon. Barry Penner
* Minister of Children and Family Development - Hon. Mary McNeil
* Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development - Hon. Ida Chong
* Minister of Education - Hon. George Abbott
* Minister of Energy and Mines (minister responsible for Housing) -Hon. Rich Coleman
* Minister of Environment - Hon. Terry Lake
* Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations - Hon. Steve Thomson
* Minister of Health - Hon. Michael de Jong
* Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation - Hon. Pat Bell
* Minister of Labour, Citizens' Services and Open Government - Hon.Stephanie Cadieux
* Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General - Hon. Shirley Bond
* Minister of Social Development (minister responsible for multiculturalism) - Hon. Harry Bloy
* Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure - Hon. Blair Lekstrom
Additionally, 10 MLAs have been named as parliamentary secretaries, and will work with ministers to focus on key initiatives of government.
Rich Coleman will serve as the Government House Leader and Terry Lake will be the deputy Government House Leader. Ben Stewart will be the Government whip.
"We want British Columbians to have the opportunity to be more engaged with government decision-making," said Premier Clark. "We will work with citizens to find solutions to problems, set priorities openly and explain why we make the decisions we do. British Columbia is starting
from a position of strength. It is up to us to build on this strength for the betterment of families across our province."