Outspoken Wildrose Party MLA Derek Fildebrandt, who finds himself frequently at odds with leader Brian Jean, remains in his high-profile role as Official Opposition Finance & Treasury critic after a shuffle of critic portfolios in the Wildrose caucus this week.
But according to the MLA committee membership list released on Dec. 13, 2016, Fildebrandt is no longer Chair of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, a role he has filled since June 2015. The chair of the financial oversight committee is traditionally filled by an MLA from the Official Opposition. Fildebrandt has been replaced by Bonnyville-Cold Lake MLA Scott Cyr.
While relinquishing the chair role could be seen as a demotion caused by conflict with his party’s leadership, it likely means that Fildebrandt, a former director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and aggressive critic of the NDP, can now play a more active and vocal role on the committee.
The Wildrose shuffle included new assignments for Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Drew Barnes as Energy critic, Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo MLA Tany Yao as Health critic, Chestermere-Rockyview MLA Leela Aheer as Education Critic, Airdrie MLA Angela Pitt as Justice & Solicitor General critic, Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock MLA Glenn van Dijken as Jobs & Labour critic, and Little Bow MLA Dave Schneider as Agriculture critic. The capable and quick on his feet Nathan Cooper remains House Leader. (See a full list here)
The Wildrose caucus also shuffled their MLA committee membership:
- Prasad Panda replaces Grant Hunter as a member of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.
- Glenn van Dijken replaces Dave Schneider as Deputy Chair of the Standing Committee on Alberta’s Economic Future.
- Leela Aheer replaces Ron Orr as a member of the Standing Committee on Families and Communities
- Angela Pitt replaces Nathan Cooper as a member of the Standing Committee on Legislative Offices
- Nathan Cooper replaces Derek Fildebrandt as a member of the Standing Committee on Members’ Services
- Todd Loewen replaces Leela Aheer as a member of the Standing Committee on Resource Stewardship
- Angela Pitt and Glenn van Dijken become members of the Select Special Ombudsman and Public Interest Commissioner Search Committee.