Here are some thoughts on Ed Stelmach’s recently announced cabinet, which looks more like a cabinet shuffle, as it includes most of the pre-election cabinet. I can imagine that choosing a cabinet is probably one of the more difficult decisions that a Premier has to make during his (and maybe someday: her) time in office, but that won’t stop me from offering some thoughts…
– Ed Stelmach gets points for bringing some diversity and colour to cabinet for a change.
– Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo Tory Guy Boutilier got the boot from cabinet.
– It must suck to be Edmonton-Castle Downs Tory MLA Thomas Lukaszuk, who was passed over for a real cabinet spot by rookie Edmonton-Glenora MLA Heather Klimchuk.
– With Sherwood Park Tory Iris Evans as the new Minister of Finance and Enterprise, I wonder if Strathcona County will be getting that veto she was talking about…
– Speaking of regional cooperation… Edmonton kept quiet and played nice over the last year, while Calgarians through a fit, and now Edmonton ends up with half the number of full cabinet spots as Calgary. Perhaps Mayor Mandel might want to try out a new strategy for provincial relations.
Paul Simons put it well today…
When Calgary votes Tory and Edmonton votes Liberal, Edmonton gets fewer cabinet seats.
When Calgary elects more Liberals than Edmonton — Edmonton still gets fewer cabinet seats.
– Parliamentary Assistants abound. Other than that it would probably make more sense to call them Legislative Assistants (or Secretaries), this looks like a cabinet structure borrowed from Gordon Campbell’s BC Liberals from when they won their 77 out of 79 seats in 2001 (except, I think they called them “Ministers of State“). The Parliamentary Assistants position is not only a good way for the Tories to train future cabinet ministers, but also a way to keep MLAs busy in the newly supersized caucus. Bringing Janice Sarich and Raj Sherman into these positions was a good move.
– Dave Hancock’s move to Education from Health could be seen as a demotion, but it could also be an opportunity to actually get things accomplished in Education (though I think Hancock would have been a much better choice for Finance). I’ll be keeping an eye on how Hancock moves on the proliferation of P3s in Alberta’s education system.
– Moving Ron Stevens to Intergovernmental Affairs signals is an interesting move by the Tories in their brewing battle against the Federal Tories on the environment file. Interestingly, Stevens’ Calgary-Glenmore constituency is also part of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Calgary-Southwest riding.
Check out CalgaryGrit and the Official AGRDT ‘Alberta’s new cabinet’ post for some more commentary on the cabinet shuffle.