Despite this current historic period in Alberta politics as a new party transitions into government for the first time in 44 years, almost no public focus has been directed at the team who are managing the Alberta NDP move into government.
We have heard that former Saskatchewan Premier Roy Romanow was consulted and that other top New Democratic Party officials, including National Director Anne McGrath and party insider Kathleen Monk, have been involved in the transition process. We know that Premier-designate Rachel Notley’s Chief of Staff Brian Topp is chairing the transition team and we can expect that Deputy Chief of Staff Adrienne King is also heavily involved.
The other individuals involved in this important transition of power, by providing advice, support and research to Ms. Notley and her team of MLAs, have barely been mentioned in the mainstream media. It is no surprise that many of these individuals would come from other provinces in Canada where the NDP have experience governing. And it was probably a smart move by Ms. Notley and her team to have included experienced outsiders in the transition process, as this is the first time the Alberta NDP have formed government.
But who is on the “transition team” that is helping Alberta’s new government into office? It seems like something Albertans should know.
Here is a look at some of the individuals who are playing a role as members or support staff for the Alberta NDP ‘Transition Team’ :
Jen Anthony, Former Director of Caucus Services for the Manitoba NDP Caucus
Alissa Brandt, Former Director of the Premier’s Secretariat in Manitoba
Matt Hannah, British Columbia NDP organizer
John Heaney, Chief of Staff at the B.C. NDP Caucus
Brad Lafortune, Director of Political Action at the Alberta Federation of Labour, former Alberta NDP Caucus Communications Officer
John Michael McColl, Issue Coordinator in the Office of the Leader of the NDP Official Opposition in Ottawa
Emily-Anne Paul, Regional Press Secretary for B.C. and Northern Ontario in the Office of the Leader of the NDP Official Opposition in Ottawa
Anna Rothney, Former Secretary to Cabinet for Priorities and Planning in Manitoba
Michael Roy, Digital Director for the federal NDP
Jim Rutkowski, a senior account director for Hill + Knowlton in Victoria, B.C. An advisor to Brian Topp during the 2012 federal NDP leadership campaign.
Brian Stokes, Executive Director of the Alberta NDP
Kate Van Meer-Mass, BC NDP organizer, campaign manager for NDP MLA David Eby, who defeated Premier Christy Clark in Vancouver-Point Grey in 2013.
It will not be surprising if some of these individuals, with their experience working in other NDP governments across Canada, are hired to fill roles in Ministerial Offices or the Government Caucus Offices.
The NDP will officially take the reins of government on Sunday, May 24, when Ms. Notley and her 11-member cabinet are sworn-in at a public event at the Legislature Building. MLAs elected on May 5 will be sworn-in to office on June 1.