Liberal leader Christy Clark was sworn in as the province’s 35th premier Monday in Victoria and unveiled a 17-member cabinet that includes some new faces, some familiar.
Of the two local MLAs who were in the last cabinet, only Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson remains, keeping resource operations and adding forests and lands in a new expanded ministry.
But dropped from cabinet was Westside-Kelowna MLA Ben Stewart, who was the province’s agriculture minister. That job went to cabinet newcomer Don McRae. Stewart will be the new government whip.
Other noticable absentees were former finance minister, Colin Hansen, widely seen as the architect of the controversial Harmonized Sales Tax.
Clark has said she plans to move the referendum on the HST forward to June 24.
The new B.C. cabinet is smaller than its predecessor, with 17 positions, plus Clark, as opposed to former premier Gordon Campbell’s last cabinet which had 23 minister in it.
The new cabinet includes:
Finance and deputy premier – Kevin Falcon
Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation – Mary Polak
Advanced Education – Naomi Yamamoto
Agriculture – Don McRae
Attorney-General – Barry Penner
Children and Family Development – Mary McNeil
Community, Sport and Cultural Development – Ida Chong
Education – George Abbott
Energy and Mines (and responsible for housing) – Rich Coleman
Environment – Terry Lake
Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations – Steve Thomson
Health – Mike de Jong
Jobs, Tourism and Innovation – Pat Bell
Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government – Stephanie Cadieux
Public Safety and Solicitor-General – Shirley Bond
Social Development – Harry Bloy
Transportation and Infrastructure – Blair Lekstrom