Premier Christy Clark and new B.C. Liberal cabinet sworn in ahead of confidence vote

Premier Christy Clark and new B.C. Liberal cabinet sworn in ahead of confidence vote

The B.C. Liberals’ Executive Council was sworn in on Monday at Government House on June 12. Tess van Straaten/CHEK News

B.C. Premier Christy Clark named her picks for her cabinet Monday ahead of a confidence vote she is expected to lose.

Clark and the new cabinet were sworn in at Government House in Victoria for what will likely be a two-week term.

“The provincial election made two things clear: British Columbians want a government that will work across party lines, and one that will bridge the divide between urban and rural British Columbians,” Clark said in a statement.

“For as long as we have the confidence of the legislature, we will work to bridge this gap and create an environment where both resource-dependent communities and dynamic, tech-focused urban centres thrive, and create opportunities for each other.”

Two of the new ministers are Jas Johal, a former journalist, director of communications for LNG and MLA of the new riding of Richmond-Queensborough, who was named Minister of Technology, Innovation and Infrastructure and Ellis Ross, former Haisla Nation chief councillor, who was named the Minister of Natural Gas Development and Minister Responsible for Housing.

Sam Sullivan, former Vancouver mayor and MLA for Vancouver-False Creek, joined the cabinet as Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. Jordan Sturdy, former mayor of Pemberton and MLA for West Vancouver-Sea to Sky, is the new Minister of the Environment.

Another new minister is former speaker Linda Reid, the long-serving MLA of Richmond East. Reid was appointed Minister of Advanced Education.

The new ministers are expected to only be in their roles for a few weeks. The B.C. Legislature is recalled for a throne speech on June 22 and Clark has said she expects to lose a confidence vote in the legislature to the NDP-Green Alliance. The Liberals have 43 seats to 41 seats for the NDP and three seats for the Greens.

READ MORE: B.C. Green Party agrees to support B.C. NDP in minority legislature

Mary Polak, MLA of Langley, was appointed the new Minister of Health while Andrew Wilkinson, MLA of Vancouver-Quilchena, was named the new Attorney General and Minister of Justice. Rich Coleman was appointed Minister of Energy and Mines.

Clark reappointed John Rustad as Minister of Aboriginal Relations, Norm Letnick as Minister of Agriculture, John Rustad as Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, Stephanie Cadieux as Minister of Children and Family Development, Mike Bernier as Minister of Education, Michael de Jong as Minister of Finance, Steve Thomson as Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Donna Barnett as Minister of State for Rural Economic Development.

Other familiar faces include Teresa Wat as Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for the Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism, Shirley Bond as Minister of Jonbs,Tourism and Skills Training, and Minister Responsible for Labour, Mike Morris as Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Coralee Oakes as Minister of Small Business, Red-Tape Reduction and Minister Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch, Michelle Stilwell as Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation, and Todd Stone of Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.

The emergency preparedness minister position was not filled. There are a total off 22 members in the Liberals’ executive council, with 13 men and nine women.

Former Energy Minister Bill Bennett and former Health Minister Terry Lake did not seek reelection. Four ministers lost their seats in the election, including Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness Naomi Yamamoto, Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton; Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Peter Fassbender and Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens? Services Amrik Virk.

“We all expect, me included, that the government is unlikely to win a confidence vote but should be do that, we do have a responsibility to be in a position to govern,” Clark told reporters.

The next step for this minority government is the election of a speaker.
There’s been rampant speculation about who that will be, since the speaker only votes to break a tie.
“As long as we’re in government, we’ll ensure there is a speaker because that’s important for stability,” the premier said.
But when pressed, Clark wouldn’t say whether the speaker will be a Liberal, which means the guessing game continues until the legislature resumes in 10 days.

With files from Tess Van Straaten

The B.C. Liberals’ Executive Council was sworn in on Monday at Government House on June 12.

Alexa HuffmanAlexa Huffman

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