B.C. Premier John Horgan announced his new cabinet on Thursday with the expectation that the pandemic will occupy the duties of the majority of his ministers.
Horgan’s cabinet unveiling comes after the NDP won a majority government in last month’s election, capturing 57 of the 87 seats in B.C.’s legislature.
“The pandemic has turned the lives of British Columbians upside down,” Premier Horgan said.
“We have come a long way together, but we have much further to go. This skilled, diverse team is ready to continue our fight against COVID-19 and build an economic recovery that includes everyone.”
It’s usually an occasion marked by pomp and circumstance, but today’s swearing-in of the NDP government’s cabinet is a much different event with just a handful in attendance.
It was revealed at today’s ceremony that Vancouver Island now has a record six cabinet ministers in addition to the Premier.
Rob Fleming moves from Education to Transportation.
Murray Rankin is the new Indigenous Relations Minister.
Former Tofino mayor Josie Osborne is the Minister of Municipal Affairs.
Esquimalt’s Mitzi Dean is the Minister of Children and Family Development.
Lana Popham remains on in Agriculture.
Nanaimo’s Sheila Malcolmson is the new Mental Health and Addictions Minister.
Coquitlam M-L-A Selina Robinson moves from Municipal Affairs into Finance, taking over from Carole James.
Adrian Dix stays on as Health Minister.
David Eby also staying as BC’s Attorney General.
Mike Farnworth remains as Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General.
George Heyman staying on in Environment.
The big change, however, is the new education minister.
One of the biggest surprises on the day was the announcement by Horgan of BC’s new education minister, Jennifer Whiteside.
Whiteside is a rookie MLA but is a long-time community and union activist.
Other posts include Anne Kang in Advanced Education. Lisa Beare as Citizens’ Services. Bruce Ralston remaining as Energy Minister. Katrine Conroy becomes BC’s first female Forests Minister. Ravi Kahlon is the new Jobs Minister. And Harry Bains stays in Labour. Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons is the Social Development Minister, and Melanie Mark is the new Tourism Minister.
The leader of the Opposition, Shirley Bond, issued a statement congratulating the new cabinet but said that people expect a clear and deliberate response to the crisis, health and economic, that we face.
A full list of cabinet members can be found here.