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article imageOp-Ed: No surprises in Clark's B.C. cabinet

By Gibril Koroma     Mar 14, 2011 in Politics
Victoria - Premier Christy Clark, who was sworn in today as British Columbia's second female premier, has announced her new cabinet and, as predicted by most media analysts, she has brought in most of her rivals in the leadership race.
Kevin Falcon, a close associate of former premier Gordon Campbell, is the new Deputy Premier and Finance minister. Many people believe Falcon would have been premier today if he were not so close to Campbell and if he had not so stoutly defended the unpopular Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). Indeed he was endorsed by many ministers in the former cabinet and had extensive support among MLAs.
The same can be said of the new Education minister George Abbot, who actually came third in the leadership contest after Falcon. Mike de Jong, who came fourth in the race, is the new Health minister.
Moira Stillwell, who at one point withdrew from the race and threw her support behind Abbot did not however get a cabinet position. She has been relegated, (some would say demoted) to the status of Parliamentary Secretary for Industry, Research and Innovation to Pat Bell, the Minister of of the newly created Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation.
Moira was minister of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development before she resigned and announced that she wanted to be premier. She was the first minister to do so.
The only MLA that openly supported Christy Clark during the campaign, Harry Bloy, has been rewarded with the position of minister of Social Development (Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism). There were unconfirmed rumours he wanted the job of Speaker of the House.
In effect, apart from from Christy herself, Harry Bloy and a few others, Gordon Campbell's cabinet is still intact and there might not be huge policy changes in the short term while Christy tries to stabilize herself, consolidate power and unify the ideological strands in her party. But anything can happen in the long term. Right now she seems to be moving with caution while keeping in mind her Families First slogan, a slogan not necessarily embraced by some of her ministers.
Here is the list of the other ministers and parliamentary secretaries announced today:
Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation – Hon. Mary Polak
Advanced Education – Hon. Naomi Yamamoto
Agriculture – Hon. Don McRae
Attorney General – Hon. Barry Penner
Children and Family Development – Hon. Mary McNeil
Community, Sport and Cultural Development – Hon. Ida Chong
Energy and Mines (Minister Responsible for Housing) – Hon. Rich Coleman
Environment – Hon. Terry Lake
Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations – Hon. Steve Thomson
Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government – Hon. Stephanie Cadieux
Public Safety and Solicitor General – Hon. Shirley Bond
Transportation and Infrastructure – Hon. Blair Lekstrom
Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation – Hon. Mary Polak
Parliamentary Secretaries
Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier – John Les
Parliamentary Secretary for Natural Gas to the Minister of Energy and Mines – Pat Pimm
Parliamentary Secretary for Clean Technology to the Minister of Energy and Mines – John Yap
Parliamentary Secretary for Natural Resource Operations Review to the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations – Randy Hawes
Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors to the Minister of Health – Margaret MacDiarmid
Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Economic Development to the Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation – Donna Barnett
Parliamentary Secretary for Non-profit Partnerships to the Minister of Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government – Gordon Hogg
Parliamentary Secretary for Multiculturalism to the Minister of Social Development – Richard Lee
Parliamentary Secretary for Public Transportation to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure – Iain Black.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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