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Cabinet changes support economic recovery and renewal

Provincial Press Release July 8, 2021 @ 10:14am published at 10:25am

Premier Jason Kenney has announced several changes to cabinet and welcomed six new members to further support Alberta’s economic recovery.

As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, Alberta’s government is focused on Alberta’s Recovery Plan, a plan to build, diversify the economy and create good jobs.

The changes to cabinet reflect this renewed focus on recovery. They are:

Rajan Sawhney, MLA for Calgary-North East and currently the Minister of Community and Social Services, becomes the Minister of Transportation. She will deliver on Alberta’s historic Capital Plan investment of $20.3 billion over the next three years, including Alberta’s $1.53-billion investment in Calgary’s Green Line LRT project, which will create 90,000 new jobs.

Tanya Fir, MLA for Calgary-Peigan, becomes Associate Minister of Red Tape Reduction. She will continue to deliver on Alberta’s aggressive efforts to eliminate burdensome regulations, improve small business competitiveness and get Alberta’s economy moving.

Nate Horner, MLA for Drumheller-Stettler, becomes Associate Minister of Rural Economic Development, under the Ministry of Jobs, Economy and Innovation. He will support Minister Doug Schweitzer in making sure Alberta’s Recovery Plan delivers results for rural and remote Alberta communities, working across government on important strategic initiatives such as expanding rural broadband internet and irrigation networks.

Muhammad Yaseen, MLA for Calgary-North, becomes Associate Minister of Immigration and Multiculturalism, under the Ministry of Labour and Immigration. He will work with Minister Jason Copping in rolling out the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program and the Fairness for Newcomers Action Plan. He will also be tasked with reaching out to ethnic and faith communities and working across government to address recent attacks on vulnerable individuals and communities.

Whitney Issik, MLA for Calgary-Glenmore, becomes the Associate Minister of Status of Women, under the Ministry of Culture and Status of Women, and the chief government whip. She will work to ensure that women are a driving force in Alberta’s economic recovery, recognizing the disproportionate impact of the global COVID-19 recession on women.

Ron Orr, MLA for Lacombe-Ponoka, becomes the Minister of Culture. He will focus on helping Alberta’s arts and culture organizations recover from the negative economic impacts of COVID-19 while implementing an Alberta Identity Strategy that will address recommendation 25 of the Fair Deal Panel to “affirm Alberta’s cultural, economic and political uniqueness in law and government policy.”

Mike Ellis, MLA for Calgary-West and currently the chief government whip, becomes Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. He will continue to implement Alberta’s recovery-oriented systems of care model across the province.

Jason Luan, MLA for Calgary-Foothills and currently the Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, becomes the Minister of Community and Social Services. He will focus on delivering supports for vulnerable Albertans as they emerge from COVID-19, helping to bridge unemployed and underemployed Albertans into good jobs.

Other non-ministry changes:

Joseph Schow, MLA for Cardston-Siksika and currently the deputy government whip, becomes deputy government house leader.

Brad Rutherford, MLA for Leduc-Beaumont, becomes deputy government whip.

“Alberta is leading Canada out of the COVID-19 pandemic and into strong economic growth. This renewal of our cabinet will support Alberta’s Recovery Plan, a plan to build, to diversify the economy and to create jobs. With six new voices and strong, experienced ministers moving into important economic roles, Alberta’s government is ready to deliver a strong recovery for all Albertans.” Jason Kenney, Premier

The Premier also announced the appointment of Pam Livingston as chief of staff, with acting chief of staff Larry Kaumeyer returning to his previous role as principal secretary to the Premier. Livingston has an extensive history in senior roles with the Government of Alberta, most recently as the chief of staff to the Minister of Environment and Parks and deputy chief of staff to the Premier. Kaumeyer has served as a senior executive throughout his private sector career.

“I would like to thank both Larry and Pam for their tremendous support and leadership as we navigated through the COVID-19 pandemic and I look forward to working with them as the government focuses on Alberta’s Recovery Plan and fighting for a fair deal for Albertans.”

Jason Kenney, Premier

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