Premier Brian Pallister announced changes to the provincial cabinet to assure a stronger focus on key government priorities in preparation for the fall legislative session.
“This fine-tuning of our cabinet team will allow our government to focus more effectively on the priorities of Manitobans,” said Pallister. “I am very satisfied with the integrity and commitment of our cabinet and caucus, and the progress we have made to fix our finances, repair our services and rebuild our economy. We are meeting the challenges we were elected to tackle. This is the right team for the next phase of our mandate.”
The premier announced a restructuring to create two new departments – Indigenous and Northern Relations and Municipal Relations – out of the existing Indigenous and Municipal Relations department.
“We are dedicating full ministers to these portfolios because of the enormous importance of each to ensuring our province’s full prosperity and quality of life wherever Manitobans live,” said Pallister.
Jeff Wharton (MLA for Gimli) will be sworn into cabinet as the new minister of municipal relations and Eileen Clarke (MLA for Agassiz) will become minister for Indigenous and northern relations.
Other changes to the Manitoba Executive Council are as follows:
- Ron Schuler (MLA for St. Paul) – minister of infrastructure;
- Cliff Cullen (MLA for Spruce Woods) – minister of Crown services and government house leader;
- Blaine Pedersen (MLA for Midland) – minister of growth, enterprise and trade;
- Cathy Cox (MLA for River East) – minister of sport, culture and heritage; and
- Rochelle Squires (MLA for Riel) – minister of sustainable development and minister responsible for francophone affairs and status of women.
The following ministers remain in their current portfolios:
- Brian Pallister (MLA for Fort Whyte) – premier and president of the Executive Council; minister of intergovernmental affairs and international relations;
- Heather Stefanson (MLA for Tuxedo) – minister of justice and attorney general; Keeper of the Great Seal of the Province of Manitoba; deputy premier;
- Kelvin Goertzen (MLA for Steinbach) – minister of health, seniors and active living;
- Ralph Eichler (MLA for Lakeside) – minister of agriculture;
- Cameron Friesen (MLA for Morden-Winkler) – minister of finance; minister responsible for the civil service;
- Ian Wishart (MLA for Portage la Prairie) – minister of education and training; and
- Scott Fielding (MLA for Kirkfield Park) – minister of families.
The premier noted the overall size of the cabinet remains the same reflecting the ongoing effort to set a tone at the top in respecting the use of public resources of Manitobans.