B.C. premier announces new NDP cabinet, replaces education minister
VICTORIA -- British Columbia Premier John Horgan announced his new cabinet Thursday, one month after the B.C. NDP won a majority government in the 2020 provincial election.
Horgan named 20 MLAs to full ministerial roles and appointed four others as ministers of state for a total of 25 cabinet members, including himself.
His previous cabinet numbered 23 members, including the premier.
Horgan replaced former education minister Rob Fleming with newly elected MLA Jennifer Whiteside of New Westminster. Fleming will now serve as Minister for Transportation and Infrastructure.
Among the other newcomers to cabinet are Mitzi Dean as children and family development minister and former Tofino mayor Josie Osbourne who takes over at municipal affairs.
Another major cabinet change came with the appointment of Selina Robinson as finance minister.
Robinson, who was previously the minister of municipal affairs and housing, takes over from Carole James, who announced her retirement earlier this year after she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Horgan said Thursday that James will stay on as a special advisor to the premier and will be paid $1 per year.
Adrian Dix will keep his post as the province's health minister amid the dual crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and the opioid epidemic.
David Eby will also remain on as attorney general but takes on an added role as the minister responsible for housing.
Mike Farnworth will continue as minister of public safety and solicitor general amid an unprecedented 36-week state of emergency in the province.
The new ministers and parliamentary secretaries were sworn in remotely over a video call due to restrictions on gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic and the province’s economic recovery will be the focus of the new team, Horgan said.
“The pandemic has turned the lives of British Columbians upside down,” the premier said Thursday. “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.”
The new cabinet will be supported by 13 parliamentary secretaries, with portfolios including Rural Development, Anti-Racism, and Technology & Innovation.
The appointees were chosen from the 57 legislature seats won by the NDP in the Oct. 24 election. The new cabinet is made up of 13 men, including Horgan, and 12 women.
Horgan has recalled the legislature for a brief session and throne speech Dec. 7 and plans to deliver $1,000 in pandemic relief promised to voters during the election campaign.
The new B.C. NDP cabinet:
- Premier: John Horgan
- Attorney General (and Minister Responsible For Housing): David Eby
- Advanced Education and Skills Training: Anne Kang
- Agriculture, Food and Fisheries: Lana Popham
- Citizens’ Services: Lisa Beare
- Children and Family Development: Mitzi Dean
- Minister of State for Child Care: Katrina Chen
- Education: Jennifer Whiteside
- Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation (and Minister Responsible for The Consular Corps of British Columbia): Bruce Ralston
- Environment and Climate Change Strategy (and Minister Responsible for Translink): George Heyman
- Finance: Selina Robinson
- Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development: Katrine Conroy
- Minister of State for Lands, Natural Resource Operations: Nathan Cullen
- Health (and Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs): Adrian Dix
- Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation: Murray Rankin
- Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation: Ravi Kahlon
- Minister of State for Trade: George Chow
- Labour: Harry Bains
- Mental Health and Addictions: Sheila Malcolmson
- Municipal Affairs: Josie Osborne
- Public Safety and Solicitor General: Mike Farnworth
- Social Development and Poverty Reduction: Nicholas Simons
- Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport: Melanie Mark
- Transportation and Infrastructure: Rob Fleming
- Minister of State for Infrastructure: Bowinn Ma
- Anti-Racism Initiatives: Rachna Singh
- Skills Training: Andrew Mercier
- Fisheries and Aquaculture: Fin Donnelly
- Environment: Kelly Greene
- Gender Equity: Grace Lore
- Rural Development: Roly Russell
- Seniors Services & Long Term Care: Mable Elmore
- Technology & Innovation: Brenda Bailey
- New Economy: Adam Walker
- Emergency Preparedness: Jennifer Rice
- Community Development & Non-Profits: Niki Sharma
- Accessibility: Dan Coulter
- Arts and Film: Bob D'Eith