Premier Brian Pallister is announcing new appointments in his PC cabinet, including naming Minister Kelvin Goertzen as his Deputy Premier.
Tuesday brought change to the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.
“As we begin a new year and enter a new phase of addressing the significant challenges posed by COVID-19, it is time to present a renewed ‘Team Manitoba’ to lead our efforts to protect Manitobans and create opportunities,” Pallister says in a statement. “Our strong team has a clear focus on helping working families, seniors and vulnerable Manitobans, protecting our health and education systems, and setting the groundwork for a sustained economic recovery by creating job opportunities.”
Pallister says this is a difficult time for Manitoba but is confident in his decision to switch up positions.
Nine ministers are being sworn into new roles as part of the 18 cabinet positions on Tuesday. Of the 18-person group, six of the ministers are women, including one POC.
The new appointments are as follows:
Minister Kelvin Goertzen is being appointed as the Deputy Premier and the Minister of Legislative and Public Affairs. He was previously the Education Minister and Government House Leader.
Minister Heather Stefanson is being appointed to the new position of Minister of Health and Seniors Care. Previously she was the Minister of Families and Deputy Premier.
Minister Ralph Eichler is being named as the Minister of Economic Development and Jobs. Previously, he was the Minister of Economic Development and Training.
Minister Cliff Cullen is taking on the role of Minister of Education. He was previously the Minister of Justice.
Minister Cameron Friesen is taking the Office of the Minister of Justice, and Attorney General. He was formally the Health Minister.
Minister Rachelle Squires Ministers of Families. She previously was the Minister of Municipal Affairs. She continues to be the Minister responsible for Francophone Affairs.
Minister Wayne Ewasco is the new Minister of Executive Councillor of Manitoba and taking the office as Minister of Advanced Education, Skills, and Immigration. Advanced Education, Skills, and Immigration is a new office aimed to promote advanced education opportunities for young Manitobans and those seeking to immigrate to the province. Ewasco was not responsible for an office with the previous PC cabinet.
Minister Derek Johnson is leading the Office of Municipal Relations. He did not previously hold a leading office role.
Minister Audrey Gordon is being named as the Executive Councillor of Manitoba. She is also taking charge as Minister for Mental Health, Wellness, and Recovery. This is a new office designed to improve mental health policies and promote overall wellness and healing. Gordon did not previously hold a ministerial position. The province says she is the first Black person to be appointed to cabinet in provincial history.
"After an unprecedented year that has tested and continue to test the resolve of all Manitobans marks the renewed sense of optimism," Pallister says during his announcement, saying that he is hopeful for the new year.
Eight ministers did not change their positions including Ministers Ron Schuler, Blaine Pedersen, Eileen Clarke, Cathy Cox, Scott Fielding, Jeff Wharton, Reg Helwer, and Sarah Guillemard.