British Columbia Premier John Horgan has chosen a gender-balanced cabinet that includes a mix of veteran MLAs and people first elected to the legislature in May.
There are 11 women and 11 men in the cabinet that Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon swore in today at a ceremony at Government House packed with NDP supporters and other invited guests.
Like the NDP caucus, the cabinet is weighted towards Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, but with appointees from Vancouver Island, the north and interior as well.
Senior cabinet positions went to some of the NDP’s more experienced MLAs including two former leaders. Carole James will be the minister of finance as well as deputy premier, and Adrian Dix is the minister of health. David Eby is the attorney general and Rob Fleming is minister of education.
Other notable appointments include Michelle Mungall in energy, mines and petroleum resources, Melanie Mark in advanced education, skills and training, and Doug Donaldson in forests, lands, natural resource operations and rural development.
George Heyman is the minister of environment and climate change strategy, Katrine Conroy is minister of children and family development, Scott Fraser is the minister of indigenous relations and reconciliation, Claire Trevena is the minister of transportation and infrastructure, and Judy Darcy heads the new ministry of mental health and addictions.
BC Green leader Andrew Weaver extended his congratulations to the new cabinet in a statement. “This minority government is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to do politics differently in British Columbia,” he said.
“For far too long, the B.C. Legislature has been mired in a combative, hyper-partisan status quo. The new government’s challenge will be to not just talk about doing things differently, but to actually put the good of British Columbians ahead of political calculation.”
At the swearing in ceremony today, Horgan talked about the province’s ongoing forest fires, thanked people who got him there and laid out several priorities. “We’re ready to get started. Let’s go!” he said.
Later, he said the 41 NDP MLAs came to the ceremony together on a bus. “We did a road trip from the legislature, and as a sports guy I know you bond on the bus and that’s the way we’re starting this government, together.”
The government’s priorities include working on the opioid overdose crisis, eliminating bridge tolls, raising welfare rates and reducing costs to make life more affordable for British Columbians, Horgan said.
In total there are 22 ministers, including two ministers of state, plus the premier for a 23-member cabinet, and six parliamentary secretaries.
The full list follows:
John Horgan: Premier
Melanie Mark: Advanced Education, Skills and Training
Lana Popham: Agriculture
David Eby: Attorney General
Katrine Conroy: Children and Family Development
Katrina Chen: Minister of State for Childcare
Jinny Sims: Citizens' Services
Rob Fleming: Education
Michelle Mungall: Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources
George Heyman: Environment, and Climate Change Strategy
Carole James: Finance and Deputy Premier
Doug Donaldson: Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Adrian Dix: Health
Scott Fraser: Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
Bruce Ralston: Jobs, Trade and Technology
Shane Simpson: Social Development and Poverty Reduction
George Chow: Minister of State for Trade
Harry Bains: Labour
Judy Darcy: Mental Health and Addictions
Selina Robinson: Municipal Affairs and Housing
Mike Farnworth: Public Safety and Solicitor General
Lisa Beare: Tourism, Arts and Culture
Claire Trevena: Transportation and Infrastructure