Premier Heather Stefanson is announcing big changes to ministerial positions in Manitoba.
On Tuesday at 1 p.m., the premier announced her new cabinet. In her first shuffle since her November appointment, all but one minister saw changes to their Manitoba Executive Council role. There is now a total of 17 ministers.
"One of a premier's greatest responsibilities is to assemble a cabinet to govern on behalf of the people of Manitoba," the premier says in the swearing-in ceremony. "That requires listening to Manitobans about what they want and need from the government."
Stefanson says she has heard from Manitobans that they want a cabinet that acts with "integrity and compassion and always puts its citizens first."
Four MLA's are adding minster to their title after Stefanson's shakeups. The crown services role is being split, with some ministers being responsible for individual crown services.
Minister Audrey Gordon's portfolio is changing as she focuses on COVID-19 and surgery backlogs. Senior's care and mental health were removed from her official duties, placing the responsibilities to two other ministers.
"My message to Manitobans is this: the people we have assembled before you today are compassionate leaders who are ready to govern for you. To focus on your livelihoods, your families, and your communities."
There are three new ministers in Manitoba, and one person returning to cabinet after resigning.
Scott Johnston (MLA for Assiniboia) will be leading a new department, the Department of Seniors and Long-term Care. This includes the implementation of the Stevenson Review, which was commissioned after the many COVID-19 deaths at care homes in the fall of 2020.
Doyle Piwniuk (MLA for Turtle Mountain) will be the minister of transportation and infrastructure.
Andrew Smith (MLA for Lagimodiere) will take up MLA Cathy Cox's sport, culture and heritage previous role, along with the minister responsible for Travel Manitoba and the Manitoba Centennial Centre Corporation (MCCC).
Eileen Clarke (MLA for Agassiz) returns to cabinet in a role she served in previously, minister of municipal relations. Clarke resigned as minister of Indigenous and northern relations in the summer following comments from then-premier Brian Pallister.
New roles for current ministers include:
- Cliff Cullen (MLA for Spruce Woods) as deputy premier and minister of economic development, investment and trade
- Kelvin Goertzen (MLA for Steinbach) as minister of justice and attorney general, and minister responsible for Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) and government house leader
- Cameron Friesen (MLA for Morden-Winkler) as minister of finance and minister responsible for Manitoba Hydro
- Scott Fielding (MLA for Kirkfield Park) as minister of natural resources and northern development, and minister responsible for the Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation (MBLL)
- Sarah Guillemard (MLA for Fort Richmond) as minister of mental health and community wellness
- Jeff Wharton (MLA for Red River North) as minister of environment, climate and parks, and minister responsible for Efficiency Manitoba
- Reg Helwer (MLA for Brandon West) as minister of labour, consumer protection and government services, minister responsible for the Public Utilities Board (PUB) and minister responsible for the civil service
- Wayne Ewasko (MLA for Lac du Bonnet) as minister of education and early childhood learning
- Derek Johnson (MLA for Interlake-Gimli) as minister of agriculture
- Jon Reyes (MLA for Waverley) as minister of advanced education, skills and immigration
"This is the first day of the rest of our lives," Stefanson says. "We are going to do this together."
Rochelle Squires (MLA for Riel) will continue to the minister of families and minister responsible for francophone affairs, adding minister responsible for the status of women and the minister responsible for accessibility to her roles.
The Manitoba Teachers' Society (MTS) shares in a statement that Ewasko, the new minister of education, was a teacher.
"Ewasko spent 17 years as a teacher and guidance counsellor in the Sunrise School Division. He received the Teacher of Distinction Award from Brandon University in 2008 and, in 2012, was presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal," MTS's statement says,
Loren Remillard, President of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, tweeted his congratulations.
"(The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce is) eager to work with you on ensuring Manitoba's economy shifts strongly to recovery & growth," he tweets.
Congratulations to new Ministers @smith4lag @doylepiwniuk & Scott Johnston, returning Minister @Min_E_Clarke , & all Cabinet members on your new roles and responsibilities. @TheWpgChamber eager to work with you on ensuring Manitoba's economy shifts strongly to recovery & growth. https://t.co/j2Gvdwz2xO— Loren Remillard (@LorenRemillard) January 18, 2022
The Minister for Indigenous Reconciliation and Northern Relations, Alan Lagimodiere (MLA for Selkirk), was the only member of the cabinet to not see changes.
Cathy Cox, Ralph Eichler, and Ron Schuler are no longer ministers.
This comes after a shakeup in December, removing Schuler from the infrastructure minister and minister responsible for the Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization positions. Reg Helwer, Minister of Central Services, was then appointed to the two roles.