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Horgan expands cabinet to fight pandemic, maintains gender balance

Last Updated Nov 26, 2020 at 10:39 pm PDT

(Image Credit: BC Government)

12 men and 12 women make up Premier John Horgan's new cabinet which was sworn in on Thursday

Selina Robinson has been appointed as finance minister, which was previously held by Carole James

Rob Fleming moves from education to transportation as Jennifer Whiteside takes over for him

VICTORIA — The provincial government has officially laid out the cabinet for the new government while maintaining a gender balance.

Premier John Horgan’s new cabinet is made up of 12 men and 12 women and relies on some familiar faces in key positions with Adrian Dix staying in health, while giving the task of guiding the economy through the COVID-19 pandemic to Selina Robinson with her appointment as finance minister.

Robinson has been tapped to replace longtime legislature member Carole James, who didn’t seek re-election in the last month’s provincial election for health reasons.

Horgan also announced James will stay on as a “special advisor.”

Robinson was previously the minister of municipal affairs and housing.

Rob Fleming moves from education to transportation, which was previously held by Claire Trevena. She was one of the several NDP cabinet ministers who didn’t seek election. 

New Westminster MLA Jennifer Whiteside takes over as the education minister.

The premier has kept some of his most senior ministers in their previous cabinet posts, including Mike Farnworth as solicitor general and David Eby as attorney general, but with the added responsibility of housing.

Three former MPs were handed cabinet posts, with Murray Rankin being named Indigenous relations and reconciliation minister; Nathan Cullen as minister of state for lands, natural resource operations; and Sheila Malcolmson, who served in the last legislature after leaving federal politics, becoming the minister of mental health and addictions.

Among the other newcomers to cabinet are Mitzi Dean as children and family development minister and former Tofino mayor Josie Osbourne at municipal affairs.

Horgan’s cabinet unveiling comes after the NDP won a majority government in last month’s election, capturing 57 of the 87 seats in B.C.’s legislature.

Horgan has recalled the legislature for a brief session with a throne speech Dec. 7.

A full list of the new cabinet: 

Premier: John Horgan

Attorney General (and Minister Responsible For Housing): David Eby

  • Parliamentary Secretary – Anti-Racism Initiatives: Rachna Singh

Advanced Education, Skills and Training: Anne Kang

  • Parliamentary Secretary – Skills Training: Andrew Mercier

Agriculture, Food and Fisheries: Lana Popham

  • Parliamentary Secretary – Fisheries and Aquaculture: Fin Donnelly

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

  • Parliamentary Secretary – Environment: Kelly Greene

Finance: Selina Robinson

  • Parliamentary Secretary – Gender Equity: Grace Lore

Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development: Katrine Conroy

  • Minister of State for Lands, Natural Resource Operations: Nathan Cullen
  • Parliamentary Secretary – Rural Development: Roly Russell

Health (and Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs): Adrian Dix

  • Parliamentary Secretary – Seniors Services and Long Term Care: Mable Elmore

Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation: Murray Rankin

Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation: Ravi Kahlon

  • Minister of State for Trade: George Chow
  • Parliamentary Secretary – Technology and Innovation: Brenda Bailey

Labour: Harry Bains

  • Parliamentary Secretary – New Economy: Adam Walker

Mental Health and Addictions: Sheila Malcolmson

Municipal Affairs: Josie Osborne

Public Safety and Solicitor General: Mike Farnworth

  • Parliamentary Secretary – Emergency Preparedness: Jennifer Rice

Social Development and Poverty Reduction: Nicholas Simons

  • Parliamentary Secretary – Community Development and Non-Profits: Niki Sharma
  • Parliamentary Secretary – Accessibility: Dan Coulter

Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport: Melanie Mark

  • Parliamentary Secretary – Arts and Film: Bob D’Eith

Transportation and Infrastructure: Rob Fleming

  • Minister of State for Infrastructure: Bowinn Ma