Cabinet Members Named for New Left-Leaning Alberta Govt

Alberta’s new cabinet was sworn in Sunday, when Premier Rachel Notley named Margaret McCuaig-Boyd as energy minister in Canada’s biggest oil-producing province.

McCuaig-Boyd was among more than 50 New Democratic Party lawmakers elected on May 5, ending a 44-year streak of Progressive Conservative government and elevating the left-leaning NDP to government in the province for the first time.

Joe Ceci was named finance minister, responsible for developing a budget that Notley has said will be released in the autumn. Shannon Phillips was sworn in as Alberta’s environment minister.

The energy and finance ministers, along with Notley, face a revenue shortfall created by the drop in oil prices. Notley has also sought to calm the nerves of investors in the traditionally conservative province, saying her government will work with industry.

Canadian energy stocks tumbled after Notley’s party swept into power, amid assessments that investment in Alberta’s oil sands industry will shrink.

The new cabinet is comprised of just 12 ministers, including Notley, a smaller team that means some ministers will have multiple responsibilities. Phillips, for example, will oversee parks and recreation and the status of women as well as the environment and sustainable resource development.

The cabinet will hold its first meeting in Calgary on Wednesday and Thursday, hearing reports on the state of the provincial economy and other issues, Notley has said.

Historic Win

The NDP picked up at least 53 of the province’s 87 seats in voting on May 5, defeating former premier Jim Prentice and the PC party. Prentice resigned his seat, and his leadership of the PC party, that night.

In another seat that ended in a tie, the NDP won a recount that could elevate their seat total to 54, barring a legal challenge. Notley has since told reporters that one of her elected lawmakers would sit as an independent, due to social media postings criticized for having been in poor taste.

Notley hasn’t said when she will unveil key platform proposals, which include a review of energy royalties, an increase of the corporate tax rate and a C$15 ($12.21) per hour minimum wage. She has said the royalty review and development of a climate change strategy are early priorities for her government.

The legislature will convene on June 11, and Notley’s government will lay out its plan in a Speech from the Throne on June 15.

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