News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

October 23, 2019


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Two New MLAs Welcomed to Cabinet, Ministries Reorganized to Create Better Alignment with Priorities

Premier Brian Pallister today welcomed members of Manitoba’s renewed executive council in a swearing-in ceremony conducted by Chief Justice Richard Chartier.

During the ceremony, held at the Manitoba Museum, Pallister spoke of his government’s ongoing commitment to fix the finances, repair the services and rebuild the economy.

“I am humbled to serve Manitobans for a second term,” said Pallister.  “We have made historic progress in putting more money back on the kitchen tables of Manitobans by reducing the PST and introducing other significant tax relief measures.  We remain committed to returning more money to Manitobans who worked so hard to earn it in the first place.  We have made great progress, but there is still much more to do.”

As part of the delivery of the government’s commitment to improving the province’s competitiveness and fulfilment of its Manitoba Works 40,000 jobs plan, Pallister said his government would continue its focus on economic development through a better alignment of resources across departments.  Changes include new synergies to unlock economic opportunities, advance workforce development and increase the competitiveness of Manitoba.
“It is a privilege to be able to continue our important work and I am pleased to welcome two new faces to cabinet, while also reorganizing ministries to create areas of focus consistent with our priorities and our vision to move Manitoba forward.”

Reg Helwer, MLA for Brandon West, was sworn in as minister for the new Department of Central Services, which is designed to focus on modernization of government services including procurement, information technology and shared services; and is the minister responsible for the Civil Service Commission.

Sarah Guillemard, MLA for Fort Richmond, was sworn in as minister for the new Department of Conservation and Climate, a single department charged with environmental and climate stewardship.  The department is responsible for ensuring responsible growth including delivery of the made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan, and Efficiency Manitoba.

Pallister also announced additional changes to ministries and new portfolios for the following ministers:
•    Ralph Eichler (MLA for Lakeside) will be the minister of the new Department of Economic Development and Training, which will be focused on economic development combined with
post-secondary education and training to create synergies and alignment between learning and the jobs that will drive the economy.
•    Blaine Pedersen (MLA for Midland) will be the minister of the new Department of Agriculture and Resource Development, an expanded department focused on agriculture and natural resources, including watershed districts, GROW programming, forestry, mining, fish and wildlife management.  
•    Rochelle Squires (MLA for Riel) will be the new minister for the Department of Municipal Relations, and minister responsible for Francophone Affairs.
•    Jeff Wharton (MLA for Red River North) will retain his responsibilities as the minister for the Department of Crown Services.
•    Cathy Cox (MLA for Kildonan-River East) will be the new minister responsible for the status of women in addition to her current duties as minister for the Department of Sport, Culture and Heritage.

“This experienced, talented team will ensure progress continues as we move Manitoba forward, making the place we call home one of the most improved provinces in Canada,” the premier said.

In addition to these changes, the following MLAs were given additional responsibilities:
•    Len Isleifson (MLA for Brandon East) has been named legislative assistant to the minister of health, seniors and active living.
•    Scott Johnston (MLA for Assiniboia) has been named legislative assistant to the minister of finance.
•    Dennis Smook (MLA for La Verendrye) has been named legislative assistant to the minister of economic development and training.

 The following MLAs remain in their current portfolios:
•    Brian Pallister (MLA for Fort Whyte) – premier and president of the Executive Council; minister of intergovernmental affairs;
•    Heather Stefanson (MLA for Tuxedo) – Department of Families; deputy premier;
•    Cam Friesen (MLA for Morden-Winkler) – Department of Health, Seniors and Active Living;
•    Cliff Cullen (MLA for Spruce Woods) – Department of Justice and Attorney General;
•    Kelvin Goertzen (MLA for Steinbach) – Department of Education;
•    Eileen Clarke (MLA for Agassiz) – Department of Indigenous and Northern Relations;
•    Ron Schuler (MLA for Springfield-Ritchot) – Department of Infrastructure; and
•    Scott Fielding (MLA for Kirkfield Park) – Department of Finance.

The following MLAs retain their current legislative responsibilities:
•    Ian Wishart (MLA for Portage la Prairie) – legislative assistant to the minister of education;
•    Andrew Smith (MLA for Lagimodiere) – legislative assistant to the minister of sport, culture and heritage; and
•    Janice Morley-Lecomte (MLA for Seine River) – legislative assistant to the minister of families.

Updated mandate letters will be provided to cabinet during the next legislative session.

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