Premier Jason Kenney announced changes to members of the cabinet to support provincial economic recovery on July 8.
“Alberta is leading Canada out of the COVID-19 pandemic and into strong economic growth. This renewal of our cabinet will support Alberta’s Recovery Plan, a plan to build, diversify the economy, and create jobs. With six new voices and strong, experienced ministers moving into important economic roles, Alberta’s government is ready to deliver a strong recovery for all Albertans,” Kenney said.
Adding, “We’ve made some changes to the leadership team in Alberta’s government, to really put the pedal to the metal on our economic growth strategy and Alberta’s recovery plan to fire on all cylinders, to make sure that we recover not only from the COVID-19 recession but from the last five tough years.”
The changes to cabinet impact the Chestermere-Strathmore riding, as MLA for Calgary-Glenmore Whitney Issik was appointed the Associate Minister of Status of Women, under the Ministry of Culture and Status of Women.
Issik will work to ensure that women are a driving force in Alberta’s economic recovery, recognizing the disproportionate impact of the global COVID-19 recession on women.
“I want to let you know that I am here to stay. I am a founding member of the United Conservative Party, a movement that saw so many diverse and divided conservatives, and amazing Albertans come together to provide this province with hope and prosperity. Our value lies in our diversity no matter where you come from, the colour of your skin, who you pray to or who you love.
I want to thank the Premier for the privilege of serving the people of Alberta; there is no greater privilege than serving the interests of the people who elected me to govern. I am humbled and full of gratitude and pride for the many accomplishments in our ministry and I wish the new ministers great success as they begin their work. I intend to continue to work hard on behalf of my constituents and all people in Alberta. Resilience is in our blood, passion is in our hearts, and we don’t sit on the sidelines, we get to work,” Chestermere-Strathmore MLA Leela Aheer said.
“This is a time for renewal, and that means there have to be some changes. I appreciate Leela’s contributions to the government in the past, and I very much hope so in the future, but not everybody in caucus can serve in a ministerial role at the same time,” Kenney said.
Kenney reassured Albertans that the cabinet shuffle was not in response to comments made publicly regarding COVID-19 restrictions.
“Albertans were divided in how best to address the pandemic crisis, and in our caucus, we saw people representing a diverse range of views as you would expect in a democracy,” Kenney said.
“I always invite constructive criticism, but at the end of the day we have to work as a team to get the job done professionally,” he added. “Every now and then a government needs to renew its team, it’s a good and natural thing to do.”
Through the cabinet shuffle, no additional government ministries were created, as MLA’s and parliamentary secretaries were appointed to carry the workload of ministers.
“It is a more hands-on-deck to get more done for Albertans without creating an ounce of additional bureaucracy,” Kenney said.
“There are new ways to contribute, I don’t see this kind of hierarchy that ministerial service is the only form of public or government service. We have a lot of private members serving the government in critical capacities,” he said.