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MB Premier Heather Stefanson announces cabinet shuffle

By: Q Country/Star FM News
Posted: January 30, 2023 15:14

Stefanson has promoted 4 backbenchers to cabinet

Image - MB Premier Heather Stefanson - File Photo

Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson has made changes to her cabinet.

She demoted three ministers, who recently announced they will not be running in the next election - Cameron Friesen in finance, Reg Helwer in government services and Alan Lagimodiere in Indigenous reconciliation.

Four backbenchers, all from Winnipeg, have been promoted to cabinet - Obby Khan, Kevin Klein, Janice Morley-Lecomte and James Teitsma.

Cliff Cullen moves from economic development to finance, while Eileen Clarke moves from municipal relations to Indigenous reconciliation.

In a media release, Stefanson said, "While retaining the experience of ministers including Kelvin Goertzen, Rochelle Squires, Jeff Wharton, Cliff Cullen, I am excited to welcome fresh new energy and ideas from James Teitsma, Janice Morley-Lecomte, Kevin Klein and Manitoba's first-ever Muslim MLA, Obby Khan."

Janice Morley-Lecomte (Seine River) joins cabinet as minister of mental health and community wellness. James Teitsma (Radisson) becomes minister of the reframed Department of Consumer Protection and Government Services. Ibrahim (Obby) Khan (Fort Whyte) becomes minister of sport, culture and heritage. Kevin Klein (Kirkfield Park) will serve as minister of the refreshed Department of Environment and Climate Change. 

The release also said, "The premier also took the opportunity to recognize MLAs departing cabinet, thanking them for their service and dedication to their community and province. Stefanson noted MLAs Reg Helwer (Brandon West), Cameron Friesen (Morden-Winkler) and Alan Lagimodiere (Selkirk) have all made significant contributions to build a stronger, more prosperous Manitoba through their work in cabinet, caucus and in their local communities."

"I will continue to seek their wise counsel and I thank them for their personal sacrifices and many years of service to Manitoba," Stefanson said. 

Other changes to executive council include: 

- Cliff Cullen continues as deputy premier and assumes the role of minister of finance; 
- Jeff Wharton becomes minister of economic development, investment and trade; 
- Jon Reyes will serve as minister of the newly established Department of Labour and Immigration; 
- Eileen Clarke becomes minister of Indigenous reconciliation and northern relations; 
- Sarah Guillemard will serve as minister of the reframed Department of Advanced Education and Training; and 
- Andrew Smith moves to the Department of Municipal Relations and retains responsibility for Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation. 

"Additionally, Josh Guenter (Borderland) will serve as legislative assistant to finance to play an integral role in the government's upcoming pre-budget consultation process," Stefanson noted. 

"The fourth and final step of Manitoba government renewal, a shuffle of deputy ministers, will occur in due course," Stefanson added. 

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