Premier John Horgan, NDP cabinet get down to work

Premier John Horgan, NDP cabinet get down to work

NDP’s 22-member cabinet includes minister of mental health

  • Jul. 18, 2017 2:30 p.m.

Premier John Horgan heads into his first cabinet meeting last Wednesday with top priorities of moving ahead with elimination of bridge tolls in Metro Vancouver and increasing income assistance rates by $100 a month.

At a news conference at Government House after being sworn in the day before along with a 22-member NDP cabinet, Horgan said he must then prepare for a visit to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa and then a trip to Washington D.C. The U.S. visit is to make good on a campaign pledge to personally assist in negotiations for a new softwood lumber trade agreement.

In a speech to supporters in a packed ballroom at Government House, Horgan repeatedly referred to the situation facing B.C. residents either evacuated or on alert to get out of the way of forest fires. He said he wants to get to work immediately “so the people in the Interior don’t have to go home to a burned-out community with no jobs.”

The government change is an immediate test for Stikine MLA Doug Donaldson, who takes over as forests minister in the midst of the fire situation. Victoria-Beacon Hill MLA Carole James received the largest ovation at the ceremony when she was announced as deputy premier and finance minister.

Horgan takes over as premier with the support of the three-member B.C. Green Party caucus marks the first change in governenment in 16 years. The cabinet has 20 ministers, including New Westminster MLA Judy Darcy heading a new ministry of mental health and addictions.

Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall is appointed energy, mines and petroleum resources minister, with the task of resisting progress on the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion project from Alberta to its port in Burnaby.

Horgan said cabinet will look at regulatory options from the ministries that issue permits. Vancouver-Fairview MLA George Heyman, a former executive director of Sierra Club B.C., takes over as environment minister.

Green Party leader Andrew Weaver attended the ceremony and congratulated Horgan.

“This minority government is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to do politics differently in British Columbia,” Weaver said. “We have an historic opportunity to put partisan politics aside and work together across party lines to advance good public policy that is in the best interests of British Columbians.”

Fort Langley-Aldergrove MLA Rich Coleman, moving from deputy premier to opposition MLA, wasn’t in a cooperative mood

“This #GreeNDP government was not recognized by the majority of B.C. and will pander to minority interests at the expense of the majority,” Coleman said on Twitter as the swearing-in ceremony was about to get underway.

Here is the complete list of new NDP cabinet minister appointments:

Advanced Education, Skills &Training – Melanie Mark

Agriculture – Lana Popham

Attorney General – David Eby

Children &Family Development – Katrine Conroy

Minister of State for Child Care – Katrina Chen

Citizens’ Services – Jinny Sims

Education – Rob Fleming

Energy, Mines &Petroleum Resources – Michelle Mungall

Environment &Climate Change Strategy – George Heyman

Finance and Deputy Premier – Carole James

Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, &Rural Development – Doug Donaldson

Health – Adrian Dix

Indigenous Relations &Reconciliation – Scott Fraser

Jobs, Trade, &Technology – Bruce Ralston

Minister of State for Trade – George Chow

Labour – Harry Bains

Mental Health &Addictions – Judy Darcy

Municipal Affairs &Housing – Selina Robinson

Public Safety &Solicitor General – Mike Farnworth

Social Development &Poverty Reduction – Shane Simpson

Tourism, Arts &Culture – Lisa Beare

Transportation &Infrastructure – Claire Trevena

Parliamentary secretaries:Emergency Preparedness – Jennifer Rice

Poverty Reduction – Mable Elmore

Seniors – Anne Kang

Sport and Multiculturalism – Ravi Kahlon

Technology – Rick Glumac

Translink – Bowinn Ma