Alberta Legislative Highlights – Cabinet shuffle

Today, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveiled his first cabinet shuffle since winning the provincial election in 2019. The small shuffle, called a “limited cabinet reset,” focuses on implementation of Alberta’s Recovery Plan. Here’s what’s changed:

  • Kaycee Madu, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General – Edmonton’s lone MLA in the government caucus moves from Municipal Affairs to take over as Minister of Justice and Solicitor General. A lawyer by training, Minister Madu is now tasked with overseeing the ongoing review of the province’s Police Act as well as implementing the UCP government’s democratic reform agenda, including citizen’s initiatives and recall legislation.
  • Tracy Allard, Minister of Municipal Affairs – Minister Allard is a new addition to cabinet. The first-time MLA from Grande Prairie comes from a business background, franchising Tim Hortons restaurants in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, and in Grande Prairie. Premier Kenney said that Minister Allard has a bit of Margaret Thatcher to her, with “an iron fist and a velvet glove.” She takes over the role from Kaycee Madu, who moves to Justice and Solicitor General.
  • Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy, and Innovation – The Economic Development, Trade and Tourism portfolio is being renamed with added functions to be clarified in the coming weeks. Minister Schweitzer, a bankruptcy lawyer by training, will be overseeing much of the implementation of the province’s economic recovery plan. He replaces Calgary-Peigan MLA Tanya Fir, who is no longer in cabinet.

One key change to senior staff change is the departure of the Premier’s Principal Secretary Howard Anglin. Mr. Anglin, who previously served as Chief of Staff to then-federal Minister Jason Kenney, recently accepted a post-graduate fellowship at Oxford University. He is being replaced by Larry Kaumeyer.

WHAT’S NEXT – Alberta’s First Quarter Fiscal and Economic Update will be released on Thursday. It will be the first detailed look at the province’s fiscal situation after a difficult year with both the pandemic and oil price crash. As a result, it is expected to be the largest deficit in provincial history.

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