British Columbia Cabinet Shuffle: Premier David Eby Unveils His New Ministers
On December 7, 2022, the cabinet of British Columbia’s newly appointed Premier, David Eby, was announced and sworn in. Aligned with Premier Eby’s activist roots and inclusive leadership style, the formed gender-balanced cabinet is composed of 23 ministers and 4 ministers of state, all with various levels of experience.
The newly formed cabinet is as follows:
- Premier: David Eby
- Agriculture and Food: Pam Alexis
- Attorney General: Niki Sharma
- Children and Family Development: Mitzi Dean
- Citizens’ Services: Lisa Beare
- Education and Child Care: Rachna Singh
- Minister of State for Child Care: Grace Lore
- Emergency Management and Climate Readiness: Bowinn Ma
- Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation: Josie Osborne
- Environment and Climate Change Strategy: George Heyman
- Finance (includes Columbia River Treaty): Katrine Conroy
- Forests, and Minister Responsible for Consular Corps: Bruce Ralston
- Health, and Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs: Adrian Dix
- Housing, and Government House Leader: Ravi Kahlon
- Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation: Murray Rankin
- Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation: Brenda Bailey
- Minister of State for Trade: Jagrup Brar
- Labour: Harry Bains
- Mental Health and Addictions: Jennifer Whiteside
- Municipal Affairs: Anne Kang
- Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills (including foreign credentials recognition): Selina Robinson
- Minister of State for Workforce Development: Andrew Mercier
- Public Safety and Solicitor General (ICBC), and Deputy Premier: Mike Farnworth
- Social Development and Poverty Reduction: Sheila Malcolmson
- Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport: Lana Popham
- Transportation and Infrastructure (BC Transit and Translink): Rob Fleming
- Minister of State for Infrastructure and Transit: Dan Coulter
- Water, Land and Resource Stewardship (Fisheries): Nathan Cullen
The Notable Changes
Although Premier Eby made the expected decision to keep numerous veteran ministers at their posts, he did implement several notable and strategic modifications to the cabinet.
Garnering the most public attention was the unexpected change to the Ministry of Finance, in which Selena Robinson was bumped from the portfolio despite her hand in guiding the Government’s recently announced $5.7 billion surplus. The newly selected Minister of Finance, Katrine Conroy, is expected to have Premier Eby’s upmost confidence due to her previous ministerial experience and decade of work alongside him.
Another significant move was Niki Sharma’s promotion from Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development to Attorney General, which was Premier Eby’s former position. A key contributor to Sharma’s selection for the role was her impressive legal experience, which focused on representing Indigenous people, including residential school survivors. As the new Attorney General, Sharma has shared that she will utilize her legal background to seek solutions for the province’s pressing public safety issues in urban communities.
An additional noteworthy change was Bruce Ralston’s shift from the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation to the Ministry of Forests and the Minister Responsible for Consular Corps.
In total, of Premier Eby’s 27 diverse cabinet picks, 8 were new additions.
The Newly Formed Ministries
Through the swearing-in of cabinet, the heads of the Government of British Columbia’s two newly established ministries were revealed.
As the first standalone ministry that was swiftly created following Premier Eby’s appointment, the Ministry of Housing will be headed by Ravi Kahlon, who is a well-respected B.C. NDP veteran. In his new role, Minister Kahlon will be a key contributor to finding solutions to B.C.’s housing crisis, a dire situation that Premier Eby is determined to improve.
As the second newly formed body, the Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness will be led by Bowinn Ma, who is considered a rising star in the B.C. NDP scene. Through the creation of this new ministry, the responsibility of emergency management has been shifted from the Ministry of Public Safety to its own entity, and has thus expanded its mandate to ensure that the province strengthens its climate resilience and disaster preparedness.
The Parliamentary Secretaries
The cabinet will be supported in its work by the following 14 parliamentary secretaries:
- Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives: Mable Elmore
- Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness: Jennifer Rice
- Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainable Economy: Adam Walker
- Parliamentary Secretary for Environment: Aman Singh
- Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity: Kelli Paddon
- Parliamentary Secretary for Forests: Doug Routley
- Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors’ Services and Long-Term Care: Harwinder Sandhu
- Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Development: Roly Russell
- Parliamentary Secretary for Labour: Janet Routledge
- Parliamentary Secretary for Accessibility: Susie Chant
- Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development and Non-profits: Megan Dykeman
- Parliamentary Secretary for Arts and Film: Bob D’Eith
- Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism and Premier’s Special Advisor on Youth: Brittny Anderson
- Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries and Aquaculture: Kelly Greene