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 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