Photo Above from National Post: Alison Redford, Alberta Premier, at Alberta Urban Municipalities Association convention at Telus Convention Centre in Calgary, Alberta Thursday, November 21, 2013.
Alberta Premier Alison Redford shuffled more than half the ministers in her cabinet Friday. Along with promoting rising stars Manmeet Bhullar and Robin Campbell while demoting Doug Griffiths and deputy premier Thomas Lukaszuk, Redford also shifted the minister who was in charge of persons with disabilities.
The former minister in this role was Frank Oberle, who is now the Minister of Aboriginal Relations. Naresh Bhardwaj replaces Oberle as the man in charge of persons with disabilities.
The changes, including new associate ministers, increase the total number of people with seats at the cabinet table to 30 from 27 — half the total number of 59 Progressive Conservatives.
Opposition parties said Redford is quelling discontent in her backbenches by doling out cabinet and associate cabinet posts.
“Handing out cabinet positions like candy is no way to manage a government,” said NDP Leader Brian Mason.
“The premier is attempting to buy the loyalty of her fractured caucus with money that should be going to health care and education.
ildrose Leader Danielle Smith said keeping Horner and Horne means the province is committed to continuing to run red ink budgets and operate a health system that is struggling to meet wait times targets while experiencing constant turnover at the executive level.
“The premier should have taken this opportunity to replace these ministers and appoint fresh faces with new perspectives to these important posts,” said Smith.
“By keeping the status quo in these positions, the premier has signalled that debt will continue to mount and wait times will continue to grow.”
Premier Redford defends her decision.