Day One of a Kenney Government and No Minorities Have Been Oppressed #ableg #abpoli

My continual thanks to Cory Morgan for that quote; after seeing some of the cabinet picks, I truly hope it ages well. On a positive note, the bar is so low, Alberta’s new government can’t help but surpass my expectations, logically, and that makes me hopeful.

Kenney announced his new cabinet Tuesday and there were a few surprises, but not many. For a party of “diverse views”, there certainly seems to be a lot of members with the same socially conservative vision.

Once Mark Smith was taken out of the running for Education Minister with the untimely publication of his personal views, Kenney’s other choice for Education Minister was easily Adriana LaGrange, Red Deer North. Former Catholic School Trustee and active pro-birth advocate, it’s an appointment that should appease the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, Parents for Choice in Education, *and* the anti-choice advocates who helped LaGrange get elected – all in one fell swoop. Great news for Kenney’s backers… more than a little scary for Alberta youth. 

Jason Nixon, Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre, who is rumoured to have great personal disregard for Wildlife Officers, personal property and protected parks was handed Environment and Parks.

As with LaGrange’s appointment, Nixon’s is also seen to be an impressively large F-U to “special interest groups”.

But the best Ministerial appointment was the one Kenney awarded himself: Minister of Inter-governmental Relations; let the campaigning for Canada’s next Prime Minister begin! 

There is a large representation of oil and gas experience which should take some of the following individuals far in their portfolios but I’m not sure how well that will work out for everyone else.

Tanya Fir, Calgary-Peigan, Minister of Economic Development, Trade, and Tourism, was in human resources within the oil industry; Sonya Savage, Calgary-North West, a lawyer who worked in the oil industry, is Minister of Energy; Minister of Treasury Board and Finance is Travis Toews, Grande Prairie-Wapiti, an accountant who owns an oilfield environmental company; Rajan Sawhney, Calgary-North East, Minister of Community and Social Services, spent a couple of decades in oil and gas, and; Minister of Infrastructure, Prasad Panda, Calgary-Edgemont, who is an engineer and worked within the oil industry. 

It’s almost double the size of the NDP’s initial cabinet but is only slightly larger than the NDP’s final number with one less Minister and three additional Associate Minister positions. My personal favourite is the Associate Minister of Red Tape Reduction, a new role for Grant Hunter, Taber-Warner. If he does his job well, he should be out of a position within the first half of the term.

Of note are those who were left out of Cabinet. Nathan Cooper, who was interim leader while the Wildrose leader, Kamikaze Callaway, Schweitzer and the potentially illegitimate winner battled for the leadership (the RCMP are on it), Angela Pitt and Drew Barnes. 

Kenney also promised to proclaim Bill 12, the “turn off the taps” legislation within the first hour of a United Conservative government and confirmed they had done so at the first cabinet meeting. The announcement will allow the legal challenge from B.C. to finally be heard in court.

And so ends the first day of Alberta’s new government; it’s going to be a long four years for some people in this province.


This post contains fact, bias, and sarcasm.

Deirdre Mitchell-MacLean


Twitter: @Mitchell_AB for all the commentary @thisweekinAB for posts