B.C. finance minister replaced in Premier David Eby's cabinet shuffle

Eby unveils new cabinet

UPDATE 11:05 a.m.

British Columbia Premier David Eby has upended his cabinet, bringing in new faces from the backbench and replacing senior cabinet ministers, including finance minister Selina Robinson.

Katrine Conroy, the former forests minister, will take over the finance portfolio.

Robinson announced just last month that the government had a surplus windfall of $5.7 billion dollars, allowing Eby to spend on his priorities of housing, health care and public safety.

Ravi Kahlon, who was co-chair of Eby’s leadership campaign, will take on the new Housing Ministry.

Rachna Singh, a former Parliamentary secretary, is the education minister, while Bowinn Ma has been elevated to emergency management and climate readiness.

The new minister of agriculture is Pam Alexis, while George Heyman, Mitzi Dean and Harry Bains keep their jobs in Environment, children and family development, and Labour.

The full cabinet is:

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: Selina Robinson

Minister of State for Workforce Development: Andrew Mercier

Public Safety and Solicitor General (ICBC): Mike Farnworth

Social Development and Poverty Reduction: Sheila Malcolmson

Tourism, Arts, Culture, and Sport: Lana Popham

Transportation and Infrastructure: Rob Fleming

Minister of State for Infrastructure and Transit: Dan Coulter

Water, Land, and Resource Stewardship: Nathan Cullen

ORIGINAL 6:30 a.m.

British Columbia Premier David Eby will appoint a new cabinet today in a move pundits are saying will be a blend of old and new faces, and could also start the countdown towards an early election.

Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin is scheduled to swear in Eby's cabinet during a ceremony at Government House in Victoria.

Since replacing former premier John Horgan last month, Eby has quickly staked out health care, public safety, affordability and housing as his NDP government's priority issues.

David Black, a political communications expert at Victoria's Royal Roads University, says he expects Eby to keep seasoned veterans like Adrian Dix and Mike Farnworth at the ministries of health and solicitor general, but will look for new recruits as attorney general and in the energy and housing ministries.

Black also says with B.C.'s budget coffers boasting a projected surplus nearing $6 billion this year, but with an expected economic slowdown, the timing may be right for a fall 2023 election rather than the scheduled 2024 vote.

Retired New Democrat Maurine Karagianis, who served for a dozen years in the B.C. legislature, says she's looking for Eby to appoint some younger people to cabinet who share the premier's burning energy to take on big challenges.

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