Monday, January 30, 2023 - Four new ministers will lead the renewal of Premier Heather Stefanson’s cabinet as she completes the third of four steps to refresh executive council to ensure the Manitoba government is better able to get things done quickly for the benefit of all Manitobans.
Today’s overhaul of executive council puts Stefanson’s stamp on her team while also marking a significant departure from previous cabinets over the past decade.
“While retaining the experience of ministers including Kelvin Goertzen, Rochelle Squires, Jeff Wharton, Cliff Cullen, I am excited to welcome fresh new energy and ideas from James Teitsma, Janice Morley-Lecomte, Kevin Klein and Manitoba’s first-ever Muslim MLA, Obby Khan,” said Stefanson.
Janice Morley-Lecomte (Seine River) joins cabinet as minister of mental health and community wellness. James Teitsma (Radisson) becomes minister of the reframed Department of Consumer Protection and Government Services. Ibrahim (Obby) Khan (Fort Whyte) becomes minister of sport, culture and heritage. Kevin Klein (Kirkfield Park) will serve as minister of the refreshed Department of Environment and Climate Change.
The premier also took the opportunity to recognize MLAs departing cabinet, thanking them for their service and dedication to their community and province. Stefanson noted MLAs Reg Helwer (Brandon West), Cameron Friesen (Morden-Winkler) and Alan Lagimodiere (Selkirk) have all made significant contributions to build a stronger, more prosperous Manitoba through their work in cabinet, caucus and in their local communities.
“I will continue to seek their wise counsel and I thank them for their personal sacrifices and many years of service to Manitoba,” Stefanson said.
The new ministers were sworn in earlier today in an historic ceremony at the Legislative Building, as the premier joined Lt.-Gov. Anita Neville and Kathryn Gerrard, clerk of the executive council.
Other changes to executive council include:
Cliff Cullen continues as deputy premier and assumes the role of minister of finance;
Jeff Wharton becomes minister of economic development, investment and trade;
Jon Reyes will serve as minister of the newly established Department of Labour and Immigration;
Eileen Clarke becomes minister of Indigenous reconciliation and northern relations;
Sarah Guillemard will serve as minister of the reframed Department of Advanced Education and Training; and
Andrew Smith moves to the Department of Municipal Relations and retains responsibility for Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation.
“Together, I am confident this cabinet will quickly tackle the shifting challenges in Manitoba as we all work to heal our health care, make life more affordable, make our streets safer and grow our economy and communities,” Stefanson said.
Additionally, Josh Guenter (Borderland) will serve as legislative assistant to finance to play an integral role in the government’s upcoming pre-budget consultation process, Stefanson noted.
The fourth and final step of Manitoba government renewal, a shuffle of deputy ministers, will occur in due course, Stefanson added.