• Dec 09, 2022
  • Insights

Premier Eby’s new cabinet offers insight into his priorities and leadership approach

Premier David Eby looks on as ministers are sworn in

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By Nikki Hill and Danielle Dalzell

The cabinet of veterans and newcomers is reflective of a premier looking to provide strength and stability, while taking action on big problems

Significant structural changes, including new ministries of housing and of emergency management and climate readiness, were introduced by B.C.’s premier David Eby on Wednesday. The new cabinet of 23 ministers and four ministers of state will be supported by 14 parliamentary secretaries.

It is a carefully balanced team. Diverse, regionally representative, majority women, and strategically aligned with Premier Eby’s focus on tackling some of the biggest challenges facing B.C. in the context of several overlapping global crises.

Many senior cabinet ministers were kept on the front bench, but not necessarily in their previous roles. Eight new faces were added, some of whom have been given senior roles.

New to cabinet are Pam Alexis, Brenda Bailey, Jagrup Brar, Dan Coulter, Grace Lore, Andrew Mercier, Niki Sharma, and Rachna Singh. Notably, in a historic appointment, Vancouver Hastings MLA Niki Sharma will be the province’s new attorney general, the first woman of colour ever to serve in the role.

Ministers pose for a family portrait

Katrine Conroy, former forests minister and MLA for Kootenay West, will serve as B.C.’s next minister of finance. Conroy is someone who understands rural challenges and is extremely well-respected by caucus and cabinet. Conroy told reporters following this morning’s swearing-in that Budget 2023, set to be delivered on February 28, 2023, will be tweaked based on the priorities of Premier Eby and his new cabinet.

Former jobs minister Ravi Kahlon, who stepped aside in the leadership race and instead co-chaired Eby’s campaign, was named minister of housing as well as government house leader. Kahlon’s appointment to this role is a signal of the premier’s trust in him to take on the significant challenge of increasing housing supply and dealing with the complex housing crisis. Kahlon will also hold responsibility for Vancouver’s downtown eastside, and responsibility for the coordinating role the province will take on to deal with the need for new solutions to the depth of issues in that community.

Bowinn Ma will oversee the other brand-new ministry created to deal with impacts of the climate crisis as minister of emergency preparedness and climate readiness, a critical role after the ongoing climate emergencies B.C. has faced and which are still impacting communities.

Former Finance Minister Selina Robinson will take on the role of post-secondary education and future skills (including foreign credentials recognition), to tackle the labour shortage, as Bruce Ralston moves from energy to the complex forests portfolio.

Premier Eby also chose to keep some experienced ministers in key roles, including Adrian Dix as minister of health, Mike Farnworth as minister of public safety and solicitor general, Mitzi Dean as minister of children and family development, George Heyman as minister of environment and climate change strategy, Rob Fleming as minister of transportation and infrastructure, and Harry Bains as minister of labour.

It’s still early days for B.C,’s new premier, but if his first moves out of the gate are an indication of what’s to come, we can expect David Eby to continue using his bench strengths to tackle the big challenges facing B.C.

Full Cabinet List

  • 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 Trade: Jagrup Brar
  • Labour: Harry Bains
  • Mental Health and Addictions: Jennifer Whiteside
  • Municipal Affairs: Anne Kang
  • Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills (including foreign credentials recognition): Selina Robinson
  • 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

List of 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