Cabinet Speculation

Hey, I’m awful at predictions, but why not speculate on cabinet postings.

Premier Alison Redford has discussed the possibility of some repositioning of portfolios and the possibility of a downsize to cabinet. It is quite likely that we will see 20 ministers in the cabinet including the Premier. As far as responsibility juggling, we could see something done that would help coordinate seniors housing options which is currently spread over three ministries: human services, health and seniors. We might also see a combination of Tourism, Parks and Recreation with Culture and Community Spirit as a way to downsize cabinet by combining some smaller ministries that are justifiably related.

But people tend to be more concerned about who will be in cabinet and so let’s get to that.

First off, let’s look at ministers that will definitely remain in cabinet:

  • Alison Redford (Calgary-Elbow) will be Premier.
  • Doug Horner (Spruce Grove-St. Albert) is competent and popular. He will remain in cabinet and he is likely to remain as deputy premier.
  • Dave Hancock (Edmonton-Whitemud) will surely continue in his role developing the new Human Services ministry.
  • Greg Weadick (Lethbridge-West) will remain in cabinet since Redford will need representation from South of Calgary.
  • Cal Dallas (Red Deer North) will likely be returned to cabinet to bring representation to central Alberta. He is also likely to be given the opportunity to continue building his new ministry of Intergovernmental, International and Aboriginal Relations.
  • Diana McQueen (Drayton Valley-Devon) has proven to be competent and should be returned to cabinet. It is quite likely that she may also be promoted. Energy might be a good fit for this oil patch area representative.
  • Verlyn Olson (Wetaskiwin-Camrose) is also quite competent and widely respected, so it is likely he will remain in cabinet and as justice minister.
  • Frank Oberle (Peace River) will bring some northern representation, as will
  • George Vanderburg (Whitecourt-Ste Anne) brings rural representation and could head up realignment of housing services for seniors.
  • Manmeet Bhullar (Calgary Greenway) proved himself as a junior minister and will help represent cultural diversity in the new government. Look for him to be promoted.

Secondly, which newcomers are likely to be added into the mix:

  • Bridget Pastoor (Lethbridge East) will be added to cabinet to bring as much southern representation as is possible.
  • Ken Hughes (Calgary-West) was handpicked by Redford to run and as former Alberta Health Services chair will surely be added to the inner circle.
  • Donna Kennedy-Glans (Calgary-Varsity) is also a friend of Redford’s going back to the Joe Clark days. She represents the new brand of Progressive Conservatism that the party is trying to brand itself as. Her work around integrity will be valued by this partially stained PC government.
  • Don Scott (Fort McMurray-Conklin) will likely be included as one of the Fort McMurray MLAs will need to be added to cabinet and he seems to be the more experienced of the two.
  • Other newcomers that could get cabinet postings include Christine Cusanelli (Calgary-Currie), Ron Casey (Banff-Cochrane), David Dorward (Edmonton-Gold Bar) and Sandra Jansen (Calgary-North West).
  • Alana DeLong (Calgary-Bow), Naresh Bhardwaj (Edmonton-Ellerslie) and Janice Sarich (Edmonton-Decore) are sophomore MLAs that could get a bump to cabinet.

Finally, experience is likely to come from these ministers who are likely to get reappointed, but bumps in their last files may provide uncertainty around their placement:

  • Doug Griffiths (Battle River-Wainright) proved popular on the leadership trail especially amongst progressives, but his spat with AUMA chair Linda Sloan could cost him.
  • Thomas Lukaszuk (Edmonton-Castledowns) is a very strong messenger and has proven himself as loyal to the premier, but problems with passing the Education Act could jeopardize his reappointment.
  • Fred Horne (Edmonton-Rutherford) tried hard but wasn’t fully able to bring confidence to one of the most important portfolios in cabinet. He will likely be reinstated to cabinet at a lower posting.
  • Jonathan Denis (Calgary-Acadia), Jeff Johnson (Athabasca-Sturgeon-Redwater) and Heather Klimchuk (Edmonton-Glenora) have no points against them, but haven’t made a big splash either. They could go if Redford has other people in mind for cabinet.

And finally, since I am not afraid of being proven wrong, here is a firm estimate of people and positions from my point of view. I am certain there will be some restructuring, but I will place people into the old set of portfolios anyway.

Alison Redford Premier
Doug Horner Deputy Premier, Treasury Board
Dave Hancock Human Services, House Leader
Donna Kennedy-Glans Energy
Verlyn Olson Justice
Ken Hughes Health
Thomas Lukaszuk Finance
Fred Horne Education
Greg Weadick Advanced Education
Bridget Pastoor Agriculture
Cal Dallas Intergovernmental Affairs
Doug Griffiths Municipal Affairs
Diana McQueen Environment
Don Scott Transportation
Jonathan Denis Public Security / Solicitor General
Frank Oberle Sustainable Resources Development
George Vanderburg Seniors
Jeff Johnson Infrastructure
Manmeet Bhullar Service Alberta
Sandra Jansen Culture
Naresh Bhardwaj Tourism