EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney made some changes to his cabinet on Thursday morning.
WATCH: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney shuffles his cabinet.
In total, ten changes were made to Kenney’s cabinet:
Rajan Sawhney, MLA for Calgary-North East, and who is currently the Minister of Community Services will become the new Minister of Transportation.
Tanya Fir, currently MLA for Calgary-Peigan, will now be the Associate Minister of Red Tape Reduction.
Nate Horner, serving as MLA for Drumheller-Stettler, has been named as the Associate Minister of Rural Economic Development, under the Ministry of Jobs, Economy and Innovation.
Muhammad Yassan, an MLA for Calgary-North, becomes the Associate Minister of Immigration and Multiculturalism, under the Ministry of Labour and Immigration.
Whitney Issik, MLA for Calgary-Glenmore, will become the Associate Minister of Status of Women, under the Ministry of Culture and Status of Women, and the chief government whip.
Ron Orr, MLA for Lacombe-Ponoka, will become the Minister of Culture.
Mike Ellis, currently the MLA for Calgary-West and the current government whip, will become Associate Miniter of Mental Health and Addictions.
Jason Luan, currently the Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and MLA for Calgary-Foothills, becomes the Minister of Community and Social Services.
Some other changes to Kenney’s cabinet will see Joseph Schow, the MLA for Cardston-Siksika, become the deputy government house leader, and Brad Ruthford, MLA for Leduc-Beaumont, become the deputy government whip.
Following the changes, Kenney held a news conference to answer questions about the changes.
WATCH: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney answers questions after shuffling his cabinet.
Kenney was asked if this shuffle was about discontent within the United Conservative caucus during the pandemic.
The premier says he has put all of that behind him and this is about a time for renewal.
“Today is about the future, not the past. And it’s about doing, like I say, putting the pedal to the metal on our economic recovery and on keeping our commitments. Every now and then, a government needs to renew it’s team. It’s a good natural thing to do and, and that’s what we’re doing here today.”
Another topic of discussion was why Kenney didn’t take the opportunity to shuffle Health Minister Tyler Shandro out and into a new area after some issues over the last two years with the province’s doctors and nurses.
“I think (Shandro) has done a tremendous job of helping to lead Alberta through this brutal pandemic,” Kenney said. “I won’t pretend that we got everything perfectly right but I think that speaks to a strong record on the part of Alberta, and Albertans in facing the challenge of the pandemic and now, Minister Shandro can take two years of hard-earned experience to apply that to moving forward.”
Leela Aheer was removed from her role as minister of culture, multiculturalism and the status of women, which was something Kenney was questioned about Wednesday.
Some wondering why a person with such a high level of experience was removed.
“Well, as I say, this is a time for renewal and that means there has to be some changes,” Kenney said. “Not everybody in caucus can serve a ministerial role at the same time, I think it’s important that you have opportunities for renewal. And that’s what today represents, is an opportunity for renewal.
“From time to time there will be changes made to ministry, and, you know, there’s a lot of different factors that go into putting together the best possible collection of ministers at any given time. It’s not about that or any particular incident is just about an opportunity for renewal.”