Premier Christy Clark introduces new Executive Council

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new executive councilVictoria: Today at Government House, Premier Christy Clark and her Executive Council were formally sworn in by Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon.

“Our province needs a strong economy, one capable of supporting the services and high quality of life that British Columbians expect and deserve,” said Premier Clark. “But the public has also said they want us to do things differently to address areas that impact their lives and their families every day – this new cabinet reflects that message.”

The Executive Council reflects modern, diverse British Columbia. Its 22 members include:

  • Thirteen men and nine women.
  • Ten ministers from Metro Vancouver/Fraser Valley, 12 from Northern B.C., Vancouver Island, and the B.C. Interior.
  • Three who use wheelchairs.
  • Five new ministers, including British Columbia’s first elected Indigenous cabinet minister with a portfolio.

 

“The provincial election made two things clear: British Columbians want a government that will work across party lines, and one that will bridge the divide between urban and rural British Columbians,” Premier Clark said.

“For as long as we have the confidence of the legislature, we will work to bridge this gap, and create an environment where both resource-dependent communities and dynamic, tech-focused urban centres thrive, and create opportunities for each other.”

The legislature has been recalled to sit on June 22, 2017.

Cabinet biographies

John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation

John Rustad was re-elected to represent Nechako Lakes in 2017.

First elected in 2005, Rustad has served as Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation since June 2013. Rustad served previously as Parliamentary Secretary for Forestry, as well as on a variety of committees.

Born and raised in Prince George, Rustad has lived all his life in northern B.C., currently residing in Cluculz Lake.

Andrew Wilkinson, Attorney General and Minister of Justice

Andrew Wilkinson was re-elected to represent Vancouver-Quilchena in 2017.

First elected in 2013, Wilkinson previously served as Minister of Advanced Education, and Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services.

Wilkinson is a former deputy minister of the British Columbia Ministry of Economic Development, where he had responsibility for economic issues, trade and tourism. He also served as deputy minister for Intergovernmental Relations in the Premier’s Office for two years.

Norm Letnick, Minister of Agriculture

Norm Letnick was re-elected to represent Kelowna-Lake Country in 2017.

First elected in 2009, Letnick has served as Minister of Agriculture since April 2014.

Prior to his election as MLA, Letnick sat on municipal council in both Kelowna (2005-08) and Banff (1992-98) and was a tenured associate professor in Okanagan University College’s business program.

He has extensive business experience, having owned several financial services and technology-related firms.

Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of Children and Family Development

Stephanie Cadieux was re-elected to represent Surrey South in 2017. She has served as Minister of Children and Family Development since 2009.

Cadieux was first elected to represent Surrey-Panorama in 2009. In 2013, she was elected in Surrey-Cloverdale.

Cadieux worked with the BC Paraplegic Association as director of marketing and development and was manager, accessibility for 2010 Legacies Now.

Mike Bernier, Minister of Education

Mike Bernier was re-elected to represent Peace River South in 2017. He has served as Minister of Education since July 2015.

Prior to his election in 2013, Bernier served as mayor of Dawson Creek. He was first elected mayor in 2008 and was re-elected in 2011, and also served as a councillor for the City of Dawson Creek from 2005 to 2008.

Bernier has lived in Dawson Creek since 1993 and has 20 years of experience in the natural gas industry.

Mary Polak, Minister of Health

Mary Polak was re-elected to represent Langley in 2017.

Polak was first elected in 2005, and was re-elected in 2013.

Previously, she served as the Minister of Environment, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, Minister of Children and Family Development and Responsible for Child Care, Minister of Healthy Living and Sport, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health for the Conversation on Health.

Before being elected to the legislative assembly, Polak served as a trustee and chair of the Surrey school board.

Michael de Jong, Minister of Finance

Michael de Jong was re-elected to represent Abbotsford West in 2017. He has served as Minister of Finance since 2012.

A seven-term MLA, de Jong was first elected in a byelection in 1994. He previously served as Minister of Health, Attorney General, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, Minister of Labour and Citizens’ Services, and Minister of Forests.

Before his election in 1994, de Jong served two terms as an elected school trustee for Abbotsford School District 34, and was a practising lawyer with his own Abbotsford firm.

Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations

Steve Thomson was re-elected to represent Kelowna-Mission in 2017. He has served as Minister of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations since 2011.

First elected in 2009, Thomson was re-elected in 2013. Previously, he served as Minister of Natural Resource Operations, Minister of Energy, and Minister of Agriculture and Lands.

A former member of the Canadian National Rugby Team, Thomson is the former executive director of the BC Agriculture Council, general manager of the BC Fruit Growers Association and BC Milk Producers Association.

Donna Barnett, Minister of State for Rural Economic Development

Donna Barnett was re-elected to represent Cariboo-Chilcotin in 2017. She has served as Minister of State for Rural Economic Development since 2016.

First elected in 2009, Barnett was re-elected in 2013. She previously served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations for Rural Development, and Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Communities and Development to the Minister of Community, Tourism, Sport and Cultural Development.

A self-employed business owner and realtor, Barnett served as mayor of the District of 100 Mile House from 1986 to 1990 and again from 1996 to 2008.

Teresa Wat, Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for The Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism

Teresa Wat was re-elected to represent Richmond North Centre in 2017. She has served as Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for the Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism since 2013.

Prior to her first election in 2013, Wat was the president and CEO of Mainstream Broadcasting Corporation CHMB AM1320, served as the news director at Channel M Television (now OMNI TV), and was instrumental in the launch of the first-ever live Cantonese, Mandarin and Punjabi daily television news programs.

Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour

Shirley Bond was re-elected to represent Prince George-Valemount in 2017. She has served as Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour since 2013.

A five-term MLA, Bond previously served as served as Deputy Premier, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Minister of Education, Minister Responsible for Early Learning and Literacy, Minister of Advanced Education and Minister of Health Services.

Before her first election, she served three terms on the Prince George School Board, the most recent as chair.

Mike Morris, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General

Mike Morris was re-elected to represent Prince George-Mackenzie in 2017. He has served as Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General since December 2015.

Morris was first elected in 2013. He previously served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

A 32-year veteran of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Morris retired in 2005 as Superintendent of the North District.

Coralee Oakes, Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction and Minister Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch

Coralee Oakes was re-elected to represent Cariboo North in 2017. She has served as Minister of Small Business, Red-Tape Reduction and Minister Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch since July 2015.

Oakes was first elected in 2013. She previously served as Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.

Prior to her election to the Legislative Assembly, Oakes was a two-term Quesnel city councillor, and served as the executive director of the Quesnel and District Chamber of Commerce.

Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy and Mines

Rich Coleman was re-elected to represent Langley East in 2017.

A six-term MLA, Coleman has served as Deputy Premier and Minister of Natural Gas Development Minister of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas and Minister Responsible for Housing, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General and Minister Responsible for Housing, Minister of Housing and Social Development and Minister of Forests and Range.

Before entering public life, Coleman was governor of the BC Kinsmen, president of the Aldergrove Chamber of Commerce and Langley’s 1988 volunteer of the year, as well as a director on several volunteer boards.

Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Minister Responsible for Accessibility

Michelle Stilwell was re-elected to represent Parksville-Qualicum in 2017. She has served as Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation since February 2015.

First elected in 2013, Stilwell previously served as Government Caucus Chair and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health for Seniors.

A six-time Paralympic Gold Medallist, Stilwell is the only Canadian female athlete to be a Paralympic champion in two separate summer sports (basketball and athletics).

Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure

Todd Stone was re-elected to represent Kamloops-South Thompson in 2017. He has served as Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure since 2013.

First elected in 2013, Stone was founder and CEO of a Kamloops-based software company, and is the former vice-chair of the Board of Governors of Thompson Rivers University.

Ellis Ross, Minister of Natural Gas Development and Minister Responsible for Housing

Ellis Ross was elected to represent Skeena in 2017.

Ross has served the Haisla Nation as councillor since 2003, elected as Chief Councillor in 2011 and 2013.

In 2012, Ross was appointed by Premier Clark as the inaugural Chair of the Aboriginal Business and Investment Council.

Jas Johal, Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services

Jas Johal was elected to represent the new riding of Richmond-Queensborough in 2017.

Johal is an award-winning journalist with over 23 years of reporting experience. Most recently, Johal served as director of communications for the BC LNG Alliance.

Sam Sullivan, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development

Sam Sullivan was re-elected to represent Vancouver-False Creek in 2017.

Prior to his first election in 2013, Sullivan served as mayor of Vancouver from 2006 to 2009, and city councillor from 1993 to 2005.

Sullivan is vice-chair of the Rick Hansen Institute, and has received the Christopher and Dana Reeve Award and Terry Fox Award for his work on behalf of people with disabilities.

Jordan Sturdy, Minister of Environment

Jordan Sturdy was re-elected to represent West Vancouver-Sea to Sky in 2017.

First elected in 2013, Sturdy previously served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment, chair of the Climate Leadership Team, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Prior to being elected, Sturdy was a three-term mayor of Pemberton.

Linda Reid, Minister of Advanced Education

Linda Reid was re-elected to represent Richmond South Centre in 2017.

B.C.’s longest-serving current MLA, and the longest-serving female MLA in B.C. history. Reid was first elected in 1991. Reid previously served as speaker of the legislative assembly from 2013 to 2017. Prior to that, she served as deputy speaker, Minister Responsible for Early Childhood Development, and Minister Responsible for Child Care.

Reid is the recipient of three commemorative medals – the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal, the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Parliamentary Secretaries

Jane Thornthwaite – Parliamentary Secretary for Child Mental Health and Anti-Bullying to the Minister of Children and Family Development

John Yap – Parliamentary Secretary for Liquor Reform Policy to the Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction and Minister Responsible for Liquor

Darryl Plecas – Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors to the Minister of Health

Simon Gibson – Parliamentary Secretary for Independent Schools to the Minister of Education

John Martin – Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

Laurie Throness – Parliamentary Secretary for Corrections to the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General

Greg Kyllo – Parliamentary Secretary for the BC Jobs Plan to the Minister of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills Training.

Dan Ashton – Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Linda Larson – Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Education to the Minister of Education

Marvin Hunt – Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development

Michael Lee – Parliamentary Secretary for Housing Affordability to the Minister of Natural Gas Development and Minister Responsible for Housing

Joan Isaacs – Parliamentary Secretary for Early Childhood Education to the Minister of Education

Doug Clovechok – Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier