B.C. Liberal house leader Mike de Jong and Premier Christy Clark speak after MLAs took their oaths of office last week. (TOM FLETCHER/BLACK PRESS) Premier Christy Clark takes oath of office from Lt. Gov. Judith Guichon at ceremony for cabinet ministers in Victoria Monday (TOM FLETCHER/BLACK PRESS)

‘Urban agenda’ means no transit referendum

Christy Clark’s new cabinet may not last long

Premier Christy Clark’s new cabinet is focused on an “urban agenda” that means working with Metro Vancouver mayors instead of telling them what to do.

Clark unveiled a post-election cabinet Monday that is likely to be temporary, with a non-confidence vote by the NDP and Green Parties expected to defeat the B.C. Liberal government by the end of the month. She said the new priorities will be acted upon if and when the B.C. Liberals govern again.

Clark appointed Vancouver-False Creek MLA Sam Sullivan as minister responsible for communities and Translink, and he immediately announced that the government will move quickly to “scrap” the requirement that Metro Vancouver have a referendum on future transit expansions.

Sullivan replaces Peter Fassbender, one of the Lower Mainland B.C. Liberal MLAs defeated in the May 9 election. A former Vancouver mayor who once beat out Clark for that job, Sullivan said he’s pleased to see mayors’ proposals such as broader Metro Vancouver road pricing, a regional carbon tax and other ideas to fund road and transit needs.

“I am thrilled to see the innovative thinking going on,” Sullivan said. “Of course, selling it to different constituencies is another story.”

Other newcomers to the B.C. Liberal cabinet include Skeena MLA Ellis Ross, who takes over responsibility for natural gas development. A former chief of the Haisla Nation, Ross advocated liquefied natural gas export from his Kitimat-area community before running provincially.

Former TV reporter Jas Johal did a stint representing the B.C. LNG Alliance before winning the new seat of Richmond-Queensboro for the B.C. Liberals May 9. He takes over as minister of technology, innovation and citizens’ services, replacing Amrik Virk, another Metro Vancouver cabinet minister defeated by an NDP challenger May 9.

Second-term West Vancouver-Sea to Sky MLA Jordan Sturdy takes over as environment minister.

Cabinet veteran Rich Coleman moves from natural gas to energy and mines, replacing the retired Bill Bennett. Langley MLA Mary Polak moves from environment to health, replacing the retired Terry Lake, and former speaker Linda Reid goes back to cabinet in charge of advanced education.

Vancouver-Quilchena MLA Andrew Wilkinson is appointed justice minister, replacing Suzanne Anton, who was defeated by the NDP’s George Chow in Vancouver-Fraserview.

The ministers appointed today are:

  • Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation: John Rustad, Nechako Lakes
  • Attorney General and Minister of Justice: Andrew Wilkinson, Vancouver-Quilchena
  • Minister of Agriculture: Norm Letnick, Kelowna Lake Country
  • Minister of Children and Family Development: Stephanie Cadieux, Surrey South
  • Minister of Education: Mike Bernier, Peace River South
  • Minister of Health: Mary Polak, Langley
  • Minister of Finance: Michael De Jong, Abbotsford West
  • Minister of Forests, Lands and National Resource Operations: Steve Thomson, Kelowna-Mission
  • Minister of State for Rural Economic Development: Donna Barnett, Cariboo-Chilcotin
  • Minister of International Trade and Minister responsible for the Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism: Teresa Wat, Richmond North Centre

  • Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister responsible for Labour: Shirley Bond, Price George-Valemount
  • Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General: Mike Morris, Prince-George Mackenzie
  • Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction and Minister responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch: Coralee Oakes, Cariboo North
  • Minister of Energy and Mines: Rich Coleman, Langley East
  • Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation: Michelle Stilwell, Parksville-Qualicum
  • Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure: Todd Stone, Kamloops-South Thompson
  • Minister of Natural Gas Development and Minister responsible for Housing: Ellis Ross, Skeena
  • Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services: Jas Johal, Richmond-Queensborough
  • Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development: Sam Sullivan, Vancouver-False Creek
  • Minister of Environment: Jordan Sturdy, West Vancouver-Sea to Sky
  • Minister of Advanced Education: Linda Reid, Richmond South Centre

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