VICTORIA, B.C. — Premier Christy Clark and her Executive Council were formally sworn in by Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon at Government House this afternoon.
Clark’s cabinet has 22 members. Ten ministers are from the Lower Mainland, while the 12 others hail from Vancouver Island and the B.C. Interior. Five cabinet ministers are new, including B.C.’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.”
Peace River South MLA Mike Bernier has once again been named as Clark’s Education Minister, the portfolio he has served on since July 2015. Prior to his election in 2013, Bernier served as mayor of Dawson Creek for five years, and also served as a councillor for the City of Dawson Creek from 2005 to 2008.
Rich Coleman will be taking over as Minister of Energy and Mines from Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett, who did run in last month’s election. Coleman previously served as Minister of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas and Minister Responsible for Housing, and most recently served as Deputy Premier and Minister of Natural Gas Development and Housing.
With Coleman’s move, freshman Skeela MLA Ellis Ross has been named the new Minister of Natural Gas Development and Housing. 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.
Ross was one of three possible contenders for the Natural Gas portfolio. The third was fellow freshman MLA Jas Johal, who was elected to represent the new riding of Richmond-Queensborough on May 9th. Johal previously worked as a reporter for over 23 years before he worked as director of communications for the BC LNG Alliance.