Putting Her Stamp on Government, Premier Stefanson Shuffles Cabinet

WINNIPEG: Eleven weeks after being sworn in as the 24th Premier of Manitoba, Heather Stefanson announced new cabinet responsibilities at the legislature in Winnipeg this afternoon.

Stefenson’s cabinet includes 17 Ministers, including three new faces, down from her successor’s Brian Pallister’s last cabinet. This is the second change to the PC government’s cabinet in the past six months. Individual mandate letters were not released, and no announcement was made as to whether there will be mandate letters.

Who’s new: The new faces in the cabinet include Scott Johnson (MLA for Assiniboia). Johnson will lead the new department of Seniors and Long-Term Care with a “focused agenda to implement all recommendations of the Stevenson Review.” Doyle Piwniuk (MLA for Turtle Mountain) becomes Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, and Andrew Smith (MLA for Lagimodiere) will serve as Minister of Sport, Culture and Heritage, and Minister responsible for Travel Manitoba and the Manitoba Centennial Centre Corporation (MCCC).

Who’s back in: Eileen Clarke (MLA for Agassiz) who resigned from Executive Council in July has been re-appointed to cabinet as Minister of Municipal Relations.

Who’s out: No longer in cabinet are Ralph Eichler (MLA for Lakeside) and Cathy Cox (MLA for Kildonan-River East).

Of the notable portfolio changes:

  • Cliff Cullen (MLA for Spruce Woods) moves out of education and into the Ministry of Economic Development, Investment and Trade, replacing Jon Reyes (MLA for Waverley);
  • Audrey Gordon (MLA for Southdale) holds on to health with “a mandate to strengthen resources to help manage COVID-19 while working with the Surgical and Diagnostic Task Force to clear the [surgical] backlogs…”. Minister Gordon is no longer responsible for mental health and addictions.
  • Sarah Guillemard (MLA for Fort Richmond) takes on the new role as Minister of Mental Health and Community Wellness and is “tasked with working collaboratively with community organizations to better address and treat the addictions and mental health challenges that have been exacerbated by the pandemic”.

Other notable changes to the Executive Council include:

  • Kelvin Goertzen (MLA for Steinbach) as Minister of Justice and Attorney General, and Minister responsible for Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) and government house leader;
  • Cameron Friesen (MLA for Morden-Winkler) as Minister of Finance and Minister responsible for Manitoba Hydro;
  • Scott Fielding (MLA for Kirkfield Park) as Minister of Natural Resources and Northern Development, and Minister responsible for the Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation (MBLL);
  • Jeff Wharton (MLA for Red River North) as Minister of Environment, Climate and Parks, and Minister Responsible for Efficiency Manitoba;
  • Reg Helwer (MLA for Brandon West) as Minister of Labour, Consumer Protection and Government Services, Minister responsible for the Public Utilities Board (PUB) and Minister responsible for the Civil Service;
  • Wayne Ewasko (MLA for Lac du Bonnet) as Minister of Education and Early Childhood Learning;
  • Derek Johnson (MLA for Interlake-Gimli) as Minister of Agriculture; and
  • Jon Reyes (MLA for Waverley) as Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Immigration.

A full list and biographies of cabinet can be found here:

The next provincial election in Manitoba is scheduled for October 3, 2023.