Stelmach names Cabinet, assigns mandates to ministers
EDMONTON, ALTA-Following his swearing-in on December 14, Alberta's new Premier Ed Stelmach appointed a smaller, 18-member Cabinet and announced a restructuring for the provincial government. Included among the appointees are Rob Renner as the new Environment Minister, Ted Morton as Minister of Sustainable Resource Development and Mel Knight as Minister of Energy. New deputy ministers for the three departments are Peter Watson (Environment), Brad Pickering (SRD) and Dan McFadyen (Energy). In addition to reducing the number of ministers from 24 to 18, Stelmach said four Cabinet policy committees will replace the six existing standing policy committees. A new body, the Treasury Board Secretariat, will be created and mandates of a number of ministries will be reshaped to better co-ordinate government activities, he added. The new Premier has also assigned his new ministers detailed mandates, with specific priorities on which they will be expected to focus their activities and programs. The Environment mandate calls for an updating of Alberta's climate change plan, renewal and resource allocation for the province's Water for Life strategy, and development of a new regulatory framework for environment and resource management. The stated goal of this framework will be to enable sustainable development by addressing the cumulative impacts of development on the environment.