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Smith to unveil new-look Alberta cabinet Friday after 6 ministers lose seats


Re-elected Premier Danielle Smith will announce her new cabinet and take questions from reporters on Friday, nearly two weeks after winning Alberta's election.

Smith's United Conservative Party begins its mandate with 14 fewer seats than it held after the 2019 vote. The unofficial count from Elections Alberta is 49, while the NDP has 38.

Cabinet ministers Kaycee Madu, Tyler Shandro, Jason Copping, Jeremy Nixon, Nicholas Milliken and Jason Luan all lost their seats.

Ministers Travis Toews and Sonya Savage chose not to run again.

That means new ministers have to be appointed in health, justice, finance, mental health and addiction, culture, environment, skilled trades, and social services.

"We are going to see a cabinet that will have new faces in it, people that maybe Albertans aren't familiar with, maybe people who won their seats for the first time," said Tom Vernon with Crestview Strategy.

"I think we're going to see some of those former leadership rivals, some former high-profile cabinet ministers in these high-profile places to show government continuity."

Brian Jean, Rebecca Schulz, Todd Loewen and Rajan Sawhney all ran against Smith for the UCP leadership. All were then appointed to cabinet following that vote and all are likely to get important portfolios on Friday, Vernon believes.

The premier still has 16 members of her last cabinet that she can keep, including Deputy Premier Nathan Neudorf, Education Minister Adriana LaGrange and Public Safety Minister Mike Ellis, who were all reelected.

Vernon said the justice portfolio will be interesting because the only UCP MLAs that are lawyers are Jean, Mickey Amery and Jason Stephan. Having that education is not a law, but the justice minister is usually a lawyer, he noted.

Smith also has no Edmonton MLAs to choose from after the NDP won every seat inside the city.

Vernon said it would make sense for Smith to keep Strathcona-Sherwood Park MLA Nate Glubish and Morinville-St. Albert MLA Dale Nally in cabinet to represent the capital region, and possibly give one or both more important roles.

Spruce Grove-Stony Plain MLA Searle Turton is also a possibility for a portfolio, he said.

"[It] remains to be seen how she handles the Edmonton issue. For the UCP caucus, not having anyone in the city will pose a problem," Vernon said.

"It will be up to city council, city school boards to bring their voice directly to the government. And the government is going to have to make a point to reach out to community leaders and community members here in the city."

Elections Alberta is expected to release official results on Thursday. Top Stories

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