Premier Heather Stefanson welcomed three new members and a well-respected former member into the provincial cabinet today and unveiled new and reframed portfolios to address the ongoing challenges posed by COVID-19, plan for economic growth and recovery, and better focus on the priorities of all Manitobans.
“Manitobans want and expect a government that acts with integrity and compassion, and that puts their needs first. I am confident this team will focus on the priorities of Manitobans as we continue to fight back against COVID-19 and work together to build a healthier, stronger and more prosperous province for all,” said Stefanson. “We are committed to strengthening and realigning our health-care system to manage COVID-19 and to ensure Manitobans can access the care they need now and well into the future. We also recognize the need to enhance care for seniors and those experiencing mental health and addictions challenges, and as such, I am proud that our government will have three dedicated and compassionate people providing health leadership where it is most needed.”
Scott Johnston (MLA for Assiniboia) comes into cabinet and will lead the new Department of Seniors and Long-term Care with a focused agenda to implement all recommendations of the Stevenson Review. Audrey Gordon (MLA for Southdale) will lead the reframed health portfolio as minister of health with a mandate to strengthen resources to help manage COVID-19 while working with the Surgical and Diagnostic Task Force to clear the backlogs and improve the quality of life for all Manitobans. 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.
The premier also welcomed Doyle Piwniuk (MLA for Turtle Mountain) as minister of transportation and infrastructure, and Andrew Smith (MLA for Lagimodiere) as minister of sport, culture and heritage, and minister responsible for Travel Manitoba and the Manitoba Centennial Centre Corporation (MCCC). Eileen Clarke (MLA for Agassiz) returns to cabinet as minister of municipal relations, a position she held previously and in which she was well respected among her colleagues across all levels of government, added Stefanson.