Alberta Government Cabinet Shuffle

Background 

Premier Kenney has shuffled Cabinet to fill vacancies created by three ministers resigning to run in the UCP leadership race. Having previously named acting ministers following a candidate’s announcement, the Premier has made some of those appointments permanent. Notable is the elevation of Whitney Issik from an associate ministry to a full Cabinet post, and the appointment of Matt Jones and Nicholas Milliken directly into Cabinet positions. Neither of the latter previously sat in associate minister positions.

Changes to Cabinet

The following changes to cabinet have been announced:

  • Jason Nixon, currently the Minister of Environment and Parks and Acting President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance becomes President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance.
  • Whitney Issik, currently the Associate Minister of Status of Women, becomes Minister of Environment and Parks.
  • Matt Jones, MLA for Calgary-South East, becomes Minister of Children’s Services.
  • Prasad Panda, currently the Minister of Infrastructure, becomes Minister of Transportation.
  • Nicholas Milliken, MLA for Calgary-Currie, becomes Minister of Infrastructure.
  • Jackie Armstrong-Homeniuk, MLA for Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville, becomes the Associate Minister of Status of Women.
  • Brad Rutherford, MLA for Leduc-Beaumont and Deputy Government Whip, becomes Chief Government Whip and Minister without Portfolio.

 

Other non-Ministry changes:

  • MLAs Tracy Allard, Grande Prairie, and Jackie Lovely, Camrose, have been appointed to Treasury Board.
  • Minister of Justice Tyler Shandro has been appointed the Chair of the Community and Families Cabinet Policy Committee.
  • Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange has been appointed to the Priorities Implementation Cabinet Committee.

Biographies

Hon. Jason Nixon
President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance

Jason Nixon was first elected as the Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for the constituency of Rimbey–Rocky Mountain House–Sundre on May 5, 2015. He was re-elected on April 16, 2019.

Prior to serving in the Legislative Assembly, Nixon spent over 25 years volunteering and working for the Mustard Seed, one of Alberta’s most respected not-for-profit organisations. His roles included serving as Executive Director of the organisation between 2006 and 2011. He has experience as an entrepreneur, having owned and operated a consulting business for several years.

Nixon graduated with honours from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology’s School of Business. He was born and raised in Alberta and lives in west-central Alberta with his wife, Tiffany. He and Tiffany are the proud parents of three children.

He served as the Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition in the Alberta Legislative Assembly from October 2017 to January 2018. He has held other notable positions within the Assembly, including Official Opposition House Leader, Chief Opposition Whip, a variety of shadow minister roles, and has served as a member on several legislative standing committees.

Nixon was appointed as Alberta’s Minister of Environment and Parks as well as Government House Leader on April 30, 2019.

Hon. Whitney Issik
Minister of Environment and Parks

Whitney Issik was elected as the Member of the Legislative Assembly for Calgary-Glenmore on April 16, 2019.

She is currently a member of the Standing Committee on the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund and the Standing Committee on Resource Stewardship. She previously served on the Standing Committee on Alberta’s Economic Future and the Standing Committee on Privileges and Elections, Standing Orders, and Printing.

Prior to serving with the Legislative Assembly, she owned and operated a small business in Calgary for close to 30 years. She has also worked in the telecommunications and energy industries.

Throughout the past 30 years, she has volunteered her time to a variety of community and sports organizations. She has also been active in politics since 1983.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Calgary, where she served as vice-president of finance for the students’ union.

Hon. Matt Jones
Minister of Children’s Services

Matthew Jones was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for the constituency of Calgary-South East on April 16, 2019.

He serves as Deputy Chair on both the Select Special Child and Youth Advocate Search Committee and the Standing Committee on the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund.

He previously was a member of the Standing Committees on Privileges and Elections, Standing Orders, and Printing and Alberta’s Economic Future.

Before he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, he worked as an investment banker helping Alberta-based businesses with capital raises, acquisitions, and divestitures.

Hon. Prasad Panda
Minister of Transportation

Prasad Panda was first elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta in a by-election on September 3, 2015 as the MLA for Calgary-Foothills. Hewas re-elected on April 16, 2019, as the MLA for the newly formed riding of Calgary-Edgemont.

Born in Sangam Jagarlamudi, Andhra Pradesh, India, Panda has lived in the constituency of Calgary-Edgemont for 15 years. An active member of his community, his volunteer experience includes serving as President of the Telugu Association of Calgary and as the first vice-president of the India-Canada Association of Calgary. Panda organizes an annual Food Drive for Calgary Veterans.

A professional engineer by trade, Panda holds a Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering and is a member of APEGA. He previously worked in the energy sector for 28 years. During that time, he held senior management positions with Reliance Industries Ltd. and Suncor Energy Inc. Panda was a key member of project management teams that built world-scale projects worth over $100 Billion, including petroleum, petrochemical, power, pipelines, and marine infrastructure and oil sands development projects.

During the last Legislature, Panda was a member of the Legislative Standing Committees on Public Accounts, Resource Stewardship and Alberta’s Economic Future and served as the Official Opposition Critic for Energy and Economic Development and Trade.

In his new role, Panda will apply his private and public sector experience on delivering key infrastructure needs, including LRT expansions in Calgary and Edmonton.

Hon. Nicholas Milliken
Minister of Infrastructure

Nicholas Milliken was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, representing the constituency of Calgary-Currie, on April 16, 2019. On May 21, 2019, he was elected to serve as Deputy Chair of Committees.

He serves as deputy chair for the Standing Committee on Legislative Offices. He also is a member of the Select Special Committee to Examine Safe Supply and the Select Special Committee on Real Property Rights. He previously chaired the Select Special Public Health Act Review Committee.

Prior to serving with the Legislative Assembly, Milliken was a practising lawyer and business owner in Calgary.

Hon. Jackie Armstrong-Homeniuk
Associate Minister of Status of Women

Jackie Armstrong-Homeniuk was elected to the Legislative Assembly as the Member for Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville on April 16, 2019. She sits on the following Legislative Assembly Standing Committees: Public Accounts; Privileges and Elections, Standing Orders and Printing; and Alberta’s Economic Future. 

Prior to entering politics, Armstrong-Homeniuk was a small-business owner at the time and a long-term resident of her riding. 

She is chair of the government Advisory Council on Alberta-Ukraine Relations and the Skilled Trades Caucus as well as a member of the Skills for Jobs Task Force and two regional caucuses. She also was appointed to the Premier’s Council on Charities and Civil Society and is part of several government working groups.

Hon. Brad Rutherford
Chief Government Whip and Minister without Portfolio

Brad Rutherford was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, representing the constituency of Leduc-Beaumont, on April 16, 2019.

He was appointed liaison to the Canadian Armed Forces on June 3, 2019, and Deputy Government Whip on July 8, 2021.

He serves as chair of the Standing Committees on Legislative Offices and Private Bills and Private Members’ Public Bills. He is deputy chair for the Select Special Committee on Real Property Rights.

He previously was a member of the Standing Committee on Families and Communities and the Select Special Democratic Accountability Committee.

Prior to serving with the Legislative Assembly, Rutherford served for 10 years as a member of the Edmonton Police Service (EPS). In addition to being a constable, he took on roles as temporary acting sergeant and temporary acting detective for the southwest division and the Economic Crime Section.

He also served in the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves for two years.

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