Issue

Premier Heather Stefanson undertook a major cabinet shuffle on January 18 that made significant changes to Executive Council. The Premier led a swearing in ceremony earlier today for new ministers, ministers with new portfolios, and ministers with changing responsibilities at a ceremony held at the Manitoba Legislature. The new cabinet includes 17 ministers and certain portfolios have been created, broken up or renamed.  

Cabinet welcomes back the Honourable Eileen Clarke into the Municipal Relations portfolio and sees three new ministers move into cabinet positions. This shuffle also results in three ministers leaving cabinet. 

Background 

  • The major shuffle places new faces in some of the government’s most important posts. Cameron Friesen was sworn in as Manitoba’s new finance minister, while Jon Reyes moves into the Advanced Education, Skills and Immigration portfolio. Cliff Cullen was promoted to Deputy Premier and assumes the role of Minister of Economic Development, Investment and Trade, moving out of the Education portfolio.  
  • The Premier broke up the Ministry of Crown Services, electing instead to move Manitoba Hydro into the Department of Finance, Manitoba Public Insurance to Justice, the Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation to the Ministry of Natural Resources, and the Public Utilities Board to the newly created Labour and Consumer Protection portfolio. 
  • Audrey Gordon retains her position as Minister of Health as Manitoba continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Rochelle Squires remains in her role as Minister of Families and Minister responsible for Francophone Affairs but adds Status of Women and Accessibility to her portfolio.  
  • Three former ministers did not retain seats in the new cabinet: Cathy Cox, who held the Sport, Culture and Heritage portfolio; Ralph Eichler, who served as Agriculture Minister, and Ron Schuler, who served in the Infrastructure portfolio before being relieved of his duties earlier this month by Premier Stefanson.  
  • Further to yesterday’s cabinet shuffle, the Progressive Conservative Caucus has announced changes to officer positions. Greg Nesbitt, MLA for Riding Mountain, retains his role as Caucus Chair while Blaine Pedersen, MLA for Midland, assumes the role of Deputy Caucus Chair. In addition, Andrew Micklefield, MLA for Rossmere, has been named Deputy Speaker in the Legislature.  

Manitoba Executive Council (Cabinet) as of January 18, 2022 

(Key Portfolios to Chamber Network Highlighted) 

Portfolio  Minister  Provincial Electoral Division 
Premier  Heather Stefanson  Tuxedo 
Deputy Premier and Minister of Economic Development, Investment and Trade  Cliff Cullen  Spruce Woods 
Minister of Justice and Attorney General, and Minister responsible for Manitoba Public Insurance  Kelvin Goertzen  Steinbach 
Minister of Finance and Minister responsible for Manitoba Hydro  Cameron Friesen  Morden-Winkler 
Minister of Natural Resources and Northern Development, and Minister responsible for the Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation (MBLL)  Scott Fielding  Kirkfield Park 
Minister of Environment, Climate and Parks, and Minister responsible for Efficiency Manitoba  Jeff Wharton  Red River North 
Minister of Labour, Consumer Protection and Government Services, Minister responsible for the Public Utilities Board (PUB), and Minister responsible for the civil service  Reg Helwer  Brandon West 
Minister of Education and Early Childhood Learning  Wayne Ewasko  Lac du Bonnet 
Minister of Agriculture  Derek Johnson  Interlake-Gimli 
Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Immigration  Jon Reyes  Waverley 
Minister of Families, Minister responsible for the Status of Women, Minister responsible for Accessibility, and Minister responsible for Francophone Affairs  Rochelle Squires  Riel 
Minister of Indigenous Reconciliation and Northern Relations   Alan Lagimodiere  Selkirk 
Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure  Doyle Piwniuk  Turtle Mountain 
Minister of Sport, Culture and Heritage, and Minister responsible for Travel Manitoba and the Manitoba Centennial Centre Corporation (MCCC)  Andrew Smith  Lagimodiere 
Minister of Seniors and Long-Term Care  Scott Johnston  Assiniboia  
Minister of Mental Health and Community Wellness  Sarah Guillemard  Fort Richmond 
Minister of Health  Audrey Gordon  Southdale 
Minister of Municipal Relations  Eileen Clarke  Agassiz 

Messaging 

“The Chamber Network looks forward to working with Premier Stefanson and her cabinet on economic development efforts and matters important to the business community, including economic competitiveness and workforce issues. 

In particular, we are looking forward to collaborating with the new Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Immigration, Jon Reyes, and post-secondary institutions on initiatives to ensure that Manitoba produces, attracts, educates, trains, and retains the skilled workforce fundamental to sustaining economic growth, prosperity and healthy communities. 

We see the importance and priority placed upon economic development in our province with the new Minister of Economic Development, Investment and Trade also being named Deputy Premier. We look forward to working with Minister Cullen to strengthen the government’s partnership with the private sector to build a stronger economic base and to ensure that Manitoba remains internationally competitive.  

Building Manitoba’s capacity to promote trade and expand our province’s global profile to take full advantage of our potential is also critically important and we were pleased to see the department’s name expanded in scope to include trade. This sends a strong message that trade will be a priority for this government. 

We are pleased to see that special attention has also been placed on the opportunities in the North with a Minister focused on Natural Resources and Northern Development that can build on the Look North Strategy. 

We thank the Government of Manitoba for its continued support and for being a strong voice for Manitoba’s business community.”