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Red Deer-North MLA Adriana LaGrange named minister of health

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A few Central Alberta MLAs have been named to the Government of Alberta’s cabinet.

On Friday, Premier Danielle Smith named her 25-member cabinet, which includes Red Deer-North MLA Adriana LaGrange as health minister.

“I am honored and humbled to have the privilege to serve as your minister of health,” LaGrange said in a statement after the swearing-in ceremony.

“We will continue our efforts to improve access to health care for all Albertans, and ensure quality in the overall continuum of care across this province in our exemplary public health care system.”

LaGrange was first elected in 2019 and was named minister of education, which is a title she had held until the 2023 election. Her new role is viewed as critical, as Smith pledged to reduce wait times for emergency care and surgeries and to make changes to ensure more Albertans can see a family doctor.

Friends of Medicare stated in a press release that it was wary of LaGrange’s appointment as minister of health due to her “track record in furthering the privatization of Alberta’s public school system” while serving as minister of education.

“Friends of Medicare will be watching closely to ensure that Premier Smith is true to her promise that no Albertans will have to pay for health care, and we will continue to fight to strengthen and protect universal publicly-funded, publicly-delivered health care for all,” said Chris Gallaway, Friends of Medicare executive director.

“To that end, we will be reviewing the cabinet mandate letters provided to these new Ministers closely in the days and weeks ahead.”

Opposition NDP deputy leader Sarah Hoffman said LaGrange’s past anti-abortion stance is also troubling given her new job, but Smith said “We will not be changing any laws regarding a woman’s right to choose.”

Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre MLA Jason Nixon has been named minister of seniors, community and social security. He has previously served as minister of finance, minister of environment, and government house leader. Nixon was dropped as a minister by Smith in his first cabinet last fall.

“I look forward to taking on this role and getting to work addressing the challenges facing Albertans today,” Nixon said in a social media post.

“I am deeply honored that the Premier has entrusted me with this role, and to be part of a cabinet that is committed to improving our province and making life better for all of us in Alberta.”

Devin Dreeshen, Innisfail-Sylvan Lake MLA, will return as the minister of transportation and economic corridors, which is a title he has held since October 2022. He had previously served as minister of agriculture and forestry.

Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin MLA Rick Wilson will once again serve as minister of Indigenous relations.

Full list of ministers:

  • Premier and Minister of Intergovernmental Relations – Danielle Smith
  • Deputy Premier and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Services – Mike Ellis
  • Minister of Advanced Education – Rajan Sawhney
  • Minister of Affordability and Utilities and Vice-chair of Treasury Board – Nathan Neudorf
  • Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation – RJ Sigurdson
  • Minister of Arts, Culture and Status of Women – Tanya Fir
  • Minister of Children and Family Services – Searle Turton
  • Minister of Education – Demetrios Nicolaides
  • Minister of Energy and Minerals – Brian Jean
  • Minister of Environment and Protected Areas – Rebecca Schulz
  • Ministry of Forestry and Parks – Todd Loewen
  • Minister of Health – Adriana LaGrange
  • Minister of Immigration and Multiculturalism – Muhammad Yaseen
  • Minister of Indigenous Relations – Rick Wilson
  • Minister of Infrastructure – Pete Guthrie
  • Minister of Jobs, Economy and Trade – Matt Jones
  • Minister of Justice – Mickey Amery
  • Minister of Mental Health and Addiction – Dan Williams
  • Minister of Municipal Affairs – Ric McIver
  • Minister of Seniors, Community and Social Services – Jason Nixon
  • Minister of Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction – Dale Nally
  • Minister of Technology and Innovation – Nate Glubish
  • Minister of Tourism and Sport – Joseph Schow
  • Minister of Transportation and Economic Corridors – Devin Dreeshen
  • President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance – Nate Horner

“I am so pleased to have this team working with me to deliver on the promises we made to Albertans during the election,” said Premier Smith.

“These are not just our government’s priorities, they are Albertans’ priorities. The next four years start today, and I can’t wait to get back to work with each of my cabinet colleagues.”

—With files from The Canadian Press

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