Campbell picks new cabinet – Blair still Energy Minister

There are several major changes and many new faces in the expanded B-C cabinet unveiled by Premier Gordon Campbell in Victoria yesterday.

However, Colin Hansen remains in finance and takes on the additional job of deputy premier. Mike de Jong is the new attorney general, replacing Wally Oppal, who lost to independent Vicki Huntington in a Delta-South recount following the May 12th election.

Former West Vancouver Police Chief Kash Heed becomes solicitor general, while George Abbott shifts from health to aboriginal relations. All those moves could be considered promotions. Sideways moves included Kevin Falcon to health, leaving his old transportation ministry to Shirley Bond who leaves education.

Another rookie, Margaret McDiarmid, is the new Education Minister. There’s no change for Housing Minister Rich Coleman, Forests minister Pat Bell, Environment minister Barry Penner and Energy Minister Blair Lekstrom….

Those kicked out of cabinet include Linda Reid, who was in child care and Gordon Hogg who held the mining portfolio.

Both John van Dongen and John Les were also dropped in the wake of Mr. van Dongen’s driver’s licence suspension and the Les connection to a probe into Chilliwack land deals.

More on what this means and doesn’t mean, in this report from CKNW’s Sean Leslie….

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The realignment and especially the expansion of the group during tough economic times, has already drawn criticism from the Canadian Taxpayer’s Federation.

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