EDMONTON — While there was no change in who is running Alberta following the province’s recent election, how the province will be run is a different story.
Premier Ed Stelmach recently laid out the priorities for the PC Party, reorganizing portfolios and adding four new ministries.
Caught in the shuffle was the Department of Infrastructure and Transportation. In Stelmach’s new cabinet the department will be split in half, creating separate Transportation and Infrastructure portfolios.
“This Cabinet and new government structure will focus on building a stronger Alberta and improving the lives of Albertans,” says Stelmach. “The Cabinet team balances experience and new perspectives and is well skilled for the work ahead.”
More specifically, Infrastructure and Transportation will be split in an effort to ensuring more focus is placed on meeting the needs for roads and other public facilities as part of implementing Alberta’s 20-year strategic capital plan. With the split, the Transportation Department will focus on managing the provincial highway network, as well as responsibilities related to the Transportation Safety Board.
Luke Ouellette, the former Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation, is the new Minister of Transportation, while Jack Hayden takes on the role of Minister of Infrastructure.
In the premier’s order of precedence, Ouellette and the Transportation Ministry come in at the 10th spot, while Hayden and the Infrastructure Ministry are listed at number 20 of the 24-member cabinet. However, providing the roads, schools, hospitals and other public infrastructure to meet the needs of a growing economy and population, is one of the five priorities of the new cabinet, according to Stelmach.