Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Rookies join cabinet in shuffle

Chief, Kostyshyn to lead youth, ag departments

  • Print

A political rookie and rising NDP star was named to cabinet Friday in a portfolio that appeared to play to his strengths.

Point Douglas MLA Kevin Chief, who has spent his career working with youths, was one of two new ministers who will now sit in Premier Greg Selinger's inner circle. He takes the helm of the new Department of Children and Youth Opportunities.

Another rookie MLA, but an old hand at municipal politics from western Manitoba, also got promoted. Ron Kostyshyn (Swan River), a cattle rancher from Ethelbert, takes over as agriculture minister.

"I'm very excited and very humbled for this opportunity," Chief told reporters after a swearing-in at the legislative building Friday. As he spoke, he held his 15-month-old son, Hayden, who silently observed the crush of reporters and couldn't resist grabbing their microphones.

Selinger said the new department will combine several functions of existing portfolios, including the government's various healthy-child initiatives.

Chief will also head the new After School Matters program, announced by the NDP during the election campaign. It's based on a Chicago program that provides job training and mentorship opportunities to high school students during school hours.

"We want opportunities for youth; we want opportunities for children," the premier said.

"We think that by organizing all the resources for young people and children in one department on the prevention side, that we can make those investments and put together those programs and activities that can prevent crime and allow young people to have opportunities to thrive in our communities."

Before running for elected office, Chief co-ordinated the University of Winnipeg's Innovative Learning Centre, developing programs for young people to increase their desire to learn. Just over a year ago, he lost a federal byelection to Liberal Kevin Lamoureux in Winnipeg North.

But he secured the NDP nomination in the safe provincial constituency of Point Douglas after George Hickes, the former Speaker of the legislature, retired.

Kostyshyn takes over the agriculture portfolio from Stan Struthers, who will retain his job as finance minister. "It's been a dream come true and I'm enjoying every minute of it," Kostyshyn said.

Selinger noted that Kostyshyn, although a rookie MLA, has 20 years of experience as a councillor and reeve and has served on the board of the Association of Manitoba Municipalities.

Friday's new appointments bring the size of the Selinger cabinet to 19 -- the same as before the Oct. 4 election.

Two former cabinet ministers, Rosann Wowchuk and Bill Blaikie, did not seek re-election. Their duties have been picked up by other ministers.

Progressive Conservative spokesman Kelvin Goertzen (Steinbach) said athough Selinger introduced some new faces to cabinet, it doesn't appear the NDP government's philosophy is about to change.

"Ultimately, it's a government that is still spending way beyond its means," Goertzen said, adding Selinger could have sent a message about cutting costs by reducing the size of cabinet -- even by one member.

larry.kusch@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 14, 2012 A1

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Doug Speirs trains for role in Nutcracker

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Geese fight as a male defends his nesting site at the duck pond at St Vital Park Thursday morning- See Bryksa’s Goose a Day Photo- Day 08- May 10, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Bright sunflowers lift their heads toward the south east skies in a  large sunflower field on Hwy 206 and #1 Thursday Standup photo. July 31,  2012 (Ruth Bonneville/Winnipeg Free Press)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What's your take on the Jets so far this season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google