July 16, 2018

Winnipeg
19° C, Partly cloudy

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Selinger shuffles cabinet; Gang of Five out

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 29/4/2015 (1174 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

For the second time in six months, Premier Greg Selinger has revamped his cabinet, with NDP leadership politics again weighing heavily on his decisions.

His new inner circle — assembled Wednesday on the eve of today’s provincial budget — includes two new faces and several ministers in new roles.

As expected, Selinger rewarded Maples MLA Mohinder Saran for delivering 117 delegate votes to him during the March 8 NDP leadership contest. Saran received the junior post of housing and community development.

However, the five rebel ministers who resigned from cabinet over the premier’s leadership last November are still on the outside looking in.

Get the full story.
No credit card required. Cancel anytime.

Join free for 60 days

After that, pay as little as $0.99 per month for the best local news coverage in Manitoba.

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Join free for 60 days

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 60 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 29/4/2015 (1174 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

For the second time in six months, Premier Greg Selinger has revamped his cabinet, with NDP leadership politics again weighing heavily on his decisions.

His new inner circle — assembled Wednesday on the eve of today’s provincial budget — includes two new faces and several ministers in new roles.

As expected, Selinger rewarded Maples MLA Mohinder Saran for delivering 117 delegate votes to him during the March 8 NDP leadership contest. Saran received the junior post of housing and community development.

However, the five rebel ministers who resigned from cabinet over the premier’s leadership last November are still on the outside looking in.

Selinger did offer a cabinet post to leadership rival Theresa Oswald, one of the rebels, but she declined, saying she is still considering her political future. He did not make offers to the other four, which include former ministers of justice, health, finance and municipal government.

Premier Greg Selinger shuffled his cabinet today and held a swearing in ceremony at the Manitoba Legislature today. The new cabinet from left: Minister of Infrastructure Steve Ashton, Minister of Justice Gord Mackintosh, Minister of Education James Allum, Minister of Conservation Thomas Nevakshonoff and Minister of Housing Mohinder Saran.

JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Premier Greg Selinger shuffled his cabinet today and held a swearing in ceremony at the Manitoba Legislature today. The new cabinet from left: Minister of Infrastructure Steve Ashton, Minister of Justice Gord Mackintosh, Minister of Education James Allum, Minister of Conservation Thomas Nevakshonoff and Minister of Housing Mohinder Saran.

"There was an offer made to Theresa Oswald, and I deeply respect her reasons for deciding not to proceed at this time," the premier told reporters after the swearing-in ceremony in an ornate reception room at the Manitoba Legislative Building.

He declined to say what post she was offered.

Reached by telephone, Oswald said she was not in a position to accept the job as she’s still weighing whether to run in next year’s general election. She came within 33 votes of ousting Selinger as leader last month.

"It’s absolutely true that we did have a conversation, and it was a positive one, cordial," she said of her meeting with Selinger. "But the fact remains that I’m going through some pretty serious deliberations about what my future holds."

Thompson MLA Steve Ashton, who didn’t criticize the premier last fall but jumped into the leadership contest when it materialized, was handed his old job of infrastructure and transportation minister. He resigned from cabinet in December. Agriculture Minister Ron Kostyshyn has done double duty as infrastructure minister for the past four months.

Selinger also needed to shuffle some positions because of Education Minister Peter Bjornson’s desire to leave cabinet. Bjornson had asked to be relieved of his duties after severely injuring his back and will not seek re-election in Gimli.

Mohinder Saran, right, was named new minister of Housing and Community Development,  and became the first Indo-Canadian cabinet minister in Manitoba.

JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Mohinder Saran, right, was named new minister of Housing and Community Development, and became the first Indo-Canadian cabinet minister in Manitoba.

So, the premier moved James Allum back to education, which he held until the November cabinet shuffle, and moved veteran cabinet minister Gord Mackintosh into justice, a portfolio he held a decade ago.

Interlake MLA Tom Nevakshonoff, an Ashton supporter during the leadership campaign, inherits Mackintosh’s old conservation and water stewardship post.

Meanwhile, in an unusual move, the premier named a non-Winnipegger as minister responsible for relations with the City of Winnipeg. The job falls to Brandon MLA Drew Caldwell, who is already minister of municipal government.

Kevin Chief, who appeared to have a cosy relationship with Mayor Brian Bowman in his role as minister for Winnipeg, retains the jobs and economy portfolio. Bowman said in a tweet: "Congratulations @drewcaldwell on your appointment as Minister Responsible for Relations w/ Winnipeg. Look forward to working w/ you."

Family Services Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross, a staunch Selinger loyalist, becomes deputy premier, giving Selinger two deputies, the other being Eric Robinson.

With the shuffle, the size of the cabinet now stands at 19, one more than after the previous cabinet remake in November.

Steve Ashton, minister of Infrastructure, left, takes a cellphone image just prior to the swearing-in ceremony.

JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Steve Ashton, minister of Infrastructure, left, takes a cellphone image just prior to the swearing-in ceremony.

Selinger rejected the notion some MLAs who are now in cabinet would never have made the grade were it not for NDP infighting. "We have a deep, talented and diverse group in caucus... including members who aren’t in cabinet now, who have the ability to serve," he said. "It is completely reasonable to give new people an opportunity to step up and provide leadership. And I think that is what we’ve done today."

Saran, who becomes the first Indo-Canadian to become a member of the Manitoba provincial cabinet, disputed the notion his appointment was payback for helping Selinger keep his job. He said he also supported Selinger’s leadership bid in 2009 and was not rewarded with a cabinet position at the time. He said his appointment likely has more to do with ensuring the cabinet reflects the diversity of the province.

Conservative Leader Brian Pallister said Selinger was merely rewarding MLAs who were loyal to him during the leadership race.

"What we have here is a premier who clearly put partisanship ahead of the province of Manitoba’s best interests. He’s rewarded his supporters in the leadership contest, and he’s penalized those who didn’t support him," he said.

Pallister criticized the naming of Family Services Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross as deputy premier. "This is a minister and a government that are failing our most vulnerable children, and now she gets a promotion."

In a statement, Liberal Party Leader Rana Bokhari said Selinger’s cabinet tweaks did nothing to improve the direction of Manitoba. She also saw the shuffle as an opportunity for the premier to reward his loyalists.

larry.kusch@freepress.mb.ca

bruce.owen@freepress.mb.ca

 

Larry Kusch

Larry Kusch
Legislature Reporter

Larry Kusch didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life until he attended a high school newspaper editor’s workshop in Regina in the summer of 1969 and listened to a university student speak glowingly about the journalism program at Carleton University in Ottawa.

Read full biography

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

History

Updated on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at 11:30 AM CDT: Updated with cabinet shuffle highlights.

1:38 PM: Updated after press conference begins.

2:14 PM: Adds photos

2:25 PM: Updates with quotes from Oswald, Nevakshonoff

2:53 PM: Adds reaction from Bokhari, clarifies that Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Minister Eric Robinson is also deputy premier

3:21 PM: Updates with comments from Saran

4:31 PM: Adds video.

4:39 PM: Adds video of Nevakshonoff

5:25 PM: Updated.

5:28 PM: Adds video.

11:36 PM: Writethru with print version.

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital 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 The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The 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 January 2015.