COLUMN: View from the Legislature – Welcoming new cabinet ministers


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It was nearly seven years ago that I had the honour of taking the oath of office as a cabinet minister in the provincial government. It is both a humbling and a daunting experience. One that is both exciting and a little frightening at the same time as you take on a responsibility for a section of the government.

On Monday of this week, it was easy to recall those feelings watching four Progressive Conservative Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs), take their oath of office to become first time cabinet ministers. There have been several cabinet shuffles since our government first took office and each one is special for new ministers and their families. It was especially meaningful to be able to welcome their friends and family members to the Manitoba Legislature to watch in person this unique honour.

Joining the provincial cabinet this week are Janice Morley-Lecomte (MLA for Seine River) who becomes minister of mental health and community wellness, James Teitsma (MLA for Radisson), the minister of consumer protection and government services, Obby Khan (MLA for Fort Whyte), the minister of sport, culture and heritage and Kevin Klein who took the oath of office as the minister of the environment and climate change.

For each of these new ministers, Monday is both a day they will never forget and signals a time of intense learning of their new areas of responsibility. I wish each of them well and I look forward to serving with them.

I also want to thank MLAs who have left cabinet after distinguished service. MLA Reg Helwer and MLA Alan Lagimodiere each made the decision not to seek re-election this fall, and MLA Cameron Friesen stepped away from cabinet to seek the federal nomination in Portage-Lisgar. It has been a pleasure to work with each of them in cabinet.

I am also honoured to have been asked to continue in my role as the Attorney General and Minister of Justice for Manitoba. I will also remain as the government House Leader for the coming session of the Manitoba Legislature. I look forward to continuing to serve in these roles.

One piece of history that was noted at the swearing in on Monday is that it was the first time in the province’s 153 year history that the three individuals who oversee the swearing in of a new provincial cabinet, the premier, the lieutenant-governor and the clerk of executive council, are all women.

As we move toward the opening of a new session of the Manitoba Legislature in a few weeks, I look forward to updating you on legislation that is coming forward as well as the provincial budget.

I appreciate your comments and concerns. If you have any comments on these or other issues, you can contact me by writing, C2-275 Main Street, Steinbach, MB R5G 1Y9, by phone at (204) 326-5763 by e-mail at or by visiting my website at I look forward to hearing from you.

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