Calgary MP Michelle Rempel to join cabinet
Former University of Calgary official named minister of state for western economic diversification
Rookie Calgary MP Michelle Rempel was promoted to cabinet as Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced a major retooling of his front bench on Monday.
Rempel is the new minister of state for western economic diversification — one of eight new cabinet members, four of whom are women.
"To the young women of this country — we can make it in #cdnpoli. Run for office. #glassceilingsaremeanttobebroken," she tweeted after Harper announced her inclusion in cabinet — also via Twitter.
Rempel, who represents Calgary Centre-North, worked as a management consultant and was the director of the University of Calgary’s Institutional Programs Division before being elected in 2011.
She also co-chairs the Conservative Party's national policy committee.
Mount Royal University political scientist Duane Bratt said the post is a stepping stone for Rempel.
"She's in a minister of state position, which is not quite full cabinet. It's more of a junior position, but it's clearly a sign. That's where you begin."
Kenney moves to employment
Jason Kenney, MP for Calgary Southeast, is the new minister of employment and social development.
Ontario MP Chris Alexander takes over Kenney’s former post as minister of citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism.
Kevin Sorenson, Calgary MP for Crowfoot, was also appointed to be the minister of state for finance — replacing Alberta MP Ted Menzies.
Menzies announced in early July he would not be running in the next election in 2015.
Calgary MP Diane Ablonczy, who was formerly the minister of state for foreign affairs, also stepped aside before the cabinet shuffle as she will not be seeking re-election in the next federal vote.
She was replaced by Saskatchewan MP Lynn Yelich, who represents the riding of Blackstrap.