Edmonton mayor likes cabinet makeup

Mayor Bill Smith predicts the City of Edmonton will have a better relationship with the provincial government because of the makeup of Premier Ralph Klein's new cabinet.

The cabinet, which increased from 20 to 24 ministers, includes added representation from Edmonton. Mark Norris, who defeated former Liberal leader Nancy MacBeth in Edmonton-McClung, has been named to the economic development portfolio.

Smith says although the city got only one new cabinet seat, there are now five cabinet ministers from the Edmonton region. He says that should give the area some influence with the government.

"When you take the whole Capital Region, Edmonton has a good representation," he says.

Other cabinet members include Dave Hancock from Edmonton-Whitemud, Gene Zwozdesky, the MLA for Edmonton-Mill Creek, Iris Evans from Sherwood Park and Stan Woloshyn from Stony Plain.

Smith also says he's pleased the municipal affairs job has gone to a former mayor, Fort McMurray's Guy Boutilier.

"He is a bright young guy and certainly understands the problems of municipalities right across this province," says Smith.

But Councillor Allan Bolstad isn't as comfortable with the choice. He says Boutilier led the drive to amalgamate communities around Fort McMurray and could press for similar moves in the Capital Region.