Alberta Premier Redford to name cabinet today
Cabinet expected to be smaller
Alberta Premier Alison Redford is expected to make some significant additions Tuesday when she names her cabinet.
"Given that she's won her own mandate and really quite strongly that I think it's probably reasonable to suggest that she's much less tied to those who were in that position before," said MacEwan University political scientist John Soroski.
Key posts of Finance, Energy and Transportation are now vacant after ministers decided not to run or were defeated in the provincial election.
Former Energy Minister Ted Morton lost his seat as the opposition Wildrose swept through the ridings in the rural southern part of the province, while Finance Minister Ron Liepert did not run again.
Fellow southerner MLA Evan Berger, Alberta's minister of agriculture, and Jack Hayden, the minister of tourism, also went down to defeat.
Transportation Minister Ray Danyluk was defeated by the Wildrose in his northern riding of Lac La Biche-St. Paul-Two Hills.
High-profile newcomers to get seats
A number of high-profile Calgary MLAs are expected to be appointed including former Alberta Health Services chair Ken Hughes, former city councillor Ric McIver and oil executive Donna Kennedy-Glans.
At the same time Service Alberta Minister Manmeet Bhuller and Solicitor General Jonathan Denis will likely remain in cabinet.
That may give cabinet a noticeably Calgary flavour, said Duane Bratt, political scientist at Mount Royal.
"Do you also want a situation where energy, finance and the premier's office is all in the city of Calgary, or do you balance that out to Edmonton?"
In Edmonton, MLA Fred Horne is expected to return to his post as health minister after retaining his seat in a hotly contested riding while ministers Dave Hancock and Thomas Lukasuk are also expected to be back.
It's also expected that one of the two Fort McMurray-area MLAs to be named as a junior cabinet minister, the first time the province's economic engine will have a member in cabinet since 2008.
Still, Bratt expects Redford will also shrink cabinet from 21 ministers by combining posts.
"That sends a real symbolic message about the size of government even if the departments themselves remain separate, the symbolic value of having few ministers carries a lot of weight," he said.
With files from The Canadian Press