Calgary MLAs make history in Alberta cabinet

All three of Calgary's latest MLA appointees to cabinet contribute to the most diverse cabinet in Alberta's history — Premier Rachel Notley has added two pregnant women and one openly gay member to her executive team.

3 new cabinet ministers more diverse, 2 are pregnant, 1 is openly gay

Premier Rachel Notley added six new members to her cabinet on Tuesday. (Twitter/CBC)

All three of Calgary's latest MLA appointees to cabinet contribute to the most diverse cabinet Alberta's history.

Premier Rachel Notley has added two pregnant women and one openly gay member to her executive team.

Stephanie McLean, who represents the riding of Calgary-Varsity, now joins cabinet as Minister of Service Alberta and Status of Women.

Calgary-Acadia MLA Brandy Payne joins the cabinet as the Associate Minister of Health.

Ricardo Miranda, MLA for Calgary-Cross, takes over the Culture and Tourism Ministry from David Eggen.

McLean is due to give birth on February 7 and  Payne is also expecting. Notley said accommodations will be made to allow for them to fulfil their positions around the birth of their children.

"I know that minister McLean will be hoping to come back to work as soon as possible as soon as she's had her baby, but of course you have to see how things go." said Notley.

Political watchers say these appointments are not just symbolic, but they do make a statement.

"I think Notley did that deliberately, that instead of waiting, she wanted to make a point about women and politics and by saying I'm going to put them in right now," said Duane Bratt, political scientist from Mount Royal University.

Ricardo Miranda is also breaking new ground as Alberta's first openly gay cabinet minister.

"It's really, I guess, historic in some ways, but to me it's just a reflection of how far we've come in this province," said Miranda. 

"Think about some of the history in Alberta politics on gay rights issues, and I think this is a very important statement that the Premier has made." said Bratt.

More Calgary representatives

Bratt says Calgary was underrepresented before the shuffle.

Although the latest appointments aren't strong portfolios, he says having both Finance Minister Joe Ceci and Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley adds to the strength of MLA cabinet ministers from Calgary.

"I think it's important to reflect as much of the province as we can," said Notley after the swearing in ceremony on Tuesday.

There are now 19 members of cabinet, up from 13.

Notley says it's the smallest cabinet in Alberta since the 1990's.


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