Meet Manitoba's new government cabinet members

Premier Brian Pallister and 12 Progressive Conservative MLAs were sworn in Tuesday as members of Manitoba’s new cabinet in a ceremony conducted by Lt.-Gov. Janice Filmon.

Eight of the 12 cabinet members are from constituencies in rural areas

Premier Brian Pallister leads his cabinet members to their swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday. (CBC)

Premier Brian Pallister and 12 Progressive Conservative MLAs were sworn in Tuesday as members of Manitoba's new cabinet in a ceremony conducted by Lt.-Gov. Janice Filmon.

The 12 members represent a one-third reduction in the size of the former NDP government cabinet, a promise Pallister made during the election campaign. The cabinet is made up of four women and mostly rural MLAs — eight of the 12 are from outside the city and four represent Winnipeg constituencies.

They are, followed by their bios:

Brian Pallister (CBC)
Brian Pallister (MLA for Fort Whyte) — premier and president of the executive council; minister of intergovernmental affairs and international relations.

First elected as the MLA for Fort Whyte in 2012 and re-elected in 2016. He was previously elected as the MLA for Portage la Prairie in 1992 and 1995, and served as the minister of government services. In 2000, Pallister was elected as the member of Parliament for Portage-Lisgar and served eight years including as chair of the finance committee. A graduate of Brandon University, he holds degrees in arts and education, and taught social studies at William Morton Collegiate in Gladstone before starting a financial services company in 1980 that grew into Pallister Financial. He and his wife Esther have two daughters.

Heather Stefanson (CBC)
Heather Stefanson (MLA for Tuxedo) — minister of justice and attorney general, Keeper of the Great Seal of the Province of Manitoba, deputy premier.

First elected as the MLA for Tuxedo in 2000 and re-elected in 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2016. An investment advisor, Stefanson earned her bachelor of arts from the University of Western Ontario before completing her financial education at the Canadian Securities Institute. She also worked as an advisor in the offices of the prime minister, the federal minister of agriculture and the provincial minister of education.  She and her husband Jason have two children.

Cameron Friesen (CBC)
Cameron Friesen (MLA for Morden-Winkler) — minister of finance.

First elected as the MLA for Morden-Winkler in 2011 and re-elected in 2016. Born and raised in Morden, Friesen earned degrees in music and education, and spent 12 years teaching in the Winnipeg, Hanover and Western school divisions.  He and his wife Shelley have three children.

Kelvin Goertzen (CBC)
Kelvin Goertzen (MLA for Steinbach) — minister of health, seniors and active living, government house leader.

First elected as the MLA for Steinbach in 2003 and re-elected in 2007, 2011 and 2016. Goertzen has degrees from the University of Manitoba in economics, commerce and law, and has worked for a major financial institution and a property development company. He served as vice-president of both the Steinbach Arts Council and the Steinbach Food Bank. He has received the H.O.P.E. Medal of Honour from the Lions Club of Manitoba and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. He and his wife Kim have one son.

Ian Wishart (CBC)
Ian Wishart (MLA for Portage la Prairie) — minister of education and training.

First elected as the MLA for Portage la Prairie in 2011 and re-elected in 2016. A graduate of the University of Manitoba, Wishart has served as president and vice-president of Keystone Agricultural Producers, on the executive of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, and as a board member of the Manitoba Crop Insurance Board and the Manitoba Water Council. He and his wife Leslie have two children and live on a fourth-generation family farm north of Portage la Prairie.

Scott Fielding (CBC)
Scott Fielding (MLA for Kirkfield Park) — minister of families.

Elected as the MLA for Kirkfield Park in 2016. Fielding graduated from the University of Manitoba with an advanced bachelor of arts in economics and political studies, and has served as a Winnipeg city councillor, where he was chair of the finance committee and chair of the Winnipeg Police Board. A business owner, he has served on the boards of organizations including the Winnipeg Convention Centre, the Assiniboine Park Conservancy and the St. James Village Business Improvement Zone. He and his wife Michelle have three children.

Blaine Pedersen (CBC)
Blaine Pedersen (MLA for Midland) — minister of infrastructure.

First elected as the MLA for Midland in 2007 and re-elected in 2011 and 2016. With more than 30 years farming experience in cattle and grain operations, Pedersen is an active member of his community, serving in many livestock organizations and groups such as Kinsmen, Toastmasters, 4-H program and a local housing corporation. He and his wife Dianne have three children and five grandchildren.

Eileen Clarke (CBC)
Eileen Clarke (MLA for Agassiz) — minister of Indigenous and municipal relations.

Elected as the MLA for Agassiz in 2016. An entrepreneur and municipal politician, Clarke was a member of the local Chamber of Commerce for more than 35 years before serving for eight years as the mayor of Gladstone and as the Association of Manitoba Municipalities' vice-president in 2010. She and her husband Bob have two children and are proud grandparents.

Cathy Cox (CBC)
Cathy Cox (MLA for River East) — minister of sustainable development.

Elected as the MLA for River East in 2016. Born and raised in north Winnipeg, Cox has spent many years volunteering for various initiatives in her community including the Sun Valley Parent Association, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba and the Canadian Cancer Society, Manitoba Division. She was the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her outstanding contributions to her community. She and her husband Herb have three sons and two grandchildren.

Cliff Cullen (CBC)
Cliff Cullen (MLA for Spruce Woods) — minister of growth, enterprise and trade.

First elected as the MLA for Turtle Mountain in 2004 and re-elected in 2007. In 2011 and 2016, he was re-elected in the new constituency of Spruce Woods. Cullen earned a diploma in agriculture from the University of Manitoba and worked in the agricultural and environmental sectors, serving as president of the Manitoba Weed Supervisors Association and as provincial manager of the Association for a Clean Rural Environment. He and his wife Marilyn have three sons.

Ralph Eichler (CBC)
Ralph Eichler (MLA for Lakeside) — minister of agriculture.

First elected as the MLA for Lakeside in 2003 and re-elected in 2007, 2011 and 2016. A business owner and former administrator for the Interlake School Division, Eichler is an active volunteer in his community, serving various organizations including the Teulon and Area Lions Club, the Stonewall Royal Canadian Legion, the Interlake Community Foundation Board and the Teulon Golf and Country Club. He and his wife Gail have three children and three grandchildren.

Culture and Heritage Minister Rochelle Squires has called Altemeyer's alleged outburst "outrageous, offensive." (CBC)
Rochelle Squires (MLA for Riel) — minister of sport, culture and heritage and minister responsible for francophone affairs and status of women.

Elected as the MLA for Riel in 2016. Squires worked as a journalist and holds a bachelor of arts in communications from the University of Winnipeg, a master of fine arts from the University of British Columbia and a journalism diploma from Red River College. She and her husband Daniel have a combined family of five children and one grandson.

Ron Schuler (CBC)
Ron Schuler (MLA for St. Paul) — minister of Crown services.

First elected as the MLA for St. Paul in 1999 and re-elected in 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2016. Schuler is a graduate of the University of Manitoba with a degree in international relations and has served as a trustee with the River East School Division.  An entrepreneur, former small-business owner and community volunteer, he has devoted his time to organizations like Big Brothers, Citizens on Patrol, Max Reinhardt Theatre Canada and the Manitoba Inter-cultural Council.  He has three children and lives in St. Paul.

Pallister also announced on Tuesday that Jon Reyes has been appointed the military envoy.