5 ministers moved in P.E.I. cabinet shuffle; Hudson takes over Health

P.E.I. Premier Dennis King announced a shuffling of some of the top members of his cabinet Thursday morning, with Ernie Hudson taking over the Health and Wellness portfolio from James Aylward.

Natalie Jameson promoted to Education and Lifelong Learning

James Aylward signs on to his new responsibilities of Transportation and Infrastructure as Premier Dennis King looks on. (CBC)

P.E.I. Premier Dennis King announced a shuffling of some of the top members of his cabinet Thursday morning.

The changes are as follows:

  • Ernie Hudson moves to Health and Wellness from Social Development and Housing.
  • Natalie Jameson moves to Education and Lifelong Learning  and remains responsible for Status of Women. She was formerly in Environment, Water and Climate Change.
  • James Aylward moves to Transportation and Infrastructure from Health and Wellness.
  • Brad Trivers moves to Social Development and Housing from Education and Lifelong Learning.
  • Steven Myers moves to Environment, Energy and Climate Action from Transportation and Infrastructure. He retains responsibility for Energy.

In remarks after the ministers were sworn into their new roles, King echoed statements he made at the swearing-in of his original cabinet in 2019, about how he expected his ministers to approach their roles.

"Now more than ever, we need to continue to be bold, we need to be brave, and we need to challenge the status quo," he said.

Ernie Hudson swears the oath as health and wellness minister, taking over from James Aylward. (CBC)

"This is the point in our journey where even if we're tired, even if we want to stop for a break, even if we're fed up, even if we've had enough, we must keep going. We must not rest on our laurels. We must be focused on what comes next."

Opposition questions moves

In a news release after the announcement, Green Party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker said it was a good idea for King to make changes in the Health and Housing portfolios, saying they both suffered under poor leadership.

However, Bevan-Baker criticized the choice of Hudson, who had been responsible for Housing, to take over as health minister.

"It is a little concerning that the premier is choosing to appoint Minister Hudson to Health and Wellness — which is arguably one of the most demanding and critical portfolios — when his work in Social Development and Housing has been so insufficient," said Bevan-Baker.

The Opposition leader also said Trivers had demonstrated little grasp of the difficulties of the housing crisis during meetings of the legislative committee on health and social development.

Some ministers keep same duties

No one was added to or removed from cabinet in the shuffle.

Four ministerial appointments were unchanged.

  • Darlene Compton: Finance.
  • Jamie Fox: Fisheries, Communities.
  • Matthew MacKay: Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture.
  • Bloyce Thompson: Agriculture and Land, Justice and Public Safety.

King's last cabinet shuffle was a year ago, when he added Jameson to the cabinet as an additional member.

In addition to his responsibilities as premier, King retains the portfolios of Intergovernmental Affairs, Indigenous Relations, Acadian and Francophone Affairs.

More from CBC P.E.I.


  • A previous version of this story misidentified Steven Myers' new portfolio as Environment Climate Action. In fact, it is Environment, Energy and Climate Action.
    Feb 04, 2021 5:35 PM AT

With files from Kerry Campbell


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