Yesterday, Wab Kinew was officially sworn- in as the Premier of Manitoba alongside his cabinet.
In addition to being the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and International Relations, Premier Kinew will also be responsible Indigenous reconciliation. This is the first time in Manitoba a premier has taken on this additional role. Senator Murray Sinclair referred to the recent election results as a “true act of reconciliation.”
Healthcare and affordability will be top of mind in the early days of the Manitoba NDP government and Kinew appointed caucus heavy weights to lead both files.
Uzoma Asagwara, MLA for Union Station, has been appointed asthe new health minister and deputy premier of Manitoba. Prior to being elected as the first Black non-binary Manitoba MLA in 2019, Minister Asagwara worked as a healthcare professional and served as a member of the former Premier’s Advisory Council. Having served as Health Critic in opposition, they are coming into the role with a deep understanding of the portfolio and strong relationships with stakeholders. Asagwara’s experience and reputation as thoughtful and hard-working sets them up well to execute the Premier’s direction to “deliver results for Manitobans.”
On affordability, St. James MLA Adrien Sala has been appointed as the Minister of Finance and responsible for the Public Utilities Board, Manitoba Hydro, and the Manitoba public service. It is anticipated that Minister Sala’s portfolio will be front and centre in the early days of this government as affordability measures are introduced. Before gaining office in 2019, Minister Sala worked as the Director of Strategy and Operations for the Assiniboine Credit Union. He also worked in the non-profit sector and the Department of Housing and Community Development. Minister Sala brings with him a wealth of industry knowledge to the executive council and is well poised to hit the ground running.
Other notable appointments include two First Nations women—a first in Manitoba history. Nahanni Fontaine, as the new minister of families, minister responsible for accessibility, and minister responsible for gender equity; Bernadette Smith as the new minister of housing, addictions and homelessness.
Renée Cable is a new face to the Manitoba NDP Caucus. She was appointed Minister of Advanced Education and Training. Minister Cable has experience working in advocacy, public policy, and on non-profit boards.
There are some familiar faces around Kinew’s cabinet table adding additional bench strength. Ron Kostyshyn, MLA for Dauphin, who was appointed Minster of Agriculture served in the same role under the under the Selinger government.
In addition to its depth of experience across multiple sectors, the new 15-member cabinet is gender balanced, includes Black, Indigenous, and queer perspectives. This reflects a historical shift in democratic representation in Manitoba.
The entire cabinet list can be found below:
- Wab Kinew (MLA for Fort Rouge) – premier, minister of intergovernmental affairs and international relations, minister responsible for Indigenous reconciliation;
- Uzoma Asagwara (MLA for Union Station) – deputy premier, minister of health, seniors and long-term care;
- Ron Kostyshyn (MLA for Dauphin) – minister of agriculture;
- Matt Wiebe (MLA for Concordia) – minister of justice and attorney general, keeper of the great seal of the province of Manitoba, minister responsible for the Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation;
- Nahanni Fontaine (MLA for St. Johns) – minister of families, minister responsible for accessibility, minister responsible for gender equity;
- Bernadette Smith (MLA for Point Douglas) – minister of housing, addictions and homelessness, and minister responsible for mental health;
- Nello Altomare (MLA for Transcona) – minister of education and early childhood learning;
- Ian Bushie (MLA for Keewatinook) – minister of municipal and northern relations, and minister of Indigenous economic development;
- Malaya Marcelino (MLA for Notre Dame) – minister of labour and immigration, and minister responsible for the Workers Compensation Board;
- Jamie Moses (MLA for St. Vital) – minister of economic development, investment, trade and natural resources;
- Lisa Naylor (MLA for Wolseley) – minister of transportation and infrastructure, minister of consumer protection and government services;
- Adrien Sala (MLA for St. James) – minister of finance, minister responsible for the Public Utilities Board, minister responsible for Manitoba Hydro, minister responsible for the Manitoba public service;
- Renée Cable (MLA for Southdale) – minister of advanced education and training;
- Tracy Schmidt (MLA for Rossmere) – minister of environment and climate change, minister responsible for Efficiency Manitoba; and
- Glen Simard (MLA for Brandon East) – minister of sport, culture, heritage and tourism, minister responsible for francophone affairs, minister responsible for the Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation.