When the new NDP government was sworn in on July 18, Delta North’s rookie MLA Ravi Kahlon got his first governmental appointment, becoming the new parliamentary secretary of sport and multiculturalism.
“Two levels of government are represented by people holding the sports portfolios,” Kahlon said, referring to Delta MP and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities Carla Qualtrough. “So that’s huge for Delta, for North Delta.”
Horgan taking over as premier, with the support of the three-member B.C. Green Party caucus, marks the first non-Liberal government in 16 years. His gender-balanced cabinet is made up of 22 ministers — half of them women — and is supported by six parliamentary secretaries whose role is to assist more senior ministers in their related duties.
Kahlon is hoping to balance the sport and multiculturalism sections of his portfolio, although his first order of business is to fulfil his campaign promise to get a new track in North Delta.
“That’s my first piece on my agenda,” he said. “The multicultural side is also a big piece of the pie, so I’m going to try and balance both, [but] just because sport is a little closer to my heart, it’s going to drag me closer there.”
New ministers for the NDP include New Westminster MLA Judy Darcy, heading a new ministry of mental health and addictions, as well as Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall as energy, mines and petroleum resources minister. Mungall has the task of resisting progress on the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion project from Alberta to its port in Burnaby.
Horgan said cabinet will look at regulatory options from the ministries that issue permits. Vancouver-Fairview MLA George Heyman, a former executive director of Sierra Club B.C., takes over as environment minister.
Green Party leader Andrew Weaver attended the ceremony and congratulated Horgan.“This minority government is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to do politics differently in British Columbia,” Weaver said.
“We have an historic opportunity to put partisan politics aside and work together across party lines to advance good public policy that is in the best interests of British Columbians.”
Fort Langley-Aldergrove MLA Rich Coleman, moving from deputy premier to opposition MLA, wasn’t in a cooperative mood
“This #GreeNDP government was not recognized by the majority of B.C. and will pander to minority interests at the expense of the majority,” Coleman said on Twitter as the swearing-in ceremony was about to get underway.