Ouellette out as transportation minister

A Central Alberta MLA will no longer be a cabinet minister under the new leadership of Alberta Premier Alison Redford.

Luke Ouellette

Luke Ouellette

A Central Alberta MLA will no longer be a cabinet minister under the new leadership of Alberta Premier Alison Redford.

Luke Ouellette, MLA for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake, confirmed on Tuesday night that he was not given a cabinet post from the new premier. Redford, who was sworn in on Friday as premier after recently winning the Progressive Conservative leadership, will publicly announce her new cabinet during this morning’s swearing-in ceremony.

Ouellette has served in three cabinet portfolios since late 2004 — first as minister of restructuring and government efficiency, then as minister of infrastructure and transportation, and most recently as minister of transportation.

Ouellette said he harbours no hard feelings for Redford, adding he still believes that Alberta is the best province in Canada, and probably the best place to live in the world.

“I’m sure that (Redford) is trying to make the right decisions, to make sure we keep it that way,” said Ouellette.

“She believes there needs to be a bunch of new faces there. And maybe that is the answer. I support Alison, I support the Progressive Conservative party and I’m here to do whatever we can to keep progressing the quality of life for all Albertans.”

Ouellette said that Redford phoned him with the news at about 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

The local MLA supported Doug Horner for the leadership, who has since been named by Redford as the deputy premier.

“I think she just went with who she believed would do the best job for her,” said Ouellette.

Mary Anne Jablonski, Red Deer North MLA and appointed minister of seniors and community supports in March 2008, declined to say much on Tuesday night as to whether she was keeping her cabinet post. Jablonski had supported Gary Mar for the Tory leadership.

“We’ve been explicitly asked not to talk about it until the premier issues her announcement,” Jablonski said.

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com

— copyright Red Deer Advocate