MLA Jason Nixon, Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre (Advocate file photo).

Red Deer region gets three seats in cabinet

Red Deer, Rocky, Sylvan Lake MLAs appointed ministers

Three central Alberta MLAs in ministerial positions means more political clout for the region, local community leaders agree.

Reg Warkentin, policy adviser for the Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce, thinks it’s “absolutely fantastic” that this area is so well represented in the new provincial cabinet.

Red Deer-North MLA Adriana LaGrange, a former Red Deer Catholic school trustee, was appointed Alberta’s new education minister Tuesday.

Jason Nixon, MLA for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre, is the environment and parks minister.

And Innisfail-Sylvan Lake MLA Devin Dreeshen is the agriculture and forestry minister.

Warkentin noted Dreeshen brings much experience to the table, since he was a former assistant to Gerry Ritz, the federal agriculture minister in Stephen Harper’s government.

Warkentin also feels LaGrange’s in-depth knowledge of educational issues will help equip a future workforce with skills to fuel Alberta’s economy.

“For us to have such a talented slate of MLAs, from such diverse and strong backgrounds … (indicates) great things will be happening for central Alberta,” said Warkentin.

He feels there’s already more business optimism, based on United Conservative Party promises to repeal the carbon tax and drop the corporate tax rate to eight per cent from 12 per cent.

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer welcomes this regional representation, saying it reflects Red Deer’s growing influence, provincially.

While the city has no direct connection to new Health Minister Tyler Shandro of Calgary, Veer said city council will keep up its advocacy for the hospital expansion by meeting with him, as well as meeting with the ministers of infrastructure and social services to discuss the preservation of Parsons House and the need for a local addictions treatment centre and the promised homeless shelter.

Anne Marie Watson, chair of the Red Deer Catholic school board, knows LaGrange and calls her “hard working, principled and personable” — qualities required for a good education minister.

Although LaGrange has so far worked from a Catholic perspective, Watson is confident she can represent all school boards and students — including those now benefiting from gay-straight alliances.

While there was election talk of changing this legislation, Watson said she doesn’t get too “riled up” about things that may not come to pass.

“I look forward to working with her,” she added.

Red Deer city councillor Lawrence Lee, a former Red Deer public school trustee, said “time will tell” how LaGrange will work out as education minister, but he’s very pleased that Red Deer and central Alberta will have so much representation in cabinet.

Nixon called serving as environment and parks minister, as well as government House leader, “a tremendous honour.”

He committed to “always put Albertans first in the decision-making process.”

Premier Jason Kenney was sworn in as president of the executive council and minister of intergovernmental relations.

Other ministers are:

* Travis Toews, finance

* Doug Schweitzer, justice

* Sonya Savage, energy

* Ric McIver, transportation

* Demetrios Nicolaides, advanced education

* Rebecca Shulz, children’s services

* Rajan Sawhney, community and social services

* Leela Aheer, culture, multiculturalism and status of women

* Tanya Fir, economic development, trade and tourism

* Tyler Shandro, health

* Rick Wilson, Indigenous relations

* Prasad Panda, infrastructure

* Jason Copping, labour and immigration

* Kaycee Madu, municipal affairs

* Josephine Pon, seniors and housing

* Nate Glubish, Service Alberta minister

Associate ministers are Jason Luan (mental health, addictions), Dale Nally (natural gas) and Grant Hunter.

A new legislative session is to begin later in May.

Alberta Politics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Devin Dreeshen, Innisfail-Sylvan Lake MLA. (Advocate file photo.)

Red Deer North MLA Adriana LaGrange (Advocate file photo).

Just Posted

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives for an announcement at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Inquiry into oil and gas foes to deliver report next year: Kenney

CALGARY — An inquiry into who is funding environmental opposition to the… Continue reading

Whatever snow may possibly fall in Red Deer on the weekend will melt when it hits the warm ground, says meteorologist Kyle Fougere with Environment and Climate Change Canada. (File photo by ADVOCATE staff)
Weather expected to get warmer next week in Red Deer

It’s going to be a cold weekend, according to Environment Canada. Saturday… Continue reading

Retired city manager Craig Curtis will argue for keeping the Molly Banister Drive right-of-way at Tuesday's public hearing. He warns of future gridlock if the extension is removed by city council. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Former Red Deer city manager warns killing the Molly Banister Drive extension is ‘a terrible mistake’

Craig Curtis will argue for keeping the road alignment at next week’s public hearing

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19. (File photo)
432 new COVID cases sets another record Friday

Central zone holds steady at 126 active cases

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

Alice Kolisnyk, deputy director of the Red Deer Food Bank, says the agency expects an increase in demand as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Every new subscription to the Red Deer Advocate includes a $50 donation to the food bank. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Support the food bank with a subscription to the Red Deer Advocate

The community’s most vulnerable members are always in need of a hand,… Continue reading

Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada's top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Canada’s top physician painted a bleak picture Saturday of the toll the… Continue reading

Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020. Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole is naming his shadow cabinet, including his predecessor Andrew Scheer as the party's infrastructure critic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
O’Toole tells Alberta UCP AGM Liberals were “late and confused” on COVID response

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says Alberta has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic… Continue reading

Indigenous fishermen carry lobster traps in Saulnierville, N.S. on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS /Andrew Vaughan
Federal representative hopes to ease tensions in Nova Scotia lobster dispute

HALIFAX — The man tasked with lowering the temperature in a heated… Continue reading

A voter places her absentee ballot in the ballot box, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, at Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Robert F. Bukaty
American voters living in Canada increasingly being counted in presidential race

The largest number of Canadian-based American voters cast their ballots in New York and California

This photo provided by Air Force Reserve shows a sky view of Hurricane Epsilon taken by Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter team over the Atlantic Ocean taken Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020.   Epsilon’s maximum sustained winds have dropped slightly as it prepares to sideswipe Bermuda on a path over the Atlantic Ocean.  The National Hurricane Center says it should come close enough Thursday, Oct. 22, evening to merit a tropical storm warning for the island.  (Air Force Reserve via AP)
Hurricane Epsilon expected to remain offshore but will push waves at Atlantic Canada

Epsilon is not expected to have any real impact on land

A composite image of three photographs shows BC NDP Leader John Horgan, left, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Sept. 25, 2020; BC Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau, centre, in Victoria on Sept. 24, 2020; and BC Liberal Party Leader Andrew Wilkinson Pitt Meadows, B.C., on Sept. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck, Chad Hipolito
British Columbia votes in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan called the snap election one year before the fixed voting date

Nunavut's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, on Tuesday June 30, 2020. The annual report from Nunavut's representative for children and youth says "complacency and a lack of accountability" in the territory's public service means basic information about young people needing services isn’t tracked. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Nunavut’s young people ‘should be expecting more’ from government services: advocate

‘The majority of information we requested is not tracked or was not provided by departments’

Most Read