FOUR VETERANS IN NEW POSTS
Rich Coleman - Natural Gas Development
RIDING: Fort Langley-Aldergrove
BIO: First elected in 1996. A former Mountie, fondly dubbed “the big guy” by Premier Christy Clark for his work as campaign chair in the effort that saw the Liberals win a fourth term. Previously served as minister of energy, mines and natural gas, as well as minister responsible for housing. He has also been at the forefront of government attempts to reform liquor laws. He remains deputy premier.
CHRISTY QUOTIENT: 5 out of 5. A loyalist to the core.
WILDCARD FACTOR: 3 out of 5. Prone to the odd scandal, including last year’s controversial tax changes favouring a Prince George brewery.
Terry Lake - Health
RIDING: Kamloops-North Thompson
BIO: Learned politics in Kamloops, working as a city councillor then mayor from 2005 to 2008. First elected to the provincial legislature in 2009, he has been at the forefront of the government’s response to Northern Gateway. Earlier in his career, Mr. Lake was a veterinarian.
CHRISTY QUOTIENT: 4 out of 5. Played down Ms. Clark’s name in his campaign materials, but deftly stickhandled Enbridge file for the Premier.
WILDCARD FACTOR: 1 out of 5. A cool and calm lake.
Shirley Bond - Jobs
RIDING: Prince George-Valemount
BIO: Has been prominent in key cabinet roles throughout the last 12 years of Liberal government. Most recently she has been minister of justice and attorney-general. Other posts include transportation, education, advanced education and early learning. She has also been deputy premier. Before entering politics, the Prince George-area MLA was a three-term member of the Prince George School Board and business manager for the Prince George School District.
CHRISTY QUOTIENT: 5 out of 5. A stalwart.
WILDCARD FACTOR: 1 out of 5. Doesn’t speak out of turn – ever.
Mary Polak - Environment
BIO: Since September, 2012, Ms. Polak has been in the policy hot seat dealing with massive infrastructure issues as minister of transportation. Prior to that, her cabinet assignments included aboriginal relations, and children and family development. She is a former chair of the Surrey School Board, first elected to the legislature in 2005.
CHRISTY QUOTIENT: 2 out of 5. A cordial relationship, but Ms. Polak ran a campaign largely independent of the Liberal Leader.
WILDCARD FACTOR: 2 out of 5. Careful about managing her social conservative history.
FOUR ROOKIES WHO MADE THE GRADE
Peter Fassbender - Education
BIO: The three-term mayor of the City of Langley announced his decision to run for the Liberals in February, bolstering party spirits in Surrey after another candidate bowed out over Income Tax Act charges. Mr. Fassbender helped negotiate the RCMP contract for B.C., and had suggested during the election campaign that his prominence on regional issues would give him an edge over NDP incumbent Jagrup Brar. He won in May by about 200 votes.
CHRISTY QUOTIENT: 5 out of 5. One of Ms. Clark’s star recruits.
WILDCARD FACTOR: 4 out of 5. A social conservative and untested in cabinet.
Teresa Wat - International Trade, Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism
RIDING: Richmond Centre
BIO: A former journalist who worked in communications for another B.C. premier named Clark – the NDP’s Glen Clark. “Ideologically, I did not agree with their philosophy, but as a professional civil servant, I did the best I could,” Ms. Wat told The Globe and Mail, referring to her time working with the NDP. After that stint, Ms. Wat returned to journalism, becoming news director for Channel M Television (now OMNI), then CEO of CHMB AM 1320.
CHRISTY QUOTIENT: 5 out of 5. Another of Ms. Clark’s star recruits.
WILDCARD FACTOR: 3 out of 5. A political neophyte.
Todd Stone - Transportation
RIDING: Kamloops-South Thompson
BIO: Has lived in the riding for nearly 25 years. He is the founder and CEO of a software company, and has served as vice-chair of the board of governors for Thompson Rivers University. Has also served on several boards, including the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce and ICBC.
CHRISTY QUOTIENT: 3 out of 5. Talked about “the drag” of the Liberal brand during the election, emphasizing his own name recognition and cred.
WILDCARD FACTOR: 3 out of 5. See above.
Suzanne Anton - Justice and Attorney-General
BIO: Not new to politics, having spent six years on Vancouver city council and three years on the city’s parks board. She’s also served as the director of TransLink and Metro Vancouver. In 2011, she ran as a mayoral candidate in the civic election, losing to incumbent Gregor Robertson by nearly 20,000 votes. Ms. Anton is a former crown prosecutor.
CHRISTY QUOTIENT: 5 out of 5. A Clark loyalist who switched ridings without question after losing the Liberal nomination for safe Vancouver-Quilchena.
WILDCARD FACTOR: 2 out of 5. Some history of civic foot-in-mouth, but owes a lot for this plum (and unexpected) post.
Other cabinet additions
- John Rustad becomes minister of aboriginal relations and reconciliation
- Amrik Virk becomes minister of advanced education
- Pat Pimm becomes minister of agriculture
- Coralee Oakes becomes minister of community, sport and cultural development
- Andrew Wilkinson becomes minister of technology, innovation and citizens’ services
Veterans staying put
- Mike de Jong as minister of finance and government House leader
- Bill Bennett as minister of mines (adds energy portfolio)
- Steve Thomson as minister of forests, lands and natural resource operations
- Naomi Yamamoto as minister of small business
- Stephanie Cadieux as minister of children and family development
- Don McRae (from minister of education to minister of social development and social innovation)
Veterans dropped from cabinet
- Norm Letnick (former agriculture minister)
- Moira Stilwell (former social development minister)
- Ralph Sultan (former seniors minister)
High-profile MLAs ignored
- Former Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan
- Criminologist Darryl Plecas
- Dawson Creek mayor Mike Bernier
- Former cabinet minister Gordon Hogg
- Paralympian Michelle Stilwell
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