Liberal leader Swann unveils his shadow cabinet - Metro US

Liberal leader Swann unveils his shadow cabinet

David Swann’s first-ever news conference as leader of the Alberta Liberals was an opportunity to swear in his shadow cabinet Wednesday.

Edmonton-Centre MLA Laurie Blakeman will take over duties as the party’s deputy leader and environment critic.

Calgary MLA Dave Taylor, who ran against Swann for the Liberal leadership last month, will be the party’s finance critic.

Edmonton-Riverview MLA Kevin Taft, who stepped down as the party’s leader last year, will be the party’s energy and aboriginal affairs critic.

“We’re looking forward to the session where we will vigorously press for economic and energy diversification, more responsible environment development, and evidence-based reform in the heath care system as opposed to arbitrary restructuring,” said Swann during the news conference.

Calgary-Buffalo MLA Kent Hehr will remain as the party’s justice critic, while Calgary-Varsity MLA Harry Chase will take on education on top of his current responsibilities, children and youth services.

Edmonton Gold Bar MLA Hugh MacDonald will pick up the advanced education and technology portfolios, something on top of his current responsibilities, chairman of the public accounts committee.

Swann took over the financially strapped party leadership after a mail-in-ballot vote last month.

The Liberals currently have nine seats in Legislature, close to half of the seats that it had before the provincial election last year.

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