Two just-elected MLAs make premier’s cut

« One thing I want to do is be an ambassador to promote our cultural community wherever I go.»


Calgary was a big winner Tuesday following Premier Ed Stelmach’s cabinet announcement.

Among those receiving portfolios in the Stelmach regime are two newly elected Calgary MLAs, Lindsay Blackett and Alison Redford.

Blackett, 10 days removed from a victory in Calgary-Northwest, will serve as minister in the newly created Culture and Community Spirit.

The rookie MLA and first-ever black cabinet minister in Alberta said it all seemed surreal when he got the invitation from the premier to serve in the portfolio, which was set up to foster cultural development in Alberta’s communities.

"Getting a chance to be in cabinet is exciting," said the 47-year-old, Ontario-raised Blackett.

The Carleton University grad says one thing that brought him to Calgary eight years ago was the love of the community and people giving back to the less fortunate. He’ll apply that to his new position.

"One thing I want to do is be an ambassador to promote our cultural community wherever I go," Blackett told Metro. "Culture is one of those quality of life issues or areas that are important to a lot of Albertans."

Redford won back the Calgary-Elbow seat from Liberal Craig Cheffins on March 3, and was rewarded with an appointment to Justice Minister and Attorney General.

"She is going to bring a different perspective which is exactly what the government needs," said University of Calgary’s David Taras.

The native Calgarian currently serves as a lawyer for Agriteam Canada and has 16 years experience as a human rights lawyer along with serving as a legal advisor in Canada, Australia and the European Union.

Other Calgarians appointed to the 23-member cabinet include Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Yvonne Fritz, Cindy Ady in Tourism, Parks and Recreation, Ron Liepert as health minister and Ron Stevens, again as deputy premier, but also in the new International and Intergovernmental Relations.

In other moves, former health minister Dave Hancock moves to Education and Iris Evans will take over as finance minister, while Mel Knight stays on in Energy, and Rob Renner will look after the Environment.

With files from Steve Lillebuen

Latest From ...