Premier Rachel Notley shuffled her cabinet last week, creating a new department of Economic Development and Trade and naming Lesser Slave Lake MLA Danielle Larivee the new minister of Municipal Affairs. Alberta Urban Municipalities Association past president Helen Rice says she isn’t surprised to see yet another person in the position.
“Well I guess we could say we almost anticipated it; you knew when [Notley] put together that very lean cabinet that the work loads would be ‘undoable’ so that there would be more added as they got more confidence in the scope of the job.”
In her two years as president, the Grande Prairie city councillor saw five different ministers. She says she’s excited about Larivee and is looking forward to working together.
“We’ve established solid relationships with the government and we think that will enable us to meet any of the challenges. We’ve met with Ms. Larivee on a couple of occasions and have found her to be extremely intelligent as well as ready to get the job done.”
Rice was named to the AUMA board last Wednesday and has been assigned to the Retain Alberta Recycling Management Authority and Alberta Municipal Services Corporation committees, and will chair the Apex Pension Plan, all projects she’s well versed in. She’s also happy to have former Minister Darren Bilous still be involved.
“We were pleased that he said he would chair a caucus committee to keep moving the Municipal Government Act forward; that to us was extremely good news.”
Bilous was moved to the new department to focus on growing Alberta’s economy.