All 17 Wildrose MLAs will be busy in Alberta’s shadow cabinet

By Darcy Henton May 1, 2012

EDMONTON — Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith unveiled her shadow cabinet Tuesday, giving all 17 Wildrose MLAs — including herself — assignments to critique the new Alison Redford Progressive Conservative regime.

Smith will take responsibility for monitoring issues related to the cities of Edmonton and Calgary as well as the country, world and Alberta First Nations while serving as critic for Intergovernmental, International and Aboriginal Relations.

As expected, Airdrie MLA Rob Anderson will continue as House Leader and serve as critic for Finance and Treasury Board.

Calgary-Fish Creek veteran MLA Heather Forsyth gets to important health portfolio to watch while Shayne Saskiw, who defeated PC transportation minister Ray Danyluk, will handle the duties of deputy house leader and serve as critic for Justice and the Solicitor General.

Kerry Towle, elected in Innisfail-Sylvan Lake, will serve as caucus whip and Seniors critic while Bruce McAllister, who defeated PC giant Ted Morton in Chestermere-Rocky View, will serve as deputy whip and as Education critic.

Jason Hale, of Strathmore-Brooks, will be Energy critic, power line crusader Joe Anglin, of Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House, gets Environment, Water and Utilities and Drew Barnes, MLA for Cypress-Medicine Hat, gets Infrastructure and Transportation.

Gary Bikman of Cardston-Taber-Warner is assigned to watch Advanced Education, Little Bow MLA Ian Donovan gets Agriculture and Rural Development and Rod Fox of Lacombe-Ponoka will serve as Service Alberta critic.

Calgary-Shaw MLA Jeff Wilson gets the biggest ministry to watch, Human Services, Livingstone-Macleod MLA Pat Stier gets Sustainable Resource Development, and Bruce Rowe, of Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills, gets Municipal Affairs.

Medicine Hat MLA Blake Pedersen will serve as Arts, Culture and Community Services critic, and Rick Strankman of Drumheller-Stettler, will watch over Tourism, Parks and Recreation.

The list of critics was revealed late Tuesday following a candidate school for all new MLAs. The rookie MLAs heard a speech from outgoing speaker Ken Kowalski and received training on their duties and obligations as members of the Legislative Assembly.

A new speaker will be selected by secret ballot before the next sitting begins.

Redford is expected to name her new cabinet shortly, in advance of a planned late spring sitting. No date for the sitting has been released.

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