A major shakeup at the Christy Clark cabinet.
At the top of a number of changes, Peter Fassbender moves from one hot potato to another.
He moves from Education, to become Minister of Community, Sport, Cultural Development, plus Minister Responsible for Translink.
That means Translink is no longer under the Ministry of Transportation, and Transportation Minister Todd Stone is off the hook when it comes to the troubled agency.
As for the Ministry of Education, Mike Bernier, MLA for Peace River-South, is now in charge. Bernier’s government profile states that he has 20 years of experience in the natural gas industry, and nothing to indicate that he has any experience in the education field.
Lower down on the list, Coralee Oakes now heads up the Liquor Distribution Branch, as well as the portfolios for small business and red-tape reduction.
And Naomi Yamamoto becomes Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness, which falls under transportation.
Premier Clark took to Twitter to explain her cabinet changes:
(1/2) Today’s Cabinet changes are about making sure all British Columbians benefit from our plan to create jobs and grow the economy.— Christy Clark (@christyclarkbc) July 30, 2015
(2/2) As well as working w/ communities on emergency preparedness to ensure BC can recover with our future secured. http://t.co/1eTaulULQ9— Christy Clark (@christyclarkbc) July 30, 2015
Reaction to the change is coming in.
Port Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore says Fassbender’s appointment to minister in charge of Translink is good news.
“Minister Fassbender was a mayor in the Lower Mainland, sat around the mayors’ council table, in fact chaired the mayors’ council for a couple years, so has good relationships and a good understanding of the different stakeholders and the mayors around the region.”
Fassbender was mayor of Langley City for three terms.
Since the transit plebiscite failure in May, the province has been meeting with local mayors to discuss how various transit projects might move forward.
Translink is also looking to replace a few executives, including its CEO.