Horgan, cabinet to be sworn in July 18; no quotas set

John Horgan’s cabinet will be unveiled on Tuesday, July 18 — the day he will be sworn in as British Columbia’s new premier.

“We have a very experienced caucus, both new people coming in with experience, as well as the people who’ve been here, so I think you’ll see diversity in the cabinet,” Carole James, the NDP transition spokeswoman and MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill, said Thursday.

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She said that in picking cabinet ministers, Horgan has not committed to quotas in any area, such as a 50-50 gender balance, but is evaluating each candidate on an individual basis.

“I talk to John every couple of days. I know that he’s struggling with this decision, it’s a tough thing to do. We have a lot of very good people and very strong people, so there will be a lot of tough decisions to be made,” she said.

All cabinet members will come from the New Democratic Party caucus. The three Green MLAs agreed to support an NDP government through a confidence and supply agreement, but did not form a coalition government. That means, James said, that the Greens will not receive cabinet appointments.

Cabinet appointments are traditionally kept secret until the swearing-in ceremony.

“I think even cabinet ministers won’t hear until the night before,” James said.

The ceremony will start at 2 p.m. July 18 at Government House.

It falls in the middle of what would have been Horgan’s first conference for first ministers, scheduled for July 17-19 in Edmonton. James said she is unaware of whether anyone will represent the NDP in Horgan’s place.

She said a Speaker would likely be named once the legislature is called into session, which is expected in September.

Once the government is in power, it will begin moving on some of its platform promises, James said.

“There’s going to be hard work. I don’t think any of us, in particular those of us who were around the table negotiating with the Greens, underestimate the hard work ahead,” she said.

“But it’s an opportunity to be able to implement what we ran on, the promises and commitments we made to the public: To be able to make life more affordable, improve education and health care, create jobs in every corner of B.C.”

asmart@timescolonist.com

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