Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows MLA Lisa Beare has secured a spot in John Horgan’s new government cabinet.
Beare will be the new Minister of Citizen’s Services, leaving her former Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture to Melanie Mark, the former Advanced Education, Skills and Training Minister.
She will be taking over the new portfolio from Anne Kang, MLA for Burnaby-Deer Lake.
Beare will now be in charge of Service B.C., freedom of information, information technology infrastructure, checking on people who recently travelled outside the country who are in self isolation, among other things.
“It’s a really exciting appointment,” said Beare of her new Ministerial role.
“It’s the backbone of government.”
“I get to work on everything from connectivity, I’m responsible for Service B.C. These are pieces that are helping people right now through that pandemic.” she said.
Her top priority will be connecting British Columbians through high speed internet and broadband to services that they need to access.
“We’ve definitely seen how much businesses and people are relying on access to broadband, to internet, to cell service and that’s a top priority all across the province, regardless of where people live. But it’s a priority for all of us as we are switching more to online services during the pandemic,” explained Beare.
“But really, it’s a great new Ministry and a great new challenge and I’m really looking forward to it,” she added.
Bob D’Eith, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission will be the new Parliamentary Secretary for Arts and Film under Minister Mark.
Before joining the BC Legislature in 2017, D’Eith worked in the entertainment industry for more than 25 years. He is an entertainment lawyer and a two-time JUNO Award nominated recording artist.
Cabinet members had their official swearing-in ceremony virtually at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 26.
In total the new cabinet includes 20 ministers and four ministers of state. The cabinet will be supported in its work by 13 parliamentary secretaries, with portfolios including Rural Development, Anti-Racism, and Technology and Innovation.
Notable cabinet postings include: David Eby, who will continue in his role as Attorney General but now, also, the Minister Responsible for Housing; Nathan Cullen, who is the Minister of State for Lands, Natural Resource Operations; Rob Fleming, who is the new Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure; Jennifer Whiteside, who takes over the role as Minister of Education; and Selina Robinson, who is now the Minister of Finance.
Beare and D’Eith will also be part of the leadership team for the first session of the 42nd Parliament BC NDP government caucus.
D’Eith will be caucus chair and Beare the Deputy House Leader – positions they will hold until June 2022.
“Under the leadership of Premier John Horgan, our new executive and the whole New Democrat caucus is already hard at work, with British Columbians and the COVID-19 pandemic being the top priority,” said D’Eith.
“We have 57 members who represent the diversity of our province, 23 of whom are new MLAs, and all of whom are champions for their communities,” noted D’Eith.
“Our New Democrat government and caucus understands and shares the experience of British Columbians, and we will continue working hard to support people through the pandemic,” he said.
Both Beare and D’Eith were re-elected in the last provincial election on Oct. 24 and are two term MLA’s.