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The Executive Council of Alberta, or more commonly the Cabinet of Alberta, is the Province of Alberta's equivalent to the Cabinet of Canada. The government of the province of Alberta is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy with a unicameral legislature—the Legislative Assembly, which consists of 87 members elected first past the post (FPTP) from single-member constituencies. The premier is normally a member of the Legislative Assembly, and draws all the members of the Cabinet from among the members of the Legislative Assembly. The legislative powers in the province however, lie with the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. Its government resembles that of the other Canadian provinces. The capital of the province is Edmonton, where the Alberta Legislative Building is located. Government is conducted after the Westminster model.

Executive powers

Executive Council of Alberta

Typically, although not necessarily consisting of members of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, the Cabinet of Alberta is similar in structure and role to the Cabinet of Canada. As federal and provincial responsibilities differ there are a number of different portfolios between the federal and provincial governments.

The Lieutenant-Governor of Alberta, as representative of the Queen in Right of Alberta, heads the council, and is referred to as the Governor-in-Council. Other members of the Cabinet, who advise, or minister, the vice-regal, are selected by the Premier of Alberta and appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor. Most cabinet ministers are the head of a ministry, but this is not always the case. In the construct of constitutional monarchy and responsible government, the ministerial advice tendered is typically binding, though it is important to note that, despite appearances of the contrary, the Royal Prerogative belongs to the Crown, not to any of the ministers,

As at the federal level the most important Cabinet post after that of the leader is Minister of Finance. Today the next most powerful position is certainly the health portfolio which has a vast budget and is of central political import. Other powerful portfolios include Education and Energy.

Current Cabinet

See also: List of Alberta provincial ministers and Alberta general election, 2015

The current Government has been in place since May 24, 2015, following May 5, 2015 Alberta general election. Members are listed in order of precedence. There was a cabinet shuffle on October 22, 2015. A second shuffle occurred February 2, 2016. A third shuffle occurred January 19th, 2017.

Portfolio Minister Appointment Date Riding
Premier of Alberta
President of Executive Council
Rachel Notley May 24, 2015 Edmonton-Strathcona
Deputy Premier of Alberta
Minister of Health
Sarah Hoffman February 2, 2016 Edmonton-Glenora
Minister of Infrastructure
Minister of Transportation
Government House Leader
Brian Mason May 24, 2015 Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood
Minister of Education David Eggen May 24, 2015 Edmonton-Calder
Minister of Economic Development and Trade
Deputy Government House Leader
Deron Bilous May 24, 2015 Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview
Minister of Finance
President of Treasury Board
Joe Ceci May 24, 2015 Calgary-Fort
Minister of Justice and Solicitor-General Kathleen Ganley May 24, 2015 Calgary-Buffalo
Minister of Environment and Parks
Minister Responsible for the Climate Change Office
Shannon Phillips May 24, 2015 Lethbridge-West
Minister of Agriculture and Forestry
Deputy Government House Leader
Oneil Carlier May 24, 2015 Whitecourt-Ste. Anne
Minister of Municipal Affairs Shaye Anderson January 19th, 2017 Leduc-Beaumont
Minister of Energy Margaret McCuaig-Boyd May 24, 2015 Dunvegan-Central Peace-Notley
Minister of Community and Social Services Irfan Sabir January 19th, 2017 Calgary McCall
Minister of Children Services Danielle Larivee January 19th, 2017 Lesser Slave Lake
Minister of Seniors and Housing Lori Sigurdson February 2, 2016 Edmonton-Riverview
Minister of Indigenous Relations Richard Feehan February 2, 2016 Edmonton-Rutherford
Minister of Labour
Minister Responsible for Democratic Renewal
Christina Gray February 2, 2016 Edmonton-Mill Woods
Minister of Service Alberta
Minister of Status of Women
Stephanie McLean February 2, 2016 Calgary-Varsity
Minister of Culture and Tourism Ricardo Miranda February 2, 2016 Calgary-Cross
Minister of Advanced Education Marlin Schmidt February 2, 2016 Edmonton-Gold Bar
Associate Minister of Health Brandy Payne February 2, 2016 Calgary-Acadia

Former Cabinets

  • Klein cabinet (incomplete)
  • Stelmach cabinet
  • Redford cabinet
  • Prentice cabinet

Ministries

In Alberta, the ministries' names have two forms, often coexisting. The usual one is "Alberta X", (e.g. Alberta Education) the older style is "Ministry of X" (e.g. Ministry of Finance). The newer style without the word "ministry" resembles the federal government's Federal Identity Program and the federal naming scheme, except in reverse order. Federal ministries and departments are usually "X Canada" (e.g. Environment Canada).

With every new cabinet ministries can be created or disbanded, renamed or gain or lose responsibilities. Some ministries such as finance or health are common to all provincial governments and are comparable to similar ministries or departments at the federal level or indeed even in other countries. However, some ministries are quite distinct to Alberta, such as the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Development which oversees the management of public lands.

These are the current ministries as of 2015, listed alphabetically, with a short description and any notes to changes to that ministry's mandate.

Ministry Notes
Aboriginal Relations Created 2008. Responsible for Aboriginal affairs. Also responsible for the Métis Settlements Appeals Tribunal, the Métis Settlements Ombudsman and the First Nations Development Fund.
Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development Responsible for agriculture, forestry; responsibility for rural development added 2008.
Culture and Tourism Responsible for culture, community development, the voluntary sector, museums, heritage sites, and tourism. Also responsible for Human Rights and Citizenship Commission; Human Rights Citizenship and Multiculturalism Fund; Foundation for the Arts; Alberta Historical Resources Foundation; Wild Rose Foundation; and Government House Foundation.
Economic Development and Trade Responsible for economic growth and diversification in Alberta. Created October 22, 2015
Education Responsible for Education in Alberta.
Energy Responsible for energy policy.
Environment and Sustainable Resource Development Responsible for environmental policy and Crown land.
Executive Council The ministry which organizes, and reports directly to, cabinet.
Finance Responsible for economic policy. Gained responsibility for the Regulatory Review Secretariat, the Alberta Economic Development Authority, and the Northern Alberta Development Council in 2008.
Health Responsible for health policy.
Human Services
Infrastructure Created 2008. Responsible for infrastructure planning, and building and managing government-owned infrastructure. Also responsible for the administration of water/wastewater and other municipal infrastructure grants and the Natural Gas Rebate Program.
Innovation and Advanced Education Responsible for economic development and post-secondary education.
International and Intergovernmental Relations Responsible for relations with other governments in Canada and internationally In 2008 it lost responsibility for Aboriginal relations and added responsibility for investment attraction.
Labour Responsible for labour laws, immigration, and employment programs.
Justice and Solicitor General Responsible for the justice system.
Municipal Affairs Responsible for local government in Alberta. In 2008 lost responsibility for housing and the voluntary sector.
Parks and Recreation Responsible for provincial parks. In 2008 lost responsibility for culture and community development, museums, heritage sites, and reporting entities now in Culture and Community Spirit, as well as the First Nations Development Fund now in Aboriginal Relations.
Seniors
Service Alberta Responsible for services including registries, land titles, consumer protection and the Alberta Queen's Printer.
Solicitor General and Public Security Responsible for public security.
Status of Women Leads government's work to improve gender equality in Alberta.
Transportation Created 2008. Responsible for planning, building and managing the provincial highway network, including the administration of municipal transportation grants. Also responsible for the Transportation Safety Board.
Treasury Board

Federal-provincial governance: decentralization and devolution

See also: History of Canada (1982–1992) and History of Canada (1992–present)

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, the federal government became more centralist, and Canada entered a stage of "conflictual federalism" that lasted from 1970 to 1984. The National Energy Program sparked a great deal of bitterness against the federal government in Alberta; as well, the federal government involved itself in disputes over oil with Newfoundland and Saskatchewan. With the passage of the Constitution Act, 1982 through the addition of section 92A to the Constitution Act, 1867, the provinces were given more power with respect to their natural resources.

Between 1982 and 1992 the federal government favoured devolution of powers to the provinces, culminating in the failed Meech Lake and Charlottetown accords. After a merger with the heavily devolutionist Canadian Alliance, the new Conservative Party of Canada under Stephen Harper has continued the same stance.

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