Fewer women in Alberta cabinet than previous years

Danielle Smith’s cabinet features four women filing high-profile roles, despite having the largest cabinet in recent years. Jillian Code reports on what this might suggest about Smith’s priorities.

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith unveiled one of the largest cabinets in recent history Monday, and 23 of the 27 ministers are men.

Lori Williams, associate professor of policy studies at Mount Royal University, says Smith’s cabinet is lacking diversity.

“I think the striking thing is that she removed people from cabinet and replaced them with people who were not as diverse,” Williams said. “She’s clearly sending a message that diversity is not a primary consideration when appointing people to cabinet.”

The associate ministry of status of women is now a parliamentary secretary position, meaning the MLA responsible for status of women won’t have as large of a seat at the table.


Meanwhile, Smith says that she doesn’t see a lack of representation in her own cabinet, despite 85 per cent of her ministers being men.

“I’m a woman, I’ve got four senior cabinet ministers who are also women. If people think that there’s any danger that women are not going to be represented, I would just ask them to look at the composition that we have,” Smith told reporters after her cabinet was sworn in on Monday.

Williams says Smith’s cabinet minister picks may indicate that she doesn’t care about diversity.

“That may be interpreted as a signal that that’s just not something that’s very important to her, could be a pushback against those that think that gender and racial considerations have played too big a role in decision making,” Williams said.

CityNews has reached out to the premier’s office asking why the status of women ministry was reduced to parliamentary secretary position.

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