HIGH RIVER, AB (December 6, 2013): Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith released the following statement after Premier Alison Redford shuffled her cabinet late this afternoon: “A cabinet shuffle is an opportunity to change direction and signify a new vision. Unfortunately for Albertans, Premier Redford has decided to stick with the status quo on the major issues we face as a province. “The Premier has decided to stick with her Finance Minister, despite presiding over a budget that he can’t balance, and her Health Minister, despite running system that he can’t fix.
The Premier should have taken this opportunity to replace these ministers and appoint fresh faces with new perspectives to these important posts. By keeping the status quo in these positions, the Premier has signaled that debt will continue to mount and wait times will continue to grow. “I am optimistic that the new Deputy Premier will bring some much-needed experience and professionalism to that position of leadership and I’m hopeful the new Municipal Affairs Minister will strike a more co-operative, less combative tone with our towns, cities and municipal districts. “I am exceedingly disappointed at the new cabinet’s size, as cabinet ministers now outnumber private members in the Progressive Conservative caucus. Increasing the payroll of cabinet-level politicians and staff does not support the Premier’s supposed commitment to living within our means. “While today’s shuffle does appear to have a couple of steps in the right direction, I simply can’t overlook the Premier’s decision to stay the course on wasteful spending, debt and deficits and a health care system that doesn’t respond to patients’ needs.”