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Premier Jason Kenney announces minor cabinet shuffle and prepares Alberta for massive deficit

A minor cabinet shuffle being announced by Premier Jason Kenney Tuesday.

Doug Schweitzer has been moved out as the Justice Minister and Solicitor General and into a newly named ministry of Jobs, Economy and Innovation.

It was previously named Economic Development, Trade and Tourism and was overseen by Minister Tanya Fir.

Kaycee Madu, who was previously the Municipal Affairs Minister, will replace Schweitzer as Justice Minister.

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A new cabinet member, Grande Prairie MLA Tracy Allard, will take over the Municipal Affairs portfolio.

Kenney says this limited cabinet reset puts the best people in the right positions to focus on Alberta’s Recovery Plan.

The Premier also addressed this week’s fiscal update, saying it will reveal the biggest deficit in the history of Alberta “by a country mile.

He says the figure will be well north of $20-billion in large part because of the total collapse of revenues emanating from the coronavirus recession.

He says “other governments all around the world are seeing extraordinary deficits this year and likely will again next year but what’s made it especially tough in Alberta is the total collapse of energy prices. And so you’ll be seeing, in the report on Thursday, a massive decline, north of $10 billion in our revenue stream this year and that is particularly evident in oil and gas.”

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Kenney says there is “a great fiscal reckoning on the horizon” but his UCP government won’t let that get in the way of urgent action today to protect lives and livelihoods.

Finance Minister Travis Toews will deliver his fiscal update on Thursday.

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