Friday, December 15, 2006

Brace Yerself...

"Brace Yerself"... it's not just Australian foreplay anymore, it's also the advice being given both to the general public and to public sector staffers with only a few hours to go until a new cabinet is announced.

There have been some rather large changes to the structure of many of the ministries, with several being eliminated altogether and their various departments being passed around to the survivors like the credit cards from a dead man's wallet, or sponsorship contracts from a Liberal government. The department *I* work for, as an example, will continue to exist under its current administration, but there will be enough changes and shuffling that it's safe to say new business cards will be printed, en masse, very shortly around ES's office.

Yesterday, to aid in blogging efforts (AND because I'm a total techno-gheek) I picked up the newest handset from Fido, the Sony Ericsson Z710i. VERY slick, and it will allow me to update the blog remotely with more regularity, which will certainly come in handy. Also lots of cool toys and functions, but this isn't a phone blog, so if you want more info, email me at the address on my profile. :)

Now then, the podcast idea is still floating around out there, as is the potential for something more visual. As an iPod Nano owner myself, I'm curious how many people would prefer something on video as opposed to something purely audio. The hardware and logistical issues aside, it seems to me that audio podcasts are more universally consumable, but I await the verdict from the members of ES Nation. All I know for sure is, it will certainly be a LOT harder to stay anonymous on a video recording.

Another aside, it's nice to see the acceptance that I've been given from the rest of the blogosphere. I readily admit I'm new to the game (not even a MONTH yet, I don't think), but it's nice to see the props and links going up all over the web as people realize that there may, in fact, be some substance behind this oh-so-stylish Pseudo-Calgarian's political waxings. I look forward to meeting many of you in the coming months, and will be in contact if/when I'm passing through your respective necks of the woods.

As for cabinet, as I said above, only a few short hours until we get an announcement, and then I can promptly get drunk if I end up with either of my own personal "gruesome twosome" MLA's as minister - since both will no doubt be IN the cabinet, I've got better than a 1-in-10 chance. God help me.

Courtesy of the Alberta Government's Website, here is the new structure of Cabinet.


(Executive Council)

  • Maintains responsibility for policy coordination and the Public Affairs Bureau.
1. President of the Treasury Board

Minister of Service Alberta

Responsible for Personnel Administration Office

  • A Secretariat, separate from Finance, will support the Minister as Chair of Treasury Board who will be responsible for expenditure management. Includes the Office of the Controller (now in Finance), capital planning (now in Infrastructure and Transportation) and internal audit (now in Executive Council).
  • Service Alberta combines the functions of Government Services with Restructuring and Government Efficiency to better serve Albertans and provide more coordinated services within the government. The ministry will also be responsible for government vehicles and air transportation (now in Infrastructure and Transportation) and for the Personnel Administration Office.
2. Advanced Education and Technology
  • Merges the functions of the existing ministries of Advanced Education and Innovation and Science.
3. Municipal Affairs and Housing
  • Maintains functions of Municipal Affairs along with responsibility for affordable housing programs (now in Seniors and Community Supports).
  • Also responsible for libraries, community and voluntary sector services (now in Community Development).
4. Energy
  • In addition to current responsibilities, the ministry will take over responsibility for bio-fuels (now in Agriculture, Food and Rural Development).
5. Health and Wellness
  • Maintains current functions.
6. Employment, Immigration and Industry
  • The ministry will include the existing programs provided by Human Resources and Employment.
  • Takes over immigration programs (now in Human Resources and Employment; Economic Development and Advanced Education).
  • Also responsible for economic development programs (now in Economic Development), rural development (now in Agriculture Food and Rural Development) as well as the Northern Alberta Development Council.
7. Education
  • Maintains current functions.
8. Children's Services
  • Maintains current functions.
9. Environment
  • Maintains current functions.
10. Agriculture and Food
  • Maintains current functions with the exceptions of rural development which moves to Employment, Immigration and Industry, and the bio-fuels program which moves to Energy.
11. Finance
  • Maintains current functions of economic policy, revenue and development of the budget.
  • Treasury Board support and the Office of the Controller move to the newly-created Treasury Board Secretariat.
12. Infrastructure and Transportation
  • Maintains current functions with the exceptions of government vehicles and air transportation which move to Service Alberta. Responsibility for capital planning also moves to the Treasury Board Secretariat.
13. Justice and Attorney General
  • Maintains current functions.
14. Seniors and Community Supports
  • Maintains current functions, including seniors housing, with the exception of affordable housing programs which move to Municipal Affairs and Housing.
15. International, Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Relations
  • Maintains current functions of International and Intergovernmental Relations and absorbs responsibility for Alberta's international offices and trade (now in Economic Development) and Aboriginal Affairs (now in Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development).
16. Sustainable Resource Development
  • Maintains current functions.
17. Solicitor General and Public Security
  • Maintains current functions of Solicitor General and Public Security.
  • The Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission will report to the Minister.
18. Tourism, Parks, Recreation and Culture
  • Maintains functions of the current ministry of Community Development and takes on responsibility for lottery funding programs (now in Gaming) and tourism and film programs (now in Economic Development).

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