Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Peter Milobar said the expanded size of the B.C. NDP’s cabinet is not surprising, adding he hoped there would have been a reduction in the number of ministers.
As for the newcomers and those shuffled, Milobar didn’t have much criticism for the group.
“I think it will come down to individual performances over time here,” he said. “It’s never easy putting a cabinet together.”
Milobar said it was a bit surprising there wasn’t more movement in some of the positions.
Commenting on the shuffle of Rob Fleming to transportation from education and inserting a rookie MLA — Jennifer Whiteside — into the education file, Milobar said that move wasn’t surprising.
“I think we’ve seen a lot of dissatisfaction and uncomfortableness on how that file was handled and [Whiteside is] a fresh face there to try to see if they can’t bring a new way to dealing with issues as they relate to COVID and other issues,” Milobar said.
With the government’s cabinet now set, newly appointed interim B.C. Liberal leader Shirley Bond will sort out the opposition’s shadow cabinet over the next few days, Milobar said.
Milobar was the environment critic under the last legislature before being moved to the labour file just weeks before the 2020 election.
He told KTW he is open to any role in this new shadow cabinet.
“I’m more than willing to role up my sleeves and tackle whatever job I’m tasked with, with full energy,” Milobar said.
Addressing rumblings that he sought the interim leadership role, Milobar would only say there was “lots of interest form various people around leadership, but, caucus, we all rallied around Shirley and felt she would do an excellent job moving us forward as interim leader over the next nine months to a year — and I fully support that move as well.”
Andrew Wilkinson stepped down as leader following the Oct. 24 election, in which the NDP formed a majority with 57 seats. The Liberals won 28 seats and the Greens garnered two seats. Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone, who ran for the party leadership in 2018, has said he is considering another bid.