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Executive Council of Alberta

  (Redirected from Government of Alberta)

The Executive Council of Alberta, or more commonly the Cabinet of Alberta, is the Province of Alberta's equivalent to the Cabinet of Canada. The government of the province of Alberta is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy with a unicameral legislature—the Legislative Assembly, which consists of 87 members elected first past the post (FPTP) from single-member constituencies.[1] The premier is normally a member of the Legislative Assembly, and usually draws the members of Cabinet from among the members of the Legislative Assembly. The legislative powers in the province however, lie with the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. Its government resembles that of the other Canadian provinces. The capital of the province is Edmonton, where the Alberta Legislative Building is located. Government is conducted after the Westminster model.


Government of AlbertaEdit

Jasper Avenue, a hub of major offices and the financial centres in Edmonton.

The executive powers in the province lie with the Premier of Alberta and the Cabinet of Alberta or the Executive Council of Alberta. The legislative powers in the province lie with the Legislature, which consists of two components: the Queen, represented by the Lieutenant-Governor, and the Legislative Assembly.

The Executive Council of Alberta is officially headed by the Lieutenant-Governor, as representative of the Queen in Right of Alberta and is referred to as the Governor-in-Council. Although the lieutenant governor is technically the most powerful person in Alberta, he is in reality a figurehead whose actions are restricted by custom and constitutional convention. The government is therefore headed by the premier. The current premier is Rachel Notley, who was sworn in as the 17th premier on May 24, 2015.

Legislative powersEdit

The Legislative Assembly meets in the Alberta Legislature Building in the provincial capital, Edmonton.

The Legislative Assembly consists of 87 members, elected first past the post from single-member electoral districts.[2] The current Legislature is the 29th, since the creation of the province in 1905.

The last election was held on early May 2015, and returned a majority parliament controlled by the Alberta New Democratic Party commonly abbreviated to 'NDP'.

Executive powersEdit

Executive Council of AlbertaEdit

Typically, although not necessarily consisting of members of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, the Cabinet of Alberta is similar in structure and role to the Cabinet of Canada. As federal and provincial responsibilities differ there are a number of different portfolios between the federal and provincial governments.

The Lieutenant-Governor of Alberta, as representative of the Queen in Right of Alberta, heads the council, and is referred to as the Governor-in-Council. Other members of the Cabinet, who advise, or minister, the vice-regal, are selected by the Premier of Alberta and appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor. Most cabinet ministers are the head of a ministry, but this is not always the case. In the construct of constitutional monarchy and responsible government, the ministerial advice tendered is typically binding, though it is important to note that, despite appearances of the contrary, the Royal Prerogative belongs to the Crown, not to any of the ministers,[3]

As at the federal level the most important Cabinet post after that of the leader is Minister of Finance. Today the next most powerful position is certainly the health portfolio which has a vast budget and is of central political import. Other powerful portfolios include Education and Energy.

Current CabinetEdit

The current Government has been in place since May 24, 2015, following May 5, 2015 Alberta general election. Members are listed in order of precedence. There was a cabinet shuffle on October 22, 2015.[4] A second shuffle occurred February 2, 2016.[5] Minor shuffles occurred January 19 and October 17, 2017.

Portfolio Minister Appointment Date Riding
Premier of Alberta
President of Executive Council
Rachel Notley May 24, 2015 Edmonton-Strathcona
Deputy Premier of Alberta
Minister of Health
Sarah Hoffman February 2, 2016 Edmonton-Glenora
Minister of Transportation
Government House Leader
Brian Mason May 24, 2015 Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood
Minister of Education David Eggen May 24, 2015 Edmonton-Calder
Minister of Economic Development and Trade
Deputy Government House Leader
Deron Bilous May 24, 2015 Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview
Minister of Finance
President of Treasury Board
Joe Ceci May 24, 2015 Calgary-Fort
Minister of Justice and Solicitor-General Kathleen Ganley May 24, 2015 Calgary-Buffalo
Minister of Environment and Parks
Minister Responsible for the Climate Change Office
Shannon Phillips May 24, 2015 Lethbridge-West
Minister of Agriculture and Forestry
Deputy Government House Leader
Oneil Carlier May 24, 2015 Whitecourt-Ste. Anne
Minister of Municipal Affairs Shaye Anderson January 19, 2017 Leduc-Beaumont
Minister of Energy Margaret McCuaig-Boyd May 24, 2015 Dunvegan-Central Peace-Notley
Minister of Community and Social Services Irfan Sabir January 19, 2017 Calgary McCall
Minister of Children Services Danielle Larivee January 19, 2017 Lesser Slave Lake
Minister of Seniors and Housing Lori Sigurdson February 2, 2016 Edmonton-Riverview
Minister of Indigenous Relations Richard Feehan February 2, 2016 Edmonton-Rutherford
Minister of Labour
Minister Responsible for Democratic Renewal
Christina Gray February 2, 2016 Edmonton-Mill Woods
Minister of Service Alberta
Minister of Status of Women
Stephanie McLean February 2, 2016 Calgary-Varsity
Minister of Culture and Tourism Ricardo Miranda February 2, 2016 Calgary-Cross
Minister of Advanced Education Marlin Schmidt February 2, 2016 Edmonton-Gold Bar
Associate Minister of Health Brandy Payne February 2, 2016 Calgary-Acadia
Minister of Infrastructure Sandra Jansen October 17, 2017 Calgary-North West

Former CabinetsEdit


In Alberta, the ministries' names have two forms, often coexisting. The usual one is "Alberta X", (e.g. Alberta Education) the older style is "Ministry of X" (e.g. Ministry of Finance). The newer style without the word "ministry" resembles the federal government's Federal Identity Program and the federal naming scheme, except in reverse order. Federal ministries and departments are usually "X Canada" (e.g. Environment Canada).

With every new cabinet ministries can be created or disbanded, renamed or gain or lose responsibilities. Some ministries such as finance or health are common to all provincial governments and are comparable to similar ministries or departments at the federal level or indeed even in other countries. However, some ministries are quite distinct to Alberta, such as the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Development which oversees the management of public lands.

These are the current ministries as of 2015, listed alphabetically, with a short description and any notes to changes to that ministry's mandate.

Ministry Notes
Aboriginal Relations Created 2008. Responsible for Aboriginal affairs. Also responsible for the Métis Settlements Appeals Tribunal, the Métis Settlements Ombudsman and the First Nations Development Fund.
Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development Responsible for agriculture, forestry; responsibility for rural development added 2008.
Culture and Tourism Responsible for culture, community development, the voluntary sector, museums, heritage sites, and tourism. Also responsible for Human Rights and Citizenship Commission; Human Rights Citizenship and Multiculturalism Fund; Foundation for the Arts; Alberta Historical Resources Foundation; Wild Rose Foundation; and Government House Foundation.
Economic Development and Trade Responsible for economic growth and diversification in Alberta. Created October 22, 2015[4]
Education Responsible for Education in Alberta.
Energy Responsible for energy policy.
Environment and Sustainable Resource Development Responsible for environmental policy and Crown land.
Executive Council The ministry which organizes, and reports directly to, cabinet.
Finance Responsible for economic policy. Gained responsibility for the Regulatory Review Secretariat, the Alberta Economic Development Authority, and the Northern Alberta Development Council in 2008.
Health Responsible for health policy.
Human Services
Infrastructure Created 2008. Responsible for infrastructure planning, and building and managing government-owned infrastructure. Also responsible for the administration of water/wastewater and other municipal infrastructure grants and the Natural Gas Rebate Program.
Innovation and Advanced Education Responsible for economic development and post-secondary education.
International and Intergovernmental Relations Responsible for relations with other governments in Canada and internationally In 2008 it lost responsibility for Aboriginal relations and added responsibility for investment attraction.
Labour Responsible for labour laws, immigration, and employment programs.
Justice and Solicitor General Responsible for the justice system.
Municipal Affairs Responsible for local government in Alberta. In 2008 lost responsibility for housing and the voluntary sector.
Parks and Recreation Responsible for provincial parks. In 2008 lost responsibility for culture and community development, museums, heritage sites, and reporting entities now in Culture and Community Spirit, as well as the First Nations Development Fund now in Aboriginal Relations.
Service Alberta Responsible for services including registries, land titles, consumer protection and the Alberta Queen's Printer.[6]
Solicitor General and Public Security Responsible for public security.
Status of Women Leads government's work to improve gender equality in Alberta.[6]
Transportation Created 2008. Responsible for planning, building and managing the provincial highway network, including the administration of municipal transportation grants. Also responsible for the Transportation Safety Board.
Treasury Board


Albertans are the lowest-taxed people in Canada, mostly because of the province's considerable oil and gas income as well as the more conservative financial philosophies of successive governments. It is also the only province in Canada where there is no provincial sales tax.[7] Alberta is one of few provinces that consistently has not received equalization payments from the federal government since 1962[8] (the others being British Columbia and (until 2008) Ontario, the original benchmark provinces). Alberta is now the largest net contributor to the program.


The 2016-2017 budget contained a $10.4 billion deficit, with $41.1 billion in revenue and $51.1 billion in expenditures. The budget also contained a $700 million risk adjustment, which was intended to reflect "volatility of Alberta’s resource revenue."[9]


The provincial government's revenue, although often described as predominantly coming from the province's resource base, actually is derived from a variety of sources. Non-renewable resource revenue provided the government with 24 percent of its revenue in 2010–11 with about the same coming from individual income tax, 14 per cent from grants from the federal government, and about eight percent coming from both corporations and the government's own business activities. (source: the Government of Alberta website) Alberta is the only province in Canada without a provincial sales tax (see also Sales taxes in Canada).

Government revenue comes mainly from royalties on non-renewable natural resources (30.4%), personal income taxes (22.3%), corporate and other taxes (19.6%), and grants from the federal government primarily for infrastructure projects (9.8%).[10] Albertans are the lowest-taxed people in Canada, and Alberta is the only province in Canada without a provincial sales tax (but residents are still subject to the federal sales tax, the Goods and Services Tax of 5%). It is also the only Canadian province to have a flat tax for personal income taxes, which is 10% of taxable income.[11]

The Alberta personal income tax system maintains a progressive character by granting residents personal tax exemptions of $16,977, in addition to a variety of tax deductions for persons with disabilities, students, and the aged.[12] Alberta's municipalities and school jurisdictions have their own governments which (usually) work in co-operation with the provincial government.

Alberta also privatized alcohol distribution. The privatization increased outlets from 304 stores to 1,726; 1,300 jobs to 4,000 jobs; and 3,325 products to 16,495 products.[13] Tax revenue also increased from $400 million to $700 million.

Politics of AlbertaEdit

Alberta's elections from 1948 to 2014 tended to yield results that were much more conservative than those of other Canadian provinces. Alberta has traditionally had three political parties, the Progressive Conservatives ("Conservatives" or "Tories"), the Liberals, and the social democratic New Democrats (and its predecessors, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation party and the United Farmers of Alberta). A fourth party, the Social Credit Party, which began as a radical monetary reform movement and government but after 1944 governed in a right-wing Christian fundamentalist style, was a power in Alberta for many decades, but fell into powerlessness and disfavour after Progressive Conservatives came to power in 1971. Progressive Conservatives were in government until 2015, when the NDP was elected with a large majority of the seats.

Only five parties have governed Alberta in the 110 years of its existence as a province: the Liberals, from 1905 to 1921; the United Farmers of Alberta, from 1921 to 1935; the Social Credit Party, from 1935 to 1971, the Progressive Conservative Party, from 1971 to 2015, and the NDP from 2015 on.

Alberta has had occasional surges in separatist sentiment. There are several currently active groups promoting the independence of Alberta.

In the 2008 provincial election, held on March 3, 2008, the Progressive Conservative Party was re-elected as a majority government with 72 of 83 seats, the Alberta Liberal Party was elected as the Official Opposition with nine members, and two Alberta New Democratic Party members were elected.[14]

April 23, 2012 election returned the Progressive Conservative Party to government, making leader Alison Redford Alberta's first female premier.[15] In the 2012 provincial election, held on April 23, 2012, the Progressive Conservative Party was re-elected as a majority government and party leader Alison Redford retained as premier with 43.9% of the vote and 61 of 87 seats (The Legislative Assembly had added 4 seats, increasing the total to 87), the Wildrose Party led by Danielle Smith was elected as the Official Opposition with 34.3% of the vote and 17 members (replacing the Liberal Party), five Liberals were elected with 9.9% of the vote and four NDP members were elected with 9.8% of the vote.[16]

May 5, 2015 election saw the Alberta New Democrats elected to government, making leader Rachel Notley Alberta's second female premier and its first leftist premier since 1935.

Federal-provincial governance: decentralization and devolutionEdit

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, the federal government became more centralist, and Canada entered a stage of "conflictual federalism" that lasted from 1970 to 1984. The National Energy Program sparked a great deal of bitterness against the federal government in Alberta; as well, the federal government involved itself in disputes over oil with Newfoundland and Saskatchewan.[17] With the passage of the Constitution Act, 1982 through the addition of section 92A to the Constitution Act, 1867, the provinces were given more power with respect to their natural resources.

Between 1982 and 1992 the federal government favoured devolution of powers to the provinces, culminating in the failed Meech Lake and Charlottetown accords. After a merger with the heavily devolutionist Canadian Alliance, the new Conservative Party of Canada under Stephen Harper has continued the same stance.[18]

See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit

  • Connors, Richard; John M. Law (2005). Forging Alberta's constitutional framework. University of Alberta – Centre for Constitutional Studies. ISBN 0-88864-457-4. Retrieved 2012-10-21.


  1. ^ Elected Members of the Assembly.
  2. ^ Elected Members of the Assembly
  3. ^ Neitsch, Alfred Thomas (2008). "A Tradition of Vigilance: The Role of Lieutenant Governor in Alberta" (PDF). Canadian Parliamentary Review. Ottawa: Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. 30 (4): 23. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 12, 2010. Retrieved May 22, 2009.
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b Alberta, Government of. "Ministries". Retrieved 2016-03-18.
  7. ^ Taxation – provincial sales tax
  8. ^ "A Short History of Equalization, part 1: 1930–2006". May 12, 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-25.
  9. ^ "Alberta Fiscal Plan Overview (2016)" (PDF).
  10. ^ "Budget 2009, Building on Our Strength". Government of Alberta. Archived from the original on May 3, 2008. Retrieved August 9, 2009.
  11. ^ "What are the income tax rates in Canada for 2009?". Canada Revenue Agency. Retrieved August 9, 2009.
  12. ^ "Alberta Tax and Credits". Government of Alberta. Retrieved August 9, 2009.
  13. ^ "The Right Way to Sell Booze in New Brunswick". Taxpayer. Archived from the original on January 18, 2011. Retrieved November 2, 2010.
  14. ^ "2008 Alberta Election Results". CTV. Archived from the original on March 8, 2008. Retrieved August 9, 2009.
  15. ^ "2012 Alberta Election Results". CTV. Retrieved April 23, 2012.
  16. ^ Provincial General Election April 23, 2012 Archived April 26, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Dyck 2012, pp. 416–420
  18. ^ Banting, Keith G.; Simeon, Richard (1983). And no one cheered: federalism, democracy, and the Constitution Act. Toronto: Methuen. pp. 14, 16. ISBN 0-458-95950-2.

External linksEdit

See alsoEdit