Today, Premier Horgan gave Energy Minister Michelle Mungall a new job, replacing her with Bruce Ralston.
I am encouraged, anticipating (perhaps naively) that leadership of the department responsible for BC Hydro and natural gas production will be reclaimed from innonimate bureaucrats.
Mungall was a placeholder. After BC’s 2017 election, the incoming NDP intended to maintain BC Liberal energy policies. That required a compliant, non-activist minister who did not expect to influence management.
Ralston might be different. He was NDP finance critic when Gordon Campbell and friends were plundering the province a decade and more ago. Ralston criticized “pre-election fabrication” that resulted in broken promises and fractured policies.
Ralston is experienced, savvy, educated and competent.
It is to be determined whether or not he has license to do what is right to manage energy policies, or if he is charged with being only a more effective apologist for the status quo.
I hope for the best, but I’ve been fooled before on the NDP’s approach to these issues.
Regardless, only one of three MLAs affected by 2020’s first cabinet shuffle looks pleased by their new realities.