10/30/2013 10:38 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

NWT premier shuffles cabinet; says it's preparation for devolution

YELLOWKNIFE - Northwest Territories Premier Bob McLeod has announced a cabinet shuffle.

McLeod said the changes are effective Thursday and will help prepare the cabinet for additional responsibilities being transferred to it from the federal government through devolution.

David Ramsay will be minister of Justice and the Public Utilities Board, as well as continuing as minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment.

Tom Beaulieu takes over the Departments of Transportation, Human Resources, and Public Works and Services, while Glen Abernethy is the new minister of Health and Social Services, Seniors, and Persons with Disabilities.

Robert C. McLeod has been designated Minister of Lands effective April 1, 2014, and will also continue as minister responsible for the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation, Municipal and Community Affairs, Homelessness, and Youth.

Jackson Lafferty, Michael Miltenberger and McLeod continue with their existing portfolios.

"We are midway through our term and have accomplished many of the tasks we set for ourselves at the beginning of the 17th Legislative Assembly," McLeod said in a news release Wednesday night.

"As we prepare for the next two years and the new responsibilities we will be assuming from Canada, we have an opportunity to capitalize on our past successes and to refocus our energies for the task ahead."