CHARLOTTETOWN — Decisions by two senior cabinet ministers to leave politics have prompted a major cabinet shuffle in Prince Edward Island.
The changes were announced Wednesday as Finance Minister Allen Roach and Agriculture and Fisheries Alan McIsaac issued statements saying they were leaving cabinet but would continue serving as members of the provincial legislature until the next election — slated for Oct. 7, 2019.
Premier Wade MacLauchlan appointed six members of the governing Liberal party to new cabinet positions.
During a ceremony early Wednesday, Heath MacDonald was sworn in as finance minister and Robert Henderson was sworn in as fisheries and agriculture minister.
As well, Robert Mitchell was appointed to serve as health minister in the 10-member cabinet, and Education Minister Jordan Brown was given the additional responsibility for the portfolios of justice, public safety and attorney general.
The standings in the 27-seat legislature are 17 Liberals, eight Progressive Conservatives and two Green party members.
The other members of the legislature given new cabinet positions include Chris Palmer as minister of economic development and tourism, and Richard Brown as minister of communities, land and environment.
The ministers who retain their positions are:
Premier Wade MacLauchlan — president of executive council and minister of Aboriginal affairs, intergovernmental affairs, and Acadian affairs.
Paula Biggar — minister of transportation, infrastructure and energy.
Sonny Gallant — minister of workforce and advanced learning.
Pat Murphy — minister of rural and regional development.
MacLauchlan has served as premier since Feb. 23, 2015. His party won a second consecutive majority government on May 4, 2015.
"Our caucus team is strong and we will continue to work together to advance the mandate Islanders have supported," the premier said in a statement.