MLA and teacher Deron Bilous is the province’s new minister of economic development and trade.
Premier Rachel Notley said she created the portfolio to help spur job creation as weak oil prices continue to challenge the province’s economy. She announced the change Oct. 22, a few days before her NDP government released its first budget.
“It’s a daunting challenge,” Bilous said during his swearing-in speech, “but I’m excited by the potential and humbled by the importance of this task.”
He said he’s keenly aware that the low price of oil has affected families across the province.
“I believe that the current reality has created a motivation and a momentum for change in Alberta’s economic direction,” he said.
Alberta hasn’t had an economic development minister since 2006.
Bilous is a teacher turned MLA who was re-elected to a second term in Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview in the spring. He was originally appointed minister of municipal affairs and Service Alberta, a portfolio that Notley shuffled to Slave Lake MLA Danielle Larivee. ❚