June 22nd, 2024

Cabinet portfolios pleasant surprise for MLA Neudorf

By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on October 25, 2022.

Front row from left, Travis Toews, Nathan Neudorf, Kaycee Madu and Tyler Shandro wait to be sworn into cabinet in Edmonton, Monday, Oct. 24, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

Nathan Neudorf had no idea he was going to be named to Alberta premier Danielle Smith’s new cabinet until he got a phone call on Thursday afternoon.

Neudorf, the UCP MLA for Lethbridge East, was named co-deputy premier and Minister of Infrastructure. Kaycee Madu, new minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, is the other new deputy premier.

“I was surprised in the sense I didn’t know what was coming,” said Neudorf Monday morning, adding he was hopeful for an appointment after endorsing Smith as leader and working with her.

“There was nothing promised or negotiated or anything like that,” he said in a phone interview.

“The call was very pleasant,” he said.

Neudorf has a few goals he wants to achieve in coming months from conversations he’s had with Alberta’s new premier.

The new deputy premier said Infrastructure is “an interesting file. While there’s some responsibility within it, a lot of funding for those capital projects come from other ministries, particularly Health or Seniors and Housing or Community and Social Services, those kind of things.

“So having not been a minister before, I don’t know exactly how it’s all intertwined,” Neudorf said, adding there will be collaboration with such ministries as Municipal Affairs, Advanced Education and Education.

“Learning how they exactly coordinate together that’s something I’ll have to pick up very quickly,” Neudorf added.

For the past year-and-a-half, Neudorf has served as UCP caucus chair and discussions with the premier stem from that role as far as discussions about his deputy premier role goes.

Internal relations and communications are vital for government to function well, Neudorf said.

“Many ministries work together in many different ways to accomplish their tasks so one of my roles as deputy premier is to continue to facilitate that relationship between ministers if they have files that overlap or relationships between private members and ministers to make sure we accomplish needed projects in various ministries,” Neudorf added.

Lethbridge mayor Blaine Hyggen, in a statement to media Friday, offered congratulations to Neudorf as well as Smith and other members of her cabinet.

“I’d like to congratulate Alberta Premier Danielle Smith and the members of her new cabinet on their placements announced today. Congratulations to Lethbridge East MLA Nathan Neudorf, who will take on new roles as Deputy Premier and Minister of Infrastructure. We are excited to continue working with the provincial government to advance Lethbridge’s priorities. We also look forward to further advocating to incoming Minister of Municipal Affairs Rebecca Schulz on behalf of our residents and our city’s needs,” the mayor said.

The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce also extended congratulations to the new co-deputy premier.

“MLA Neudorf is an excellent choice as Infrastructure Minister,” said Cyndi Bester, CEO of the Lethbridge Chamber, in a statement to media on Monday. “He has been outspoken about the need for infrastructure improvements, and we’re looking forward to working with him moving forward. It is also exciting to have a Deputy Premier serving as MLA in our city.”

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