MLA Michelle Mungall takes on the portfolio of social development as Adrian Dix announced the official opposition shadow cabinet Friday.
“I am very happy to be in this role,” says the Nelson-Creston representative. “
Prior to being elected to provincial office, Mungall worked in the community with Nelson Food Cupboard, the Nelson Committee on Homelessness, coordinated the Habondia Lending Circle and handled youth employment issues. She says NDP leader Dix recognized the experience she could bring to the role.
“When we spoke yesterday about this appointment, he saw how important it was to have a strong voice in the legislature to hold the government accountable,” she says.
Dix says his team will hold Premier Christy Clark and the BC Liberals to account for their promises and record.
“Premier Clark’s government was elected on the claims of a balanced budget, reduced debt, increased core services and increased jobs,” he says. “British Columbians expect the Liberals to live up to the commitments they made, and our caucus will do just that.”
Mungall intends to take the government to task for its record on child poverty.
“We have had one of Canada’s worst rates for child poverty for the last nine years. In fact, for eight of those nine years we had the worst rate in Canada,” she says. “Hopefully, the government will listen and we can see some forward movement for people and for greater equality in this province.”
Mungall is leaving behind her portfolio of Advanced Education for this new role. David Eby, who took the Vancouver-Point Grey riding from the premier, will fill the Nelson-Creston MLA’s shoes.
She takes over from former leader of the opposition Carole James in tackling social development. It encompasses the family bonus program, social assistance for people on welfare and disability as well as the social innovation program established by the Liberals to encourage partnering with non-profit agencies among others.
“It is quite a large file so my first task, obviously is to dig deep and get myself oriented to all the issues in the ministry,” Mungall says. “As I get up to speed I am really looking forward to working with Carole James on that. She did a fantastic job and she’s moved on to Ministry of Children and Family Development so her and I will continue to work closely together.”
Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy will shadow seniors and seniors health along with the Columbia River Treaty and Columbia Power.
According to Dix, British Columbians will not tolerate a return to the say one thing, do another approach that has characterized Liberal rule.
“When the legislature sits again starting June 26, we expect the government to demonstrate how its budget is balanced and how it will avoid massive cuts to core services,” he says. “Our team of critics, including seven new MLAs, will be a strong voice to ensure the government is held accountable.”