Klein names new transport-infrastructure minister

EDMONTON — Outgoing Alberta Premier Ralph Klein has shuffled his cabinet for likely the last time this week, appointing a new transportation minister in the process.

Klein, who was shocked into announcing his retirement from the ruling Alberta Conservative party after receiving a marginal 55 percent approval vote at a recent leadership review, has named former Government Services Minister Ty Lund the new Infrastructure and Transportation minister.

Lund replaces Lyle Oberg, who was booted from cabinet and caucus last month for publicly criticizing Klein’s decision to force ministers seeking the provincial throne to give up their portfolios first.

Meanwhile, backbencher Barry McFarland will assist Lund in the newly created position of associate minister of infrastructure and transportation.

Oberg was popular with the Alberta Motor Transport Association. Under his watch, work began in twinning Alberta’s Hwy. 63 to the oilsands in Fort McMurray; he launched a pilot program to professionally certify new truck drivers; and green lighted a plan that would resurrect Alberta’s Partners In Compliance (PIC) program.

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