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Meet the Southern Alberta MLAs in Premier Danielle Smith’s cabinet

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The Lethbridge, Alta., region will see representation in Premier Danielle Smith’s new cabinet.

Lethbridge-East MLA Nathan Neudorf, as well as Cardston-Siksika MLA Joseph Schow, will be among the 25-member group.

Neudorf, who was infrastructure minister before the May 29 election, will be taking on a new role as minister of Affordability and Utilities.

He will also become vice-chair of the treasury board, which political sociologist Trevor Harrison says will carry weight in the United Conservative Party’s provincial government.

“This is about as close as you get to the inner circle,” Harrison said. “So it is a prestigious position for him.”

Joseph Schow, meanwhile, will return as Government House Leader, and will take on his first cabinet appointment as minister of Tourism and Sport — a portfolio Harrison says has historically been linked to environment and parks.

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“This is going to be an interesting thing for Schow,” Harrison said, “who will deal with … other ministers to massage some real concerns for Southern Albertans.”

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Harrison believes regional representation also played a role in Smith’s appointments.

“Southern Alberta is very strong for (the) UCP,” Harrison said. “So they … pretty much needed to put some people in from here.”

Global News reached out to the offices of both Southern Alberta MLAs for comment on their new roles but did not hear back by press time.

The province says its newly appointed ministers will begin receiving briefings from their departments immediately.