Jamaica-born Audrey Gordon named Manitoba’s Minister of Health

Audrey Gordon

Premier Brian Pallister has appointed Audrey Gordon as Manitoba’s next minister of health and seniors care.

Pallister made the announcement in a press release Wednesday, after Tuxedo MLA Heather Stefanson said she’d be stepping down from the job and running to be the leader of Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative Party.

Pallister said earlier this month he won’t be running again in the 2023 provincial election.

“I am confident in Minister Gordon’s ability to lead this department as we continue to protect our health-care system and communities from the impacts of COVID-19 and work toward recovery,” said Pallister.

Audrey Gordon was elected as the MLA for Southdale on September 10, 2019, and made history as the first Black MLA to be sworn-in as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba. When she was appointed as Minister of Mental Health, Wellness and Recovery, she made history once again as Manitoba’s first Black cabinet minister.

Prior to joining the WRHA, Minister Gordon worked for the Government of Manitoba for 25 years in several departments including Health, Labour and Immigration, and the Multiculturalism Secretariat. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree, an MBA, and Certificates in Change Management and Applied Counselling.

Gordon, a first-term MLA, will now continue working in both roles, according to the province.

“Providers and staff across the health-care system have worked extremely hard to continue to provide quality care throughout the pandemic, and I want to thank them for their efforts,” said Gordon in Wedneday’s news release. “It is an honour to accept this appointment and I look forward to continuing to support their work through all the challenges we face during this difficult time.”

Pallister has not said when he plans to step down, but did say he wanted to give Manitobans time to get to know a new leader.

Winnipeg city council finance chair Scott Gillingham (St. James), Families Minister Rochelle Squires, Finance Minister Scott Fielding and former Conservative MP Shelly Glover have also said they are considering running for leadership of the party.