(Minister Rob Fleming announcing B.C.'s back-to-school plan for September 2020)

Rob Fleming has been shuffled out of his role as Minister of Education following Premier John Horgan’s swearing-in of cabinet ministers on Thursday.

Replacing the outgoing Minister is rookie MLA Jennifer Whiteside, the newly-elected representative for New Westminster.

During a press availability after the swearing-in ceremony, Horgan said that the decision was a mutual change between him and Fleming.

“I’m very proud of the work that he’s done but I wanted to move him on to other activities,” said Horgan.

“He’s got a background in economic development, he wanted an economic ministry.”

As such, Fleming will now serve in cabinet as the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, replacing retired MLA Claire Trevena.

Asked if he has any concerns about a rookie MLA handling a difficult cabinet portfolio that oversaw a labour dispute with the BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF), Horgan said he has full confidence in Whiteside’s abilities.

“Jennifer knows the challenges in the system right now,” he said. “She’ll have the full support of myself and former minister Fleming.”

He added that Whiteside will also be working from the mandate letter directing the activities of the minister within government, and the support of professionals currently working in the education system.

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