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MLA Dale Nally 'thrilled' to get new senior position

A local MLA got a promotion and a new role on Monday. On Oct. 24, UCP Morinville-St. Albert MLA, Dale Nally, was sworn in as Minister of Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction.

A local MLA got a promotion and a new role on Monday.

On Oct. 24, UCP Morinville-St. Albert MLA, Dale Nally, was sworn in as Minister of Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction.

Including Nally, Premier Danielle Smith, named a total of 25 cabinet members plus two ministers without portfolios and 11 parliamentary secretaries to cabinet.

“I was thrilled to get the phone call from Premier Smith asking me to join her cabinet,” he said, calling the role a “180-degree” change from his previous position.

Previously, Nally served as the associate minister of natural gas and electricity.

Nally said he is still in the period where he is getting lots of briefings on the department and he had no idea how big Service Alberta was.

“This is still day two for me as I just I was just sworn in yesterday and the ink isn't even dry,” he said.

The ministry covers a “significant portion of government” that consists of both people and business, said Nally.

The ministry is responsible for issues like consumer protection, modernizing delivery and services, overseeing registry activities including vehicle, business, and land registrations, developing broadband strategy, and the governments IT infrastructure, according to the government website.

When it comes to the people side of the portfolio, Nally said a significant portion of that is customer-facing.

“This is wonderful because this is my background. I've spent a career in big-box retail that was customer-facing, and I have an opportunity to bring that customer-centric approach to what we do on the customer facing side of government,” he said.

On the business side of Service Alberta, Nally said there is a significant amount of responsibility.

“(It’s) a lot to get my head around. Let me tell you, there's lots of briefings for me over the next days and weeks,” he said.

His new role also includes red tape reduction Nally said, adding red tape reduction is not just about investor attraction but also about lowering costs for Albertans.

As an example, Nally said the government was able to reduce regulatory costs in the electricity industry and being more efficient on the regulatory side meant less cost to the ratepayer.

“Everybody benefits from that. To be able to take that approach and success that we've had in red tape production, and to bring that to all of government. It will only benefit Albertans to increase efficiency and lower costs,” he said.

When asked if, as minister of red tape reduction, he had any comments about the large number of cabinet positions of this government, Nally said not everything is red tape.

“I think it's a misnomer to suggest that an additional cabinet position or two, that has increased focus, is actually more red tape."

“Red tape represents all the all the hoops and the regulatory lag that Albertans have to jump through on a regular basis to get things done,” he said.

Smith, who was sworn in as premier on Oct. 11, faced heat from reporters during a press conference held after the swearing in ceremony in for having a cabinet more than double the size of NDP leader Rachel Notley’s cabinet at 12, when she was in power, and also larger than former premier Jason Kenney’s initial cabinet which totalled 23 ministries and associate ministries.

Of the 60 UCP seats in the legislature, over half are in Smith’s cabinet.

Smith said the size of government at the level of the department and public service is what she is concerned about and wants to restructure. 

“Over the years there have been a number of areas that have just been smooshed into other ministries and not given the attention they deserve,” said Smith.

Smith said the additional ministries will be important economic drivers to diversify the economy.

“It requires additional dedicated support of ministers and their teams to make sure that we can find those cost savings and that's what we're looking forward to doing over the coming months,” said Smith.

Nally agrees with the premier.

“By having ministers that can have a laser-like focus on things like affordability that is only going to benefit Albertans,” he said.

Overall, Nally is excited about his new role and what it means for his constituents and Albertans alike.

“I'm excited to be able to represent my constituents at the cabinet table in a more senior role, which gives me a bigger voice, and I'm thrilled to be able to bring that to benefit all of my constituents,” he said.