Alberta ag minister named acting justice minister

Verlyn Olson. (

Alberta’s agriculture minister is now also its justice minister.

Premier Jim Prentice on Saturday appointed Verlyn Olson, MLA for Wetaskiwin-Camrose since 2008 and the province’s ag and rural development minister since 2012, as both acting justice minister and solicitor general.

Prentice said his move follows having “asked for and received the resignation” of Calgary-Acadia MLA Jonathan Denis from the justice portfolio.

Prentice said Saturday he was “made aware this morning that legal proceedings have commenced between Jonathan Denis and his estranged wife.”

Denis, Prentice said, was asked to step down from the justice portfolio “given the involvement of the courts.” No further details were given on the nature of the court proceedings.

Olson had just recently returned from sick leave following islet cell transplant surgery, a treatment designed to reduce or eliminate the need for insulin injections in people with severe Type 1 diabetes.

The additional portfolio for Olson comes after the provincial legislature was dissolved on April 7, ahead of an election scheduled for May 5. — Network


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