Here's a Mind Map diagram representing all the department changes since the province's beginnings in 1905. In it you can read our government's and province's shifting priorities over time. I'm hoping you can zoom in to the detail.
Solid departments like Justice, Education, and Agriculture have always been with us, with minor adjustments to their portfolio. The minors like Culture and Parks are added, dissolved, re-established, merged, and tweaked to suit the day's fancy. Flash-in-the-pans were here and are pruned back to where they came from or off the agenda altogether, like Gaming and Consumer Affairs. Sometimes splits are reconsidered and two departments are absorbed back to their parent department.
When I finally added the latest cabinet portfolio to my diagram today, I noted some highlights.
- The Status of Women get priority, not seen since 1938.
- Public Security/Safety is no longer it's own concern. This seemed to be a particular agenda of our last two governments.
- Children's Services similarly is absorbed in to it's parent department, though children do get a mention in the news release. And the Calgary Young Offender center is off the chopping block this week.
- Persons with Developmental Disabilities is also absorbed and gets no particular mention in cabinet. Likely a result of a smaller cabinet rather than a shift in priorities.
- Housing does not get it's own department either.
- And finally but not least of all, Sustainable Resource Development is all but gone. It's functions have been absorbed by Environment, Energy, and Agriculture.
Reference:A new chapter in the story of Alberta, news release, Government of Alberta, May 24, 2015
An Administrative History of the Government of Alberta, The Provincial Archives of Alberta, 1905-2005