Ontario Premier Doug Ford replaced five government ministers in a cabinet shuffle Friday.
Ford promoted more young and diverse MPPs in a flurry of reassignments about a year before the next provincial election. The premier’s office issued a news release about the changes in the afternoon.
Rod Phillips is back in cabinet as Minister of Long-Term Care, replacing Merrilee Fullerton. Phillips made headlines last year because he had to give up his previous post as Finance Minister after his controversial vacation to St. Bart’s during the height of the second wave.
There have been calls for Fullerton to resign over her handling of LTC during the pandemic. A report from the auditor general in 2021 found many of the province’s care homes were unprepared for the pandemic, and many residents suffered neglect as a result.
Fullerton will take over as Minister of Children, Community, Social Services.
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David Piccini will replace Jeff Yurik as Minister of Environment, and Kinga Surma will replace Laurie Scott and Minister of Infrastructure.
Minister of Education Stephen Lecce, Health Minister Christine Elliott, and Solicitor General Sylvia Jones will stay put.
Lisa Thompson will also replace Ernie Hardeman as Minister of Agriculture.
In addition, Greg Rickford is taking over from John Yakabuski as Minister of Natural Resources. Rickford will handle that file in addition to Indigenous Affairs.
Here’s a complete list of the changes made Friday:
- Jill Dunlop, MPP for Simcoe North, becomes Minister of Colleges and Universities.
- Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, MPP for Kanata-Carleton, becomes Minister of Children, Community and Social Services.
- Parm Gill, MPP for Milton, becomes Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism.
- Rod Phillips, MPP for Ajax, becomes Minister of Long-Term Care.
- Dave Piccini, MPP for Northumberland-Peterborough South, becomes Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.
- Greg Rickford, MPP for Kenora-Rainy River, assumes a merged role as Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry, as well as remains Minister of Indigenous Affairs. This new northern and economic focused ministry will enhance development potential and sustainability in the North. Energy will transfer to a new separate ministry.
- Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, becomes Minister of Energy.
- Rosario Romano, MPP for Sault Ste. Marie, becomes Minister of Government and Consumer Services.
- Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria, MPP for Brampton South, becomes President of the Treasury Board.
- Kinga Surma, MPP for Etobicoke Centre, becomes Minister of Infrastructure.
- Lisa Thompson, MPP for Huron Bruce, becomes Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
- Stan Cho, MPP for Willowdale, becomes Associate Minister of Transportation, reporting to Minister Mulroney.
- Jane McKenna, MPP for Burlington, becomes Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues, reporting to Minister Fullerton.
- Nina Tangri, MPP for Mississauga Streetsville, becomes Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, reporting to Minister Fedeli.
- Kaleed Rasheed, MPP for Mississauga East-Cooksville, becomes Associate Minister of Digital Government, reporting to Minister Bethlenfalvy.