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Queen's Park Highlights - Summer Update

 

July 24, 2019

The Conservative government adjourned the legislature in early June and will not return until October 28, after the upcoming federal election. On June 20, Premier Ford announced a cabinet shuffle that saw some high-profile ministers demoted to more junior roles and an expanded cabinet, including new associate ministers. While the government likely expected the cabinet shuffle to serve as a reset and help stop the slide in public support, it has instead found itself embroiled in a patronage scandal that included the resignation of Ford’s Chief of Staff Dean French.

1. Cabinet Shuffle

The Ford government attempted to stem the loss of public support after a string of polls showing historically-low levels of approval for the Premier. Ministers Fedeli, Thompson, MacLeod and Mulroney were shuffled out of their portfolios. The government increased the number of people in cabinet and appointed some associate ministers. Along with the cabinet shuffle there were new parliamentary assistants appointed for several portfolios. Find below the current list of ministers, associate ministers and parliamentary assistants.

Ministers

Doug Ford, Etobicoke North
Ministry: ​Premier, Intergovernmental Affairs

Peter Bethlenfalvy, Pickering-Uxbridge
Ministry: ​President of the Treasury Board

Rod Phillips, Ajax
Ministry: Finance

Victor Fedeli, Nipissing
Ministry: Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade - Chair of Cabinet

Stephen Lecce, King-Vaughan
Ministry: Education

Christine Elliott, Newmarket-Aurora
Ministry: Deputy Premier, Health

Merrilee Fullerton, Kanata-Carleton
Ministry: Long-Term Care

Doug Downey, Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte
Ministry: ​Attorney General

Caroline Mulroney, York-Simcoe
Ministry: Transportation, Francophone Affairs

Steve Clark, Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands-Rideau Lakes
Ministry: Municipal Affairs and Housing

Monte McNaughton, Lambton-Kent-Essex
Ministry: Labour

Todd Smith, Bay of Quinte
Ministry: Children, Community and Social Services

John Yakabuski, Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke
Ministry: Natural Resources and Forestry

Laurie Scott, Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock
Ministry: Infrastructure

Jeff Yurek, Elgin-Middlesex-London
Ministry: Environment, Conservation and Parks

Ross Romano, Sault Ste. Marie
Ministry: Training, Colleges and Universities

Paul Calandra, Markham-Stouffville
Ministry: Government House Leader

Sylvia Jones, Dufferin-Caledon
Ministry: Solicitor General

Greg Rickford, Kenora-Rainy River
Ministry:Indigenous Affairs - Energy, Northern Development and Mines

Ernie Hardeman, Oxford
Ministry: Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Lisa MacLeod, Nepean
Ministry: Tourism, Culture and Sport

Raymond Cho, Scarborough North
Ministry: Seniors and Accessibility

Lisa Thompson, Huron-Bruce
Ministry: Government and Consumer Services

Associate Ministers

Michael Tibollo, Vaughan-Woodbridge
Portfolio: Mental Health and Addictions

Prabmeet Sarkaria, Brampton South
Portfolio: Small Business and Red Tape Reduction

Jill Dunlop, Simcoe North
Portfolio: Children and Women's Issues

Kinga Surma, Etobicoke Centre
Portfolio: Transportation (GTA)

Bill Walker, Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound
Portfolio: Energy

Parliamentary Assistants

Robert Bailey, Sarnia-Lambton
Ministry: Government and Consumer Services

Toby Barrett, Haldimand–Norfolk
Ministry: Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (Agriculture and Food)

Will Bouma, Brantford—Brant
Ministry: Premier

Stan Cho, Willowdale
Ministry: Finance

Stephen Crawford, Oakville
Ministry: Infrastructure

Rudy Cuzzetto, Mississauga-Lakeshore
Ministry: Treasury Board (Internal Audit)

Amy Fee, Kitchener South-Hespeler
Ministry: Children, Community and Social Services (Children and Autism)

Parm Gill, Milton
Ministry: Municipal Affairs and Housing (Housing)

Mike Harris, Kitchener-Conestoga
Ministry: Natural Resources and Forestry

Christine Hogarth, Etobicoke–Lakeshore
Ministry: Solicitor General (Community Safety)

Belinda C. Karahalios, Cambridge
Ministry: Solicitor General (Correctional Services)

Vincent Ke, Don Valley North
Ministry: Tourism, Culture and Sport (Culture and Sport)

Andrea Khanjin, Barrie–Innisfil
Ministry: Environment, Conservation and Parks

Robin Martin, Eglinton—Lawrence
Ministry: Health

Gila Martow, Thornhill
Ministry: Francophone Affairs

Jim McDonell, York Centre
Ministry: Municipal Affairs and Housing (Municipal Affairs)

Jane McKenna, Burlington
Ministry: Labour

Norman Miller, Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ministry: Intergovernmental Affairs

Sam Oosterhoff, Niagara West
Ministry: Education

Billy Pang, Markham—Unionville
Ministry: Tourism, Culture and Sport (Tourism)

Lindsey Park, Durham
Ministry: Attorney General

Michael Parsa, Aurora–Oak Ridges–Richmond Hill
Ministry: Treasury Board

Randy Pettapiece, Perth–Wellington
Ministry: Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (Rural Affairs)

David Piccini, Northumberland–Peterborough South
Ministry: Training, Colleges and Universities

Jeremy Roberts, Ottawa West—Nepean
Ministry: Children, Community and Social Services (Community and Social Services)

Donna Skelly, Flamborough–Glanbrook
Ministry: Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (Job Creation and Trade)

Dave Smith, Peterborough—Kawartha
Ministry: Indigenous Affairs - Energy, Northern Development and Mines

Nina Tangri, Mississauga—Streetsville
Ministry: Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (Economic Development)

Vijay Thanigasalam, Scarborough—Rouge Park
Ministry: Transportation

Effie J. Triantafilopoulos, Oakville North—Burlington
Ministry: Long-Term Care

Daisy Wai, Richmond Hill
Ministry: Seniors and Accessibility

2. Patronage Scandal

The day after the government announced a cabinet shuffle, Ford’s then Chief of Staff Dean French announced his sudden resignation. The government claimed this was a planned departure after a successful year in office and praised Dean French for his work and service to the Premier. His resignation followed reports of two high-profile appointments that were revoked by the Premier amidst allegations that they went to unqualified candidates who had personal ties to Dean French. Since then there have been a total of at least six resignations from government appointees to boards of various organizations including the Ontario Power Generation, the Justices of the Peace Advisory Committee and the Workplace Safety Insurance Board (WSIB), all of them with reported ties to Dean French. The government has so-far refused the opposition’s calls for an independent review of all appointments, and the Premier’s office has stated that they will review future appointments.

3. New Minister of Education

The Hon. Stephen Lecce was appointed to replace the Hon. Lisa Thompson as Minister of Education. Since his appointment, Minister Lecce has reached out to education organizations and met with unions representing educators and other workers in the sector as well as with employer organizations. The Minister’s first month in office was marked by claims that he is open to listen to feedback from stakeholders, however, so far there have been no changes in the policies enacted by his predecessor.

For more information, check the website of the Ontario Legislature.

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