Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli is keeping his job as Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade & Chair of Cabinet, after a cabinet shuffle today by Premier Doug Ford.
“I am honoured to continue serving the people of Ontario in my role as the Chair of Cabinet and as Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, especially as we continue to work towards a full economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Fedeli in a brief email to BayToday.
Meanwhile, Rod Phillips, who left his role as finance minister after travelling to St. Barts in December, is back in cabinet as the new minister of long-term care.
He replaces Merrillee Fullerton, who is leaving the long-term care file to become minister of children, community and social services.
David Piccini becomes minister of environment, replacing Jeff Yurek, and Kinga Surma is replacing Laurie Scott as minister of infrastructure.
Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria is the new president of the treasury board, which has been split from the finance file, while Lisa Thompson replaces Ernie Hardeman in agriculture, food and rural affairs.
Health Minister Christine Elliott, Education Minister Steven Lecce, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones, Attorney General Doug Downey (an Orillia lawyer and MPP for Barrie, Springwater and Oro-Medonte) and Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy remain in their prominent positions.
Meanwhile, John Yakabuski is out as minister of natural resources, as that file goes to Greg Rickford, who is taking on a merged file as minister of northern development, mining, natural resources and Forestry, as well as Indigenous affairs.
Changes to the Executive Council include the following:
- 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.
Meanwhile the opposition NDP says Doug Ford’s cabinet shuffle is an admission of failure on long-term care and other critical areas during the pandemic.
“Doug Ford is removing and shuffling his ministers of long-term care, small businesses and social services from those files. If there’s ever been an admission that they failed people during the pandemic, this is it,” said NDP Deputy Leader Sara Singh.
“This admission of failure isn’t enough, though. We need action to undo the damage Ford continues to do — with brutal conditions in long-term care homes continuing, countless small businesses on the brink of collapse, and no plan for serious concerns like student safety and a horrific surgery backlog.”
Singh said it’s shocking and deeply insulting that Rod Phillips in particular is being promoted back into the cabinet, and taking over long-term care responsibility.
Phillips broke the rules and vacationed in St. Barts during Ontario's stay-at-home order.
Phillips tried to cover-up his St. Barts vacation with pre-written messages, pre-recorded Christmas greetings, and a fake Zoom background.
“Phillips is obviously out of touch with what our loved ones in long-term care have been living through,” said Singh. “Long-term care homes still aren’t expected to provide air conditioning, and still have brutal understaffing — unlike the swanky St. Barts villas Phillips jettisoned off to while our seniors were living, and dying, in horrible conditions.”