­Earlier this morning, Premier Doug Ford announced a Cabinet shuffle just 129 days after being sworn in. This comes days after the resignation of MPP Jim Wilson from the PC caucus and as Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade in order to seek treatment for addiction. The Premier’s Office took the opportunity to recalibrate its Cabinet to reflect the government’s priorities and several large-scale policy changes expected in the near-term. Staff remain in place in the Ministries that are seeing new Ministers brought in.

Todd Smith, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade MPP for Bay of Quinte

Smith will assume the role of Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade. Smith will continue his responsibilities as Government House Leader. As House Leader, and as a long serving MPP, Smith has the trust of his colleagues in Cabinet as well as that of the Premier. He previously held the portfolio for Minister of Government and Consumer Services. Smith showed himself to be an effective manager of this portfolio and of wider government priorities. This portfolio is important to the government’s agenda and will continue the responsibility for red-tape reduction across government.

Jeff Yurek, Minister of Transportation

Yurek will be assuming the role of Minister of Transportation. Yurek showed himself to be a detail-oriented, high performer in his former role as Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. The transportation file will be heating up in the coming months and having someone with an eye for details and strong communications skills will serve the government well in this portfolio. Yurek is the MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London.

Sylvia Jones, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services

Previously Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Jones will be assuming the role of Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services. Jones proved to be an integral player in the early stages of Ford’s government and is known to be more aligned with the Premier’s Office on important issues in this portfolio. Jones was elected MPP for Dufferin-Caledon in 2007.

John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry

Previously serving as Minister of Transportation, Yakabuski will be assuming the role of Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. Yakabuski has been MPP for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke since being elected in 2003.

Michael Tibollo, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

Tibollo will be moving from Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services to assume the role of Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. It is likely that the Premier’s Office wanted someone with more government experience to tackle the Community Safety portfolio, which includes managing the difficult guns and gangs file. Tibollo is a first-term MPP for Vaughan-Woodbridge.

Bill Walker, Minister of Government and Consumer Services

Walker will assume the role of Minister of Government and Consumer Services, Walker was previously the Government Whip. This is seen as a promotion for the third term MPP from Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound.

Lorne Coe, Government Whip

Coe will take over as Government Whip from Deputy Government Whip. Coe was elected in a 2016 by-election and serves as MPP for Whitby.

Doug Downey, Deputy Government Whip

Downey will take over as Deputy Government Whip. This will be in addition to his role as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance. Downey is a first time MPP for Barrie-Springwater-Oro Medonte and is widely seen as a rising star in caucus on important files related to the government’s fiscal agenda.

For more information, please contact:

Melissa Lantsman – Vice President, Public Affairs – Melissa.lantsman@hkstrategies.ca

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