Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty reshuffled his cabinet Monday, bringing in fresh new faces and moving some familiar ones around.
The cabinet shuffle was made public at an afternoon swearing-in ceremony at Queen’s Park, with 12 members of the governing Liberal caucus taking the oath of office.
New faces in the cabinet include Toronto’s Brad Duguid who was named Minister of Energy and Infrastructure. Duguid was formerly the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs.
Meanwhile cabinet heavyweight Kathleen Wynne was moved from the education portfolio to the ministry of transportation.
When asked if Wynne had been demoted, the premier told a Queen’s Park press conference on Monday: “Kathleen has proven herself to be exceptionally successful as she served as Minister of Education.
“Kathleen and I both agreed that she should serve well now in a new economic portfolio,” McGuinty added. He said members of the new cabinet were ready to face the challenges ahead.
“Ontarians are making great progress as we build a foundation for success in a post-recession world,” he said. “Each and every member of our cabinet, like our caucus, remains fully alive to the challenges and opportunities before us.”
Liberal MPP for York South-Weston, Laura Albanese noted that with the departures of former cabinet ministers George Smitherman and Jim Watson, the shuffle was due. Smitherman resigned recently from his provincial post to focus on his mayoral campaign in Toronto. Watson is running for mayor of Ottawa.
“I think that offered the opportunity to move the cabinet around and to put together a good, energetic team,” Albanese said.
However, NDP finance critic Michael Prue said Ontarians could expect more of the same from this new cabinet.
“If (Dalton McGuinty) was really intent upon putting a new face, he would have changed some of his key ministers,” Prue said.
“The reality is that it’s not going to change the local party very much or the government, because all the decisions will continue to be made in the premier’s office.”
Leona Dombrowsky – Minister of Education
Brad Duguid – Minister of Energy
Chris Bentley – Attorney General and Minister of Aboriginal Affairs
Kathleen Wynne – Minister of Transportation
Gerry Philips – Chair of Cabinet, Minister Without Portfolio, Responsible for Seniors
Jim Bradley – Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Michael Chan – Minister of Tourism and Culture
Monique Smith – Government House Leader, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
Sophia Aggelonitis – Minister of Consumer Services
Carol Mitchell – Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Linda Jeffrey – Minister of Natural Resources
Eric Hoskins – Minister of Citizenship and Immigration