BECAUSE IT’S 2018: WOMEN CENTRAL TO TODAY’S SHUFFLE
Premier Kathleen Wynne could hardly go into a crucial pre-election period with three retiring MPPs in her starting line-up, and today she announced a cabinet shuffle to boost the profiles of those who will be on her team for Campaign ‘18. Shuffles have been rare throughout Wynne’s time as Premier, but with three senior ministers – Deb Matthews, Liz Sandals and Brad Duguid – not seeking re-election, she needed to re-jig her front benches.
Indira Naidoo-Harris (now Minister of Education), Kathleen McGarry (Transportation Minister) and Eleanor McMahon (Treasury Board President, responsible for Digital Government) have all been in cabinet for a couple of years but move up in the seniority ranks, while three former backbenchers – Natalie Des Rosiers (Natural Resources and Forestry), Daiene Vernile (Tourism, Culture and Sport) and Harinder Malhi (Status of Women) – will now sit as ministers of the Crown. Mitzie Hunter goes from Education to Advanced Education and Skills Development – a lateral move to another senior position, given the Liberals’ focus on free tuition and other post-secondary issues.
Notably, all seven of the above are women, with Steven Del Duca (shifting from Transportation to Economic Development) the lone male involved in today’s moves.
As for the other men on the Executive Council, Wynne is evidently satisfied with most of them where they are. Assuming this is the last shuffle before next June’s election, no fewer than 10 cabinet ministers will have held the same posts throughout this mandate, with three going back even further than that to when Wynne was elected leader in 2013.
Jeff Leal (Rural Affairs), Bob Chiarelli (Energy), Eric Hoskins (Health and Long-Term Care), David Zimmer (Aboriginal Affairs, which morphed into Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation), Michael Chan (International Relations), Kevin Flynn (Labour) and Helena Jaczek (Community and Social Services, who added Cabinet Chair to her duties this week and is the only woman on this list), have been in their current roles since the 2014 election. Charles Sousa (Finance), Michael Gravelle (Northern Development and Mines) and Reza Moridi (Research, Innovation and Science) are coming up on the fifth anniversary of taking on their respective portfolios, having been appointed in February 2013.
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Advanced Education and Skills Development – Mitzie Hunter
Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (+ Small Business) – Jeff Leal
Attorney General – Yasir Naqvi
Children and Youth Services (+Anti-Racism) – Michael Coteau
Citizenship and Immigration – Laura Albanese
Community and Social Services – Helena Jaczek
Community Safety and Correctional Services – Marie-France Lalonde
Economic Development and Growth – Steven Del Duca
Education (+ Early Years and Child Care) – Indira Naidoo-Harris
Energy – Bob Chiarelli
Environment and Climate Change – Chris Ballard
Finance – Charles Sousa
Francophone Affairs – Marie-France Lalonde
Government and Consumer Services (+ Accessibility) – Tracy MacCharles
Health and Long-Term Care – Eric Hoskins
Housing (+ Poverty Reduction Strategy) – Peter Milczyn
Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation – David Zimmer
Infrastructure – Bob Chiarelli
Intergovernmental Affairs – Kathleen Wynne
International Trade – Michael Chan
Labour – Kevin Flynn
Municipal Affairs – Bill Mauro
Natural Resources and Forestry – Natalie Des Rosiers
Northern Development and Mines – Michael Gravelle
Research, Innovation and Science – Reza Moridi
Senior’s Affairs – Dipika Damerla
Status of Women – Harinder Malhi
Tourism, Culture and Sport – Daiene Vernile
Transportation – Kathryn McGarry
Treasury Board(+ Digital Government) – Eleanor McMahon
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