Premier announces cabinet shuffle months into mandate

Ontario Premier Doug Ford is shuffling his cabinet just months after taking the reins of the province, a move that follows the resignation of one of his ministers last week.

In a release issued Monday morning, Ford says Progressive Conservative House Leader Todd Smith will take on the additional role of minister of economic development, job creation and trade to replace Jim Wilson, who stepped down on Friday.

John Yakabuski, who served as transportation minister, will become minister of natural resources and forestry. Jeff Yurek, who held the natural resources portfolio, will take on the transportation file.

Sylvia Jones will take over the job of community safety and correctional services minister from Michael Tibollo, who will become minister of tourism, culture and sport.

Bill Walker will join cabinet by succeeding Smith as minister of government and consumer services.

The shuffle comes days after Wilson abruptly resigned as minister and left the Tory caucus, which Ford's office said he did in order ``to seek treatment for addiction issues.''

Wilson stepped down hours after appearing with Ford at a border crossing near Sarnia, Ont., where they unveiled a sign advertising Ontario as ``Open for Business.''

The cabinet changes come just over four months after Ford led his party to victory in the spring provincial election.