UPDATE: Kathleen Wynne to shuffle several senior cabinet posts
Premier Kathleen Wynne is shuffling several senior portfolios in her cabinet, less than five months before the Ontario election, The Canadian Press has learned.
Deputy Premier and Advanced Education Minister Deb Matthews, Treasury Board President Liz Sandals and Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid have all said they’re not running in the June election, and Wynne is filling those jobs with politicians who are up for re-election.
Mitzie Hunter is moving from her current post as education minister to advanced education, Eleanor McMahon is leaving her role as tourism, culture and sport minister for treasury board, and Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca will become economic development minister, sources say. The Toronto Star reports Kathryn McGarry, currently minister of natural resources will take over transportation.
In this shuffle, many of the ministers involved also represent ridings in the Greater Toronto Area, which will be a key battleground in the June election.
Indira Naidoo-Harris, who is currently the status of women minister and minister responsible for early years and child care, will fill the job of education minister, a source said.
And backbencher Harinder Malhi will take on the status of women post, the source said. The Star reports Nathalie Des Rosiers and Daiene Vernile will also be added to cabinet.
In all, there are eight politicians involved in the shuffle, the source said, but Wynne’s office would not confirm any details other than that a shuffle would be taking place. Her itinerary for Wednesday shows a swearing-in ceremony in the afternoon.
Wynne last shuffled her cabinet in July, with a few moves to replace Glen Murray, who left as environment minister to become executive director of the Pembina Institute.
At that time, Chris Ballard became environment minister and Peter Milczyn was promoted to take over Ballard’s former post as housing minister.
Wynne has previously downplayed the effect of several senior cabinet members not running again, saying people sacrifice a lot to enter politics.
Speaker Dave Levac, the Liberal representative for Brant, and Monte Kwinter, Ontario’s oldest MPP, have also announced they won’t seek re-election.
with files from Siobhan Morris