Yakabuski Gets New Cabinet Role

Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke MPP John Yakabuski is getting a new role in the Ontario government’s cabinet.

Yakabuski has just been named the new Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry – part of a wider cabinet shuffle announced today.

Up until now, Yakabuski has been Transportation Minister.

That role will be filled by Jeff Yurek, who was heading up Natural Resources & Forestry.

In a release issued Monday morning, Premier Doug Ford said 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.

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.

Some caucus positions are also shifting, with Lorne Coe appointed government caucus whip and Doug Downey deputy whip.

Premier Doug Ford said all other ministerial, parliamentary assistant, and government caucus and committee roles will remain unchanged.

``After four months of unprecedented action, we are taking this opportunity to calibrate our cabinet assignments to ensure we continue to deliver on our commitments to the people,'' Ford said in a statement.

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.''