Ajax MPP Rod Phillips back after latest Ford cabinet shuffle

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Published June 18, 2021 at 7:26 pm

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Ajax MPP and former Finance Minister Rod Phillips is the new Minister of Long-Term Care, replacing Merrilee Fullerton in the latest cabinet shuffle by Premier Doug Ford in the run-up to next June’s election.

Phillips was forced to resign from his Finance post last December after vacationing in the Caribbean during the pandemic, and his return to cabinet was widely criticized by opposition members.

“Phillips jetted off to luxurious St. Barts, covering up his tracks as he went with pre-written messages, pre-recorded Christmas greetings, and a fake Zoom background, while the rest of Ontario hunkered down and followed public health advice to stay home over the holidays,” Essex MPP Taras Natyshak, the NDP’s ethics and accountability critic said in a statement.

Fullerton, meanwhile, had her own share of critics with calls for her resignation over her handling of the portfolio – a difficult ministry during a viral epidemic.

The Kanata-Carlton MPP now assumes the Children, Community and Social Services portfolio.

Other cabinet changes include:

• Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria, MPP for Brampton South, becomes President of the Treasury Board.
• Parm Gill, MPP for Milton, becomes Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism.
• Jill Dunlop, MPP for Simcoe North, becomes Minister of Colleges and Universities.
• Dave Piccini, MPP for Northumberland-Peterborough South, becomes Minister of Environment.
• Greg Rickford, MPP for Kenora-Rainy River, assumes a merged role as Minister of Northern Development, Mining, Natural Resources and Forestry, as well as Indigenous Affairs. This new northern and economic focused ministry will enhance development potential and sustainability in the North. Energy will transfer to a new separate ministry.
• Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, becomes Minister of Energy.
• Ross Romano, MPP for Sault Ste. Marie, becomes Minister of Government and Consumer Services.
• Kinga Surma, MPP for Etobicoke Centre, becomes Minister of Infrastructure.
• Lisa Thompson, MPP for Huron Bruce, becomes Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
• Nina Tangri, MPP for Mississauga Streetsville, becomes Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape, reporting to Minister Fedeli.
• Kaleed Rasheed, MPP for Mississauga East-Cooksville, becomes Associate Minister of Digital Government, reporting to Minister Bethlenfalvy.
• Jane McKenna, MPP for Burlington, becomes Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues, reporting to Minister Fullerton.
• Stan Cho, MPP for Willowdale, becomes Associate Minister of Transportation, reporting to Minister Mulroney.

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