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