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Doug Ford expands and reshuffles his ministerial cabinet

Photo: Chris Young The Canadian Press Ontario Premier Doug Ford (right) looks at his Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Paul Calandra (left) at Parliament on May 28 in Toronto.

Lisa Denis in Ottawa

Posted at 6:00 p.m. Updated at 8:34 p.m.

  • Canada

Ontario Premier Doug Ford is bulking up his cabinet. The Conservative leader carried out a reshuffle and added portfolios while preserving certain key positions, including that of the Minister of Francophone Affairs, Caroline Mulroney.

Ford's cabinet now has 36 members. Some functions have been divided. Stan Cho thus becomes Minister of Tourism, Culture and Games, while Neil Lumsden will only be responsible for Sports.

Among other role changes, the Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, swaps his place with Todd Smith to become Minister of Energy and Electrification. For his part, Mike Harris, the son of the former premier of the province, will fill the position of Minister of Red Tape Reduction, left vacant since last January by Parm Gill, who left to conquer the federal scene with the Conservative Party of Canada.

Natalia Kusendova-Bashta is also a new head of government. The former parliamentary assistant to the Ministry of Long-Term Care has been promoted to the position of minister. An appointment that “bodes well for the Francophone community,” the Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario said in a press release.

Former Housing Minister Steve Clark, who resigned in September 2023 following the controversy over real estate development in the Greenbelt, has been named government parliamentary leader, while remaining outside the cabinet. A decision denounced on the social network X by the leader of the Ontario Liberal Party, Bonnie Crombie.

The latter at the same time attacked the appointment of Sam Oosterhoff as associate minister for energy-intensive industries. In 2019, several media outlets reported that Neil Lumsden's former parliamentary aide wanted to “make abortion unthinkable”. “I’m pro-life. I believe that children should be able to live, no matter their size,” quoted Radio-Canada.

This cabinet reshuffle comes as MPs prepare to begin their break summer, brought forward by a week by Mr. Ford. The Prime Minister also delayed their return to Queen's Park until October 21, six weeks later than originally planned.

This report benefits from support of the Local Journalism Initiative, funded by the Government of Canada.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116