LaurieScott becomes Minister of Infrastructure in major shuffle

BySue Tiffin

Haliburton-KawarthaLakes-Brock MPP Laurie Scott has been named the Minister ofInfrastructure switching portfolios with Monte McNaughton who takesover the Minister of Labour position which Scott has occupied since June of 2018.

The second majorcabinet shuffle in Doug Ford's time as premier saw several changes tohigh-profile cabinet positions this morning.

McNaughtonposted a photo of the new cabinet to social media an hour after theannouncement saying he was “humbled to be sworn in as Minister ofLabour in the Ontario government under Premier Doug Ford.” Scott isseen in the photo but has not yet made a public statement regardingthe new role.

“Thesechanges will ensure that the Government of Ontario will effectivelycontinue with its agenda of creating good jobs supporting smallbusinesses putting more money in people's pockets and restoringtrust and accountability in government while also protecting whatmatters most through sound investments in health care and education”reads a press release from the office of the premier on June 20.

CarolineMulroney who served as attorney general is now responsible for theministry of transportation and continues on the francophone affairsportfolio. Doug Downey has been named attorney general.

Vic FedeliFord's finance minister who oversaw the release of the provincialbudget in April this year was demoted to minister of economicdevelopment job creation and trade. Rod Phillips becomes Minister ofFinance.

Lisa Thompson who was education minister was demoted togovernment and consumer services while Stephen Lecce takes theminister of education role and Lisa MacLeod formerly minister ofchildren community and social services is now minister of tourismculture and sport.

Todd Smith has been named minister of childrencommunity and social services. With some additional changes andadditions the Ford cabinet has grown in size from 21 to 28 ministersand associate ministers.

TheFord government has been controversial facing negative publicity duein part to a plan to change autism services; the end ofcap-and-trade; funding cuts to education and increases to classsizes; wide spending cuts to services including legal aid publichealth library services; increased access to alcohol; and behaviourby MPPs that includes scripted social media campaigns and anabundance of standing ovations in the Ontario Legislature.

Scottwas first elected to be HKLB MPP in 2003.

“AsMinister of Labour two of her top priorities are combatting humanlabour trafficking and strengthening the role of women in oureconomy” reads Scott's website. “For 15 years Laurie hasbeen a strong advocate for issues facing rural Ontario. Last fallshe passed legislation to protect rural fire halls and promote publicsafety in small communities by ending the unfair persecution ofdouble hatters. She has also made key labour reforms that havespurred job creation across the province.”

Ford'slast cabinet shuffle took place in November 2018 four months intohis time as premier. The Ontario legislature is currently on anextended break returning Oct. 28 after the federal election on Oct.21 rather than the usual break to Sept. 9.

Ontario'snew cabinet: