Ontario Premier Doug Ford made a few expected, and some unexpected, Cabinet shuffles on Thursday, as his Progressive Conservative government heads into its second year.
In a move considered a downgrade, Ford shuffled Vic Fedeli from the finance role to economic development. Environment minister Rod Phillips was moved to replace Fedeli.
Transportation minister Jeff Yurek was moved to environment. Caroline Mulroney was downgraded from the attorney general position to transportation. Doug Downey is now the attorney general.
Christine Elliott remains as the deputy premier and the minister of health.
Lisa Thompson was moved to government and consumer services from education. Back-bencher Stephen Lecce was moved to education.
Todd Smith became children and social services minister, replacing Lisa Macleod, who was moved to tourism, culture and sport.
Greg Rickford remains as the minister for energy, Indigenous affairs and northern development and mines. Monte McNaughton moved from infrastructure ministry to labour.
“Looks like Doug Ford is throwing cabinet ministers under the bus for his own cuts,” New Democrat Leader Andrea Horwath told media.
In a statement, Liberal Steven Del Duca, also struck at the premier.
“Ford’s move to fire his handpicked finance minister less than one year into his mandate risks destabilizing our economy and weakening Ontario’s standing with international investors and financial markets,” warned Del Duca.
“He is running a rudderless government and thinks rearranging deck chairs will help save a sinking ship. It won’t,” he added, according to the Toronto Star and CBC.