On January 17, 2017, Premier Kathleen Wynne shuffled cabinet to fill vacancies left by current ministers Brad Duguid, Liz Sandals and Deb Matthews who are not running for re-election in June.
Along with the shuffling of six current ministers, Wynne’s cabinet includes three new backbenchers including Harinder Malhi (Minister of the Status of Women), Nathalie Des Rosiers (Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry) and Daiene Vernile (Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport).
Some major changes include Deb Matthews’ replacements. Helena Jaczek (Minister of Community and Social Services) will replace Matthews as Chair of Cabinet and Mitzie Hunter will now assume the role of Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development. The position of Deputy Minister is now vacant.
Eric Hoskins remains as the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. Bob Bell also remains as Deputy Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.
With these changes, Wynne’s cabinet closes in on the gender balance, with 13 women, including the Premier, and 16 men.
New Ministers include:
- Harinder Malhi (Brampton-Springdale) becomes Minister of the Status of Women, which had been part of Indira Naidoo-Harris’ duties;
- Nathalie Des Rosiers (Ottawa-Vanier), will replace Kathryn McGarry as Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry;
- Daiene Vernile (Kitchener-Centre), succeeds Eleanor McMahon as minister of tourism, culture and sport.
Ministers promoted within cabinet include:
- Indira Naidoo-Harris (Halton), who becomes Education Minister as well as continuing as Minister for Early Years and Child Care;
- Steven Del Duca (Vaughan), who transfers from Transportation to Duguid’s former post at Economic Development and Growth;
- Eleanor McMahon (Burlington), who succeeds Sandals as President of the Treasury Board after serving as Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport;
- Kathryn McGarry (Cambridge), who was Minister of Natural Resources, moves to Transportation;
- Mitzie Hunter (Scarborough-Guildwood), replaces Matthews as Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development;
- Helena Jaczek (Oak Ridges-Markham), assumes Matthews’ responsibilities as Chair of Cabinet.