Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced a cabinet shuffle Thursday, moving several prominent ministers to different roles. This included promoting a few backbenchers, such as Brampton South MPP Prabmeet Sarkaria.

Some of Ford’s most prominent ministers have been moved out of their positions to lesser posts, but for Sarkaria the changes have resulted in a promotion.

Sarkaria is now the Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, which makes him the first dastaar (turban) wearing Sikh minister in Ontario.

“Small businesses are the backbone of Ontario’s economy,” said Sarkaria in a social media post. “My dad was a small business owner – and I know firsthand that entrepreneurs are the source of much success and prosperity.”

The most notable changes to the cabinet include the demotion of Vic Fedeli, who was previously Minister of Finance, and who had recently rolled out the party’s first budget since being elected. Fedeli has been moved to the Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade post.

Lisa Thompson, the now former Minister of Education, and Lisa MacLeod, who was Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, were both demoted as well. The two have come under fire after the province cut funding for school boards, overhauled OSAP and made changes to autism funding.

All but seven ministers are now in new roles. With the shuffle, the size of Ford’s cabinet grows from 21 to a total of 28 ministers and associate ministers. Critics have been quick to point out that Ford stated last year that he intended to keep his cabinet small to save taxpayers’ money.

Ford’s New Cabinet

  • Doug Ford – Premier and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
  • Peter Bethlenfalvy – President of the Treasury Board
  • Paul Calandra – Government House Leader
  • Raymond Cho – Minister for Seniors and Accessibility
  • Steve Clark – Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
  • Doug Downey – Attorney General
  • Jill Dunlop – Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues
  • Christine Elliott – Deputy Premier and Minister of Health
  • Vic Fedeli – Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade and Chair of Cabinet
  • Merrilee Fullerton – Minister of Long-Term Care
  • Ernie Hardeman – Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
  • Sylvia Jones – Solicitor General
  • Stephen Lecce – Minister of Education
  • Lisa MacLeod – Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport
  • Monte McNaughton – Minister of Labour
  • Caroline Mulroney – Minister of Transportation and Minister of Francophone Affairs
  • Rod Phillips – Minister of Finance
  • Greg Rickford – Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and Minister of Indigenous Affairs
  • Ross Romano – Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities
  • Prabmeet Sarkaria – Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction
  • Laurie Scott – Minister of Infrastructure
  • Todd Smith – Minister of Children, Community and Social Services
  • Kinga Surma – Associate Minister of Transportation (GTA)
  • Lisa Thompson – Minister of Government and Consumer Services
  • Michael Tibollo – Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions
  • Bill Walker – Associate Minister of Energy
  • John Yakabuski – Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry
  • Jeff Yurek – Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks

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