Premier Kathleen Wynne just shuffled around her cabinet to fill vacancies that will be left by ministers who won’t be seeking seats in the upcoming election.
This latest shuffle includes Brampton MPP Harinder Malhi who is taking over as Minister of Status of Women. Malhi, a former Peel District School Board trustee, was originally elected in 2014.
The last provincial cabinet minister from Brampton was Linda Jeffrey, who famously stepped down in 2014 to run for the position of Mayor of Brampton.
The shuffle was prompted by the departure of three veteran members of Wynne’s cabinet: Minister Brad Duguid, Deb Matthews and Liz Sandals.
Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, Deb Matthews, is being replaced by Mitzie Hunter, previously the Minister of Education. Former associate Minister of education responsible for the early years, Indira Naidoo-Harris, takes over Hunter’s previous post as education minister.
President of the Treasury Board, Liz Sandals, is being replaced by Eleanor McMahon, former minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.
Retiring Minister of Economic Development, Brad Duguid, is being replaced by Steven Del Duca, former Minister of Transportation. Del Duca’s former post is being taken over by Kitchener-Waterloo MPP Kathryn McGarry.
In addition to Malhi, two other first-timers are stepping into new roles. Ottawa-Vanier MPP Nathalie Des Rosiers becomes Minister of Natural resources and Forestry and Kitchener-Centre MPP Daiene Vernile steps into the post of Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.
Malhi, along with the other new ministers holds a seat in a riding that will be crucial in helping the Liberal government maintain its majority government. Public opinion polls suggest it will be a close race between Wynne and new PC leader Patrick Brown.
With new boundaries coming into play for Brampton’s electoral ridings, Brampton-Springdale, Malhi’s current riding, will turn into Brampton North.
After losing Jagmeet Singh to the Federal NDP leadership seat, Brampton now has only three MPPs at Queen’s Park.
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