McNaughton, Thompson only region MPPs given cabinet posts

Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Monte McNaughton and Huron Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson. (Blackburn Media file photos)

Ontario Premier Doug Ford unveiled his new cabinet on Friday, but of the 30 MPPs named, as ministers only two were from our region.

Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Monte McNaughton was named minister of labour, immigration, training, and skills development. It is the same portfolio the longtime MPP has held since 2019.

Huron Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson remains minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs. Thompson has been in that post since June 2021, when it was shifted to her from Oxford MPP Ernie Hardeman.

Both McNaughton and Thompson are fourth term MPPs and have diligently toed the line for Ford since he was voted in a premier in 2018.

Other familiar faces sworn into cabinet in a ceremony held on the steps outside of Queen’s Park were former solicitor general Sylvia Jones and Education Minister Stephen Lecce.

While Lecce continued to hold onto the education file, Jones has moved up to deputy premier and health minister. Christine Elliott had held that post throughout Ford’s entire first term, but chose not to run for reelection in the June 2 provincial vote.

Pickering-Uxbridge MPP Peter Bethlenfalvy remains minister of finance and Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli is back as economic development minister.

Caroline Mulroney stays in transportation with the added responsibility of francophone affairs.

Steve Clark returns as minister of municipal affairs and housing, while Doug Downey is again attorney general.

New to the cabinet is first time MPP and Ford’s nephew Michael Ford. He will be taking on the citizenship and multiculturalism portfolio. Former CFL player turned Hamilton East-Stoney Creek MPP Neil Lumsden becomes the minister of tourism, culture and sport.

“With big challenges ahead, including an uncertain global economic climate, now is the time for unity and working together,” Ford said in his remarks following the swearing in ceremony. “Our government will be relentless in delivering on our ambitious plan to grow our economy and build infrastructure as we leave no stone unturned when it comes to solving the historic labour shortage. It’s all hands on deck.”

In total there are 23 men and seven women in Ford’s new cabinet.

The entire new cabinet is as follows:

Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health
Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance
Paul Calandra, Minister of Long-Term Care, Minister of Legislative Affairs and Government House Leader
Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility
Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Doug Downey, Attorney General
Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities
Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, with an additional mandate for small business
Michael Ford, Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism
Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services
Parm Gill, Minister of Red Tape Reduction
Michael Kerzner, Solicitor General
Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education
Neil Lumsden, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport
Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development
Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation and Minister of Francophone Affairs
David Piccini, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Graydon Smith, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry
George Pirie, Minister of Mines, with a mandate to develop the Ring of Fire
Kaleed Rasheed, Minister of Public and Business Service Delivery
Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development and Minister of Indigenous Affairs
Prabmeet Sarkaria, President of the Treasury Board, with an expanded mandate for emergency management and procurement, including Supply Ontario
Todd Smith, Minister of Energy
Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure, with an additional mandate for government real estate
Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Stan Cho, Associate Minister of Transportation
Michael Parsa, Associate Minister of Housing
Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions
Charmaine Williams, Associate Minister of Women’s Social and Economic Opportunity