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MPP Smith shuffled in Ford cabinet reboot

Todd Smith

UPDATED – Amid declining poll numbers and controversy on multiple issues, Ontario Premier Doug Ford has shuffled some of his high profile cabinet ministers – include Bay of Quinte MP Todd Smith.

Smith has been shifted to the Children, Community, and Social Services Ministry. He takes over from Lisa MacLeod, who faced considerable scrutiny as the government cut funding to school boards and changed the autism program.

He is no longer Government House Leader and leaves the Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade ministry which goes to former finance minister Vic Fedeli.

Smith is welcoming his new assignment.

“It’s the third largest ministry in government, so it’s a big, big responsibility,” said Smith. “I’m happy and honoured the Premier has chosen me to take on this really important file.”

The Ministry administers social assistance programs like Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program, developmental services and autism programming, the Family Responsibility Office and a wide range of community supports including those for women and children fleeing domestic violence and Ontario’s Indigenous communities.

Smith said he’s eager to start working.

“It’s an exciting file that’s important in the Quinte region and in communities right across the province. I’m ready to jump in head first to meet with stakeholders and families that are affected to better understand the challenges they’re facing,” said Smith.

“I’m looking forward to working with all my teammates around the cabinet table and my new associate minister for children and women’s issues, Jill Dunlop.”

Looking back, Smith is proud of the work the government accomplished while he held positions of Government House Leader position, (for the duration of the 42nd session of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario) alongside roles as Minister of Government and Consumer Services (June-November 2018) and Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade (from November 2018 to June 2019).

“What a great role that was. As Government House Leader I helped shepherd 20 different pieces of legislation to pass – which is a record. We wanted to have somebody experienced in that role in the first year as we were moving legislation through the House as quickly as we could. I was pleased to serve.”

Smith is pleased to see six new faces join cabinet.

“The shakeup that happened today is ensuring we have the right people in the right place at the right time,” he said. “Our premier always refers to our caucus as an all-star caucus and we have some very, very bright new additions added to the good team already at the cabinet table. It’s a positive all around.”

Rod Phillips moves into the finance portfolio. Lisa Thompson, former minister of education, moves to tourism, culture and sport.

Caroline Mulroney was removed as Attorney General and goes to Minister of Transportation and Francophone Affairs.

The new positions:

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

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  1. Gary Mooney says:

    Chris, I have a different take on Todd’s reassignment. I’m not aware of any criticism of, or missteps by, Todd in the performance of his two roles — Economic Development and House Leader. He’s done very well in these roles — no reason for a demotion.

    Ford needed someplace to move Vic Fedeli, and Economic Development is an obvious choice, given his personality and prior experience as a mayor.

    There has been a definite problem in the Children, Community and Social Services ministry — specifically over autism support. Ford describes the problem as poor communications and Todd is an excellent communicator. Also, when there is a problem that needs fixing, the idea is to give the job to a strong, not weak performer. That’s Todd. Also, he’s a devoted family man, which will help in dealing with children’s needs and their parents.

    As far as continuing with only one job, not two (i.e. not House Leader, it’s common for cabinets to expand in numbers over the term. Ford has added seven ministers to cabinet, so there is a reduced need for any minister to have two assignments.

    The new job will be Todd’s fourth cabinet assignment, adding to his resume for when it is time to choose a new leader for the PC Party.

  2. Chris Keen says:

    Spin this anyway he likes, even though the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services is important, this is a demotion for Mr. Smith. Since Ford caused most of the problems the Conservatives are facing, and won’t resign himself, he’s making sure all those who helped in the past year’s debacles are shuffled off centre stage as punishment.

  3. Anon says:

    County Road 49 is a disgrace. It should never have been downloaded to the County, given the amount of traffic it handles. It should be taken over by the province as a provincial highway again.

  4. Maybe Todd Smith will have more time now, out of the limelight, to devote to protecting us, and all travellers that will use the unsafe Skyway Bridge when it is renovated over the next 4 years. That bridge could become his albatross unless he steps up, takes on the disgraced safety institute of this province, and make the MTO include pedestrian and cyclist protection on that bridge to make it legal and safe for all.

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