TORONTO — The premier of Ontario, Doug Ford, has reshuffled his cabinet in just a few months after taking the reins of the province, an initiative that responds to the resignation of one of his ministers, last week.
The decision – which ensures that the six legislators, the progressive conservatives are re-assigned – was announced by press release Monday morning. Critics have called on the prime minister to explain his decision, and suggested that the government of Doug Ford stumbled in his first moments in power.
Mr. Ford has not explained the new appointments, but said that the reshuffle would help the government to achieve its objectives.
“After four months of unprecedented action, we take this opportunity to calibrate our missions for the firm to continue to meet our commitments to the population,” he said.
Mr. Ford said that the parliamentary leader of the progressive conservative Party, Todd Smith, would assume the additional role of minister of economic Development, job Creation and Trade, replacing Jim Wilson, who resigned Friday.
John Yakabuski, who was Transport minister, will become minister of natural resources and Forests. Jeff Yurek, who held the portfolio of natural resources, will take care of the folder transport.
Sylvia Jones will assume the functions of the minister of community Safety and correctional Services, replacing Michael Tibollo, who was to become minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.
Bill Walker will join the firm as successor to Mr. Smith as minister of government Services and consumer Services.
Several ministers who have been in the spotlight since the formation of the conservative government in June, including the minister of Health, Christine Elliott, the minister of Finance, Vic Fedeli and minister of Education, Lisa Thompson, will retain their current roles.
The realignment occurs a few days after the abrupt resignation of Mr. Wilson to “get treatment for addiction issues”, according to the office of Mr. Ford.
Mr. Wilson resigned several hours after being made, with Doug Ford, at a border crossing near Sarnia, Ontario, where they have unveiled a sign announcing the Ontario, as being “Open for business”.
A reshuffle raises questions
The realignment occurs a little more than four months after Mr. Ford had led his party to victory in the provincial election last spring.
Critics were concerned about the suddenness of the change, stating that Mr. Ford was required to provide reasons for changes large were made so early in its mandate.
“These actions clearly show that (Doug) Ford is trying to hide the problems within his cabinet. Return it and downgrade to a certain number of ministers after a few months is disturbing,” said the deputy leader of the New democratic Party, Sara Singh, at a press conference.
“I think that it makes us ask ourselves, you know, if this government is ready to govern and if he is willing to do what it needs to do for Ontario families”, she added.
The fact that Mr. Ford has felt so early in the need to make changes also important does not inspire confidence in his government, argued liberal leader by acting, by John Fraser.
Governments usually sit for about a year – long enough to ensure that policies are developed – before that a reorganization is effected, stressed Geneviève Tellier, a professor of political science at the University of Ottawa.
It is also unclear why Mr. Ford has brought so many changes, rather than simply to replace Mr Wilson, although it suggests that the prime minister was not satisfied with the manner in which some ministers managed their portfolio, even if he had praised some of them not later than the last week, said Ms. Tellier.