Jun 01, 2021

By Jane Brown

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It seems Premier Doug Ford is considering a major revamp of his cabinet as the one year countdown begins to next year’s June 2nd provincial election.

The Toronto Star is reporting Ford will conduct a significant shuffle of his ministers, although no decisions have apparently been made.

One unnamed top insider suggests some veteran ministers might be in for a surprise, saying those legacy MPPs who are in safe seats, and have been anti-lockdown, were a big part of why the premier opened things too fast in February and closed things too slowly in April.

Names of those cabinet ministers are said to include Steve Clark, Laurie Scott, Bill Walker, John Yakabuski and Jeff Yurek.

The report also says the premier wants his executive council to be more representative of Ontario’s diversity.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce has apparently been pushing to be moved because he’s said to be concerned about teachers’ unions targeting his King-Vaughan riding next spring.

Further complicating matters, the Progressive Conservatives are not yet sure if Health Minister Christine Elliott will choose to seek re-election next year in Newmarket-Aurora.

Another wild card is the return of Rod Phillips to cabinet. Phillips resigned as finance minister on Dec. 31 after a controversial pandemic vacation to the Caribbean island of St. Barts.

The Zoomers advocacy group CARP has been calling for months for the premier to fire his long term care minister, Merrilee Fullerton, for failing to protect nursing home residents during the second wave of the pandemic. More residents died in the second wave than the first.

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