Sep 05, 2023

By Jane Brown

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Doug Ford has shuffled his cabinet after Steve Clark bowed to pressure and resigned Monday over the $8.28-billion dollar Greenbelt land swap scandal.

A news release sent out later on Labour Day reveals the changes to the premier’s inner circle.

Ford has moved five ministers around and brought two backbenchers into cabinet, naming his chief trouble-shooter and Government House Leader Paul Calandra to replace Clark.

Calandra had also been the long term care minister, a portfolio now taken over by Stan Cho, who was promoted from associate minister of transportation.

Other changes include making Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP Rob Flack the associate minister of housing “to help Calandra with a focus on building attainable housing and modular homes to ease a housing shortage that has sent prices skyrocketing.”

Opposition Leaders at Queen’s Park are commenting on Clark’s resignation and the cabinet shuffle.

The NDP’s Marit Stiles says Steve Clark is finally taking some responsibility for his role in the Greenbelt scandal, but there’s more to come.

“The integrity commissioner in addition to the report that I just asked for with Mr. Clark, he’s also investigating another element which is Mr. Ford’s involvement,” Stiles explained, “And the RCMP’s considering investigating, so I don’t think this ends anytime soon, which is why I keep saying to the premier, you’ve got to do the right thing and return the (Greenbelt) land.”

Stiles also calls Premier Doug Ford’s new cabinet a “slap-dash team” and says Ford can “rearrange the deck chairs all he likes, but it’s not going to change the fact that Ontarians are fed up with a corrupt government.”

In the cabinet shuffle, Caroline Mulroney and Prabmeet Sarkaria swap portfolios with Mulroney becoming president of the Treasury Board and Sarkaria taking over as minister of transportation.

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