After a tough pandemic year and one year before an anticipated provincial election, Ontario premier Doug Ford has shuffled his cabinet. The Hon. Lisa Thompson (Huron-Bruce) becomes the new minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs. She hails from a rural riding and has a degree in public administration and consumer economics from the University of Guelph. First elected in 2011, she has a decade’s track record, most recently in the role of minister of government and consumer services.
She’ll be taking over the reins from Hon. Ernie Hardeman (Oxford) who has steered the ministry for precisely three years. He had been active on horticultural files such as business risk management as well as the health and safety of temporary foreign workers.
These files will continue to take precedence on the minister’s desk as preparations are made for a federal-provincial-territorial agriculture ministers’ meeting in September 2021. She’ll be the co-host of the meeting in Guelph, Ontario.
“We appreciate the leadership and commitment from outgoing Minister Hardeman and the tremendous work by his staff over the past years to support our sector, in particular over the challenging pandemic period,” says Bill George, chair, Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association. “Minister Thompson has always been a strong advocate for our sector, and we very much look forward to working with her to keep local fruit and vegetable production thriving in Ontario.”
The full scope of ministerial changes are:
- Jill Dunlop: Colleges and Universities
- Merrilee Fullerton: Children, Community and Social Services
- Parm Gill: Citizenship and Multiculturalism
- Dave Piccini: Environment
- Todd Smith: Energy
- Greg Rickford: Northern Development, Mining, Natural Resources, Forestry, Indigenous Affairs
- Ross Romano: Government and Consumer Services
- Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria: Treasury Board
- Stan Cho: Associate Minister of Transportation
- Kinga Surma: Infrastructure
- Jane McKenna: Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues
- Nina Tangri: Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape
- Kaleed Rasheed: Associate Minister of Digital Government
The 28-member cabinet now has 18 men and 10 women. The next Ontario election is scheduled for June 2, 2022.
Source: Toronto Star June 18, 2021