Newmarket-Aurora will no longer have a cabinet minister representing it in the provincial legislature as MPP Dawn Gallagher-Murphy was not on that list.
Premier Doug Ford announced his 30-person cabinet June 24, which includes five York Region MPPs. Many prominent names are returning to their roles, but Ford opted to replace former health minister and Newmarket-Aurora MPP Christine Elliott with Sylvia Jones of Dufferin-Caledon.
“With big challenges ahead, including an uncertain global economic climate, now is the time for unity and working together,” Ford said in a news release. “Our government will be relentless in delivering on our ambitious plan to grow our economy and build infrastructure as we leave no stone unturned when it comes to solving the historic labour shortage. It’s all hands on deck.”
MPPs have been sworn into office the past two days following the June 2 election.
Other regional MPPs did make the cabinet cut. King-Vaughan MPP Stephen Lecce is returning as minister of education.
“Holding my grandmother’s Bible as I swore my oath was a special moment,” Lecce said on social media after getting sworn in June 23. “Thank you to the residents of King and Vaughan for the honour to serve as your Member of Provincial Parliament.”
Some education unions were quick to express disappointment in the decision.
“Over the past four years, education unions and other partners have been excluded from critical ministry decision-making processes that impact students and education workers in Ontario,” the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario said in a news release. “Moving forward, ETFO is hoping to see a change in approach. Minister Lecce and staff in the Ministry of Education must work to restore positive working relationships with all education stakeholders.”
Other regional MPPs are also getting cabinet roles. Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill MPP Michael Parsa is now associate minister of housing. Markham-Stouffville MPP Paul Calandra is the minister of long-term care, minister of legislative affairs and government house leader. Finally, York-Simcoe MPP Caroline Mulroney is the minister of transportation and minister of francophone affairs.
Gallagher-Murphy is in her first term of political office, after working for Elliott as a consistency manager.