Prime Minister Stephen Harper has given new responsibilities to Kenora MP Greg Rickford.

Rickford is now the Minister of Natural Resources, succeeding Joe Oliver.

Oliver was named Minister of Finance, replacing Jim Flaherty who announced his resignation Tuesday.

Rickford retains his responsibilities for FedNor, the federal economic development program for northern Ontario.

His former position as Minister of State for Science and Technology was given to London West MP Ed Holder.

A swearing-in ceremony took place in Ottawa this morning before the Governor General.

In a statement late this afternoon, Rickford said he is "deeply honoured" by the appointment. He said the government will continue to implement what he called its responsible resource development plan to ensure resources are developed "in a way that creates jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity while protecting the environment."

The Kenora MP added that he plans to promote Canadian natural resources in new markets and "secure Canada's place as a 21st century resource superpower."

Rickford was first elected to the House of Commons in 2008.

He was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Official Languages in 2010. In January 2011, he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.

In May of the same year, he was given the additional responsibility of Parliamentary Secretary for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor).

In July 2013, Rickford was appointed Minister of State for Science and Technology and for FedNor.