Ontario has a new attorney general — just one change announced Tuesday as part of a multi-member cabinet shuffle at Queen’s Park.
Premier Kathleen Wynne attended a swearing-in ceremony for new members of her cabinet:
- Ottawa-Vanier MPP Madeleine Meilleur is the province’s new attorney general, taking over for John Gerretsen who will remain in cabinet as a minister without a portfolio and serve as the cabinet chair.
- Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi becomes the new minister of community safety and correctional services, the portfolio that Meilleur had held.
- Thunder Bay-Atikokan MPP Bill Mauro becomes the province’s new minister of municipal affairs and housing.
- Oakville MPP Kevin Flynn is the new labour minister, as a result of the vacancy created by Naqvi being shifted into the community safety and correctional services portfolio.
The cabinet shuffle came just two hours after Linda Jeffrey announced that she will officially resign her seat in Queen's Park today to pursue a mayoral bid in Brampton, Ont.
"It has been both a privilege and an honour to serve the people of Brampton and Queen’s Park," Jeffrey told reporters on Tuesday afternoon after news leaked that she would be leaving the legislature.
"It was a difficult decision, but I'm focused on what's happening in Brampton," she said."Right now, I see some very troubling things that are being discovered on a daily, weekly basis. I think respect for taxpayers is an extraordinarily important quality and I plan to bring that to the job."
Jeffrey has served as a Liberal MPP since 2003. She has held several cabinet positions under Premier Kathleen Wynne and former premier Dalton McGuinty.
'Right now, I see some very troubling things that are being discovered on a daily, weekly basis. I think respect for taxpayers is an extraordinarily important quality and I plan to bring that to the job.' - Linda Jeffrey
"I'm grateful to premiers McGuinty and Wynne for their confidence in me," she said.
Her cabinet resignation takes effect immediately. Jeffrey said she will formally resign from the legislature later Tuesday afternoon.
Her departure means that the governing Liberals will have just 48 seats in the 107-seat legislature. The Progressive Conservatives hold 37 seats, while the New Democrats hold 21.
Wynne released a statement on Tuesday, thanking Jeffrey for her service.
"I want to thank my friend Linda Jeffrey, for her dedication and leadership these past 11 years, on behalf of the people of Brampton-Centre and Brampton-Springdale, and all of Ontario," Wynne said in the statement.
Jeffrey had been serving as the province’s minister of municipal affairs and housing and was the first woman elected to represent Brampton in provincial politics.
Wynne has six months to call a byelection in Jeffrey's riding of Brampton-Springdale, unless there's a general election.
"I will personally miss Linda," Wynne said. "She is a woman of integrity and honesty and I wish her all the very best in her next endeavours."