MPP Daiene Vernile joins cabinet, McGarry shuffled to transportation

Premier Kathleen Wynne has shuffled her cabinet, adding Kitchener Centre MPP Daiene Vernile as the minister of tourism, culture and sport while Cambridge MPP Kathryn McGarry has become transportation minister.

Move comes five months ahead of provincial election in June

Kitchener Centre MPP Daiene Vernile, left, joined Premier Kathleen Wynne's cabinet on Wednesday as part of a cabinet shuffle. Cambridge MPP Kathryn McGarry, right, moved from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to Ministry of Transportation. (CBC)

Kitchener Centre MPP Daiene Vernile has a new job at Queen's Park — as the new minister of tourism, culture and sport.

Premier Kathleen Wynne shuffled her cabinet Wednesday, five months before the provincial election on June 7.

This is the first time Vernile has served as a cabinet minister. She was previously a parliamentary assistant for both the Ministry of Transportation and Ministry of Research Innovation and Science.

Vernile said she was "honoured and humbled" to join the cabinet.

"Culture and the arts, tourism and sports not only help us to celebrate who we are as Ontarians, but these sectors employ thousands of hard working people," she said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Cambridge MPP Kathryn McGarry has moved from her role as minister of natural resources and forestry to the transportation portfolio.

The move comes after three high-profile cabinet ministers said they won't run in this spring's election, including Guelph MPP, and now former Treasury Board president, Liz Sandals and former health care minister Deb Matthews who is the MPP for London North Centre.

McGarry issued a statement also saying she's "honoured" to be in the new role.

"Transportation plays a fundamental role in the day-to-day lives of the people of Ontario and I am eager to get to work making sure our province continues to get the highways, roads and public transit it needs," she said.