/Broadband tops Scott’s list as she takes new role 
MPP Laurie Scott was named Minister of Infrastructure in the cabinet shuffle June 20. From left Scott Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell and Premier Doug Ford. /Photo supplied by the office of MPP Laurie Scott

Broadband tops Scott’s list as she takes new role 

Broadband tops Scott’s list as she takes new role 


By Sue Tiffin


Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MPP Laurie Scott has been named the
Minister of Infrastructure, switching portfolios with Monte McNaughton
who takes over the Minister of Labour position Scott has occupied since
June of 2018. 


“I’m proud and excited to take on the new responsibilities as
Minister of Infrastructure, and I’m very grateful for the Premier’s
support,” Scott wrote in an email to the Echo. “I’ll have more to say
about infrastructure priorities in the coming days, but I wanted to let
you know, our government for the people is making historic
infrastructure investments and I’m pleased to lead these efforts on
behalf of Ontario and of course the people of my riding
Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock.”


She added: “One of the first things I look forward to pushing for in
my new portfolio is the expansion of the broadband network, bringing
21st century service to rural areas.“


The second major cabinet shuffle in Doug Ford’s time as premier saw
several changes to high-profile cabinet positions on June 20.


“These changes will ensure that the Government of Ontario will
effectively continue with its agenda of creating good jobs, supporting
small businesses, putting more money in people’s pockets and restoring
trust and accountability in government, while also protecting what
matters most through sound investments in health care and education,”
reads a press release from the office of the premier on June 20.


After the announcement, Ford told media: “I can tell you after a year
in office, we made some changes … to make sure we have the right
people, in the right place, at the right time, to move forward in year


Caroline Mulroney, who served as attorney general, is now responsible
for the ministry of transportation and continues on the francophone
affairs portfolio. Doug Downey has been named attorney general. 


Vic Fedeli, Ford’s finance minister who oversaw the release of the
provincial budget in April this year, was demoted to minister of
economic development, job creation and trade. Rod Phillips becomes
Minister of Finance. 


Lisa Thompson, who was education minister, was demoted to government
and consumer services, while Stephen Lecce takes the minister of
education role, and Lisa MacLeod, formerly minister of children,
community and social services, is now minister of tourism, culture and
sport. Todd Smith has been named minister of children, community and
social services. 


With some additional changes and additions, the Ford cabinet has grown in size from 21 to 28 ministers and associate ministers. 


The Ford government has been controversial, facing negative publicity
due in part to a plan to change autism services; the end of
cap-and-trade; funding cuts to education and increases to class sizes;
wide spending cuts to services including le gal aid, public health,
library services; increased access to alcohol; and behaviour by MPPs
that includes participating in scripted social media campaigns and an
abundance of standing ovations in the Ontario Legislature.


Scott was first elected to be HKLB MPP in 2003.


“As Minister of Labour, two of her top priorities are combatting
human labour trafficking, and strengthening the role of women in our
economy,” reads Scott’s website. “For 15 years, Laurie has been a strong
advocate for issues facing rural Ontario. Last fall, she passed
legislation to protect rural fire halls and promote public safety in
small communities by ending the unfair persecution of double hatters.
She has also made key labour reforms that have spurred job creation
across the province.”


The day of the announcement, Scott wrote to the Echo: “This past year
has been incredibly rewarding and I’m proud to say the changes I had
the honour of leading as Minister of Labour alongside Premier Ford and
our entire PC team has made Ontario open for business and open for jobs.
Since the election last year Ontario has created more than 190,000
jobs. And here at home, our region is seeing new jobs being created and
job growth of over 3.5 per cent. This and the changes around volunteer
firefighters, have had an enormous positive impact on our community.”


McNaughton posted a photo of the new cabinet to social media an hour
after the announcement, saying he was “humbled to be sworn in as
Minister of Labour in the Ontario government under Premier Doug Ford.”


Ford’s last cabinet shuffle took place in November 2018, four months
into his time as premier. The Ontario legislature is currently on an
extended break, returning Oct. 28 after the federal election on Oct. 21,
rather than the usual break to Sept. 9.