Oosterhoff appointed to cabinet in Ford’s latest shuffle

Oosterhoff becomes the associate minister of energy-intensive industries, reporting to the minister of energy and electrification. Pictured: Sam Oosterhoff. Photo Credit: Sam Oosterhoff/X. 

Premier Doug Ford has shuffled his cabinet, with local MPP Sam Oosterhoff joining the ranks of Ford’s inner circle.

Oosterhoff has been the Member of Provincial Parliament from Niagara West since 2016. At the time he was elected, Oosterhoff was just 19. He becomes the youngest member of Ford’s cabinet, just a couple of months shy of his 27th birthday. Oosterhoff becomes the associate minister of energy-intensive industries, reporting to the minister of energy and electrification.

A total of five additional MPPs joined Ford’s cabinet, with no one removed in Thursday’s cabinet shuffle. That means Ontario now has the largest cabinet in history, with no less than 36 members. That’s 15 positions larger than Ford’s original 21-member cabinet, which he appointed when he became premier back in 2018. 

Before forming government in 2018, several current Progressive Conservative ministers criticized former premier Kathleen Wynne for appointing a 29-member cabinet. 

The biggest news was that Stephen Lecce and Todd Smith swapped portfolios, with Lecce taking over as Ontario’s new energy and electrification minister and Smith becoming minister of education. Lecce avoided a number of teachers strikes and leaves the portfolio he took over back in 2019. 

New cabinet members include Oosterhoff, as well as Natalia Kusendova-Bashta in long-term care, Stephen Crawford as associate minister of mines, Trevor Jones as associate minister of emergency preparedness, Nolan Quinn as associate minister of forestry and Mike Harris Jr. (son of former premier Mike Harris) as minister of red tape reduction. 

Several key cabinet members, including Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy, Deputy Premier and Health Minister Sylvia Jones and Treasury Board President Caroline Mulroney, retained their portfolios. 

“As our province and economy continue to grow, this is the team that is working side-by-side with workers, businesses, labour partners, Indigenous leaders and every member of Team Ontario to rebuild our economy,” said Ford. “We’re at an important moment in our province’s history with clear choices. Our team is choosing growth and prosperity. We’re choosing lower taxes and better jobs with bigger paycheques. Let’s Get it Done!”

Ford appointed his new cabinet as the legislature ended its spring session. Ford doesn’t intend to bring MPPs back to Queen’s Park until late October. 

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