Oosterhoff reflects on cabinet appointment

Oosterhoff was appointed as the province’s new associate minister of energy last week. Pictured: Sam Oosterhoff. Photo Credit: Sam Oosterhoff/X. 

Last week, Premier Doug Ford tapped Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff as the new Associate Minister of Energy for the province of Ontario. The appointment, which was part of Ford’s most recent cabinet shuffle, took place as the Legislature rose for the summer hiatus. 

“As Associate Minister of Energy – Intensive Industries, I will be working to ensure that our energy sector is supporting the historical industrial, agricultural and residential growth underway across Ontario,” Oosterhoff shared with the Niagara Independent. “I will be especially focusing on areas that are energy intensive, including steel production, as well as the automotive and greenhouse sectors,” he continued. 

“I look forward to delivering on a plan for growth that provides reliable access to affordable and clean energy.” 

Oosterhoff was first elected to represent the Niagara West riding in a November 2016 by-election to replace outgoing Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak. Oosterhoff, who was 19 at the time, defeated former MP and Ontario Progressive Conservative Party President Rick Dykstra for the nomination. Oosterhoff was re-elected in 2018 and 2022. 

“Over the years, I have been greatly supported by a strong team, and it has always been a priority of mine to listen to those who are intimately involved in a particular file and sector – not to assume a downtown Toronto approach is best,” Oosterhoff explained. “I will be working with Minister Lecce to ensure all stakeholders, from local utilities to major energy consumers, are brought into the conversation to find solutions and chart a practical path going forward.” 

The cabinet shuffle also saw Stephen Lecce appointed as the new Minister of Energy. Oosterhoff served as an assistant to Lecce during his tenure as Education Minister. 

When asked about his greatest sources of support and inspiration, Oosterhoff had some key thoughts to share. 

“I am thankful to God for a wife and family who have shown steadfast support, putting up with my absences from many family events for legislative and constituency duties,” Oosterhoff said. “I am very grateful to Premier Ford for the opportunity to serve the people of Niagara West and all of Ontario in this role and I will be striving to deliver on the priorities the Premier has laid out for me,” he continued. 

“I am also deeply indebted to my staff and local riding association as well as the people of Niagara West, who have seen the value of electing me as their MPP at Queen’s Park. My commitment is to work hard, listen to the people, and work for their interests first and foremost. This will continue to be my emphasis in this new role and in continuing duties as local MPP.” 

The Ontario Legislature is scheduled to return on October 21, 2024, to commence the fall session.  

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