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Ontario Labour Minister Monte McNaughton quits authorities, triggering cupboard shuffle | Globalnews.ca Categorical Instances

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Ontario Premier Doug Ford was dealt one other blow on Friday after Labour Minister Monte McNaughton informed the premier he would go away cupboard and step down as MPP to pursue a place within the non-public sector.

McNaughton, who was first elected because the MPP for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex in 2011, stated in a press release he was contemplating the change for months earlier than informing the premier of his resolution to step down.

“I’ve spoken with Premier Ford to let him know that I’m stepping down from my cupboard duties instantly and might be resigning my seat within the days forward,” McNaughton stated in a press release. “I cannot be in search of re-election.”

In a press release from the Premier’s Workplace, Ford praised McNaughton for his service and stated the choice was primarily based on what’s “finest for him and his household.” Ford’s assertion additionally acknowledged the numerous contributions McNaughton made to the celebration and the premier’s 2022 re-election.

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“Within the final two years alone, he launched three separate items of laws targeted solely on working for employees. Monte helped construct a coalition of private-sector union help that has by no means existed within the historical past of the Ontario PC Social gathering,” Ford stated. “I’m very grateful for Monte’s work as a key member of our crew, each as minister of infrastructure and, extra not too long ago, minister of labour, immigration, coaching, and expertise growth.”

McNaughton’s resignation, nonetheless, comes throughout the top of the Greenbelt controversy that has claimed the positions of a minimum of two cupboard ministers and two senior authorities staffers, and has pressured the premier to backtrack on the unpopular coverage.

Ford, who met with Progressive Conservative MPPs at a caucus retreat in Niagara Falls this week, stated he discovered extra concerning the province-wide blowback to the choice to open up 7,400 acres of protected Greenbelt land for growth throughout a gathering with elected colleagues.

PC celebration sources, with firsthand information of the caucus assembly with the premier, stated MPPs aired their grievances about the way in which the Greenbelt scandal has been dealt with and voters issues about notion of corruption.

Ford, one supply stated, was informed that voters have “misplaced religion and don’t belief the premier,” whereas one other recommended the scandal was “the start of the top.”

Someday after that assembly came about, Ford introduced a whole dismantling of the federal government’s Greenbelt land swap.

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“It was a mistake to open the Greenbelt,” Ford stated. “As a primary step to earn again your belief, I’ll be reversing the modifications we made and received’t make any modifications to the Greenbelt sooner or later.”

Whereas the transfer was geared toward regaining political steadiness, the lack of McNaughton may elevate questions on whether or not the premier has misplaced the boldness of his cupboard ministers.

McNaughton has been a extremely regarded labour minister who helped remodel the PC celebration’s relationship with private-sector unions giving the celebration an electoral enhance within the 2022 normal election.

His departure, extensively considered as a major loss for the premier, additionally led to some inside frustrations.

“That is treacherous timing,” one PC celebration insider informed International Information. “To do it the day after the premier has a susceptible information convention.”

“It doesn’t assist,” the supply acknowledged.

McNaughton, identified in Conservative circles as a possible future management candidate, tried dispel any issues concerning the motives for his resignation.

“I understand that latest occasions will trigger some to take a position concerning the causes for my departure,” McNaughton stated. “I need these individuals to know that my resolution is totally unrelated to these occasions.”

“I help Premier Ford and am proud to have served in his cupboard.”

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— With information from Ryan Rocca

&copy 2023 International Information, a division of Corus Leisure Inc.

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