Five new Associate Ministers will join an expanded Ontario cabinet, which is now 33 per cent larger than the executive council introduced a year ago. The 28-member reconfigured roster announced earlier today brings some fresh faces to portfolios of key interest to the commercial real estate industry, but also leaves one of the most prominent players in place.
Steve Clark, who most recently steered the omnibus More Homes, More Choice Act through the legislature — amending 13 distinct provincial statutes in some way related to the oversight of land use planning, development and housing supply — remains as Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. He is the Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands.
“This is a difficult file no question, with polarized views, but the process that the Ministry conducted was second to none in my 20+ years in this job. Everyone had a seat at the table and had the opportunity to debate those opposite in interest, and come up with conclusions,” says Michael Brooks, chief executive officer of REALPAC, representing many of Canada’s largest real estate companies, funds and institutional investors. “The Bill 108 platform now gives us all an opportunity to improve housing affordability over time. I think Steve Clark has done a fantastic job as Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.”
Associate Minister of Energy Bill Walker is among those taking on a new task. He’s assigned to the leading piece of the Energy, Northern Development and Mines portfolio, while Greg Rickford remains at the helm and also assumes the role of Minister of Indigenous Affairs. Walker is the MPP for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound and previously served as the Minister of Government and Consumer Services.
In turn, Lisa Thompson will step into Walker’s former portfolio, which includes responsibility for the Condominium Authority of Ontario and the Technical Standards and Safety Authority. Thompson is the MPP for Huron-Bruce and was previously the Minister of Education.
Jeff Yurek, formerly the Minister of Transportation, is the new Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks. He steps into the role that Rod Phillips vacated as he moved to become the Minister of Finance. Yurek represents the constituency of Elgin-Middlesex-London, while Phillips represents Ajax.
Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, switches posts with Monte McNaughton, MPP for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex, as she becomes Minister of Infrastructure and he becomes Minister of Labour. Raymond Cho, MPP for Scarborough North, remains as Minister of Seniors and Accessibility and John Yakabuski, MPP for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, continues as Minster of Natural Resources and Forestry.