The provincial government announced a cabinet shuffle changing several key roles
By Jackie Clark
Today, premier Doug Ford announced a shuffle in the provincial cabinet. Lisa Thompson, MPP for Huron-Bruce, will replace Ernie Hardeman as the Ontario minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs.
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) has worked closely with both individuals over the past several years.
“As we collectively embark on a new path with Hon. Lisa Thompson as minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs, OFA would like to acknowledge and recognize the significant contributions of Hon. Ernie Hardeman as a champion of the industry and our rural communities,” said a June 18 statement from the OFA.
“Minister Hardeman was a true advocate for agriculture and rural Ontario and understood the importance of our sector to the entire province.”
Among his most notable accomplishments as minister, Hardeman played a major role in the introduction of the Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act, 2020.
“We engaged regularly with Minister Hardman over the past few years and wholeheartedly appreciate his passion for agriculture and his desire to see our dynamic industry grow, innovate and move forward,” Peggy Brekveld said in the statement.
“Minister Thompson has a valuable understanding of farm and rural issues and has a direct connection to those communities,” she added. “We look forward to working alongside her to grow the industry and continue to focus on the priorities and opportunities that will stimulate economic growth for all Ontarians.”
Other notable changes include Dave Piccini, MPP for Northumberland-Peterborough South replacing Jeff Yurek as minister of environment and Greg Rickford, MPP for Kenora-Rainy River taking over the combined role of minister of northern development, mining, natural resources, and forestry as well as indigenous affairs. Kinga Surma, MPP for Etobicoke Centre replaces Laurie Scott as minister of infrastructure.
“A change in leadership within the government offers the opportunity to engage new ministries, MPPs and staff to better understand the vital role the agri-food industry and rural communities have in producing economic prosperity for the province,” said the OFA.