Friday, July 19, 2024
Ontario Premier Doug Ford. Photo: CBC

Mulroney, Sarkaria trade jobs

At the September 5th cabinet shuffle press conference with Ontario Premier Doug Ford, he announced that former Treasury Board President Prabmeet Sarkaria will become the new Minister of Transportation. Former Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney will become the new President at Treasury Board.

Transportation Minister Prabmeet Sarkaria Photo: LAO

“It was an honour to be sworn in as Ontario’s Minister of Transportation,” Sarkaria wrote on September 5th. “I’m truly honoured and grateful to be chosen for this important role. Our government has a clear plan to get much-needed transit built for the people of Ontario, which includes getting shovels in the ground for Highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass!”

According to Wikipedia, Sarkaria grew up in BramptonOntario. Sarkaria’s parents immigrated from Punjab, India in the 1980s. His father drove a taxi and mother worked in a factory until they later became small business owners, after purchasing an inn outside of Orangeville. He studied finance at Wilfrid Laurier University and after working at TD Securities, Sarkaria completed his law degree at the University of Windsor. He worked at Miller Thomson as an associate corporate lawyer until his election.

Before entering provincial politics, Sarkaria served on the City of Brampton’s Property Standards Committee, and was an organizer for the annual Hockey for Humanity tournament. He was also the former Ontario Vice President of the World Sikh Organization, an organization that advocates for the Sikh community diaspora.

Philip Fletcher, President of the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario told Road Warrior News, “The TTSAO welcomes with enthusiasm the posting of Minister Sarkaria to Transportation, and recognizes his ties to the community which will include trucking and training.  We expect to continue our positive relationship with the Ministry, and commit to work together to better training in the province.”

Travis McDougall of Truckers for Safer Highways also offers congratulations: “We look forward to working with Minister Sarkaria to make Ontario’s roads safer.”

Changes to the Executive Council include the following:

  • Paul Calandra becomes Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing;
  • Prabmeet Sarkaria becomes Minister of Transportation;
  • Caroline Mulroney becomes President of the Treasury Board;
  • Stan Cho becomes Minister of Long-Term Care;
  • Rob Flack becomes Associate Minister of Housing with a specific mandate on attainable housing and modular homes reporting to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing;
  • Todd McCarthy becomes Associate Minister of Transportation reporting to the Minister of Transportation; and
  • Nina Tangri becomes Associate Minister of Small Business reporting to the Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.

Andrea Khanjin will have an expanded role and will assume additional responsibilities as Deputy Government House Leader reporting to Paul Calandra, who will remain Government House Leader. Caroline Mulroney will remain Minister of Francophone Affairs. All other ministers maintain their existing portfolios.

When Ford was asked by a reporter if Mulroney was being shuffled because she did not perform well in Transportation, Ford’s reply was, “I’ve had the opportunity to know Minister Mulroney for the last five years. And make no mistake about it: she’s a brilliant person.

“She’s worked in the private sector. She’s worked in the financial sector. And again, her record speaks for itself. Before we took office, there was no plans ever to build subways. Under her watch, under her leadership, there’s four lines being built. There’s expansion and GO train services across our province to the tune of $70 billion.

“The reason that people in southwestern Ontario are getting Highway #3 widened is because of Minister Rooney’s leadership. The reason that we’re building the Bradford Bypass, that’s Minister Mulroney, the reason we’re doing the 413. Minister Mulroney. The reason we’re building Highway 7 that governments have talked about for years from Kitchener to Guelph is because Minister Mulroney. She’s done an incredible job in the transportation portfolio. She’s going to do an incredible job watching every single penny for the taxpayers of this province.”

Mulroney will now serve as President of Treasury Board, Sarkaria’s former position.