06/13/2016 11:10 EDT

Kathleen Wynne Shuffles Ontario's Liberal Cabinet, Appoints 7 New Faces

40 per cent of ministers are women.

TORONTO — Former New Democrat MP Glenn Thibeault is Ontario's new energy minister following a cabinet shuffle by Premier Kathleen Wynne, who also created several new ministries.

Thibeault was lured from the NDP by Wynne to run as a provincial Liberal in a 2015 byelection in Sudbury, and was rewarded Monday with a promotion to cabinet.

Six other new faces were promoted to cabinet, including Eleanor McMahon in Tourism, Culture and Sport; Kathryn McGarry in Natural Resources and Forestry; Marie-France Lalonde in Consumer Services; and Indira Naidoo-Harris as associate minister of finance.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is photographed in her office in the Queens Park Legislature in Toronto on Thursday, June 9, 2016. (Photo: Chris Young/CP)

Mitzie Hunter will become Ontario's new Minister of Education, replacing Liz Sandals, who becomes president of the Treasury Board.

Michael Chan moves from Citizenship and Immigration to the new Ministry of International Trade, while Yasir Naqvi will become attorney general.

Wynne says 40 per cent of the cabinet is women, and defends expanding the size of her executive council, insisting the new ministries are needed to implement key parts of the Liberal agenda.

40 per cent of cabinet is women

The cabinet shakeup comes with just two years to the next election in June 2018.

Health Minister Eric Hoskins, Finance Minister Charles Sousa and Environment Minister Glen Murray keep their portfolios, while Bob Chiarelli moves from Energy to Infrastructure, which becomes a stand alone ministry.

Deputy Premier Deb Matthews will be in charge of the new Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development and also becomes Ontario's first ever minister responsible for digital government.

Four cabinet veterans resigned last week to make way for the new blood, including Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur, Seniors Minister Mario Sergio, Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Ted McMeekin and Cabinet chair Jim Bradley.


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