Cabinet shuffled in Ontario

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty implemented a mini-Cabinet shuffle yesterday following the surprise resignation of Economic Development and Trade Minister Joe Cordiano who is leaving politics to spend more time with his family.

After only five months on the job, Education minister Sandra Pupatello moved to the trade portfolio while parliamentary secretary Kathleen Wynne has been promoted to the education portfolio.

Pupatello had faced criticisms for her handling of a conflict with three school boards, including both of the Toronto District School Board and the Toronto Catholic board which have not balanced their budgets. Wynne, a former Toronto school trustee, is seen as being less pugnacious than her predecessor and as having a better relationship with the boards. Pupatello had insisted that the boards' problems were self-inflicted and some Queen's Park reporters such as the Toronto Star's education reporters suggest the change in ministers may indicate a change of attitude by the government.

Cordiano, 48, has been in politics for 21 years and says he wants to spend more time with his wife and daughters. "I'm standing here with very mixed emotions," Cordiano told reporters, "after a great deal of reflection, I've decided my time here should come to an end."