Kenora-Rainy River MPP Greg Rickford is the province's new minister for Northern Development and Mines, as well as Energy and Indigenous Affairs.

"It's a reflection of the confidence and the importance Premier (Doug) Ford has put on northwestern Ontario," he said, as he thanked voters for their support.

"We're looking forward to obviously serving all of the Province of Ontario, but the voice of northwestern Ontario, Kenora-Rainy River, is in a great place today, and I couldn't be more pleased," he added, before attending his first cabinet meeting.

Before re-entering the political arena last fall, Rickford had served on the board of Noront, which is a partner in the Ring of Fire development. Bringing this project online could add significantly to the province's economy, as the deposit is estimated to be worth $60 billion.

Rickford had previously served as Natural Resources Minister in Ottawa. He was the MP from 2008 to 2015.

During the campaign, Tories introduced a northern platform, which included resources revenue sharing for municipalities, as well as First Nations. This could add secure, annual funding for social programs. It could also assist with self-government plans for First Nations, tribal councils, territorial governments and Indigenous agencies.

A shortage of energy for new development has been identified as an obstacle to growth in the resource sector in the northwest.

The combination of portfolios also reflects the new Tory governments efforts to ease the cost of living on residents by reducing taxes and the size of government.

He campaigned saying he would like to follow in the footsteps of former Tory cabinet minister Leo Bernier, who was nicknamed King of the North. While the Progressive Conservatives won a landslide majority 76 seats in the last provincial election, Rickford is also the only government member in Northern Ontario.

"We have an all-star team that's ready right now to give the people of Ontario the kind of leadership and direction they deserve," said Premier Doug Ford, in a prepared statement. "For too long, the people of Ontario have worked more and paid more, but gotten less. Those days are over. Help is here."

Other appointments include:

The new ministers are as follows:

Peter Bethlenfalvy - President of the Treasury Board

Raymond Cho - Minister for Seniors and Accessibility

Steve Clark - Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Christine Elliott - Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and Deputy Premier

Victor Fedeli - Minister of Finance and Chair of Cabinet

Doug Ford - Premier and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Merrilee Fullerton - Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities

Ernie Hardeman - Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Sylvia Jones - Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

Lisa MacLeod - Minister of Children, Community and Social Services and Minister Responsible for Women's Issues

Monte McNaughton - Minister of Infrastructure

Caroline Mulroney - Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs

Rod Phillips - Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks

Greg Rickford - Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and Minister of Indigenous Affairs

Laurie Scott - Minister of Labour Todd Smith - Minister of Government and Consumer Services, and Government House Leader

Lisa Thompson - Minister of Education

Michael Tibollo - Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services

Jim Wilson - Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

John Yakabuski - Minister of Transportation

Jeff Yurek - Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry

 

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