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Cabinet Shuffle for the Ford Government - What Can We Learn?

Ontarians woke up yesterday morning to learn that Ontario Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark submitted his resignation letter and is being replaced by MPP Paul Calandra of Markham-Stouffville. 

At a news conference this morning, Premier Ford praised Mr. Clark as a man of integrity for his willingness to put Ontario first by resigning. 

Last week’s release of the Ontario Integrity Commissioner’s 166 page report finding Mr. Clark had breached two sections of the Members’ Integrity Act is what gave stakeholders, political opponents and First Nations leaders the momentum they needed to keep the story alive throughout the weekend and force Mr. Clark’s hand.  

What Happens Next?

Today, Ford promised his government will “re-evaluate” the Greenbelt land, including hundreds of additional applications for land removal, which could result in further changes to the protected Greenbelt land.  

Ford stated that "this is part of a larger assessment that was legislatively mandated by the former Liberal government, which forces the existing government to review the Greenbelt lands every 10 years." 

TheCCSGroup Mantra: The Longer Shorter Way!

There is an old Talmud parable that I remind myself when seeking the easy path in life:

Once a child got the better of me.
 "I was traveling, and I met with a child at a crossroads. I asked him, 'which way to the city?' and he answered: 'This way is short and long, and this way is long and short.'

"I took the 'short and long' way. I soon reached the city but found my approach obstructed by gardens and orchards. So, I retraced my steps and said to the child: 'My son, did you not tell me that this is the short way?' Answered the child: 'Did I not tell you that it is also long?'" 

(Talmud Teaching)

This was not a planned Cabinet shuffle - it was prematurely forced.  While regrettable, this incident reinforces TheCCSGroup’s long standing ethos: take the longer shorter way!

Attempts to take shortcuts when conducting business before government, or more importantly, endeavours to circumvent processes for (perceived) quick wins results in folly. 

This is true for all stakeholders involved: the Minister's Office and Ministry officials.  More often than not, neither party can recover, at least for the foreseeable future.

For example, a client wanting to take the short road when advocating before a government office or official will find themselves travelling down a long road, often to nowhere.  

A client who holds to our philosophy and methodology: prepare, plan, consult stakeholders, educate, and above all is grounded in patience, may appear on its face to be the long road, when in fact, it will always be the shortest path.  

If you need further proof, look at the history of organizations that took shortcuts:

1. See SNC Lavalin Scandal,
2. See WE Scandal,

It always ends up with huge 'blow-back' for all stakeholders involved.

Cabinet Shuffle – Meet The New/Old Players in their New Roles

Paul Calandra, now Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing:

  • Will maintain his current role as Government House Minister and Minister of Legislative Affairs.  Mr. Calandra previously served as Minister of Long-Term Care.  He previously sat in the Federal House of Commons from 2008 to 2015 for the Conservative Party serving as a Parliamentary Secretary to then Prime Minister Stephen Harper from 2013 to 2015.

Caroline Mulroney (York-Simcoe),Ontario's Treasury Board

  • Mulroney worked as a financial analyst at Bear Stearns and briefly as a lawyer with the New York City firm, Shearman and Sterling.  Mulroney completed her undergraduate degree from Harvard and received her Law degree from New York University of Law and is a member of the New York State Bar. 

Prembeet Sarkaria will become Minister of Transportation:

  • Sarkaria as Minister of Transportation is a natural fit as his riding of Brampton South sits in the region of Peel and is recognized as a hotbed of trucking activity. 
  • Sarkaria worked as a corporate and commercial lawyer at Miller Thomson LLP before being elected in 2016.  Sarkaria has a law degree from the University of Windsor as well as a Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University.

Todd McCarthy (Durham) will become Associate Minister of Transportation.

  • McCarthy attended University of Toronto and received his law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School, practicing as a trial lawyer in Ontario for over 30 years before being elected in June 2022.

Stan Cho (Willowdale) becomes Minister of Long-Term Care: Cho is a graduate from University of Toronto and before being elected in 2018 and worked as an auditor for Mercedes-Benz and then entered his family’s real estate business.

Rob Flack (Elgin—Middlesex—London) becomes Associate Minister of Housing: with a specific mandate on attainable housing and modular homes. Flack previously ran for the Conservative Party of Canada in the 2021 Canadian federal election in the riding of London West.

Nina Tangri (Mississauga-Streetsville) assumes the role of Associate Minister of Small Business reporting to Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.  In 2002, Tangri ran as the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada candidate for Mississauga Centre. 

Andrea Khanjin (Barrie-Innisfil), Current Deputy House Leader will assume additional responsibilities reporting to Minister Paul Calandra. 

If you are seeking to get involved in the discussion with the Ontario Government, this is a great time to get back to the table and do it right!

Feel free to connect with one of our Senior Consultants.

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