JOHN GERRETSON — Ont. environment minister demoted in cabinet shuffle

John Gerretson is responsible for the Ontario Pesticide Ban

John Gerretsen moves from the environment ministry to the ministry of consumer services. (Canadian Press)

Ont. environment minister demoted in cabinet shuffle

Energy and Infrastructure Ministry split into 2 portfolios
Last Updated: Wednesday, August 18, 2010 | 4:26 PM ET CBC News

John Gerretsen is no longer Environment minister, while newly elected MPPs Bob Chiarelli and Glen Murray have been given roles in Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty’s cabinet as part of a shuffle.

Gerretsen, who was widely criticized over the introduction of controversial new eco fees this summer, will now head the Ministry of Consumer Services, the premier’s office confirmed Wednesday afternoon.

The eco fees, levied on certain household products, were designed to fund a program that kept certain hazardous materials out of the landfill. But there was little warning to the public that the fees would be introduced on July 1, the same day the province’s new harmonized sales tax went into effect.

After a massive public uproar, Gerretsen backtracked and dropped the fees.

Revenue Minister John Wilkinson takes over as Environment minister.

The Energy and Infrastructure Ministry, dubbed by some as a “mega-ministry,” has been split into two portfolios.

Chiarelli, a former Ottawa mayor elected to the provincial Ottawa West-Nepean riding in a March byelection, becomes minister of Infrastructure.

Brad Duguid remains Energy minister.

Murray, a former Winnipeg mayor, replaces John Milloy as minister of Research and Innovation. Milloy is also responsible for the Training, Colleges and Universities portfolio, and will continue to serve in that capacity.

Murray was elected member of the legislature for Toronto Centre in a February byelection.

Consumer Services Minister Sophia Aggelonitis becomes Revenue minister and minister Responsible for Seniors.

Community Safety and Correctional Services Minister Rick Bartolucci swaps portfolios with Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Jim Bradley.

McGuinty last shuffled his cabinet in January, after two key ministers — George Smitherman and Jim Watson — quit provincial politics to run for mayor in Toronto and Ottawa, respectively.

Tory Peter Shurman said the shuffle won’t do much to help the Liberals. “This government is a speeding train heading in the wrong direction,” he said.

And New Democrat Rosario Marchese said the changes will not “fix everything that’s wrong with this government.”

With files from The Canadian Press