Northumberland/Peterborough South MPP now an Ontario Government Cabinet Minister

Article by Valerie MacDonald

Above image: Premier Doug Ford, left, and David Piccini during swearing-in ceremony on Friday.

The provincial riding of Northumberland/Peterborough South now has a Cabinet Minister.

“I’m very excited,” MPP David Piccini said Friday evening after Premier Doug Ford named him Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks earlier in the day.

One of the “first and foremost” items Piccini said he will work on in his new portfolio is expanding the Greenbelt which protects farm and environmentally sensitive lands from development. (The Premier made this commitment in the last election and despite seeking input through consultations no announcement has been made about where this land will be.)

In the interview with the News Now Network, Piccini said he will review staff and other documents and is looking forward to “sinking his teeth” into briefing materials on this matter, and others.

Other issues he is anxious to get up to speed on includes the “producer pay recycling plan” his Government is pursuing.

“There are lots of things to do,” he continued, adding that he is an “avid parks goer” which dovetails with his other responsibilities.

Climate change, reducing emissions, electrification of the GO! Transit system are among the other matters Piccini said he will review as he goes through his briefing materials.

The local MPP said the new Ministerial responsibility is a file he “feels strongly” about – but that he had no inkling until the Premier called him Friday morning about his promotion. Asked about the increased remuneration for the added responsibility, Piccini replied: “I’ve put no thought into that” and it wasn’t a compelling reason for being in politics in the first place; he is in government to serve the people.

Piccini said he was honoured to be in Cabinet but that he hadn’t “been expecting it.”

The new minister described himself as overwhelmed, touched, and that he will work hard for his constituents and all Ontarians in his new role.

Piccini was previously the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Colleges and Universities. He was elected as a first time MPP in 2018.

A media release outlines the other changes to Cabinet’s Executive Council:

Peter Bethlenfalvy, MPP for Pickering-Uxbridge and Minister of Finance, will assume responsibility for Ontario’s digital government strategy within the Ministry of Finance.

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