Ottawa MPP Lisa MacLeod out of Ford cabinet, taking break to address health


Former Ontario cabinet minister Lisa MacLeod has announced she is “temporarily taking a breather” from her position to address and improve her health, just hours after she was left out of Premier Doug Ford’s new cabinet.


The Nepean MPP’s exclusion means there is only one cabinet minister from Ottawa in the new Progressive Conservative government. Kanata-Carleton MPP Merrilee Fullerton will remain the Minister of Children, Community and Social Services.


Ford and his new cabinet ministers were sworn-in at Queen’s Park Friday morning, three weeks after winning a second consecutive majority mandate.  There is no seat for MacLeod, the long-time MPP who won a sixth term at Queen’s Park in the June 2 election.


In a statement shortly after the new cabinet was sworn in at Queen’s Park, MacLeod said she is taking some time off to “address and improve my health.”


“The last couple of years have been difficult for many people. I know I am not alone in this regard. In my case, my mental and physical health and well-being has been greatly impacted,” MacLeod said on Twitter.


 “While I love waking up every morning to work hard for the people of Nepean and Ontario now is the time to work on my healing. I need some time to rest and recuperate. This will be my focus over the next few months.”


MacLeod thanked Premier Ford for his “support, his kindness and his faith” in her over the last few years, and wished support to the new cabinet.


In a message to her constituents in Nepean, MacLeod said they may not see much of her this summer “as I focus on healing.”


“This is neither good-bye nor a route to another job. My focus for the next little while will not be on politics but rather on health and healing,” MacLeod said. “While temporarily taking a breather is not a decision I have taken lightly, it is the right one to make now.”


MacLeod served as the minister responsible for children, community and social services at the start of the Ford government’s first term, before being shuffled to the minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Cultural Industries in 2019.


During the final week of the campaign, Ford expressed frustration with riding allowances for MPP from the local riding association.


MacLeod received $44,000 over three years as an MPP allowance from her riding.


Ford said during a campaign stop in Ottawa on May 30 that although the money was allowed, he was “frustrated” when he heard about it and wanted to see the practice ended.


On election night, MacLeod’s campaign prohibited reporters from entering her campaign headquarters for her acceptance speech to supporters, and she did not take questions.


EASTERN ONTARIO CABINET MINISTERS


Two eastern Ontario MPPs will keep their cabinet portfolios.


Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lake MPP Steve Clark will remain as Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.


Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith will stay on as Minister of Energy.

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