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McGuinty Restructures Cabinet, Gerretsen Gone From Environment

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has decided to shake things up within his cabinet – a move some speculate is in response to the axed eco fee program.

Environment Minister John Gerretsen was bumped from his position to Minister of Consumer Services. Critics say the move was prompted by his handling of the unpopular fee that confused businesses and angered consumers.

The fee, which was meant to cover the costs of properly disposing of and recycling hazardous products such as batteries, fire extinguishers and various cleaning agents, was tacked onto bills July 1 with no notice to the public.

The fee came into effect on the same day as the harmonized sales tax.

John Wilkinson is now in charge of the environment portfolio. He moved from Revenue, which was taken over by Sophia Aggelonitis. In addition to her new gig, Aggelonitis also has the added responsibility for seniors.

Former Winnipeg mayor Glenn Murray and former Ottawa mayor Bob Chiarelli were each handed cabinet posts. Murray is now Minister of Research and Innovation and Chiarelli is Minister of Infrastructure.

Veteran Liberal Jim Bradley moves from Municipal Affairs and Housing to become minister of community safety and correctional services while Rick Bartolucci moves into Bradley’s old office.

With files from the Canadian Press