Health Minister Christine Elliott won’t seek re-election in June

Deputy Premier Christine Elliott announced she won't run in the spring election, becoming the 10th PC MPP to announce they won't be on the ballot. Cristina Howorun on what that could mean come poll time.

By John Marchesan and Patricia D'Cunha

Premier Doug Ford is losing his most prominent cabinet minister just three months before the provincial election.

Health Minister and Deputy Premier Christine Elliott has decided not to seek re-election in June. Sources initially told CityNews on Thursday and the minister confirmed it on Friday morning.

“After considerable reflection and discussion with my family, it is with deep gratitude for my 16 years in public life that I recently shared with Premier Ford I will not be seeking re-election in the upcoming provincial contest in June,” Elliott said in a statement on Friday.

“Between now and this spring, Premier Ford has asked me to continue to support our government as Minister of Health and I have agreed without hesitation.”

The MPP for Newmarket-Aurora, who lost out to Ford in the 2018 leadership race, has served as health minister since 2018, becoming the face of the government’s COVID-19 response.

“Christine has been by my side since the start of the pandemic. She remains instrumental in helping steer Ontario through one of the most difficult periods in our province’s history, especially now as we continue to protect our hard-fought progress and ease public health measures. I will continue to rely on her advice and counsel,” Ford said in a statement.

“More than a colleague, Christine Elliott is a close personal friend. In fact, our families have been friends for decades, starting when my dad and Jim, Christine’s late husband, were seat mates at Queen’s Park.”

Later on in the day, both Elliott and Ford briefly spoke to reporters, with the Premier giving a heartfelt “thank you” to Elliott.

“You can never replace someone like her, she leaves big shoes to fill,” Ford said.

“We’ve been connected at the hip for the last two years, throughout this pandemic. I couldn’t ask for a better person, a better friend, a leader, someone with integrity, and just an honest person.”

Elliott also announced that Dawn Gallagher Murphy will be running in her Newmarket-Aurora riding, who she has worked with since 2018.

“Thank you to you Premier. Thank you also to the people of Newmarket-Aurora. It has been an honour and a privilege,” Elliott said.

The health minister said she is going to take time off and may work in the private sector, but will still serve the public in some way.

She is the second prominent cabinet minister to announce her departure from politics. Rod Phillips, who was serving as minister of long-term care, resigned his post in January.

Burlington MPP Jane McKenna, the Associate Minister of Women and Children’s Issues, former environment minister Jeff Yurek, and Scarborough Centre MPP Christina Mitas are among half a dozen other members of the Ontario PC Party caucus who have confirmed their decision not to seek re-election in June.


With files from Cynthia Mulligan and Cristina Howorun of CityNews

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today