Statement By Premier Dalton McGuinty On Gerard Kennedy And Cabinet Shuffle
This morning, I'm going to talk about cabinet ministers coming and, regrettably, one that's going.
But this isn't really about us, up here. It's about the Ontario families, out there.
It's about ensuring their children get the education they deserve to have ... the education we all need them to have ... so that they can be the best they can be ... and help Ontario be the best it can be.
Back in 2003, we set out an ambitious agenda for public education. We said our goal was excellence for all.
With Gerard Kennedy as our Minister of Education, we have made great strides towards that goal.
There is peace and stability in our schools. Student achievement is up.
Test scores in reading, writing and math are up. The dropout rate is coming down.
Older schools are being repaired. New ones are being built.
Our most successful schools are sharing their best practices, and our struggling schools, and our struggling students, are getting the support they need to succeed.
I want to publicly thank Gerard Kennedy for all he has done to make public education the best education. Working with our families, our students and parents, and our educators, we have made tremendous progress.
Today is about continuing that progress, for Ontario's children, and Ontario's future.
This morning, I accepted Gerard's resignation as Minister of Education. He has come to a decision about his future -- and the role he wants to play in the future -- and I accept that decision, and wish him well.
We share a friendship. We share a commitment to public service. And we share a passion for education.
So we talked about the transition to a new minister.
Gerard will serve as a Special Transition Advisor to his successor and me to make that transition as seamless as possible.
And we talked about what it takes to be a great Minister of Education.
I'm pleased to announce that Sandra Pupatello, one of our most dynamic, experienced and effective ministers, is our new Minister of Education. Sandra also remains the Minister Responsible for Women's Issues.
I know Sandra will further strengthen the partnerships we have built ... and continue the progress we are making ... because she shares this passion for education ... and this commitment to our kids and our families.
She understands that education is the key to building a strong society, by ensuring our young people are all we want them to be. And key to building a strong economy, by ensuring our young people have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed.
Madeleine Meilleur replaces Sandra as Minister of Community and Social Services. Madeleine remains the Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs. Madeleine has been a force in culture and I know she will dedicate herself to this new responsibility.
Caroline DiCocco, the MPP for Sarnia-Lambton, joins Cabinet for the first time as Minister of Culture, replacing Madeleine. Caroline is typical of our caucus. She works hard on behalf of her constituents. She is devoted to the people of Ontario. And she cares deeply about public service.
I know I speak for all of them, and our partners in education, when I say that Gerard will be missed.
But I know I also speak for all of them, and our partners in education, when I say that the progress that has been made will continue.
We owe that to our families. We owe that to our future. Thank you, Gerard.