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Premier Ford restores controversial Cabinet member that left on vacation

Although many thought Rod Phillips would be taking a long absence from the Ontario Cabinet, it's looking like that's not the case.

Premier Doug Ford announced a major Cabinet shuffle today that will reintroduce Phillips as the minister of long-term care, according to a tweet from Globe and Mail reporter, Laura Stone.

Phillips had resigned back in December after it was revealed he took a vacation to St. Bart's with his wife while the Ontario government ordered residents to stay home.

Currently, 680 News reports that the incumbent minister of long-term care, Merrilee Fullerton, will be demoted to Minister of children, community and social services, after being criticized for her handling of the pandemic that plagued many long-term care homes.

Ministers losing their portfolios include Bill Walker, Jeff Yurek, Ernie Hardeman, Laurie Scott and John Yakabuski.

Government sources say the premier is "not firing people" but instead introducing a "more geographically, ethnically representative of the province" ahead of the next election.

Premier Ford has reportedly decided to keep several ministers like Stephen Lecce, Christine Elliott and Sylvia Jones in their current positions, among a few others. The new ministers are to be sworn in this afternoon.

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