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Barrie-Innisfil MPP Andrea Khanjin moving into cabinet


A local MPP is taking a big step forward in light of the sudden resignation of one of her colleagues.

Barrie-Innisfil MPP Andrea Khanjin has been named as Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks by Premier Doug Ford. Khanjin's appointment comes after former Labour Minister Monte McNaughton announced Friday that he was leaving politics for a job in the private sector.

"I'm really grateful," Khanjin tells CTV News. "It's a privilege to serve the residents of Barrie-Innisfil, and it's even more so a privilege to be able to serve Premier Doug Ford under the portfolio of the environment."

McNaughton's move forced the premier to do a second cabinet shuffle just this month. Earlier this month, Steve Clark stepped down from his position as Ontario's Housing Minister after a report showed a lack of oversight of his staff in connection to the ongoing Greenbelt controversy.

Khanjin steps into the environment portfolio with some experience under her belt. She has spent most of her time in office working as a parliamentary secretary in the ministry.

"I got to work alongside some great ministers, and so I'm looking forward to building on the legacy that Minister Piccini and his parliamentary assistant Yakabuski have started, really building on exposing people to our parks, connecting people to nature; so great to have the infrastructure in our province and obviously building upon their achievements around the province," Khanjin said.

The mother of one was first elected to parliament back in 2018. She has been serving as deputy government house leader since February 2020, a position she will continue to hold.

Her appointment comes at a challenging time for this government. Just this week, the premier announced that his government is reversing its decision to remove lands from the Greenbelt. Khanjin says her constituents can have confidence in this government.

"We don't shy away from changing our mind based on what we're hearing from people," Khanjin said. "I think that's really important; I think that shows great leadership in the premier. He's heard it loud and clear, and this is consistent for what he stands for, which is really representing the people of this province."

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