MPP Steve Clark was sworn in on Friday as Ontario’s new Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and is one of 21 newly-appointed ministers in Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative cabinet. “We have an all-star team that’s ready right now to give the people of Ontario the kind of leadership and direction they deserve,” the Premier said in a press release.
Steve says that he is grateful that Premier Ford had the confidence in him to make him a part of his cabinet. “It’s a portfolio that I really like and have a lot of experience in,” he says.
Steve’s political career began decades ago when he was elected as the mayor of Brockville at the age of 22. He served as Canada’s youngest mayor from 1982 to 1991. He was also the President of the Association of the Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) in 1989. Steve then went on to a position as an administrative assistant to MPP Bob Runciman, and subsequently became the Chief Administrative Officer of the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands. He was elected in 2010 as MPP for Leeds, Grenville and the Thousand Islands in a by-election to replace Bob Runciman, who resigned to accept a position in the Canadian Senate, and was re-elected in the 2011, 2014, and 2018 elections.
“I look forward to working with Ontario’s 444 municipalities,” he says. “We have a great cabinet and it’s very exciting.”
Mayor of North Grenville, David Gordon, says Steve’s appointment is wonderful news for the municipality and the United Counties as a whole. “He can relate to our problems, and he will act on them.”
The mayor is hopeful that certain files that the municipality was having trouble getting traction on while the Liberal government was in power will be pushed to the forefront. This includes the widening of County Road 43 through Kemptville, which has been sitting at the top of the Counties’ priority list for years. “Steve and I have talked about this before, and he is a big proponent of it,” David says. “I think we will see it done in the next four years.”
Other MPPs from Eastern Ontario have been appointed to the cabinet. Lisa McLeod, from Ottawa, has been named Minister of Children, Community and Social Services and Minister responsible for Women’s Issues, and John Yakabuski, of Renfrew, is now the Minister of Transportation. A newcomer to the scene, Merrilee Fullerton, also from Ottawa, will be sitting as Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, where she’ll likely be responsible for implementing a free speech policy.
Mayor of Merrickville-Wolford, David Nash, says he is also very pleased with the news of Steve’s new position in the government, “I’m absolutely thrilled with this well-deserved appointment and look forward to working with Steve,” he says. “Change is coming folks, with the right man in the job.”