announced today. Kathleen Wynne (Don Valley West) moves from Education to Transportation, where the news release says she will, "help implement the government's MoveOntario 2020 public transit plan, improve service-delivery at GO Transit and work with municipalities to build and maintain the highways and bridges that are critical to our economic success."
Leona Dombrowsky (Prince Edward-Hastings) moves from Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to Education. Quoting the release, she, "leads our efforts to deliver full-day learning for four- and five-year olds, further increase test scores and graduation rates."
I've had the pleasure of speaking with both these women— there was a time when I was also an agriculture reporter and spoke with Dombrowsky fairly freqently when she was first appointed to the role to replace Steve Peters. She is feisty and can speak to both rural and urban issues— I imagine these are some of the reasons why she has been shuttled into Education.
Though Wynne was the education minister I've spoken to the least — for whatever reason, and in no way intentional, I spoke with Gerard Kennedy and Sandra Pupatello more often — I always found our interviews to be straightforward and to the point. I have had a wonderful relationship with her staffers.
I can't shake the feeling, however, that this is a demotion for Wynne and somewhat of a promotion for Dombrowsky. Education is the second-larges line item (after Health and Long-term Care) in the provincial budget and full-day learning is and will be the centrepiece of this government's mandate. MoveOntario 2020? Does anyone outside the GTA care?
Early Learning? It impacts every family in the province.
So, a goodbye with thanks to Wynne, the longest-serving Education Minister of the McGuinty government and a hello and welcome to Dombrowsky.