Friday, June 20, 2008

Smitherman to head new merged ministry in cabinet shuffle: sources

TORONTO — Ontario's multibillion-dollar schemes to refurbish its nuclear fleet and upgrade roads, highways and bridges will fall to Premier Dalton McGuinty's right-hand man Friday in a cabinet shuffle that is expected to shake up three major ministries.

Government sources confirmed Thursday that McGuinty will merge the Energy and Infrastructure portfolios into one so-called "super-ministry" headed up by Health Minister George Smitherman - once dubbed "Furious George" for his aggressive, abrasive style in the legislature.

Infrastructure Minister David Caplan will take over as health minister and Gerry Phillips - who made it known Wednesday he no longer wanted to be energy minister - will remain in cabinet without a portfolio, sources said.

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