Ontario Labor Minister Monte McNaughton will leave the Progressive Conservative caucus to accept a position in the private sector, Premier Doug Ford said Friday.
“I am very grateful for Monte’s work as a key member of our team, as minister of infrastructure and, most recently, minister of labour, immigration, training and skills development,” Ford said in a statement.
“He made this decision based on what is best for him and his family at this point in his life and career.”
The statement does not say exactly when McNaughton will formally leave his seat at Queen’s Park.
McNaughton has been MPP for Lambton–Kent–Middlesex for 12 years. Much of his work as labor minister focused on addressing labor shortages in the province and encouraging more young people to go into skilled trades.
His resignation comes during a period of upheaval for the Ford government, with McNaughton becoming the third cabinet minister to leave his post in as many weeks.
MPs Steve Clark and Kaleed Rasheed recently vacated their cabinet positions amid the ongoing controversy over the Green Belt.
New Democratic leader Marit Stiles immediately issued a statement of her own regarding McNaughton’s resignation, saying the Ford administration is in “complete and utter disarray” and “fractured after lurching from scandal to scandal.”
“We cannot have a government that is so entangled in its own problems that it is not helping Ontarians with the real challenges they face,” Stiles said.
“People deserve a stable government that sees their frustration over the affordability crisis and how much the housing crisis is affecting them, and offers solutions that actually make their lives easier.”
Stiles will speak to reporters later Friday morning.
More to come.