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Hampton slams shuffle

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Premier Dalton McGuinty’s latest cabinet shuffle leaves Northern Ontario MPPs out in the cold as important decisions about the north continue to be made in Toronto, said Kenora-Rainy River NDP MPP Howard Hampton.

“From the HST on gasoline and home heating to [Monday’s] cabinet shuffle, it’s clear that Northern Ontario just isn’t on McGuinty’s radar,” Hampton charged.

Despite earlier speculation and blatant self-promotion, no new northern MPPs were appointed to cabinet.

A suburban Toronto MPP took the place of a Toronto MPP at the Ministry of Natural Resources, which makes key decisions about land use in Northern Ontario.

Hampton also was concerned about the merging of the Ministry of Attorney General with the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs.

The move flies in the face of a major recommendation of the Ipperwash Inquiry, which called for a new Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs with a “dedicated minister and its own deputy minister.”

“So much for a new relationship with aboriginal people,” said Hampton.

“First it’s a new sales tax without any consultation and now the Liberals are going against a key Ipperwash Inquiry recommendation,” he argued.

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