Today Prime Minister Trudeau made a small change to the roles held by his roster of Cabinet Ministers. Hon. Filomena Tassi has switched roles with Hon. Helena Jaczek, moving from the Minister of Public Services and Procurement to Minister of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. Minister Jaczek’s move to PSPC can be seen as an increase in her responsibility. Minister Tassi today acknowledged in a statement that she had requested the change due to family health reasons. We at Sussex are sending our thoughts and well wishes to Minister Tassi and her family as they go through a deeply difficult and challenging time.
The shuffle bucked some media speculation of a larger overhaul of Cabinet roles ahead of the conclusion of the Conservative Party leadership race in September and as the Government continues to grapple with inflation and rebuilding the post-pandemic economy.
The Honourable Filomena Tassi
Minister of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario and Member of Parliament for Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas
The Honourable Filomena Tassi was first elected as Member of Parliament for the riding of Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas in 2015. She has previously served as Minister of Labour and Minister of Seniors and as the Minister of Public Services and Procurement.
Born and raised in Hamilton, Minister Tassi has been the voice of change for families in the city through a lifetime of commitment to her community.
Minister Tassi obtained a Bachelor of Laws from Western University, and also holds a Master of Religious Education from the University of St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto. Minister Tassi practised law for six years before leaving to raise her family. She later became a high school chaplain for the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board. As chaplaincy leader, she helped establish the D.R.E.A.M.S. (Dominican Republic Education and Medical Support) program, which has enabled thousands of students to live and work with the materially poor in the Dominican Republic.
Driven by her profound sense of civic duty, Minister Tassi has been highly involved in her community. She is a past board member of both St. Joseph’s Hospital and the Catholic Youth Organization, and has volunteered her time with other local initiatives and organizations. Minister Tassi served as a Catholic school board trustee, and was the recipient of the 2010 Brian J. Halferty Award, presented by the Catholic School Chaplains of Ontario for exemplary service.
Minister Tassi, her husband, and two children live in the Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas riding.
The Honourable Helena Jaczek
Minister responsible for Public Services and Procurement and Member of Parliament for Markham—Stouffville
The Honourable Helena Jaczek was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Markham—Stouffville in 2019.
Minister Jaczek was the Member of Provincial Parliament for the riding of Oak Ridges—Markham from 2007 to 2018. During that time, she served as Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Chair of Cabinet, and Minister of Community and Social Services. She has also served as the Minister of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.
Prior to her work at the provincial level, Minister Jaczek practised medicine at the Women’s College Hospital in Toronto for many years. She was also the Medical Officer of Health and Commissioner of Health Services for the Regional Municipality of York, where she was responsible for public health, land ambulance, and long-term care for 18 years.
Minister Jaczek has been a leader on the boards of Reena, a non-profit organization providing services to people with developmental disabilities, and the Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care, where she chaired the Quality Committee.
Minister Jaczek’s leadership in the health sector has earned her numerous awards, including the Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Local Public Health Agencies, the In Celebration of Women Award from York Region, and the Helen Keller Award by the Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons for her contributions to hearing and visually impaired Ontarians. She has also received the Ontario Psychological Association Public Service Award, the Ontario Medical Association Life Membership Award, the Award for Planning Excellence in Environmental Planning from the Canadian Institute of Planners, and the Outstanding Alumni Mentor Award from the University of Toronto’s Public Health Sciences Alumni Association.
Minister Jaczek holds a medical degree and Master of Health Sciences from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Business Administration from the Schulich School of Business, York University.
This small Cabinet role change precedes a Liberal Cabinet retreat in Vancouver next week and a full Liberal caucus retreat in New Brunswick from September 11th to 14th. These collective efforts are intended to set the Liberal Government up to hit the ground running when the House of Commons resumes on September 19th. Sussex is working diligently with clients to similarly prepare for what promises to be a very active fall legislative session.
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