Sault MPP David Orazietti is Ontario's new Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services.
Orazietti was part of a cabinet shuffle made by Premier Kathleen Wynne Monday.
"I'm certainly excited to have the opportunity to continue to serve in cabinet," said Orazietti, who had been serving as Minister of Government and Consumer Services.
"I'm very pleased," Orazietti told SooToday.
The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services has a $2.5 billion budget, and is the largest Ontario government ministry in terms of the number of employees, at approximately 16,500.
Included within the ministry are the OPP, Corrections (26 institutions and 121 probation officers), the Chief Coroner as well as local and regional coroners, forensic pathology, emergency management, the Ontario Fire Marshal, forensic sciences, animal welfare and private security.
Always one to hit the ground running, Orazietti, soon after his new appointment, attended the provincial Firefighters Association annual general meeting in Collingwood, Ontario.
There he took part in a wreath-laying ceremony to honour firefighters who have lost their lives in the line of duty and announced the government will be moving ahead with finding a new Ontario Fire Marshal (that office is currently vacant).
Orazietti told SooToday his ministry will be developing a Fire Safety Standards Table.
"We'll be reviewing any gaps or issues related to fire safety standards across the province, working with our firefighters," Orazietti said.
"There are also parts of the province that have less well-established fire protection services, so we'll be looking at that as well."
Orazietti said it would be premature to comment on staffing levels for local police services.
Sault Police Services Chief Robert Keetch recently told SooToday there may be a need to "civilianize" some positions with the local police force pending a review currently underway by KPMG.
After serving two consecutive terms as a city councillor for Ward 1 beginning in 1997, Orazietti was first elected as Sault MPP in 2003.
He served as a Parliamentary Assistant in the Ministries of Natural Resources, Education, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development and Mines, as well as serving as Parliamentary Assistant to former Premier Dalton McGuinty.
Orazietti first served in the cabinet in 2013 as Minister of Natural Resources before moving to Government and Consumer Services in 2014.