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The first of the six candidates to speak at the Provincial Liberal Convention at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto during the Provincial Liberal Leadership Convention on Jan. 26, 2013 is Harinder Takhar. (Peter Power/The Globe and Mail)
The first of the six candidates to speak at the Provincial Liberal Convention at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto during the Provincial Liberal Leadership Convention on Jan. 26, 2013 is Harinder Takhar. (Peter Power/The Globe and Mail)

shuffle

Ontario cabinet shuffled after Takhar taken ill; Milloy given portfolio Add to ...

Ontario Government Services Minister Harinder Takhar has resigned from cabinet after he was taken to hospital with chest pains over the weekend, triggering a small cabinet shuffle.

Mr. Takhar, who also serves as chair of the management board of cabinet in Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government, will stay on as MPP for Mississauga-Erindale.

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Mr. Takhar fell ill Saturday morning, the same day as his mother’s funeral, sources said, and his doctor personally took him to hospital for tests.

Mr. Takhar was discharged later that day and managed to attend the funeral. He subsequently decided to step away from cabinet to focus on his health, the sources said.

Government House Leader John Milloy will take over the government services portfolio on top of his current duties. Finance Minister Charles Sousa will chair the cabinet management board, which includes running the treasury board.

Mr. Milloy and Mr. Sousa were sworn in to their additional duties Wednesday afternoon.

Mr. Takhar has been in cabinet since 2003. He ran for the Liberal leadership earlier this year, finishing fourth after an impressive showing in delegate selection votes.

One of the Liberals’ longest-serving ministers, Mr. Takhar also has a strong organization in the 905 belt of Toronto suburbs, a key battleground in the next election.

“I wish Harinder a speedy recovery and thank him for the role he has played in my new government,” Ms. Wynne said in a statement. “And I want to thank John and Charles for taking on these new responsibilities and for their continued contributions as we work to create jobs and help people with their everyday lives.”

With a report from Adam Radwanski

Follow on Twitter: @adrianmorrow

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