Does Michael Coteau, the Ontario government minister responsible for anti-racism as well as for children and youth services, now have too much on his plate?
Coteau, MPP for the Toronto riding of Don Valley East, was recently sworn in as minister of community and social services with the abrupt departure of health minister Eric Hoskins who is reported to be heading a a national advisory group that will work towards setting up a Canada-wide pharmacare plan,
The former social services minister Helena Jaczek has been given the health portfolio.
Many in Toronto’s Black community think that with his additional ministerial responsibilities, he now has far too much on his plate.
Political observers say the former school board trustee deserves high marks for his handling of the anti-racism portfolio, especially in addressing the problems of anti-Black racism.
But they note that there is much more to be done in this area and that he should be allowed to concentrate on these problems.
How does Coteau himself view this situation?
He told the Caribbean Camera that he was ” humbled and honoured” by the Premier’s decision to add the Ministry of Community & Social Services to his portfolio.
” I believe this new responsibility is an extension of my current work with the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, and I will use this opportunity to explore the important transition from youth into adulthood for some of the most vulnerable people in Ontario. Having these new files gives me a good window to look at those transition points and see how we can make processes smoother. ”
Coteau promised to “keep working to implement policies that create fairness and opportunity for families across Ontario.
” It’s definitely a lot of work, but I am working with good people in all of our Ministries who know what we need to accomplish. ”
“And while I have no doubt that the next few months will be challenging, I’ve spent most of my political career balancing some of the most important files across government, with great success. “