Ontario minister Jim Wilson quits to tackle addiction issues

Ontario minister Jim Wilson quits to tackle addiction issues

Economic Development Minister Jim Wilson has resigned from Premier Doug Ford’s cabinet to tackle his addiction issues.

Wilson, the most experienced member of Ford’s cabinet, was with the premier Friday morning in Sarnia.

“Mr. Wilson will also be resigning from the Progressive Conservative caucus to seek treatment for addiction issues,” Ford’s office said in a terse statement Friday night

“Todd Smith will serve as minister of economic development, job creation, and trade on an interim basis in addition to his ongoing role as minister of government and consumer services and government house leader,” the statement from the premier’s office read.

It’s the second time Wilson has resigned from a PC cabinet — in 1996, when he was premier Mike Harris’s health minister he quit after one of his aides breached the privacy. He later returned to Harris’s cabinet.

First elected in 1990, the Simcoe Grey MPP also served as interim Tory leader after the 2014 election.

Well-regarded at Queen’s Park, Wilson is known for working long hours.

Robert Benzie is the Star’s Queen’s Park bureau chief and a reporter covering Ontario politics. Follow him on Twitter: @robertbenzie

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