Bill Mauro is now a cabinet minister.
The longtime Liberal MPP for the Thunder Bay - Atikokan riding received his promotion Tuesday after Premier Kathleen Wynne officially shuffled her cabinet.
He becomes the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, which was previously held by Linda Jeffrey before her resignation to take a stab at municipal politics in Brampton.
Mauro, who had been working as a parliamentary assistant within the municipal affairs ministry since February 2013, in a telephone interview from Toronto said he feels he is a good fit for the portfolio.
He referenced his six years spent as a Thunder Bay city councillor to demonstrate that he understands and is familiar with the municipal politics.
Mauro is one of two new faces in the Wynne cabinet, as he joins Oakville MPP Kevin Flynn who assumed the Ministry of Labour portfolio.
He has represented Thunder Bay’s southside riding for the Liberals since 2003. Since then he’s served in the backbenches under both former Premier Dalton McGuinty and now Premier Wynne.
The promotion was met with a little bit of surprise, as Mauro thought there was a chance the opening could be absorbed into another minister’s portfolio in the short term with the potential of a spring election when the provincial budget is presented in the coming weeks.
He believes the posting is more than a placeholder role with there being no guarantee of an election.
“An election in the next little while is not a forgone conclusion and I suppose (Wynne) is thinking longer term and that is what she is making her decisions based on,” Mauro said.
“Some have put it out there that this might create a higher profile for me and while I suppose there is some truth to that but I don’t know how much of a difference it will really make.”
Before Tuesday’s promotion Mauro’s cabinet experience had been collected through parliamentary assistant roles, his first coming in 2004 when he served under then Minister of Northern Development and Mines minister Rick Bartolucci.