Eric Hoskins is feeling a little nostalgic about leaving his past cabinet post as minister of children and youth services, but is ready to bring the same passion to his new portfolio.
The St. Paul’s MPP now holds the title of minister of economic development, trade and employment following newly elected Premier Kathleen Wynne’s swearing-in ceremony Monday, Feb. 11.
“Sure it was hard to give up (children and youth services), I felt very passionate about it,” Hoskins said, adding he’s most proud of his work crafting the Youth Action Plan while minister. “It’s always difficult to move from one ministry to the next. I’m feeling a little bit of nostalgia but it’s all connected and I’m going to bring the same passion to my new cabinet position. Now employment has been added to the portfolio, which is the heart of what’s really important to the province at this time.”
While Ontario has added some 400,000 jobs since June 2009, more needs to be done for residents to access good, well-paid employment, he said.
“I want to specifically focus on youth employment and making sure young people have access to jobs that reflect their skills,” Hoskins said. “Creating jobs for Ontarians is key for this government and we need all partners working together to create a climate for employment.”
Calling Wynne a “very talented leader and politician,” Hoskins said she’s proving her ability to work with opposition parties to do what’s in the best interest of the people.
Hoskins was first elected to the St. Paul’s riding in 2009 in a byelection and appointed minister of citizenship and immigration in January 2010, and later minister of children and youth services in October 2011. He resigned in November to run as a candidate in the Liberal Party leadership election.
After finishing his medical studies at McMaster University, and subsequently at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, Hoskins spent close to a decade as a doctor and humanitarian in war-torn regions in Africa and around the world. Together with his wife, Dr. Samantha Nutt, the two founded the international charity War Child Canada to help children in war-affected regions across the globe.
Hoskins has been recognized for his humanitarian work and public service. In 2008, he was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada. He has also received the Governor General’s Meritorious Service Cross and has been awarded the United Nations Lester B. Pearson Peace Medal.