Changes at the
Culture Ministry

Although Ontario’s June election did not produce a change of government, it did result in some changes in the Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation. Helen Johns, MPP for Huron-Bruce, was appointed the new Minister, following Isabel Bassett’s electoral defeat on June 3. Brenda Elliott, MPP for Guelph-Wellington, was named as Johns’ Parliamentary Assistant.
First elected to the Ontario Legislature in 1995, Helen Johns served as Parliamentary Assistant to several ministers. Her first appointment was to the Minister of Health, then to the Minister of the Environment and Energy, and later to the Minister of Energy, Science and Technology. She contributed to several initiatives while at these ministries.
With an educational background in business (Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting), Johns has worked as controller for a number of small and medium businesses, and done some consulting work and teaching at the college level. It is unknown whether she has had any involvement with arts and culture.
Brenda Elliott was also first elected in 1995. She served briefly as Minister of Environment and Energy. Well known locally as the founder of For Earth’s Sake, an environmental store and café, Elliott also has always shown a keen interest in and support for the arts and culture in Guelph. Although her role is still being defined, she is “very excited” about what lies ahead. Citizenship, Culture and Recreation is an “interesting, challenging portfolio, encompassing, as it does, seniors’ and women’s issues in addition to culture, recreation and citizenship.” Elliott also sees it very much as a “community portfolio.” Another recent change is a move of Ministry offices to 400 University Avenue (Zurich Insurance Building).

The new address of the Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation is 400 University Avenue, 5th Floor, Toronto M7A 2R9. Information is also available at the government website