Having just been sworn in yesterday, MPP Teresa Piruzza – the newly appointed Minister of Children and Youth Services – is ready to begin her role in Premier Wynne’s cabinet at Queen’s Park.
“I just signed on the dotted line yesterday at 3pm … it’s been about a full 25 hours,” explained Piruzza in an exclusive interview with OurWindsor.ca. “[I] hit the ground running [and it has been] a bit of a whirlwind in terms of finding my way around, meeting all the staff, and [having] meetings with the Deputy Ministers, Assistant Deputy Ministers and the staff.”
Piruzza is both excited to lead the ministry and explained that she was “excited that Premier Wynne has the confidence in me to ask me to be a part of her cabinet.”
While she was just elected as a MPP in 2011, Piruzza believes that she has the experience to lead the ministry ministry and that “certainly the premier thought as well that I have the experience … given the years that I had at the city [and other experience] working with children.”
“The programs [in] Children and Youth Services are very closely aligned to Community and Social Services [her previous background] in terms of mandate and objectives,” commented Piruzza, “They have a very close working relationship.”
For the short-run, Piruzza plans on going over briefing notes and report binders before setting any policies. “[I have] some ideas, but until I sit down and get into the fine details of each of these files, I think I’m going to wait a couple days before I start to make out my priority list.”
One of Piruzza’s priorities is to ensure that programs available for children and youth are accessible so “families know what programs and services are available to them to ensure that children get the best start and to help our youth become as successful as then can”
Piruzza is the sole MPP west of London and Windsor’s sole voice in Cabinet, and she remarked that her role represents “a great opportunity and it really enhances our representation.”
“As a MPP, you’re representing your riding and your community. I have developed relationships with all the members [and] caucus, so that if there was something that I needed to bring forward from Windsor, I know who I [have] to speak with.”
Jonathon Liedtke is the Features & Opinion Editor for the University of Windsor Lance Campus/Community Newspaper and a reporter for ourWindsor.ca. As a founding member and current Co-Chair of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Committee, he is committed to representing, connecting, engaging with and advocating for local youth. He is also a member of Windsor’s “Punk with Horns” band The Nefidovs, and as such, is committed to enhancing and sustaining the arts community.