In her first speech as minister of tourism, Lisa MacLeod told a crowd in Muskoka that she while she used to be the “minister of tears,” she is now the “minister of cheers.”

MacLeod was speaking at the official launch of a seasonal series of flights between Toronto’s Billy Bishop Airport and Muskoka Airport.

Standing at the podium on Thursday, MacLeod said she was excited to be in the Muskokas.

“I used to be the minister of tears, but as you can see from here, I’m now the minister of cheers and it’s a real nice refresher.”

MacLeod lost her position as Minister of Children, Community and Social Services in a major restructuring of the Progressive Conservative cabinet last week. She has faced continued criticism over the government’s stance on autism funding.

Earlier this year, MacLeod announced that the provincial government would be giving money directly to parents of children with autism, rather than to service providers. The funding was capped at $5,000 a year for children with autism over the age of six.

One regional autism treatment centre in the Greater Toronto Area reported nearly 300 layoffs as a result of the funding changes. While the autism file was still under her prevue, MacLeod defended the program, saying “our government believes parents know best.”

MacLeod was named the new minister of tourism, culture and sport on June 20, a transition that has widely been described as a demotion.