Premier Kathleen Wynne
Premier Kathleen Wynne and her new cabinet team were sworn-in Monday at Queen's Park.
Premier Wynne's government is committed to balancing the budget by 2017-18. The new Minister of Finance, Charles Sousa, will work with his colleagues to stay focused on the bottom line while ensuring the people of Ontario can succeed.
Dr. Eric Hoskins will bring a particular focus to youth employment as the new Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment.
Liz Sandals becomes Minister of Education. Her first priority is to restore the relationship with teachers, working with all partners to help bring back extracurricular activities to schools across the province.
Wynne's government is also focused on the priorities of rural Ontario. To ensure those voices are heard, Premier Wynne will serve as Minister of Agriculture. Jeff Leal, the Minister of Rural Affairs, will work with his colleagues to ensure the unique needs of rural communities, including those in Northern Ontario, and small towns and businesses are addressed.
Deb Matthews becomes Deputy Premier and will continue to lead the transformation of health care as the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, ensuring high-quality services are there for our children and grandchildren.
Reforming social assistance is also a top priority for the Wynne government. Ted McMeekin, the new Minister of Community and Social Services, will begin to implement recommendations of the Social Assistance Review panel led by Frances Lankin and Munir Sheikh.
The new Ontario Government, led by Premier Wynne, will show The Way Forward for Ontario residents, building a strong economy and a fair society, for the benefit of all.
“Jobs, the economy and a fair society are the priorities for this new government, and we intend to work with the opposition parties to make progress on these important priorities for the people of this province. There is much that can be done if we set the interests of Ontario at the heart of our work. That is why I am opening a new session of the legislature next week. ”
Premier of Ontario
There are 27 members in the new cabinet — 20 of them have new portfolios.
The cabinet features 10 new members who will inject fresh perspectives and new ideas.
John Milloy remains in Cabinet as Government House Leader.
Meanwhile in the news releasle below Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli says there is little new in the new Liberal cabinet:
The new premier’s cabinet selections inspire no confidence that the McGuinty-Wynne Liberals will provide the change in direction Ontario needs, Nipissing MPP and PC Energy Critic Vic Fedeli said Monday.
“If anything,” said Fedeli, “the Premier has been clear that she will only continue the McGuinty agenda that created Ontario's jobs and debt crisis.
“If the Premier believes the path forward is continued overspending and policies that deter job creation and investment, then we’ll head further down the wrong track,” said Fedeli.
“Obviously we cannot support that.”
Fedeli is hoping to persuade the Liberal cabinet not to head down that same path. To that end, he has written to Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle and Natural Resources Minister David Orazietti seeking face-to-face meetings.
“I believe it is important that Minister Gravelle understand the importance of keeping the ONR’s freight division in public hands, and the vital role it could play in the Ring of Fire,” Fedeli said.
“I also hope to sit with Minister Orazietti to discuss the walleye catch limit reductions recently imposed on Lake Nipissing,” added Fedeli.
Fedeli has also written Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli to request a meeting on the province’s energy policy.
“Hydro rates have doubled in Ontario in the past decade, and our energy policy is broken. The Ontario PC party has put forward solutions through our white papers. We believe affordable energy is the cornerstone of economic growth.