NEWS: Doug Ford sworn in as Ontario’s 26th Premier
After much analysis and speculation, the new 21-member PC government cabinet was revealed at the swearing-in ceremony for Premier Doug Ford and his Executive Council. The official ceremony was conducted by Lieutenant-Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell inside Queen’s Park, and then again outside for the thousands of members of the public who attended to see.
As many expected, Christine Elliott has been named Ontario’s new Minister of Health and Long-Term Care as well as Deputy Premier. She will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience from her time as Ontario’s first Patient Ombudsman as well as PC health critic during her time as MPP for Whitby-Oshawa.
Helen Angus was also announced as Deputy Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. This ministry will now also be responsible for youth mental health.
Robin Martin was named as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care (Health) and Effie Triantafilopoulos was announced as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care (Long-Term Care).
Cabinet members include:
- Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board
- Raymond Cho, Minister of Seniors and Accessibility
- Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
- Vic Fedeli, Minister of Finance
- Doug Ford, Premier and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
- Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities
- Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
- Sylvia Jones, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport
- Lisa Macleod, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, and Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues
- Monte McNaughton, Minister of Infrastructure
- Caroline Mulroney, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs
- Rod Phillips, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
- Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and Minister of Indigenous Affairs
- Laurie Scott, Minister of Labour
- Todd Smith, Minister of Government and Consumer Services, and Government House Leader
- Lisa Thompson, Minister of Education
- Michael Tibollo, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services
- Jim Wilson, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade
- John Yakabuski, Minister of Transportation
- Jeff Yurek, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry
Premier Ford has also begun to hire senior staff including Dean French, Chief of Staff; Jenni Byrne, Principal Secretary; and Andrew Kimber, Director of Issues Management. Reports also indicate that Simone Daniels and Amin Massoudi, both long-time employees of Ford, will serve as Deputy Chiefs of Staff.
While the official handover of power took place on June 29, 2018, Ford issued his first government directive mid-June ordering a hiring freeze throughout the public sector (except for essential front-line staff), the cancellation of media subscriptions, and the restriction of out-of-province travel.
The PCs have already made a first step in health care, extending an olive branch to Ontario’s doctors that will bring the Ontario Medical Association back to the negotiating table rather than proceed with arbitration.
As it stands, the PC government’s next steps for their other health care commitments are unclear, however the Lieutenant-Governor will deliver the Speech from the Throne next month to open the parliamentary session and lay out the new government’s priorities.