June 24, 2022
Premier Ford makes changes to cabinet following Ontario general election
Premier Doug Ford announced the new and expanded Ontario Cabinet, containing 30 ministers, two more than before the election, as a direct result of the larger PC caucus. The Premier expressed a desire to build a cabinet that is both geographically representative and that reflects the diversity of Ontario.
Although there have been some changes in senior ministries due to the retirements of previous high profile ministers Christine Elliott and Rod Phillips, the Cabinet contains mostly familiar faces, with 19 ministers remaining in their roles, representing a largely “stay the course” Executive Council.
Major Appointments and Changes
Sylvia Jones (Dufferin-Caledon) has been named the new Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, replacing the retiring Minister Christine Elliott. Minister Jones was previously the Solicitor General and has served as an MPP since 2007.
Paul Calandra (Markham-Stouffville) remains the Minister of Long-Term Care in the new cabinet. Minister Calandra took over the role from the retiring Rod Phillips for the final few months of the last term. He will also remain in his role as Government House Leader, with responsibility for shepherding the government’s agenda through the legislature.
Michael Tibollo (Vaughan-Woodbridge) will stay in his role as Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. Despite suggestions the government would look to create new associate health ministerial roles to provide support on major issues, including health infrastructure, this remains the only associate ministerial role in health.
This Cabinet includes a Minister of Mines, with a mandate to develop the Ring of Fire with first-time MPP and former Mayor of Timmins George Pirie taking the role, separating this portfolio from Northern Development. Similarly, Michael Parsa becomes the first Associate Minister of Housing, reflecting the considerable challenge the government faces in addressing housing issues, particularly housing affordability.
Several senior ministers carry on in their previous roles, including Minister of Finance Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Infrastructure Kinga Surma, and Minister of Transportation and Francophone Affairs Caroline Mulroney.
Prabmeet Sarkaria will continue in his role as the President of the Treasury Board and will gain additional responsibilities with an expanded mandate for emergency management and procurement, including Supply Ontario.
The Cabinet features several new faces including newly-elected MPPs: Michael Ford as Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism; Michael Kerzner as Solicitor General; Neil Lumsden as Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport; Graydon Smith, as Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry; and Charmaine Williams as Associate Minister of Women’s Social and Economic Opportunity.
Former Ministers Lisa MacLeod (Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries), Ross Romano (Government and Consumer Services) and Associate Minister Nina Tangri have lost their previous roles.
A full list of the new cabinet can be found below and here.
The new Cabinet will get straight to work with a summer sitting of the legislature in July to pass the April Budget tabled by Minister Bethlenfalvy. Premier Ford has already announced the Budget will be tabled in largely the same form with the potential for minor tweaks.
The Ford Government will be looking to tackle several major issues from day one including record inflation, the rising cost of living, and housing affordability challenges. The reappointment of Finance Minister Bethlenfalvy and Treasury Board President Prabmeet Sarkaria signals the government’s intention to continue on the same fiscal path, with a commitment towards easing spending and a focus on infrastructure spending to drive job growth.
Even as the COVID-19 pandemic moves from the front pages and the Ford Government seeks to focus on the economy, Health Minister Sylvia Jones will have a robust agenda in her new role. Jones will need to address a health human resources crisis that has seen record staff vacancy levels across every health sector including primary and acute care, home care and community support services, and long-term care. All eyes will be on the Fall Economic Statement to see whether the government provides larger cost of living adjustments to the health sector. Minister Jones will also be working closely with Infrastructure Minister Kinga Surma to advance the government’s record $40 billion health infrastructure plans.
Inflation and the pandemic have led to challenges in the supply chain for critical medical supplies, with the Ford Government looking to the new Supply Ontario agency to coordinate with stakeholders, improve procurement processes, and reduce costs.
A Council of Federation meeting is set for July where health care will be a major topic for discussion. Provincial and territorial premiers are expected to continue their call for increased Canada Health transfer payments from the federal government to cover rising health care costs. Negotiations are expected to take months, with the outcome likely to affect the size and scope of future investments in the health sector by the Ford Government.
Biography of new Minister of Health Sylvia Jones
Sylvia Jones is the MPP for Dufferin-Caledon and was most recently the Solicitor General of Ontario where she was responsible for the province’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout. She was first elected to this riding when it was created in 2007 and has been an MPP for 15 years.
Minister Jones grew up on her family’s farm and attended Fanshawe College earning a degree in radio broadcasting. Prior to being elected to Queen’s Park, Minister Jones worked as an executive assistant to former PC party leader John Tory.
She was formerly the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services as well as Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, and served as Deputy Leader of the Official Opposition in the 41st Parliament.
Biography of Minister of Long-Term Care Paul Calandra
Paul Calandra is the MPP of Markham-Stouffville and the Government House Leader. He was the former Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Energy, Northern Development, and Mines in the Ontario Legislature.
Minister Calandra previously represented the riding of Oak Ridges-Markham as a federal Member of Parliament from 2008-2015, serving as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and later as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the President of the Queen’s Privy Council in the Harper Government.
Prior to entering Federal Parliament, Minister Calandra was a small business owner and insurance broker.
Full List of Cabinet
- Doug Ford, MPP Etobicoke North remains Premier and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
- Sylvia Jones, MPP Dufferin-Caledon becomes Deputy Premier and Minister of Health
- Caroline Mulroney, MPP for York-Simcoe remains Minister of Transportation and Minister of Francophone Affairs
- David Piccini, MPP for Northumberland – Peterborough South remains Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
- Doug Downey, MPP for Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte remains Attorney General
- George Pirie, MPP for Timmins becomes Minister of Mines, with a mandate to develop the Ring of Fire
- Graydon Smith, MPP for Parry Sound-Muskoka becomes Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry
- Greg Rickford, MPP for Kenora-Rainy River becomes Minister of Northern Development and Minister of Indigenous Affairs
- Jill Dunlop, MPP for Simcoe North remains Minister of Colleges and Universities
- Kaleed Rasheed, MPP for Mississauga East-Cooksville becomes Minister of Public and Business Service Delivery
- Kinga Surma, MPP for Etobicoke Centre remains Minister of Infrastructure, with an additional mandate for government real estate
- Lisa Thompson, MPP for Huron-Bruce remains Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
- Merrilee Fullerton, MPP for Kanata-Carleton remains Minister of Children, Community and Social Services
- Michael Ford, MPP for York South-Weston becomes Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism
- Michael Kerzner, MPP for York Centre becomes Solicitor General
- Monte McNaughton, MPP for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex remains Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development
- Neil Lumsden, MPP for Hamilton East-Stoney Creek becomes Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries
- Parm Gill, MPP for Milton becomes Minister of Red Tape Reduction
- Paul Calandra, MPP for Markham-Stouffville remains Minister of Legislative Affairs Minister of Long-Term Care, Minister of Legislative Affairs and Government House Leader
- Peter Bethlenfalvy, MPP for Pickering-Uxbridge remains Minister of Finance
- Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria, MPP for Brampton South remains President of the Treasury Board, with an expanded mandate for emergency management and procurement, including Supply Ontario
- Raymond Sung Joon Cho, MPP for Scarborough North remains Minister for Seniors and Accessibility
- Stephen Lecce, MPP for King-Vaughan remains Minister of Education
- Steve Clark, MPP for Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes remains Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
- Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte remains Minister of Energy
- Victor Fedeli, MPP for Nipissing remains Chair of Cabinet and Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, with an additional mandate for small businesses
- Charmaine Williams, MPP for Brampton Centre becomes Associate Minister of Women’s Social and Economic Opportunity
- Michael Parsa, MPP for Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill becomes Associate Minister for Housing
- Michael Tibollo, MPP for Vaughan-Woodbridge remains Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions
- Stan Cho, MPP for Willowdale remains Associate Minister of Transportation