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Ontario PC cabinet puts big-name politicians in top roles

Premier Doug Ford is calling his cabinet an "all-star" team, as a number of big name PCs take on prominent roles in the new government.

Smaller cabinet will be sworn in at Queen's Park on Friday

Premier Doug Ford and the 20 other members of his cabinet were sworn in at Queen's Park on Friday morning. This marks the first time the PCs have been in power in nearly 15 years. (Mark Blinch/Canadian Press)

Premier Doug Ford is calling his cabinet an "all-star" team, as a number of big name PCs take on prominent roles in the new government.

The cabinet will govern with a strong majority after the party captured 76 seats in the June 7 election. During the campaign, Ford highlighted the strength of his candidates, many of whom have served as the Official Opposition in recent years.  

Among those taking on high-profile posts are:

  • Vic Fedeli will serve as finance minister and chair the cabinet
  • Christine Elliott gets the health portfolio, and will also be Ford's deputy premier
  • Lisa Thompson will handle education
  • Todd Smith will be the government house leader

The 21-person cabinet, including Ford, was sworn in at a Queen's Park ceremony on Friday. You can watch the public event following the swearing-in live.

Premier Doug Ford, centre, has named a number of long-time politicians, including Christine Elliott, left, and Victor Fedeli, right, to his first cabinet. Elliott will serve as Ford's deputy premier. (The Canadian Press)

"We have an all-star team that's ready right now to give the people of Ontario the kind of leadership and direction they deserve," Ford said in a news release, before tweaking a frequent campaign slogan.

"Help is here."

Caroline Mulroney the new AG

Among the other prominent PCs who will serve in cabinet are: Caroline Mulroney, who will become attorney general, Rod Phillips, who will be the environment minister, John Yakabuski, the new transportation minister and Lisa MacLeod, who will be responsible for children, community services and women's issues.

Caroline Mulroney, a lawyer who ran against Ford for the PC leadership, will be the province's new attorney general. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

Two-thirds of Ford's cabinet is male. For comparison, Kathleen Wynne's last Liberal cabinet featured 13 women and 16 men.

NDP attacks cabinet moves

The NDP, now Ontario's Official Opposition, didn't attack Ford's cabinet ministers, but questioned his decision to hand a number of files to the same minister.

The NDP criticized Ford's decision to run a smaller cabinet. (Tijana Martin/Canadian Press)

For example, the energy minister, Greg Rickford, is no longer solely focused on those issues. Instead, he'll be in in charge of energy, northern development and mines, and Indigenous affairs.

NDP MPP-elect Sara Singh said that shows Ford isn't planning to tackle the "hydro mess" left behind by Wynne, and won't do enough for Ontario's Indigenous communities.

Having a "part-time" minister devoted to Indigenous relations, she told reporters, is just "not good enough."

Indigenous leaders and others had called on Ford to maintain a minister solely responsible for issues of concern to First Nations, in keeping with a 2007 recommendation of the Ipperwash inquiry.

Singh was also asked about the lack of diversity on Ford's cabinet, responding that many — as of 2016, about three in ten Ontarians identified as a being part of a visible minority —  won't be "seeing themselves reflected in the decisions that were made today."

Here is the full cabinet:

  • Doug Ford — Premier and minister of intergovernmental affairs
  • Christine Elliott — Minister of health and long-term care and deputy premier
  • Caroline Mulroney — Attorney general and minister responsible for Francophone affairs
  • Monte McNaughton — Minister of infrastructure
  • Lisa MacLeod — Minister of children, community and social services and minister responsible for women's issues
  • Lisa Thompson — Minister of education
  • Todd Smith — Minister of government and consumer services, and government house leader
  • Laurie Scott — Minister of labour
  • Peter Bethlenfalvy — President of the Treasury Board
  • Raymond Cho — Minister for seniors and accessibility
  • Steve Clark — Minister of municipal affairs and housing
  • Victor Fedeli — Minister of finance and Chair of cabinet
  • 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
  • Rod Phillips — Minister of the environment, conservation and parks
  • Greg Rickford — Minister of energy, northern development and mines, and minister of Indigenous affairs
  • 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

The new MPPs will elect a speaker who will take on the prestigious job of keeping MPPs in line in the legislature on July 11.

Ford will deliver the throne speech the following day.

With files from The Canadian Press

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