Ontario’s new PC government was sworn in today at a ceremony inside Queen’s Park. Shortly after the official swearing-in, another ceremony was held outside on the front steps of Queen’s Park that was attended by thousands.
As expected it is a smaller cabinet than the Liberal government which had 28 Ministers. Doug Ford’s cabinet will have just 21. It’s a strong cabinet with experienced MPPs.
Premier Ford will serve as his own Intergovernmental Affairs Minister. Ford took former Finance Critic, Vic Fedelli, and made him Chair of Cabinet and Minister of Finance. This choice demonstrates a great deal of political astuteness on Ford’s part. The former Caucus had named Fedelli as Interim Leader after Patrick Brown resigned. To have appointed a caucus favorite in Fedelli to this key portfolio will certainly go a long way in uniting the PC team.
Ford appointed former Health Critic and Ontario’s first Health Care Ombudsman and his toughest leadership rival, Christine Elliott, as Health Minister and Deputy Premier. This is another prescient appointment by Ford that will help pull his entire team together from the get go.
Niagara Falls PC candidate Chuck McShane, who attended the swearing-in ceremony said, “Vic Fedelli is a very smart guy. No one knows more about past budgets and the state of Ontario’s books like Vic. He’s a great guy to work with.”
Former MPP Bart Maves, who served under Mike Harris in PC governments from 1995 to 2003 and has remained a party stalwart since, thinks it’s a very good cabinet for Niagara. “Christine Elliott is a favorite of Niagara Tories and with good reason. Throughout her and Jim’s leadership runs, Niagara supported both and both have supported Niagara,” said Maves. Maves said when she was a backbench MPP from Whitby Elliott often attended fundraisers and breakfast meetings for Niagara PC Associations. She also assisted many Niagara individuals with issues they couldn’t get solved elsewhere. Her husband, the late Jim Flaherty, was the Finance Minister in Ontario who made the decision to keep both casino’s open in Niagara Falls when the Fallsview casino opened.
Regional Councillor Tony Quirk, a former PC Ontario Board Member and a long-time Tory from Grimsby also liked the Cabinet. “Having worked on Steve Clark’s first campaign for MPP, I am thrilled to see his appointment. It is well earned and deserved. I’m also happy about having a Minister of Municipal Affairs that understands and cares about municipalities,” Quirk said.
Maves pointed out five other newly appointed cabinet ministers that he feels will play a key role in moving Niagara forward. “Erne Hardman (Agriculture), Sylvia Jones (Tourism), Lisa MacLeod (Community Services), Monte McNaughton (Infrastructure) and Todd Smith (Government and Consumer Services), to name just a few, are all experienced, smart MPPs who I think are great choices for their respective portfolios.”
2018 Ontario PC Government Cabinet Positions
Doug Ford, Premier and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
Christine Elliott, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and Deputy Premier
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 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
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