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Ontario Welcomes New Cabinet – Expect Quick Action

July 2018 Government and Public Policy Bulletin 3 minute read

This morning, Ontario welcomed a new Premier, a new Provincial Government and a new Cabinet. Premier Ford will be joined by 20 of his colleagues at the Cabinet table, broken down as follows:

  • 14 re-elected MPPs (7 rookie MPPs)
  • 14 men (7 women)
  • 3 with cabinet experience (2 prov/1 fed) (18 first-time Ministers)
  • 8 representing urban ridings (13 from rural ridings)
  • 6 from the GTA (5 from Eastern Ontario, 4 from Central Ontario, 4 from Southwestern Ontario and 2 from Northern Ontario

The Members of Cabinet are as follows:

  • Peter Bethlenfalvy – President of the Treasury Board – Pickering-Uxbridge
  • Raymond Cho – Minister for Seniors and Accessibility – Scarborough North
  • Steve Clark – Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing – Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes
  • Christine Elliott – Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and Deputy Premier – Newmarket-Aurora
  • Victor Fedeli – Minister of Finance and Chair of Cabinet – Nipissing
  • Doug Ford – Premier and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs – Etobicoke North
  • Merrilee Fullerton – Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities – Kanata-Carleton
  • Ernie Hardeman – Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs – Oxford
  • Sylvia Jones – Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport – Dufferin-Caledon
  • Lisa MacLeod – Minister of Children, Community and Social Services and Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues – Nepean
  • Monte McNaughton – Minister of Infrastructure – Lambton-Kent-Middlesex
  • Caroline Mulroney – Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs – York-Simcoe
  • Rod Phillips – Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks – Ajax
  • Greg Rickford – Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and Minister of Indigenous Affairs – Kenora-Rainy River
  • Laurie Scott – Minister of Labour – Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock
  • Todd Smith – Minister of Government and Consumer Services, and Government House Leader – Bay of Quinte
  • Lisa Thompson – Minister of Education – Huron-Bruce
  • Michael Tibollo – Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services – Vaughan-Woodbridge
  • Jim Wilson – Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade – Simcoe-Grey
  • John Yakabuski – Minister of Transportation – Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke
  • Jeff Yurek – Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry – Elgin-Middlesex-London
  • Given the early announcements coming out of the Premier Ford’s office during the election campaign and the transition, some of those who can expect, in the early days of the mandate, to be the most active with significant expectations placed on them, will include:
  • Minister Rickford, who as Minister of Energy will be expected to immediately replace the Board and management of Hydro One and quickly dismantle Green Energy Act programs;
  • Minister Phillips, who as Minister of Environment, will be responsible for quickly extricating Ontario from the Cap and Trade program;
  • Minister Fedeli, who as Minister of Finance, will have to figure out how to pay for various campaign commitments, as well as any costs associated with unwinding Cap and Trade;
  • Minister McNaughton, who as Minister of Infrastructure, will have to get moving early on the subway file if the Government wants to be able to point to any concrete progress before the next election;
  • Minister Elliott, who as Minister of Health, will be tasked with resolving outstanding, and long-standing, disputes with the Province’s doctors;
  • Minister Thompson, who as Minister of Education, will be called upon to address the sex education curriculum right away;
  • Minister Wilson, who as Minister for Job Creation, will be expected to deliver on Premier Ford’s primary promise of making Ontario “Open for Business”, ideally with some initial successes announced by the end of the year.

Expect this to be a quick-moving Government. They are unlikely to get bogged down with lengthy studies and reports in the initial stages of their mandate. Rather, look for some quick announcements on some key files. Being able to point to some immediate action as “promise made, promise kept” will then give the Government the leeway they need to take a step back and give more detailed consideration to the next wave of policies and programs in Year 2.

For guidance and advice on dealing or doing business with the new Ontario Government, feel free to reach out to any member of the McMillan LLP, or its uniquely embedded public policy consultancy, McMillan Vantage Policy Group.

by Mike Richmond

A Cautionary Note

The foregoing provides only an overview and does not constitute legal advice. Readers are cautioned against making any decisions based on this material alone. Rather, specific legal advice should be obtained.

© McMillan LLP 2018

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