TORONTO – Kathleen Wynne has been sworn in as premier of Ontario, becoming the province’s first female leader and Canada’s first openly gay premier.
Wynne is replacing Dalton McGuinty, who led the province for nine years.
But the minority Liberals have a tough road ahead and an $12-billion deficit to tackle.
They’ve been under fire for the politically-motivated cancellations of two gas plants, that will cost taxpayers at least $230 million.
Public school teachers — their longtime allies — are furious that the Liberals imposed two-year contracts that cut benefits and froze most of their wages.
There are ten newcomers in Premier Kathleen Wynne’s 27-member cabinet, including Guelph’s Liz Sandals who takes on the politically sensitive education portfolio.
Other new ministers include:
- Peterborough’s Jeff Leal in the new Ministry of Rural Affairs
- Sudbury’s David Orazietti becomes Minister of Natural Resources
- David Zimmer of Toronto takes on the stand alone Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs
- Rezi Moridi of Richmond Hill is the Minister of Research and Innovation
- Ottawa’s Yasir Naqvi, the Liberal party president, is also Minister of Labour
- Toronto’s Michael Coteau becomes Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
- Tracy MacCharles of Scarborough is Minister of Consumer Services
- Windsor’s Teresa Piruzza is Minister of Children and Youth Services
- Toronto’s Mario Sergio becomes Minister Responsible for Seniors.
Liberal cabinet ministers moved to other positions by Wynne include:
- Premier Wynne herself as Agriculture Minister
- Charles Sousa as Finance Minister
- Ottawa’s Bob Chiraelli takes on Energy
- Brad Duguid leaves energy to become Minister of Training, colleges and Universities
- Laurel Broten from education to Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
- Hamilton’s Ted McMeekin moves from agriculture to Community and Social Services
- Linda Jeffrey takes on Municipal Affairs and Housing and is Chair of cabinet
- Eric Hoskins moves to Economic Development, Trade and Employment
- Glen Murray becomes Minister of Infrastructure and Minister of Transportation
- Michael Gravel moves to Northern Development and Mines.
Ministers staying in their same positions include:
- Health Minister Deb Matthews, who also becomes Deputy Premier.
- Environment Minister Jim Bradley
- Attorney General John Gerretsen
- Ottawa’s Madeleine Meilleur remains Community Safety and Correctional Services Minister, and also responsible for Francophone Affairs
- Government services Minister Harinder Takhar
- Government House Leader John Milloy
- Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Michael Chan.