TORONTO – Premier-designate Kathleen Wynne promoted backbenchers and shuffled some veteran ministers for today’s swearing in ceremony for her and the new Ontario cabinet.
Sources say former banker Charles Sousa will become the finance minister, while former school trustee Liz Sandals gets promoted to education minister and will have to deal with teachers angry over having had contracts imposed on them.
Former Ottawa mayor Bob Chiraelli takes on the contentious energy portfolio and the controversy over cancelled gas plants.
The Canadian Press has learned Health Minister Deb Matthews will remain in her portfolio, and could also become deputy premier.
University of Toronto professor Nelson Wiseman says after co-chairing Wynne’s leadership campaign, Matthews probably had her pick of cabinet posts.
The sources also say former Winnipeg mayor Glen Murray will take over a combined ministry of transportation and infrastructure.
Wynne has promised to find cabinet seats for leadership rivals Eric Hoskins and Harinder Takhar, but her two closest competitors, Sandra Pupatello and Gerrard Kennedy, don’t have seats in the legislature.
The Progressive Conservatives called on Wynne to show she’s willing to reduce the size and cost of government by cutting cabinet down to 16 ministries.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says she’s not sure changing the faces in cabinet will overcome what she calls the “Liberals’ arrogance.”