Ford Unveils New Ontario Cabinet

Chris Chapin

The Big Picture at Queen’s Park

Ontario Premier Doug Ford unveiled his highly anticipated Executive Council this morning on the front steps of Queen’s Park, just as he did four years ago. The freshly re-elected PC Premier had a lot to choose from when making up his new Cabinet, as Ontarians sent 83 PCs to Queen’s Park in an even larger majority than Ford won in 2018. While some had been speculating that we’d see substantial turnover with the new crop of MPPs at the Legislature, Ford mostly kept to those trusted voices that helped guide him through the pandemic and to re-election. That said, there were few notable changes and really only one significant vacancy to fill that has been on everyone's minds - replacing Ford’s Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Christine Elliott. The rumours of Sylvia Jones, who previously served as Solicitor General, replacing Elliott turned out to be correct. Ford has tapped Jones to serve as the next Minister of Health as well as replacing Elliott as Ontario’s Deputy Premier.

The creation of a new Associate Minister of Housing demonstrates the substantial nature of the election commitment to build 1.5 million new houses, and the renaming to the former Ministry of Government and Consumer Services to Public and Business Service Delivery demonstrates the government's commitment to customer service and the election theme of “getting it done.”. Additionally the former position of Associate Minister of Red Tape Reduction has now been elevated to a full ministry. In the previous mandate that office spearheaded several pieces of omnibus legislation which will likely continue for the next administration..

Rookie MPPs Charmaine Williams (Brampton Centre), Michael Ford (York South-Weston), Graydon Smith (Parry Sound-Muskoka), George Pirie (Timmins), Neil Lumsden (Hamilton East-Stoney Creek), and Michael Kerzner (York Centre) have been named to cabinet. With the exception of Kerzner and Lumsden, the others have previously held elected office at the municipal level. MPP Michael Parsa (Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill) has also been elevated to the cabinet for his second term.  

MPPs Lisa MacLeod, the controversial Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, Ross Romano, previously the Minister of Government and Consumer Services, and Nina Tangri, who previously served as the Associate Minister of Red Tape Reduction, have not been reappointed to cabinet. Tangri will be seeking the Speaker's chair and Romano has been named the Government Whip.

Who’s Staying Put

Hon. Doug Ford - Premier - Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs - MPP, Etobicoke North

Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy - Minister of Finance - MPP, Pickering–Uxbridge

Hon. Caroline Mulroney - Minister of Transportation - Minister of Francophone Affairs - MPP, York–Simcoe

Hon. Stephen Lecce - Minister of Education - MPP, King-Vaughan

Hon. Raymond Cho - Minister of Seniors and Accessibility - MPP, Scarborough North

Hon. Steve Clark - Minister for Municipal Affairs and Housing - MPP, Leeds–Grenville–Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes

Hon. Stan Cho - Associate Minister of Transportation - MPP, Willowdale

Hon, Doug Downey - Attorney General - MPP, Barrie–Springwater–Oro-Medonte

Hon. Jill Dunlop - Minister of Colleges and Universities - MPP, Simcoe North

Hon. Victor Fedeli - Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade - MPP, North Bay

Hon. Merrillee Fullerton - Minister of Children, Community and Social Service - MPP, Kanata–Carleton

Hon. Monte McNaughton - Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development - MPP, Lambton–Kent–Middlesex

Hon. David Piccini - Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks - MPP, Northumberland–Peterborough

Hon. Greg Rickford - Minister of Northern Development and Indigenous Affairs - MPP, Kenora–Rainy River

Hon. Prabmeet Sarkaria - President of the Treasury Board - MPP, Brampton South

Hon. Todd Smith - Minister of Energy - MPP, Bay of Quinte

Hon. Kinga Surma - Minister of Infrastructure - MPP, Etobicoke Centre

Hon. Lisa Thompson - Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs - MPP, Huron–Bruce

Hon. Michael Tibollo - Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addiction - MPP, Vaughan–Woodbridge

Hon. Paul Calandra - Minister of Long Term Care -  Minister of Legislative Affairs and Government House Leader - MPP, Markham–Stouffville

Who’s New

Hon. Charmaine Williams - Minister of Women’s Social and Economic Opportunity - MPP, Brampton Centre

Hon. Michael Ford - Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism - MPP, York South–Weston

Hon. Michael Kerzner - Solicitor General - MPP, York Centre

Hon. Graydon Smith - Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry - MPP, Parry Sound–Muskoka

Hon. Neil Lumsden - Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport - MPP, Hamilton East–Stoney Creek

Hon. George Pirie - Minister of Mines - MPP, Timmins

Hon. Michael Parsa - Associate Minister of Housing - MPP, Aurora–Oak Ridges–Richmond Hill

Who’s Moving Roles

Hon. Kaleed Rasheed - Moves from Associate Minister of Digital Government to Minister of Public and Business Service Delivery (formerly styled Minister of Government and Consumer Services)

Hon. Sylvia Jones - Moves from Solicitor General to Minister of Health and Deputy Premier - MPP, Dufferin–Caledon

Hon. Parm Gill -  Moves from Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism to Minister of Red Tape Reduction - MPP, Milton

Who’s Out

Lisa MacLeod - Former Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries - MPP, Nepean

Ross Romano - Former Minister of Government and Consumer Services - MPP, Sault Ste. Marie

Nina Tangri - Former Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction - MPP, Mississauga–Streetsville

With the swearing in of a cabinet and all new MPPs the next major milestone for the re-elected government will be a Speech from the Throne followed by the introduction and passage of a budget. It is widely expected that the legislature will recess following the budget.  

New Ministers will need time to be briefed on their files and staffing changes are likely at the beginning of this new term. Please reach out to Upstream to book a call to discuss your government relations efforts and how this new cabinet might impact your lobbying efforts.