Charles Sousa becomes Ontario’s finance minister
Compiled by Amber Daugherty
Premier Kathleen Wynne officially announced Charles Sousa as her finance minister during the swearing in ceremony today at Queen’s Park.
Some other big spots were filled.
Charles Sousa – Finance Minister
The Mississauga MPP replaces Dwight Duncan, who announced last week he would resign. Sousa has been called the decision maker in the Liberal convention outcome, after dropping out of the running and walked over to Kathleen Wynne’s camp. He was previously supporting Sandra Pupatello, but changed his loyalty at the last minute, saying he couldn’t stand behind Pupatello because she didn’t have a seat. He entered the Liberal leadership race as the “jobs premier,” and it was speculated he might become Minister of Labour. Becoming finance minister fits with the MPP’s extensive banking background. He has over 20 years of experience, having worked at RBC.
Former Toronto City Council member, Brad Duguid has been appointed minister of training, colleges and universities. Previously, Duguid served as minister of economic development and innovation. He has also served as energy minister, minister of aboriginal affairs and minister of labour. He served on both Scarborough and Toronto City Councils between 1994 and 2003.
The Guelph MPP replaces Laurel Broten as Minister of Education. She is a former school board trustee and president of the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association. The hope is that she can repair damaged relationships between the provincial government and teachers, who are angry about imposed contracts. She has many bridges to rebuild – thousands of teachers protested outside the Liberal leadership convention late last month, and students have also been protesting, having lost extracurricular activities and even having their proms threatened.
The Etobicoke-Lakeshore MPP is being demoted, losing her title as Minister of Education and being moved to Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. Broten has had a tough time trying to fix the fragile teacher-government relationship because she’s become the one teachers are focusing on. In her new position, she’ll act as the go-between for provincial and federal issues.
The Ottawa Centre MPP, is a rookie cabinet minister, and has been tapped as the Minister of Labour.
The Ottawa West-Nepean MPP moves from Minister of Transportation into a hot spot as Minister of Energy. Chris Bentley announced last week he will resign Feb.14, among growing concern about the expensive cancellation of two gas-fired power plants in Oakville and Mississauga. The cost to halt the projects came in at a total of at least $230-million. Chiarelli will have to try to calm the fire, before more drastic action is taken; some are asking for a public inquiry or legislative committee hearings. Wynne has already asked Ontario’s Auditor-General to do some digging into the issue.
The London North Centre MPP is keeping her title as Minister of Health, but also adds Deputy Premier to her resume. She was a big part of Wynne’s victory, serving as her co-chair during the campaign. Matthews was a key player in McGuinty’s government, and is still dealing with many issues, including the ORNGE scandal and eHealth upsets.
The Toronto Centre MPP and former mayor of Winnipeg was also running in the Liberal leadership race but dropped out to support Wynne as well. He’s taking over for Bob Chiarelli as Minister of Transportation, fitting with his urban planning background. He’s President and CEO of the Canadian Urban Institute that focuses on urban planning across the country. No doubt one of the first pushes will be in Toronto, where a smart transit plan has long been sought after. Kathleen Wynne has said as Premier she’ll make that a priority.
And Wynne will take on the responsibilities of Minister of Agriculture, along with her duties as Premier. There’s been some questioning as to how someone who lives in downtown Toronto can focus on rural issues, but she told the Globe and Mail, “I’m going to be more informed, I’m going to have a whole different understanding of how rural communities and agriculture communities work, and that’s a good thing for my urban constituents and vice-versa.”
Harinder Takhar is now minister of the government services.
Eric Hoskins is now minister of economic development, trade and employment.
Reports say Sandra Pupatello was considered for Minister of Finance but she turned down the offer.