Loading articles...

Kathleen Wynne sworn in as premier of Ontario

Kathleen Wynne smiles as she is sworn-in as Ontario premier at Queen's Park in Toronto on Monday, Feb. 11, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Ontario made history on Monday when the province’s first female premier was sworn in at Queen’s Park.

Kathleen Wynne succeeds Dalton McGuinty as Ontario’s 25th premier. Ontario Lt.-Gov. David Onley presided over the swearing-in ceremony which started at 3 p.m. on Monday.

Wynne beat out closest competitor Sandra Pupatello in the provincial Liberal leadership race last month.

She will serve as minister of agriculture, as well.

Ontarians and Canadians have high expectations for Wynne — a recent poll shows about 70 per cent of Canucks see her win as a significant breakthrough for women in politics. The telephone poll was conducted between Jan. 31 and Feb. 4. The Canadian Press-Harris/Decima survey has a margin of error of 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

Wynne also becomes Canada’s first openly-gay premier.

Her cabinet was also sworn in on Monday and she’s made some new appointments. Charles Sousa, who also ran for the Ontario Liberal leadership, was named finance minister, replacing Dwight Duncan. (See full list below)

There are ten newcomers in Premier Wynne’s 27-member cabinet, including Guelph MPP Liz Sandals who takes on the education portfolio.

Other new ministers include:

  • Peterborough’s Jeff Leal is the new minister 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
  • Mario Sergio of Toronto 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 ministry 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
  • Community Safety and Correctional Services Minister Madeleine Meilleur, also responsible for Francophone Affairs
  • Government services Minister Harinder Takhar
  • Government House Leader John Milloy
  • Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Michael Chan.

With files from The Canadian Press