Kathleen Wynne, Ontario's 25th Premier, introduced her
cabinet at Queen's Park on Monday afternoon, Feb. 11, and
Ottawa's Bob Chiarelli has landed in the hotly controversial
energy portfolio. The 71-year-old former Mayor of Ottawa is no
stranger to either politics or controversy. Undoubtedly, the new
Premier selected the Ottawa lawyer and businessman for his long
experience and his ability to manage difficult
files. Chiarelli is well remembered around the national
capital region for his adept handling of the ice storm which struck
eastern Ontario and western Quebec a few days after Chiarelli had
been elected to the Regional Chairmanship of Ottawa-Carleton in
Ontario's new minister of energy will need all of his
diplomatic and political skills over the coming weeks as his
department is surely going to be in the news on an almost daily
basis. The Auditor-General of Ontario is expected to report shortly
on his investigation into the power plant controversy in the
western GTA. The Ontario government is still in a precarious
minority situation in the legislature and both opposition parties
have clearly indicated that they will be taking the Provincial
Auditor's report on power plants to a legislative committee at
the earliest opportunity this spring.
Another high-profile appointment to the new Wynne cabinet
is former Winnipeg Mayor and Toronto Centre MPP Glen Murray who
takes over the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, an
assignment that will give the energetic and loquacious Murray
plenty of opportunity to interact with Toronto City Council on the
growing concerns about gridlock in Canada's largest
city. And to no one's surprise, Ms. Wynne appointed
Mississauga South MPP Charles Sousa, a 54-year-old former banker,
as Ontario's next minister of finance. Well-liked and respected
by his Liberal colleagues as a good listener and conciliator, Sousa
played a pivotal role at the recent Liberal leadership convention
throwing his support on the second ballot to the eventual winner,
At the swearing-in ceremony, Premier Wynne, Ontario's first
female government leader, indicated that she intends to "reach
out" to both opposition parties to find ways to make the
minority government work. It remains to be seen how long Ontarians
will be spared another election given the many contentious issues
on the agenda and with the ever-present multi-billion deficit
($11.9B) limiting spending options. However, it was left to
Mississauga's legendary 92-year-old Mayor Hazel McCallion, on
hand at Queen's Park for Premier Wynne's installation, to
observe "Now that we have a woman in charge, things will
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