Canada: Ontario's New Cabinet Revealed

On Friday, June 29, 2018, Ontario's new government was sworn in. Who are the new players and what will they bring to their new roles? Here are a few insights into who's who, and how the Ford Cabinet breaks with convention.

This 21-member Cabinet is dominated by rural and suburban ridings. The longstanding tradition of critics not becoming Ministers of the same portfolio comes to an end here, with multiple Ministers transitioning directly and countless others selected based on their expertise, not just their political value. The most significant example of this, of course, is Vic Fedeli, who served as critic of Finance for years and now becomes Minister. While it breaks with convention, there is no one in Cabinet who has spent more time studying Budgets than Mr. Fedeli, who published five editions of "Focus on Finance" analyzing the Liberal books. The most recent, published this May, was 130-pages long. He also earned credibility with Premier Ford for his work as Interim Leader during the leadership race.

Christine Elliott is also serving in a role for which she has very recent experience, Minister of Health. Prior to her return to politics for the leadership race, Ms. Elliott was the Patient Ombudsman. She also fills the role of Deputy Premier, a nod to her strong showing in the PC leadership race as well as her previous role as Deputy Leader alongside Tim Hudak.

Keeping his word, Doug Ford appointed a farmer to the Agriculture portfolio: Ernie Hardeman, who reprises his role, having served as Minister in the Mike Harris government. Ford selected for President of the Treasury Board a man with over 25-years of senior financial expertise, Peter Bethlenfalvy. Steve Clark, who was elected the youngest mayor in Canada when he was 22, and who served as the President of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, becomes the Minister of Municipal Affairs & Housing.

Two-thirds of Cabinet positions are held by experienced MPPs, with only seven first-timers earning portfolios. It is clear from the selections that Premier Ford was not looking to reward, but rather to build a strong cabinet 'for the people' of Ontario. While Cabinet is modestly sized for now, most governments begin to uncouple portfolios as work intensifies. The considerably larger pool of 26 Parliamentary Assistants will serve as a proving ground for an expanded Cabinet, and for future shuffles. The impressive array of millennial-aged Parliamentary Assistants is definitely worth watching, especially Stephen Lecce, Prime Minister Harper's former chief spokesperson who now serves in Infrastructure; Kinga Surma, whose Toronto City Hall experience will help a rural Minister deal with the Transportation portfolio; and Sam Oosterhoff, who is wildly popular amongst social conservatives and who will be supporting the curriculum re-write in the Education portfolio.

Ontario Cabinet:

Peter Bethlenfalvy – President of the Treasury Board
MPP, Pickering-Uxbridge

An international leader in the financial services sector with over 25 years of senior leadership experience in capital markets, risk management and investments, Mr. Bethlenfalvy is a first-time MPP. He was most recently the Chief Investment and Risk Officer at CST Consultants. Prior to joining CST, he was Senior Vice President, financial regulations at Manulife Financial, where he was responsible for strategy and monitoring financial regulatory systems around the world. Bethlenfalvy was also President and Chief Operating Officer of TD Securities (USA).

Raymond Cho – Minister for Seniors and Accessibility
MPP, Scarborough-Rouge River

Immigrating to Canada from Korea in the 1960s, Mr. Cho worked 3 jobs to put himself through graduate school, ultimately earning a PhD in counseling psychology. A life-long human rights advocate, Cho was first elected to Toronto City Council in 1991, ultimately winning 8 elections. Throughout his years at City Hall, he remained very close to the Fords. Elected MPP in a 2016 by-election, Cho is a returning MPP.

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

Elected the youngest Mayor in Canada at the age of 22 in Brockville, Mr. Clark has spent his career in politics both directly as an elected official, and indirectly as a staffer and a journalist. Having served 3 terms as Mayor of Brockville, as President of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, and as the founding chair of the International Plowing Match and Country Festival, this role is tailor-made for Clark.

Christine Elliott – Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and Deputy Premier
MPP, Newmarket-Aurora

A lawyer and bank auditor, Ms. Elliott spent many years co-owning a law firm with her late husband, the Hon. Jim Flaherty. The mother of triplet sons, one of whom has a disability, Ms. Elliott has been a lifelong advocate for disabilities, co-founding the Abilities Centre in Whitby. Following 9 years of service as an MPP, she most recently served as Ontario's Patient Ombudsman, where she fought for better access to health care for all. Ms. Elliott has been friends with the Ford family for over 20 years, and despite a contentious and extremely close leadership race, that friendship remains intact. As Minister of Health, she will be tasked with resolving long-standing disputes with Ontario's doctors.

Vic Fedeli – Minister of Finance and Chair of Cabinet
MPP, Nipissing

A successful business owner for over 20 years, Mr. Fedeli was first elected Mayor of North Bay in 2003. He served two terms as mayor and is lauded for having transformed the city, turning its economics around. He has served as an MPP since 2011, and spent much of his tenure as the Finance Critic, publishing "Focus on Finance" regularly. Mr. Fedeli served as interim leader during the recent leadership contest that saw Premier Ford become PC Party Leader. As Minister of Finance, he will be responsible for figuring out how to pay for various campaign commitments, as well as the costs associated with unwinding Cap and Trade.

Merrilee Fullerton – Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities
MPP, Kanata-Carleton

Dr. Merrilee Fullerton is a family physician and health advocate. Dr. Fullerton has been very active in professional medical associations and local health care organizations, including advisory roles with both the Ontario Medical Association and Canadian Medical Association, and membership in the City of Ottawa Board of Health and the local LHIN serving Ottawa and area.

Ernie Hardeman – Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
MPP, Oxford

A farmer, Mr. Hardeman owned and operated Hardeman Feed Ltd for 30 years, serving as a volunteer firefighter for much of that time. Upon his retirement, he served in elected municipal office for over 15 years before being elected to the Ontario Legislature in June 1995. Mr. Hardeman was appointed as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing until 1999 and then to Cabinet as Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, to which he now returns.

Sylvia Jones – Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport
MPP, Dufferin-Caledon

Prior to her election as MPP in 2007, Ms. Jones worked in radio broadcasting. Her many critic responsibilities have included serving as the Critic for Community and Social Services; the Critic for Children and Youth Services; the Critic for Government Services; and the Opposition Deputy House Leader. Since being elected in 2007, Ms. Jones has introduced many pieces of legislation that have become law, including the Social Assistance Statute Law Amendment Act, the Aggregate Recycling Promotion Act and the Respecting Private Property Act. Prior to the election, she served as Deputy Leader and Critic for Infrastructure.

Lisa MacLeod – Minister of Children, Community and Social Services and Minister Responsible for Women's Issues
MPP, Nepean

A proud hockey mom, Ms. MacLeod was first elected to the Ontario Legislature in a 2006 by-election as the youngest MPP in that parliament and the youngest conservative woman to be elected in Ontario, either federally or provincially. While in opposition, Ms. MacLeod successfully championed Rowan's Law, Canada's first concussion legislation, and previously served as the Treasury Board critic.

Monte McNaughton – Minister of Infrastructure
MPP, Lambton-Kent-Middlesex

Mr. McNaughton is a successful entrepreneur and small business owner who, at the age of 20, was elected municipal councilor. Thrice elected municipally, he went on to serve as President of the Strathroy Chamber of Commerce before being elected MPP. He previously served as the Critic for Economic Development & Growth.

Caroline Mulroney – Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs
MPP, York-Simcoe

A lawyer and financial analyst with degrees from Harvard and NYU, Ms. Mulroney co-founded and chairs the Shoebox Project for Shelters, supporting thousands of women and girls in shelters or facing homelessness. While working as Vice President of a Toronto investment firm, she has also served as member of the Board of Directors of the SickKids Foundation and a Governor of the National Theatre School of Canada. Ms. Mulroney is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority.

Rod Phillips – Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
MPP, Ajax

Mr. Phillips most recently was the Chair of both Afiniti Canada, a global artificial intelligence company, and Postmedia, Canada's largest news media company. He is the former President and CEO of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation and Shepell.fgi, a Canadian based international employee assistance company. At the age of 32, he served as Chief of Staff to the first Mayor of the amalgamated City of Toronto. Mr. Phillips has a lifetime commitment to community service, most recently as Chair of the Boards of CivicAction and the TELUS GTA Community Board leading work to reduce gridlock, youth unemployment and improve mental health across the GTA. As Minister of Environment, he will be responsible for quickly extricating Ontario from the Cap and Trade program.

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

Working as a nurse early in his career, Mr. Rickford was stationed in remote First Nations communities across Northern Ontario. He would continue to work with Indigenous groups when he became a lawyer and later as the first Conservative MP to be elected in Kenora. In Harper's Cabinet, he served as the Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor) and was later promoted to Minister of Natural Resources. He will be a champion for infrastructure and mining projects, especially the Ring of Fire, whose largest investor, Noront Resources, had Mr. Rickford on its Board of Directors. As Minister of Energy, one of his top priorities will be to immediately replace the Board and management of Hydro One, and quickly dismantle the Green Energy Act programs.

Laurie Scott – Minister of Labour
MPP, Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes

Ms. Scott spent much of her career working as a registered nurse. First elected in 2003, she has served as critic in many portfolios. She is a tireless advocate for victims of human sex trafficking in Ontario.

Todd Smith – Minister of Government and Consumer Services, and Government House Leader
MPP, Bay of Quinte

Mr. Smith hosted a morning radio show at the Quinte Broadcasting station for more than 16 years and served as news director. First elected in 2011, Mr. Smith served in a number of critic roles and has been an active player in introducing new legislation. During his first term, he introduced legislation aimed at reducing red tape in the beverage and alcohol sector by allowing Ontario products easier access to market.

Lisa Thompson – Minister of Education
MPP, Huron-Bruce

A farmer, Ms. Thompson served as the former General Manager of the Ontario Dairy Goat Cooperative and a rural community advisor for the Ministry of Agriculture before her first election as MPP in 2011. She has served in a variety of critic roles. In the role of Minister of Education, Ms. Thompson will be responsible for overseeing the consultation and rewriting process for Ontario's curriculum, including the sex-ed portion.

Michael Tibollo – Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services
MPP, Vaughan-Woodbridge

A distinguished lawyer with over 30 years of experience, Mr. Tibollo was instrumental in the creation of Italian Heritage Month in Canada. He is also an active bee-keeper who cares about the environment and nature.

Jim Wilson – Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade
MPP, Simcoe-Grey

Mr. Wilson is the longest serving MPP in government and the dean of the PC caucus. First elected in 1990, Mr. Wilson served as Minister in multiple portfolios, including Health, Energy, Science & Technology, Northern Development & Mines, and Environment. In opposition, he served as House Leader, and in 2014-2015, he served as Interim Leader. As Minister for Job Creation, he will be expected to deliver on Premier Ford's primary promise of making Ontario "Open for Business."

John Yakabuski – Minister of Transportation
MPP, Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke

Mr. Yakabuski is now serving his 5th consecutive term in office, first elected in 2003. Formerly a real estate sales representative, he is best known locally as the former owner-operator of Yakabuski's Home Hardware in Barry's Bay, which he operated for 20 years. Mr. Yakabuski served in opposition as the critic for Labour and Training, Energy, and as Chief Whip.

Jeff Yurek – Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry
MPP, Elgin-Middlesex-London

A pharmacist, Mr. Yurek was first elected in 2011 and spent much of his time raising health-related issues in the legislature. He is responsible for the creation of "Ryan's Law", which set standards of care for children attending Ontario schools that require the use of asthma medication. Mr. Yurek served in various critic roles, including Transportation & Auto-Insurance Reform, Health, and Natural Resources & Forestry.

Parliamentary Assistants:

  • Robert Bailey - Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Government and Consumer Services
  • Toby Barrett - Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry
  • Paul Calandra - Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines (Energy)
  • Stan Cho - Parliamentary Assistant to the President of the Treasury Board
  • Doug Downey - Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance
  • Amy Fee - Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Children, Community, and Social Services (Children and Autism)
  • Christine Hogarth - Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Housing)
  • Belinda Karahalios - Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Children, Community, and Social Services (Community and Social Services)
  • Vincent Ke - Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport
  • Andrea Khanjin - Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
  • Stephen Lecce - Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Infrastructure
  • Robin Martin - Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care (Health)
  • Gila Martow - Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Labour
  • Jim McDonell - Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Municipal Affairs)
  • Norm Miller - Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
  • Sam Oosterhoff - Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education
  • Lindsey Park - Parliamentary Assistant to the Attorney General
  • Michael Parsa - Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (Small Business)
  • Randy Pettapiece - Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
  • David Piccini - Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities
  • Ross Romano - Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines (Northern Development and Mines) and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Indigenous Affairs
  • Prabmeet Sarkaria - Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services
  • Amanda Simard - Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs
  • Donna Skelly - Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade (Trade)
  • Kinga Surma - Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Transportation
  • Effie Triantafilopoulos - Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care (Long-Term Care)

The foregoing provides only an overview and does not constitute legal advice. Readers are cautioned against making any decisions based on this material alone. Rather, specific legal advice should be obtained.

© McMillan LLP 2018

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions