Alumni named among Ford cabinet

Special to Western News

Doug Ford named 20 of his MPPs to cabinet the same morning he was sworn in as Ontario premier at Queen’s Park. The group is styled as the province’s “first-ever government for the people,” a riff on the Progressive Conservative campaign slogan.

Western alumni Christine Elliott, LLB’78, Rod Phillips, BA’88 (Political Science & English), and Monte McNaughton, Ivey Executive Education 2010, were named today among members of the new Progressive Conservative cabinet of recently elected Ontario Premier Doug Ford.

The 21-member cabinet, which includes Ford as Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, will consist of 13 men and eight women, including a number of veteran politicians alongside well-known business executives.

Elliott will serve as Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and as Deputy Premier. Phillips is the new Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks and Ford selected McNaughton as the new Minister of Infrastructure.

Ford named the cabinet as he was sworn in as premier at Queen’s Park this morning. It is styled as the province’s “first-ever government for the people,” a riff on the Conservative campaign slogan.

“I will never forget why I’m here – to work for the people of Ontario. I promised the people that I would help make our great province the best place in North America when it comes to business, creating jobs and raising a family. And I am going to keep my promise,” Ford said in a prepared statement.

The cabinet includes long-time MPPs Elliott and McNaughton, along with Vic Fedeli, Lisa MacLeod, Laurie Scott, Jim Wilson and John Yakabuski. Greg Rickford, a former federal natural resources minister, will serve a similar role in the new provincial government.

Elliott served as Ontario PC Party Deputy Leader from 2009-15 under Tim Hudak. She was the runner-up in both the 2015 and 2018 PC party leadership races and was a Conservative member in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 2006-15. In 2015, Elliot was appointed by Liberal Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Eric Hoskins as Ontario’s first Patient Ombudsman, a non-partisan position meant to support patients who have not had their issues resolved through normal complaint resolution processes.

Phillips, the former chair of Postmedia and former president and CEO of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, also chaired the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance. He served as president of personnel services company Morneau Shepell and was chief of staff for former Toronto mayor, Mel Lastman. Phillips served as director of the leader’s tour for Ontario PC leader John Tory during the 2007 provincial election.

McNaughton, at the age of 20, was elected to the municipal council in his hometown of Newbury in 1997 and served three terms. In the 2007 provincial election, he was the PC candidate in the riding of Lambton–Kent–Middlesex but lost to Liberal incumbent Maria Van Bommel. In the 2011 election, he ran against Van Bommel, defeating her by 6,956 votes. McNaughton was re-elected in the 2014 election. He previously served as the party’s critic for Economic Development and Growth.

The new Conservative government could be nodding to certain policy intentions through ministry names, some of which are changing under Ford. The former Ministry of Environment and Climate Change is now Environment, Conservation, and Parks. Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation is now Indigenous Affairs. The postsecondary education portfolio, which had been renamed Advanced Education and Skills Development under the Liberals, is reverting back to its previous designation of Training, Colleges, and Universities.

Members of the new Conservative cabinet include:

Peter Bethlenfalvy – President of the Treasury Board;
Raymond Cho – Minister for Seniors and Accessibility;
Steve Clark – Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing;
Christine Elliott – Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and Deputy Premier;
Vic Fedeli – Minister of Finance and Chair of Cabinet;
Doug Ford – Premier and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs;
Merrilee Fullerton – Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities;
Ernie Hardeman – Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs;
Sylvia Jones – Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport;
Lisa MacLeod – Minister of Children, Community and Social Services and Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues;
Monte McNaughton – Minister of Infrastructure;
Caroline Mulroney – Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs;
Rod Phillips – Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks;
Greg Rickford – Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and Minister of Indigenous Affairs;
Laurie Scott – Minister of Labour;
Todd Smith – Minister of Government and Consumer Services, and Government House Leader;
Lisa Thompson – Minister of Education;
Michael Tibollo – Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services;
Jim Wilson – Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade;
John Yakabuski – Minister of Transportation; and
Jeff Yurek – Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry.