Ontario's new premier, Kathleen Wynne, holds her first press conference at the Delta Chelsea Hotel in downtown Toronto, on the morning after her win at the Liberal convention.
Credits: MICHAEL PEAKE/QMI AGENCY
TORONTO -- Premier-designate Kathleen Wynne will officially be sworn-in Monday along with a cabinet which makes clear her intent to broker peace with teachers.
Guelph MPP Liz Sandals, a former president of the Ontario School Boards' Association with a record of working well with stakeholder groups, will tackle the important education portfolio.
She will face the immediate and difficult task of forging a new relationship with teachers to help bring extracurricular activities back to public elementary and secondary schools.
The hot-seat energy file goes to seasoned Ottawa West-Nepean MPP Bob Chiarelli who has significant experience in handling large infrastructure projects.
Chiarelli will immediately face questions from opposition MPPs over the government's handling of two cancelled gas plants -- one in Oakville and the other in Mississauga.
Mississauga South MPP Charles Sousa is expected to take over from Dwight Duncan in the finance portfolio where his banker background signals the new premier means to stick to her plan to balance the books by 2017-18.
Health Minister Deb Matthews, who was pivotal in Wynne's leadership victory, is staying put, but will take on the title of deputy premier.
Wynne will assume the agriculture, food and rural affairs ministry from Hamilton-area MPP Ted McMeekin.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, who helped the minority Dalton McGuinty government get a budget through the legislature last spring, said she is taking a "wait-and-see" approach with the Wynne regime.
"We're going to either get the same old status quo or we're going to actually have a new direction where they're considering seriously some of our proposals," Horwath said.
New Democrats have made a number of proposals including a 15% mandated cut in auto insurance premiums, a youth employment program, a five-day wait time guarantee for home care services and the elimination of a payroll tax break for large companies.
The NDP leader has put all her ideas out in public.
"I'm not interested in back-door deals or back-room deals and that kind of stuff," Horwath said.
Tory MPP Monte McNaughton said Friday that Wynne must reduce the size and cost of government, starting with her cabinet.
"Our leader Tim Hudak put out in his white paper that we should reduce the number of ministries from 25 to 15," he said. "They need to show that they want to get the books back to balance."