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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 7:09 am    Post subject: Wynne plans to shuffle cabinet in June Reply with quote

( wynne may be planning a major cabinet shuffle in a desperate attempt to revive her government )

Kathleen Wynne plans major cabinet shuffle in June

Insiders say MPP Glenn Thibeault, a former NDP MP who won a byelection last year, will be headed to executive council. Ontario’s premier will revamp the cabinet by changing the structure of some ministries and bringing in a slew of backbenchers.

Midway through her mandate, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne wants ministers to move from policy-making mode to implementation as the Liberals gear up for what could be a challenging re-election in June 2018.

Midway through her mandate, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne wants ministers to move from policy-making mode to implementation as the Liberals gear up for what could be a challenging re-election in June 2018. (Steve Russell / Toronto Star) | Order this photo

By Robert BenzieQueen's Park Bureau Chief

Wed., May 25, 2016

Premier Kathleen Wynne is planning a major shuffle of her cabinet shortly after the legislature breaks for the summer on June 9, the Star has learned.

Midway through the mandate, Wynne wants ministers to move from policy-making mode to implementation as the Liberals gear up for what could be a challenging re-election in June 2018.

To that end, sources say the premier will revamp the cabinet by changing the structure of some ministries and bringing in a slew of backbenchers.

Insiders say MPP Glenn Thibeault (Sudbury), a former NDP MP who won a contentious byelection last year, will be headed for Wynne’s executive council.

Thibeault, viewed as a strong communicator, is also an expert in autism, which is one of the thorniest issues now facing the Liberals, though officials stress that doesn’t mean he will be replacing Children and Youth Services Minister Tracy MacCharles.

Other backbenchers being touted for cabinet are Eleanor McMahon (Burlington), a long-time cycling advocate who wrested away what had been one of the safest Progressive Conservative seats in Ontario during the 2014 campaign.

A former press secretary to ex-prime minister Jean Chrétien, McMahon is media-savvy and highly regarded by Wynne for her political prowess.

She secured a key riding that had been a Tory stronghold since midway through the Second World War.

Another suburban MPP likely headed for cabinet is Indira Naidoo-Harris (Halton), who also won a previous Tory bastion in the 2014 election.

Naidoo-Harris, a former broadcast journalist with CBC and Omni, had run and lost to veteran PC MPP Ted Chudleigh in 2011.

Wynne admired her tenacity and campaigned hard for her during the 2014 vote.

The premier is also considering bringing in another broadcaster to cabinet: rookie MPP Daiene Vernile (Kitchener Centre).

Vernile, a former journalist for CKCO, is viewed as adroit at communicating the government’s message in an important swing region of the province where she’s flanked by Tory MPP Michael Harris (Kitchener-Conestoga) and NDP MPP Catherine Fife (Kitchener-Waterloo).

Both Harris and Fife are high-profile members, so the Liberals want to ensure their local representative is given a chance to shine.

Mindful of that, MPP Kathryn McGarry (Cambridge) is another backbencher from the area who is up for cabinet consideration.

A critical-care nurse, McGarry ran in 2007 and 2011, losing to two Tory MPPs.

In Toronto, new MPP Yvan Baker (Etobicoke Centre), who has impressed Wynne and her staff with his abilities inside and outside the legislature, could be headed for his own ministry.

As parliamentary assistant to Deputy Premier Deb Matthews, the powerful Treasury Board president, Baker has worked hard on some of the government’s more thankless cost-cutting tasks.

The other newbie up for cabinet is Marie-France Lalonde (Ottawa-Orleans), who Wynne elevated to Chief Government Whip last September even though she’d only been elected 15 months earlier.

While so many newcomers are being heralded for cabinet posts, sources say it is still too soon to determine who will be dumped as a minister or who will be eased out because they are not seeking re-election in 2018.

Wynne is looking at rejigging some departments, such as carving out a separate Ministry of Infrastructure, which could create new ministerial positions.

That may mean expanding cabinet from the current 26 ministers, including the premier.

Talk of the pending shuffle has reached a fever pitch at Queen’s Park in recent weeks with some ministers quizzing their staff and journalists about what they are hearing on that front.

As of this week, it appears as if Health Minister Eric Hoskins and Finance Minister Charles Sousa are expected to remain at their posts, but many others can and will be moved.


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Liberal MPPs heading for the exits?

By Christina Blizzard, Queen's Park Columnist
First posted: Wednesday, May 25, 2016 08:06 PM EDT | Updated: Wednesday, May 25, 2016 08:12 PM EDT

TORONTO - Like a Saturday night sot, the Liberal government is lurching wildly towards the legislature’s summer break.

It’s increasingly clear that Kathleen Wynne needs to give sober second thought as to where her party’s heading.

Her government ricochets from crisis to crisis. One moment, they seem bumbling and inept; the next, they’re caught in scandal.

Revelations of questionable practices emerge weekly: Millions of dollars in payments to powerful teacher unions; an alleged overpayment of $1.5 billion to Samsung in its blockbuster green energy deal.

At the same time, we see the hamfisted manhandling of the family of an autistic child cut off from Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) therapy. Unbelievably, Mississauga-Streetsville MPP Bob Delaney called the cops when mom Melanie Palaypayon said she would hand out pamphlets outside his office to protest her son being dumped from the waiting list for therapy.

Delaney’s initial lame attempt at an apology was not delivered personally — just distributed to media, presumably to shut us up, and posted on a website.

Not exactly heartfelt.

As summer looms, Wynne faces at least one byelection — and possibly as many as six.

Sometime over the summer, the premier will have to call a byelection to replace Bas Balkissoon in Scarborough-Rouge River.

There are rumblings other Liberal MPPs may be heading for the exits.

Long-time York Centre MPP Monte Kwinter has been ailing recently, as has Ajax-Pickering’s Joe Dickson. Both those ridings would be tough fights for the Liberals. As well, there’s speculation well-liked veteran Mario Sergio, Wynne’s minister with responsibility for seniors, could move on.

Another intriguing rumour says Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur is ready to call it quits, opening up her Ottawa-Vanier riding.

And you have to wonder if Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli will stick around much longer. He has come under fire numerous times since the 2014 election. The message you get from him is that he’s disgruntled with his own government.

It’s almost certain he won’t return to cabinet in the shuffle that’s expected after the legislature rises for the summer break. The question is will he remain as a backbencher or will he quit and trigger a byelection in Ottawa West-Nepean?

Not that it makes much difference. Even if the Liberals lost all six seats — which is unlikely — they’d still have a majority government.

Meanwhile, there’s speculation Wynne may aim for Justin Trudeau levels of gender parity in her new cabinet with an equal number of women and men. That may prove difficult, as she doesn’t have a large number of women with cabinet experience. She could trigger more problems for herself by introducing too many rookies.

Then again, the men she’s got in cabinet now are hardly rocket scientists, so what could go wrong?

The person who really should quit his seat is Delaney. Anyone who feels so threatened by a constituent simply asking for help for a learning disabled child that he calls police should reconsider their position as an MPP.

This is a democracy. Palaypayon has every right to peaceful demonstration. Her protest is even more understandable when you consider how the Liberals have treated autistic children.

When an MPP views a constituent as the enemy, it’s time for them to call it quits.


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will believe it when I see it;
The Ontario Liberals seemingly always find a way.

If they lose five MPPs in the next few months I would be stunned.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( the new cabinet has been announced , no real surprises , a lot of new liberal mpp's from previously pc ridings are suddenly now cabinet ministers , Kathryn Mcgarry from Cambridge I riding that hadn't been liberal in years , Eleanor Mcmahon from Burlington a riding that had been pc since the 40's , Indira Naidoo Harris from Halton a normally pc riding and Chris Ballard from Newmarket Aurora a riding that had been pc since 95 . so basically if you were a liberal mpp in a weak riding you found a way into cabinet , if this stunt works to hold those seats remains to be seen , pc's have big lead in some polls )

Kathleen Wynne's shuffled cabinet features 40% women

7 new ministers join cabinet, while some high-profile ministers retain posts

CBC News Posted: Jun 13, 2016 9:59 AM ET| Last Updated: Jun 13, 2016 11:29 AM ET

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne unveiled her new cabinet at Queen's Park on Monday.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne unveiled her new cabinet at Queen's Park on Monday. (David Donnelly/CBC)

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne introduced a new cabinet that welcomes seven new faces and more women to her inner-circle.

Wynne introduced her new cabinet — 40 per cent of which is made up of women — at a ceremony at Queen's Park on Monday. This is the first cabinet shuffle since the June 2014 election.

The new cabinet features seven new faces, while some high-profile politicians will be changing roles. Yasir Naqvi, for example, will take on the role of attorney general. While Liz Sandals moves from education to the treasury board.

Other ministers, including Glen Murray (environment), Eric Hoskins (health) and Charles Sousa (finance) will stay in their roles.

Some highlights of the cabinet changes:
■Mitzie Hunter becomes Minister of Education.
■Deb Matthews remains Deputy Premier and also gets the new title of Minister Responsible for Digital Government.
■Indira Naidoo-Harris becomes Associate Minister of Finance responsible for the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan.
■Glenn Thibeault, a former NDP MP, becomes Minster of Energy.
■Laura Albanese becomes Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Several cabinet ministers announced they were leaving their posts before Monday's event.

Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur, Seniors Affairs Minister Mario Sergio and Municipal Affairs Minister Ted McMeekin all stepped down last week, with McMeekin saying he wanted to make room for more women in cabinet.

Here is the full list of Ontario cabinet ministers:
■Kathleen Wynne: Premier and President of the Council Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.
■Deborah Matthews: Deputy Premier, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, Cabinet Minister Responsible for Digital Government.
■Michael Gravelle: Minister of Northern Development and Mines.
■Brad Duguid: Minister of Economic Development and Growth.
■Jeff Leal: Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
■David Orazietti: Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services.
■Liz Sandals: President of the Treasury Board.
■David Zimmer: Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.
■Michael Chan: Minister of International Trade.
■Reza Moridi: Minister of Research, Innovation and Science.
■Yasir Naqvi: Attorney General, Government House Leader.
■Charles Sousa: Minister of Finance.
■Eric Hoskins: Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.
■Glen Murray: Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.
■Bob Chiarelli: Minister of Infrastructure.
■Michael Coteau: Minister of Children and Youth Services, Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism.
■Tracy MacCharles: Minister Responsible for Women's Issues, Minister Responsible for Accessibility.
■Kevin Flynn: Minister of Labour.
■William Mauro: Minister of Municipal Affairs.
■Helena Jaczek: Minister of Community and Social Services.
■Dipika Damerla: Minister Responsible for Seniors Affairs.
■Steven Del Duca: Minister of Transportation.
■Mitzie Hunter: Minister of Education.
■Laura Albanese: Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.
■Christopher Ballard: Minister of Housing Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy
■Marie-France Lalonde: Minister of Government and Consumer Services, Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs.
■Kathryn McGarry: Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry.
■Eleanor McMahon: Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.
■Indira Naidoo-Harris: Associate Minister of Finance (Ontario Retirement Pension Plan).
■Glenn Thibeault: Minister of Energy.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

52% of Wynne’s MPPs in cabinet

First posted: Tuesday, June 14, 2016 08:50 PM EDT | Updated: Tuesday, June 14, 2016 08:53 PM EDT

Kathleen Wynne
Premier Kathleen Wynne talks to media at her first press conference after the announcement of a cabinet shuffle at Queen's Park in Toronto, on Monday, June 13, 2016. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Eduardo Lima)

Premier Kathleen Wynne’s spin on Monday’s cabinet shuffle is that 40% of it is now female.

But a number that more accurately describes Wynne’s style of government is that more than half of all Liberal MPPs are now cabinet ministers.

Indeed, 52% of them — a majority — are now in Wynne’s cabinet, earning $165,850 annually, or about $50,000 more than an MPP’s base salary of $116,550.

That’s because Wynne hiked the size of her cabinet by 11% in this shuffle, raising if from 27 MPPs, including herself, to 30.

The entire Liberal caucus has only 58 members.

As the CBC noted, Wynne’s 30-member cabinet is the largest Ontario has had in almost three decades, since former Liberal premier David Peterson’s 30-member cabinet in 1987.

While Wynne is creating new jobs for cabinet ministers, don’t feel too bad for MPPs who didn’t make it from the back benches into cabinet, or who were dropped by Wynne.

That’s because with more than half of all Liberal MPPs in cabinet, most of the rest are parliamentary assistants to ministers, earning an extra $16,173 annually, minimum, in addition to their base salaries of $116,550.

As for the significance of this shuffle, cabinet shake-ups are routine at the halfway point of a majority government and that’s what this is.

In any cabinet shuffle, the key jobs are deputy premier; finance; health care and education which are the biggest spending ministries and, in Wynne’s case, environment, because of her climate change agenda.

And in those key ministries, the new bosses are the same as the old bosses in every case but one.

Deb Matthews is still deputy premier, Charles Sousa is still finance minister, Eric Hoskins is still health minister and Glen Murray is still environment minister.

Only in education has there been a change, with Liz Sandals moving to president of the treasury board, to be replaced by former associate finance minister Mitzie Hunter.

Of course, the real centre of power in Wynne’s government is Wynne and her senior staff.

So if you approve of the job she’s been doing — and the last Forum poll in March showed only 20% of us do compared to 64% who don’t — expect more of the same.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the magic world of government, the increased costs only start with salaries.

What goes along with this is more and more centralization of decision-making. The full cabinet will start to become a little more like the caucus, and what used to be the cabinet decisions are made in small committees , made up chiefly of the inner circle.

But the fantasy has to be maintained. You can't, after all, have a cabinet minister, even a junior, junior one, having the same office space, and staff as a friggin' ordindary member, can you? So, there's that.

And, of course, there will be increased expenses. More attendees at conferences, for example. The Greens, in particular, like to have their conferences in places with tiki bars and nice beaches. But Japan is always nice, or ... (sigh) ... France!

So there's that.
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Wynne plans to shuffle cabinet in June

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