Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Elizabeth Dowdeswell, has invited Doug Ford to assume the position of Premier of Ontario and form a new government. Premier-designate Ford indicated that he and his cabinet will be sworn in on June 29, 2018. There are many predictions that he will have a much smaller cabinet of 18 to 20 people, down from the 30-member Liberal cabinet. There is also speculation that some portfolios could be eliminated or combined.
At his first press conference as premier-designate, Ford said his top concern is protecting Ontario jobs and said, “My job is to protect every single job in Ontario, which is affected more than any other province. I have to protect the autoworkers, which is a massive industry, and my priority is to protect the steel and aluminum workers.” On June 14, Ford met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland and Canada’s Ambassador to the United States David MacNaughton.
The 40 NDP MPPs is the party’s largest since the 1990s and includes new representatives from Toronto, Brampton, Ottawa, Kingston, Kitchener, St. Catharines, Sudbury, Thunder Bay and the north. It also includes North America’s first Tibetan elected official, Parkdale-High Park’s Bhutila Karpoche; Kingfisher First Nation MPP Sol Mamakwa, who will represent Kiiwetinoong; and Métis MPP Guy Bourgouin who will represent Mushkegowuk—James Bay.
Ontario Liberal Party president Brian Johns announced the Liberal caucus has unanimously endorsed Liberal MPP John Fraser as the recommended candidate for the position of interim leader. Fraser represents the riding of Ottawa South, which he first won in a 2013 by-election to replace Dalton McGuinty. Kathleen Wynne will stay on as a third-party MPP. She and the other six Liberal MPPs will be serving as independents after the party’s failure to achieve official party status, unless the PCs choose to pass legislation lowering the threshold. Ontario’s first Green MPP, Mike Schreiner, will also sit as an independent.
The 73 new MPPs — representing 59 per cent of the legislature — will take part in orientation sessions. Much of the current activity at Queen’s Park is focused on the logistics of moving Minsters and their staff and preparing new offices. Of note, there are now more female MPPs than there were before the election. Ontario now has 49 female MPPs, comprising 39.5 per cent of the House.