It's a day of tremendous pride for a little berg as Guelph's Member of Provincial Parliament, Liberal Liz Sandals, was announced yesterday as the province's new Minister of Education under Premier Kathleen Wynne.
Sandals was one of several of new cabinet ministers sworn in yesterday, but her new responsibilities may be the hardest under the new regime, try and make peace with the province's teachers. Sandals, former head of the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association, might have an easier time of it than some, being able to speak to the teachers on their own terms while carrying not nearly the same amount of baggage as her ministerial predecessor Laurel Broten.
Off the cuff, people seem positive about the changing of the guard.
“With a former school trustee as premier and a former school trustee as education minister, the stars seem aligned — I couldn’t have dreamed of a better team,” Michael Barrett told the Toronto Star. Barrett is a former colleague of Sandals' from her trustee days.
“She’s very collaborative and analytical and problem-solving would be her big strength,” said Ken Coran, president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation. “She’s familiar with all the nuances of the school system which means she should be able to get involved right away in resolving the things that went wrong in the past,”
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario added that Sandals “brings important experience to the education portfolio.”
Well, that's lofty praise, and expectations. But can Sandals deliver? That will be the question, the only question of importance, going forward.
Here's the list of the full cabinet:
- Kathleen Wynne - Premier of Ontario, Minister of Agriculture
- Deb Matthews - Deputy Premier of Ontario, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
- Jim Bradley - Minister of the Environment
- John Gerretsen - Attorney General of Ontario
- Michael Gravelle - Minister of Northern Development and Mines
- Ted McMeekin - Minister of Community and Social Services
- Laurel Broten - Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Minister responsible for Women's Issues
- Brad Duguid - Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities
- Linda Jeffrey - Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Chair of Cabinet
- Jeff Leal - Minister of Rural Affairs
- Madeleine Meilleur - Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Minister responsible for Francophone Affairs
- David Orazietti - Minister of Natural Resources
- Liz Sandals - Minister of Education
- Harinder Takhar - Minister of Government Services, Chair of the Management Board of Cabinet
- David Zimmer - Minister of Aboriginal Affairs
- Michael Chan - Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Minister responsible for the 2015 Pan and Para Pan American Games
- Reza Moridi - Minister of Research and Innovation
- Yasir Naqvi - Minister of Labour
- Charles Sousa - Minister of Finance
- Eric Hoskins - Minister of Economic Development, Trade & Employment
- Glen Murray - Minister of Transportation, Minister of Infrastructure
- Bob Chiarelli - Minister of Energy
- Michael Coteau - Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
- Tracy MacCharles - Minister of Consumer Services
- Teresa Piruzza - Minister of Children and Youth Services
- Mario Sergio - Minister responsible for Seniors
- John Milloy - Government House Leader