Almost one year since the Executive Council was sworn-in, the Ford government has made the most significant shuffle of cabinet to date. This larger, 28-member cabinet includes some new faces, while promoting those who have performed well over the past year. As a direct response to some of the challenges in the first year, the government has bolstered capacity in their key priority areas by adding associate ministers to Health, Transportation and Energy.

After an uneven first year of their mandate, the Ford government is looking to reset the agenda, refresh the narrative and to realign its priorities with new faces on the front bench and shifting others to new portfolios. After the poor reception of the government’s first budget, where a steady stream of reporting highlighting cuts across various sectors dogged the government for months, the Ford government is changing the leadership and face of significant portfolios, including Finance. The appointments made today reward those who have successfully delivered on their mandates and sidelines those who have underperformed in their portfolios, while further inoculating Premier Ford from being at the forefront of every issue in government.

While the government’s priorities have not changed, there is wide recognition that the execution and communication of the government’s most important priorities need to be recalibrated. The Premier is placing confidence in those who have shown the ability to navigate complex policy files while strongly communicating them with ease. There is a clear shift to elevating strong, highly competent, lower profile communicators who can execute their mandate without much controversy.

It won’t be easy sailing this fall though, with the government engaging in teacher negotiations that may lead to labour strife, Ontario Health Teams launching, and ongoing challenges with other files like autism services. Strong communicators are going to where these challenges are.

As a result of the shuffle, it can be expected that we will see movement in senior political staff in the coming months.

Government of Ontario Cabinet

+ Premier and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs – Doug Ford

+ Deputy Premier and Minister of Health – Christine Elliott

+ Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions – Michael Tibollo

+ Minister of Long-Term Care – Merilee Fullerton

+ Minister of Finance – Rod Phillips

+ Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade and Chair of Cabinet – Vic Fedeli

+ Associate Minister of Small Businesses and for Red Tape Reduction – Prabmeet Sarkaria

+ Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing – Steve Clark

+ Solicitor General – Sylvia Jones

+ Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks – Jeff Yurek

+ Minister of Children, Community and Social Services – Todd Smith

+ Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues – Jill Dunlop

+ Minister of Labour – Monte McNaughton

+ Attorney General – Doug Downey

+ Minister of Transportation and Minister of Francophone Affairs – Caroline Mulroney

+ Associate Minister of Transportation (GTA) – Kinga Surma

+ Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities – Ross Romano

+ Minister of Education – Stephen Lecce

+ President of Treasury Board – Peter Bethlenfalvy

+ Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry – John Yakabuski

+ Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and Minister of Indigenous Affairs – Greg Rickford

+ Associate Minister of Energy – Bill Walker

+ Minister of Seniors and Accessibility – Raymond Cho

+ Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs – Ernie Hardeman

+ Minister of Infrastructure – Laurie Scott

+ Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport – Lisa MacLeod

+ Minister of Government and Consumer Services – Lisa Thompson

+ Government House Leader – Paul Calandra

New Cabinet Member Bios

Paul Calandra, Markham–Stouffville

First elected in 2018.

Formerly Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines.

Prior to being an MPP, Calandra was a federal Member of Parliament.

Prior to entering public service, Calandra was a small business owner and insurance broker.

Calandra has been a community advocate, honouring local veterans in the community and helping to fundraise for mental health initiatives through Hockey Night in Stouffville.


Doug Downey, Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte

First elected in 2018.

Formerly, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance, Deputy Government Whip, Vice-Chair of the Select Committee on Financial Transparency and Member of the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs.

Downey previously practiced law as a certified specialist in real estate in Orillia and served two terms on Orillia City Council.



Jill Dunlop, Simcoe North

First elected in 2018.

Dunlop is an appointed member of both the Standing Committee on Justice Policy as well as the Standing Committee on Estimates.

Prior to her election, Dunlop spent time as a teacher at Georgian College.




Stephen Lecce, King—Vaughan

First elected in 2018.

Formerly, Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier and to the Minister of Infrastructure.

Prior to his election, Lecce served as Deputy Director of Communications and later as Director of Media Relations in the Office of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Lecce owns a public relations consultancy firm where he was a consultant prior to his election.



Ross Romano, Sault Ste. Marie

Elected in 2017 in a byelection.

Formerly, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and Indigenous Affairs.

Member of the Select Committee on Financial Transparency and a Member of the Standing Committee on Justice Policy.

Prior to his political career, Romano served as a lawyer at O’Neill DeLorenzi Mendes specializing in civil and criminal litigation.



Prabmeet Sarkaria, Brampton South

First elected in 2018.

Previously the Parliamentary Assistant to the Solicitor General.

Member, Standing Committee on Justice Policy.

Sarkaria worked as a corporate and commercial Associate at Miller Thomson LLP prior to being elected.




Kinga Surma, Etobicoke Centre

First elected in 2018.

Formerly, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Transportation.

Prior to her election, Surma worked on elections at all three levels of government.

Surma formerly held the role of Caucus Relations in the office of Patrick Brown during his term as the Leader of the Official Opposition.