Kathleen Wynne (right) and Lieutenant Governor David Onley (left) on Monday swore in a larger Ontario cabinet.

Wynne takes Ontario helm with a new, larger cabinet

Ontario Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne was officially sworn in Monday as Ontario’s first woman.

The swearing-in ceremony was held at Queen’s Park where Wynne took over the reigns of provincial government from outgoing Premier Dalton McGuinty, but for Wynne, it’s not all about her.

“To me, this leadership is not about one person, it’s about assembling the right team,” Said Wynne, gesturing to her new cabinet. “[It’s about] taking the best ideas, the noblest of ideas, and finding a practical course to put them in to action.”

One of the highlights of the event was a performance by a band of Mohawk First Nations. They sang the Wolf song in honour of Premier Wynne.

“The wolf, she is the leader; it’s a pack,” said Sylvia Maracle, the Executive Director of the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centers. “We work together, we cannot be alone, but the wolf is the one who creates new relationships, who makes the trails, who finds fresh water, and renews us that we might be magnificent.”

Diversity was another main point to Wynne’s speech.

“Our individual dreams may be articulated in English, or in French, or in Mohawk, or in Cree or in Urdu, but they speak to a collective vision that must be celebrated and pursued,” said Wynne. “We are not removed from one another, we are bound together for a desire for a bright future.”

The premier’s new cabinet is also five ministers larger than the previous one. Wynne said this is “because it’s serious work that is confronting us, and because the issues faced by the people of Ontario require the appropriate resources, and the dedicated focus of this new government.”

Among the new cabinet are Eric Hoskins, Harinder Takhar and Charles Sousa who lost the liberal leadership. All three men lost to Wynne in the leadership race, but threw their support to Wynne at the recent Liberal leadership convention.

Wynne’s team also included nine new ministers who have no experience as the cabinet table.

Wynne acknowledged in her speech that “it is not lost on me that I am the first woman to be sworn in to this office.” She then compared her accomplishment to that of Agnes Macphail, who was the first Canadian woman to be elected to the House of Commons in Ottawa, as well as one of the first women sworn in to Provincial Parliament.

“She represented the riding of York East then, the boundaries of which overlaps my riding now,” Wynne said.

“But more than a particular riding, she represented the accomplishments that are possible when the imposed social limitations of our times are ignored or challenged.”

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