Trio of alumni named to top provincial posts

By David Scott
February 14, 2013

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Three Western alumni have been named to top cabinet posts in Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s new cabinet. Wynne, the first female premier of Ontario, replaces the outgoing Dalton McGuinty.

On Monday, Wynne announced her 27-member cabinet – five ministers more than the McGuinty cabinet. “My cabinet is slightly larger than the last because of the serious work that is confronting us,” Wynne told the CBC.

Her first cabinet meeting took place Wednesday.

Three prominent posts are being filled by Western grads in the 25th premier’s cabinet. They are:



Charles Sousa, EMBA ’94, takes over as the province’s new Minister of Finance. He recently dropped out of the provincial Liberal leadership race to throw his support behind Wynne. He represents the riding of Mississauga South and has been a member of the legislature since 2007. He has previously served as Ontario’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Minister Responsible for the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games, Minister of Labour and as a member of the Treasury Board/Management Board of Cabinet. Sousa grew up in south Mississauga and lives in Clarkson with his wife, Zenny, and their three children. In addition to attending the Richard Ivey School of Business, Sousa also earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfred Laurier in 1982.



Health Minister Deb Matthews, BA ’98, PhD ’06 (Sociology), will maintain her post and has also been named Deputy Premier. She represents the riding of London North Centre and has been a member of the legislature since 2003. She was appointed Minister of Health and Long-Term Care in October 2009. Before that, she served as the Minister of Children and Youth Services, Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Community and Social Services. Matthews introduced The Poverty Reduction Act, which legislates an ongoing government commitment to poverty reduction. She was honoured twice by the University Students’ Council with a place on the Teaching Honour Roll. Matthews was born in London and graduated from St. George’s Public School and A.B. Lucas Secondary School. She has three children and four grandchildren.



Laurel Broten, JD’ 93, moves from Education to Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs as well as minister responsible for women’s issues. She represents the riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore and has been a member of legislature since 2003. Broten has served as Minister of Children and Youth Services, Minister of the Environment, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and to the Premier. As Minister of the Environment, Broten introduced the Clean Water Act designed to better safeguard Ontario’s drinking water, ban diversions from the Great Lakes and charge commercial and industrial users for the water they take and use. After graduating from Western, she articled at the Supreme Court of Canada for one of Canada’s most preeminent jurists. Broten, who is fluently bilingual, lives in Etobicoke with her husband, Paul,  and twin sons, Zachary and Ryan.

Also of interest, Brad Duguid, the MPP for the Toronto riding of Scarborough Centre, was named the new Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.

The minority Liberal government will try to seek consensus from the New Democratic Party (NDP) and Progressive Conservative (PC) Party in what has been one of the most divided and fractious legislative assemblies in recent years.

If the governing Liberals can’t win confidence of the Opposition, Ontario could be in for an early election, despite legislated October elections every four years. The next scheduled provincial election isn’t until October 2015.

The leader of the provincial PC party is alumnus Tim Hudak, BA ’90 (Economics). Hudak is on record as not wanting to force an election on weary voters.


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