Canadian Manufacturing

New economic development minister expected in Wynne cabinet shuffle

Sources say Wynne will move current Minister of Economic Development and Trade Eric Hoskins over to health minister



TORONTO—Premier Kathleen Wynne will give her finance minister an extra hand to work on creating a made-in-Ontario pension plan when she unveils her cabinet later today.

The Canadian Press has learned Mitzie Hunter will be named associate minister of finance responsible for the proposed Ontario Retirement Pension Plan.

A source says Hunter—who was first elected last August—will help the Liberals roll out the pension plan by 2017.

The source also says Charles Sousa will stay on as finance minister.

Current Minister of Economic Development and Trade Eric Hoskins will take over as health minister, with Deb Matthews moving to treasury board.

Hunter will work closely with the government-appointed advisory panel to set up the pension plan, which includes former prime minister Paul Martin and Michael Nobrega, former CEO of OMERS.

Hunter’s job is among the new kinds of positions that will be created within the 27-member cabinet.

Wynne will lighten her load by shedding her role as minister of agriculture and food, but will keep her job as minister of intergovernmental affairs.

The newly elected premier is still chairwoman of the Council of the Federation until August and is pressing the federal Conservatives to provide more financial support to Ontario.

A recent report by the parliamentary budget officer shows Ottawa is shortchanging the province $1.2 billion under the current system of equalization payments.

Wynne also wants federal funds to help develop the Ring of Fire mineral deposit and build transit infrastructure.

Wynne plans to re-open the legislature July 2 with a speech from the throne and re-introduce the budget which triggered the snap election shortly thereafter.

The $130.4-billion spending blueprint aims to stimulate the economy with big spending, including $29 billion for public transit, roads and bridges over a decade, $2.5 billion in corporate grants to lure businesses to Ontario and better wages for workers in health care and education.

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