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Gossiping and Rumour Mongering on Who’s Going to be in Premier Doug Ford’s Next Cabinet!

These next two weeks there will be lots of rumours and gossip surrounding who will be chosen in Doug Ford’s Cabinet and the various portfolios.  No matter how many times I point out to my clients, knowing this detail today, won’t make any difference to your lobbying goals and objectives, this doesn’t sway them from asking - “so what do you think anyways?” 

So in the ‘spirit’ of being asked; here is compilation of what's going around in the rumour-mill within the decision-making matrix of the Premier’s Office:

Premier’s Evaluation Process

As Premier Doug Ford prepares to revamp his cabinet following the Progressive Conservatives’ landslide election victory, that’s his message to ministerial hopefuls:

“I don’t discuss positions about cabinet and I have one rule with our caucus: don’t lobby me for cabinet,” Ford said the morning after his party’s June 2 triumph.

“No one lobby me or (have) your supporters lobby me. It just doesn’t work that way with me. We sit down, we do an evaluation,” he said.

Top Priority

The top priority is to appoint a replacement for Health Minister Christine Elliott, who did not seek re-election.

Sources say the front-runners to succeed Elliott, who is also Deputy Premier, are Solicitor General Sylvia Jones and Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark.

Others argued it is the following:

Prabmeet Sarkaria, both of whom took on roles that related to the government's COVID-19 pandemic response.

What we do know, and everyone agrees: Centre Piece of the Cabinet-Shuffle is Health.

Other fun Rumours Surrounding Cabinet Size, Appointment Strategy:

"I think you can certainly expect the Premier to at least slightly expand the size of his cabinet…..” 

"I think that the Cabinet is going to be largely reflective of the previous Cabinet," 

Insiders claim:  Ford can bring in fresh faces by creating new portfolios that focus on parts of major ministries and signal the government's priorities. 

It's expected Bethlenfalvy will remain Finance Minister, in part because Ford dumped his first two finance ministers, Vic Fedeli and Rod Phillips, before either managed to table a second budget.  The markets don't like instability in that portfolio.

Multiple sources suggest Labour Minister Monte McNaughton is in line for a promotion after spearheading the government's "working for workers" plan, which marked a shift political strategists say helped the PCs win previously NDP-held seats in industrial cities like Windsor, Hamilton and Timmins.

Stephen Lecce, Greg Rickford and Caroline Mulroney as top performing cabinet ministers who could be among the names considered for the position.

The one riding that might be excluded from cabinet is York South Weston where the Premier’s nephew, Michael Ford, snatched the seat from the NDP.  “It’s too much nepotism,” warned one senior conservative source.

Primary Objectives

Some of the party insiders have stated that the government's primary objectives is ensuring that the school year begins with no disruptions and getting Ontario back to pre-pandemic labour strife.  

Others are speculating the following:

"Highways were mentioned over 150 times and education was really barely mentioned at all, so it shows the Conservative's priorities."

Union Groups supported Ford during his campaign believe it’s their time now:

"I think there needs to be increases. It's not about whether we want it, it's a need at this point, a fundamental need for these workers."

In Conclusion

Sometime within the next two weeks the announcement of the Premier’s Cabinet will be made, and all these fun rumours and gossip will be answered with a more firm reality.  

However, in between that time, we can all enjoy the ‘so-called Experts’, that are pretending they have some serious insights that only a select few who are in the Premier’s inner circle share (and are ‘sworn to secrecy) - make their ‘best’ predictions.  

In short-enjoy the ‘silly’ season!