Charles Sousa, minister of finance
After crowning Kathleen Wynne queen bee at the Liberal party convention, Sousa was widely expected to be named the province's top number-cruncher. Still, some question if he's up to the job, despite his banking background, which he was quick to point to, in his post-swearing-in meet with reporters. Time will tell. But his high-profile appointment also makes him an easier target for the Opposition for another reason. Sousa's Mississauga riding is ground zero in the gas plant fiasco that's currently the subject of an investigation by the auditor general.
Deb Matthews, minister of health and long-term care, deputy premier
Wynne's leadership co-chair stays in health despite being dogged by the Ornge scandal and, to a lesser extent, the eHealth controversy, which she inherited from David Caplan and George Smitherman before him. On the face of it, the appointment looks like a curious move. But taking Matthews off the health file might arguably send a more damaging message: that the file was mishandled under her watch.
Bob Chiarelli, minister of energy
He's one of a handful of Dalton McGuinty's former senior cabinet ministers who hasn't decided to jump ship - for now. Chiarelli was a strong supporter of Sandra Pupatello for party leader. Accepting the energy file looks like political hara-kiri from the outside (see aforementioned gas plant fiasco). But veteran Chiarelli's appointment sends the message that there's a steady hand at the controls. The bigger challenges for him: the future of the Feed-in Tariff Program, which pays small producers for wind power, and the billions earmarked for refurbishing the Darlington nuke reactors. The latter is a given, the former is not.
Jeff Leal, minister of rural affairs
A surprise mostly because his name didn't come up in pre-cabinet-selection speculation. The Peterborough MPP has a tall order: fixing the Liberals' tarnished relationship with rural Ontario, mostly over opposition to wind turbines. Wynne has signalled the importance of that work by making rural affairs its own ministry, unlike in the past when it formed part of the agriculture portfolio. Wynne is taking the agriculture file for herself.
Liz Sandals, minister of education
It's odd that Sandals's appointment has come as a such a surprise. She's spent her nine years in office on the backbenches but served as a trustee and chair of the Guelph school board as well as president of the Ontario Public School Boards' Association. She also served as Wynne's parliamentary assistant between 2006 and 2010, when the latter was minister of education.