One day after the swearing-in, and there's suddenly lots to say about Ontario's new government, although some of it doesn't amount to much.
Apparently our new Finance Minister, Greg Sorbara, isn't afraid to say"no". Beyond that he's not saying much until Erik Peters finishes his review of the province's books.
Education Minister Gerard Kennedy plans to cancel the Tories' private school tax credit and remove the trustees that the preceding government had installed in three jurisdictions including Toronto.
"We want to send a strong signal" of commitment to public education, he told reporters.
I'm all for that, Gerard.
Health Minister George Smitherman's first priority was actually announced by his boss, Premier McGuinty.
McGuinty said he wants Smitherman to immediately get to work on closing the controversial private diagnostic clinics established by the Tories and to move MRI and CT scan services back into the public sector.
Monte Kwinter, Minister of Community Safety and Correction Services, wants to depoliticize the police, whatever that means. Since Craig Brommell is no longer the head of the union, and since the Liberals promised to hire 1,000 new officers over the next four years, I imagine the relationship between Kwinter and the police will be relatively calm, at least for a while.
Municipal Affairs Minister John Gerretsen and Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal David Caplan ganged up to say that the campaign promise to invest a portion of the provincial tax on gasoline in public transit will be kept, but no real timeline or specifics were offered.
In the same article linked to above, Environment Minister Leona Dombrowsky said that she's "leery" about incineration and approves of composting. She'll have to do better than that since John Ashcroft is watching.
Dombrowsky did speak up on the subject of coal, reiterating her government's commitment to shut down coal-fired generating stations by 2007. I guess it's a good thing she spoke up because Energy Minister Dwight Duncan had nothing of substance to say. (I suppose I should give him a break since the Tories made a thorough mess of that ministry, but where would the fun be in that?)
Agriculture Minister Steve Peters says there will new inspectors hired for the meat industry by year's end, and that there will a full public inquiry into food safety. Good idea.
Michael Bryant is doing triple duty as Attorney General, Minister Responsible for Native Affairs and Minister Responsible for Democratic Renewal. He's confirmed the promise to hold a public inquiry into the death of Dudley George but hasn't said when, nor has he committed to the promised referendum on electoral reform.
And McGuinty himself announced that auto insurance rates are frozen, effective immediately. And in response to his promise to halt development on the Oak Ridges moraine, builders have stopped all activity for two weeks.
I don't know about you but I'm tired just writing about it all. Of course you know I just did this to help me learn all the new names.