Doug Ford, sworn in as premier of Ontario on Friday, picked a former advertising executive and long-time politician to be finance minister of Canada’s most populous province.
Victor Fedeli, 61, will run a department charged with reining debt in the province that’s projected to reach C$325 billion ($247 billion) in fiscal 2018-19, or 37.6 percent of gross domestic product. The province’s debt ballooned from about 27 percent in 2003 when the Liberal Party took power and now ranks among the largest for a sub-sovereign borrower in the world.
Ford’s Progressive Conservatives won a majority in an election earlier this month, ending 15 years of Liberal Party rule, allowing the new government to push through policies without the support of another party.
Fedeli, who ran his own advertising firm and was previously mayor of North Bay in northern Ontario, was the Conservative’s shadow finance minister in opposition. He represents the district of Nipissing in northern Ontario and will also be chair of the cabinet. He has an affinity for yellow ties.
Other cabinet ministers include Christine Elliott for health and long-term care and deputy premier, Peter Bethlenfalvy as president of the Treasury Board and Greg Rickford, minister of energy, northern development, mines and Indigenous affairs.
Ford will be minister of intergovernmental affairs in addition to premier.