Three York alumni are named to Ontario’s new cabinet

Three of the successful York alumni in last month’s provincial election have been appointed to cabinet positions – and one long-time minister, Glendon/Osgoode alumnus Greg Sorbara, has stepped down.

Premier Dalton McGuinty announced the changes Oct. 30.

Margarett Best (left) (LLB ’95), who was appointed minister of health promotion, was elected to the Ontario legislature in 2007 in the riding of Scarborough-Guildwood. Before joining government, Best ran a law practice specializing in real estate and family law. She also served on the College Compensations and Appointments Council, which recognizes outstanding graduates of Ontario’s college system. Best obtained a BA at the University of Toronto and an LLB at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School.

Best was recently nominated for the Lincoln Alexander Medal, given to an Ontario lawyer for longstanding and outstanding contribution to the community in Ontario. Originally from Jamaica, she has three children.

Michael Bryant (left) (LLB ’92), who was named minister for Aboriginal affairs, is moving from his previous position as Ontario’s attorney general. Prior to his election in 1999, Bryant obtained a BA and MA at the University of British Columbia, an LLB at Osgoode, and an LLM at Harvard University. He clerked at the Supreme Court of Canada for the current chief justice and practised litigation at McCarthy Tétrault LLP in Toronto. Bryant has also served as a lecturer in law at King’s College, University of London, UK, and as an adjunct professor at Osgoode and the University of Toronto. He has published articles and books on public law and criminal law.

Bryant and his wife, Susan Abramovitch, an entertainment lawyer, live in the Toronto riding of St. Paul’s with their two children.

Aileen Carroll (left) (BEd ’89), who was appointed minister of culture and minister responsible for seniors, was elected to the Ontario legislature in 2007 in the riding of Barrie. She began her career in politics as a city councillor there and was first elected as a member of Parliament in 1997, serving three terms. Carroll served as federal minister for international cooperation in the former LIberal government.

Carroll, a graduate of York’s Faculty of Education, co-owned a manufacturing and retail business in Barrie for many years. She and her husband Kevin Carroll, QC, have two adult children.

Greg Sorbara (left) (BA ’78, LLB ’81), who announced he was stepping down as Ontario’s finance minister Oct. 26, told the media that he and his wife Kate discussed the move shortly after his election night victory. He phoned Premier McGuinty about his decision the night before, saying he would remain as MPP for Vaughan.

In a meeting with reporters in the Liberal caucus room, Sorbara, 61, a wealthy lawyer and former developer, spoke movingly of his family, wrote the Toronto Star Oct. 27. "I have six kids and each of them has partners and their lives are so interesting and so attractive to me and yet I can only get little snippets of them," the former Ontario Liberal Party president said. "There are now 10 grandchildren, some of whom need to learn how to throw a baseball in the way that only I can teach them."

The four MPPs are among nine York alumni who were elected in Ontario’s 39th general election on Oct. 10 from among 32 York-connected candidates (see the Oct. 15 issue of YFile).