York West MPP Mario Sergio spent time as parliamentary assistant to the minister responsible for seniors, and now the veteran politician is holding the reins of the post.
Sergio was named to newly elected Premier Kathleen Wynne’s 27-member cabinet Monday, Feb. 11, following the swearing-in ceremony of Ontario’s first female premier.
“I’m excited to get to work on the file,” Sergio said. “Seniors want to live a more independent life, a happier life. I care so much for them.”
A former North York councillor, Sergio was first elected to the Ontario legislature in 1995 and re-elected in 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011.
Noting he has some prioritizing to do when it comes to issues facing the aging population, Sergio said he’s not afraid to knock on doors to get things done, adding a push to install automatic sprinkler systems in all retirement homes is something he supports.
Speaking on Wynne’s historical victory, Sergio praised the province’s new premier as someone whose heart is in the right place and who isn’t deterred by obstacles.
“I think she’s going to be great,” he said. “She has a wonderful social/political conscience that I think is going to come out. Her heart is in the right place. She has a big challenge, of course, but she has shown willingness to make this government work. I’m very confident she will be a great premier.”
Sergio was chair and a member of North York’s Planning Board Committee for 14 years. From 1985 to 1988, he also served on Metro Toronto Council, where he was chair of the Metro Transportation Committee. He has also served on the Public Works Committee, the Metro Toronto Housing Authority, the Metro Toronto Region Conservation Authority and the Canadian National Exhibition board.
Sergio has held a number of parliamentary assistant positions, including to the minister of consumer and business services, minister responsible for seniors, minister of community safety and correctional services, and minister of municipal affairs and housing.
He is also a founding member of C.O.S.T.I., a member of the York Finch Hospital Board, co-chair for the United Way of North York and director of the Canadian Italian Business and Professional Association.
Wynne, who has taken over Ontario’s top job from Dalton McGuinty, who held the position for nine years, said she expanded the cabinet from 23 to 27 positions because of the amount of work that needs to be done.