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Candidate Sandra Pupatello speaks during the Ontario Liberal Party leadership convention in Toronto, Ont. Saturday, January 26, 2013.Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

Ontario's Liberal government is appointing former cabinet minister and leadership contender Sandra Pupatello to the board of the province's electricity utility.

Ms. Pupatello, who will become a director at Hydro One, spent eight years in cabinet under former premier Dalton McGuinty, holding the economic development, education and social services portfolios.

She did not run in the 2011 election, but returned to politics last year to join the race to replace Mr. McGuinty. Despite holding an early lead, Ms. Pupatello ultimately lost to Kathleen Wynne.

Since then, Ms. Pupatello has worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers and served as CEO of the Windsor Essex Economic Development Corporation.

The province has also appointed former New Brunswick premier Bernard Lord to the board of Ontario Power Generation. Mr. Lord, who led a Progressive Conservative administration from 1999 to 2006, is also president of the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association.

"We have confidence in our agencies' abilities to conduct business in a responsible manner that respects the interests of Ontario ratepayers," Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli said in a statement. "I'd like to welcome Ms. Pupatello and Mr. Lord as new board members and I look forward to working with them to move our electricity sector forward."