THUNDER BAY – Glen Murray, MPP for Toronto Centre, announced today that he is a candidate to become the next leader of the Ontario Liberal Party. “It’s time for renewal, for our party, our government and for Ontario,” Murray told a packed crowd today at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, where the new leader will be chosen on January 25-26 2013.
“We are a party of ideas, of action and achievement. I have new ideas that will renew our vision and build on our successes ¬ ideas that will work so we can keep Ontario great.”
Murray said his campaign will be built on five main ideas for renewal for Ontario families and our economy:
• Tax cuts for the middle class and small business
• No-money-down university or college tuition
• Cities and towns that work
• Government that listens
• Smart government
His no-money-down university and college program will let students enter post-secondary school without having to come up with large amounts upfront for tuition and fees. The next Ontario Liberal leader automatically becomes Premier, succeeding Premier Dalton McGuinty. In keeping with the rules for the leadership race, Murray called the Premier on Saturday to resign from his cabinet post, as Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.
Murray was elected MPP in 2010 and has also served as Minister of Research and Innovation. He is the former Mayor of Winnipeg, and has also served as President and CEO of the Canadian Urban Institute, and Chair of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy.
Murray is the first Ontario Liberal to officially announce his candidacy for the leadership. “It’s time to begin the next chapter ¬ to renew the Ontario Liberal Party and to renew Ontario,” Murray said.
The Ontario Progressive Conservatives were quick to pounce on the Murray announcement. Garfield Dunlop, MPP (Simcoe North) and Ontario PC Critic for Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Reform said that “The departure of Glen Murray as Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities is a sign of retreat from the problems he has created for Ontario’s tradespeople through the College of Trades.
“Furthermore, questions remain as to the role special interest groups like the Ontario Working Families Coalition may play when it comes to raising money for Murray’s his leadership campaign,” continued Dunlop.
“As Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, Glen Murray has been missing in action when it comes to protecting the jobs of Ontario’s tradespeople,” asserted Dunlop. “Instead of creating a working dialogue with Ontario’s tradespeople, Murray has chosen to allow the newest Liberal boondoggle, the College of Trades, a very secretive, expensive and useless bureaucracy, to be forced on the backs of Ontario’s tradespeople and businesses.”