THUNDER BAY – Kathleen Wynne has won the Ontario Liberal Leadership. Premier elect Wynne now faces the task of getting the doors at Queen’s Park opened, and moving forward.
Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak stated, “On behalf of my colleagues in the Ontario PC Caucus, I want to extend my sincere congratulations to Kathleen Wynne who will become our 25th Premier, following her election today to the leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party.
“Ms. Wynne inherits, and must now confront, many urgent challenges in her new role. Our province has lost precious time – more than 14 months since the last election. The Legislature was shuttered by prorogation, and government ground to a halt as successors to the outgoing Premier focused exclusively on internal Liberal Party politics. The deep fiscal hole they have dug has grown deeper still, and the business of the people remains neglected”.
“During this time our debt has continued to mount as government spending climbed ever higher, to now-unsustainable levels that have only worsened a climate for creating jobs. In short, we have reached a tipping point, and people now fear that the province they live in can no longer provide the future they hoped for. We must change course. Better days can still be ahead for Ontario, but only if we make difficult and necessary decisions to get our fiscal house in order and enable job creation – and make them now”.
“Come Monday, I will be in my office and looking forward to a meeting with Premier Wynne. More importantly, I will be hoping to see that the Premier understands what must be done on creating jobs and reducing spending, and has a clear plan to do it. A good first step to demonstrating a willingness to take action would be to recall the Legislature immediately”.
“I know the people of this province share my sense of urgency. The next few days will tell us if our new Premier does too”, concluded Hudak.
Ontario New Democrat Leader Andrea Horwath offered words of congratulations, “On behalf of Ontario New Democrats, I would like to congratulate Kathleen Wynne on winning the Liberal leadership race and thank all of the candidates for their time and effort. Public life, and politics especially, can be difficult work and people who engage in it deserve our thanks”.
“Now, more than ever it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work on the challenges facing Ontario families. I urge the incoming Premier to recall the Legislature without delay so that MPPs of all stripes can do the job Ontarians elected us to do. We need to take a constructive approach to create and protect good-paying jobs, improve healthcare and education, and take a balanced approach to balancing the books”, continued Horwath.
Federal Liberal leader Bob Rae comments, “Warm, positive feeliing, which owes a lot to Sandra’s positive personality – and a graceful winner in Wynne”.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, fresh from a week of political battling commented, “I would like to congratulate the new Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party and Ontario’s new Premier-designate Kathleen Wynne. I know that the new Premier and I share common ground on a number of important issues that the residents of Toronto care about”.
In the coming days and weeks, I look forward to working together to help make Toronto and Ontario the best place to live, work and do business.
The Ontario Federation of Labour is not quite as complimentary. “We are here to tell the new Premier of Ontario that you cannot lead this province unless fairness, equality and workers’ rights are central to your economic strategy,” said OFL President Sid Ryan to a thronging crowd at Toronto’s Allan Gardens. “Today’s rally is a testament to the Liberal’s largest opposition – the people of Ontario.”
“Austerity hasn’t worked! By attacking good jobs and social programs, the Liberals have played right into the interests of a corporate sector that helped to create Ontario’s deficit in the first place,” said Ryan. “Banks and corporations are siphoning billions in tax breaks from the Ontario treasury while the rest of us are being left behind.”
25,000 protesters crowded the streets outside the Liberal Convention.