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Dalton McGuinty resigns as Ontario Premier

Posted by Derek Flack / October 15, 2012

Dalton McGuinty ResignsDalton McGuinty has resigned as the Premier of Ontario and provincial Liberal leader, though he'll stay on in this capacity until the party can hold a leadership convention. As for his seat in the provincial legislature (Ottawa South), he intends to keep that until the next election.

It was a day of surprises as McGuinty also prorogued parliament in an effort to give his party time to negotiate a public sector wage freeze, which has met with opposition from rival parties.

"This is the right time for Ontario's next Liberal Premier and our next set of ideas to guide our province forward," McGuinty said in summary of his decision roughly a year after he was elected to his third term as Premier.

It's difficult to know exactly what this will mean for Toronto until a new leader is elected, but it's not as if McGuinty was particularly good to the city. Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Dalton McGuinty's Resignation Speech

Sixteen years ago, when I was elected leader of our Party, the Ontario Liberals had won exactly one election in fifty years.

We couldn't do anything to help families because we couldn't win an election. That's changed. We've won three elections in a row. But more important is what those election wins have allowed us to do.

In every area that matters most to families - their schools, their health care, their environment and their economy -- we've made huge progress.

We've gone from struggling schools to the best schools in the English-speaking world... From Canada's longest health-care wait times, to the shortest ... From dirty air to clean air ... And the toughest drinking water standards, anywhere.

When it comes to the economy:

We've made our workforce the strongest and our taxes very competitive. We're renewing our infrastructure. We keep creating jobs. Ontario has recovered 13 per cent of our jobs lost in the recession. In the U.S., it's 49 per cent.

We've positioned Ontario for decades of success.

Our government hasn't been perfect. But when it comes to the big things that families count on us to get right -schools, health care, the environment and the economy -- we've gotten it right every time.

Just this afternoon, we updated Ontarians on the state of our finances.

We're once again ahead of schedule with our plan to balance the budget... We've beaten our budget forecasts in seven of the last nine years. I feel very good about where we are as a party and a province. But as Liberals, we're always driving forward.

The opposition's political games are holding Ontario back. They've told us they oppose our plan for a two-year pay freeze for government workers. That means we can't make it law. So, we need to go back to the drawing board. We're going to make a sincere and determined effort to negotiate a wage freeze agreement with our labour partners.

Like the agreements already reached with 80,000 public sector workers. We're also going to consult with the opposition about what they would support to freeze wages.

To this end, I've asked the Lieutenant Governor to prorogue the legislature to allow those discussions with our labour partners and the opposition to occur in an atmosphere that is free of the heightened rancour of politics in the legislature.

And when the legislature returns, we will either have negotiated agreements in hand or a firm sense of what the opposition will support.

As the party and government of relentless progress, we're always looking for new ideas and ways to renew ourselves. And I've concluded that this is the right time for Ontario's next Liberal Premier and our next set of ideas to guide our province forward.

Earlier today, I asked Yasir Naqvi, our party president, to convene a leadership convention at the earliest possible time. I will remain as Premier until that leadership convention.

And it will be my honour to continue to serve as the MPP for Ottawa South until the next general election. I know I've asked some hard things of you.

But I've always been inspired by the ideal that the older generations work hard to build a bright future for the younger ones. And they do this, always, with love and an unwavering commitment. I saw that in my own mother and father. It's what Terri and I have tried to do for our children.

And I see it in the eyes and actions of Ontario families, every day. I thank you for the honour of serving as your Leader and your Premier... In Ontario, the greatest province in the best country in the world.

Photo by BC Gov on Flickr



Jer / October 15, 2012 at 09:04 pm
Really hoping he runs for the federal Liberals leadership... Would be awesome having him as prime minister.
Send In The Trolls / October 15, 2012 at 09:09 pm
Probably a wise move.
Alexander replying to a comment from Jer / October 15, 2012 at 09:12 pm
Are you serious? He's resigning because he was going to get slaughtered in the next provincial election...he's done in politics.
Flappy / October 15, 2012 at 09:12 pm
A sad day. He's done a great deal for education and the environment in this province. I hope the provincial liberals elect a leader that brings the same sort of centrist moderation that he governed with. We done need the left vs right nonsense in this province.
Karen / October 15, 2012 at 09:20 pm
Glad he's gone!!! He's destoyed Ontario. Cost this province more money than saved! Buh bye!!! And please, never come back!!!
jer replying to a comment from Alexander / October 15, 2012 at 09:30 pm
Ha, no, I wasn't serious... but, that is what the media kept asking him about and he didn't deny it, just said he hasn't made any future plans...
Bruce Mandrake replying to a comment from Brian / October 15, 2012 at 09:31 pm
Clearly, Brain, you're one of the very few who didn't benefit from improvements in the public education system during his tenure.
Ben / October 15, 2012 at 09:50 pm
Just to pre-empt the flood of Toronto-Sunnesque "fiberal" comments that are coming, this is actually a sad event. McGuinty was smart, centrist, and a good leader, although maybe not too charismatic. And the alternatives are scary for different reasons. I actually hope he runs for federal leadership. I'd much sooner cast another vote for him than vote for Justic Trudeau.
Ling Gu / October 15, 2012 at 09:58 pm
I didn't think he would serve a full term, so his leaving office doesn't shock me, although the timing is nonetheless surprising. I have friends who have been associated with Dalton since he was a humble backbencher, with his office in, I believe, Whitney block.

The race to succeed him will be very interesting.
GoodRiddance / October 15, 2012 at 10:04 pm
Good riddance you piece of trash!
Andrew / October 15, 2012 at 10:15 pm
Glad to see him gone. Why did he resign though???
Grandma Glory Hole / October 15, 2012 at 10:24 pm
Bring back Mike Harris!!!

Thanks, Dalton & the Liberals for putting Ontario further into debt and turning this province into a welfare state.
Greg / October 15, 2012 at 10:34 pm
Respect for taxpayers!
Mar / October 15, 2012 at 10:51 pm
I think he was going to resign early all along to give the new leader of the party an incumbent head start. That said probably not this early. The timing is clearly related to the shitstorm that comes when the actual numbers around the plant cancellation costs get released. I'm really hoping Gerard Kennedy runs for the position. He is smart, center and is one of the few libs with the record and charm to lead the libs into a new election who is also squeaky clean when it comes to disasters like ehealth orng and the plant closures. It seems obvious and he is a strong leader here is hoping he enters the race.
MER1978 / October 16, 2012 at 12:07 am
"it's not as if McGuinty was particularly good to the city"

Well there is that multi billion dollar investment in transit...

Too bad Rob Ford 2 will most likely be in power next... so we'll get the fun combination of stalling if not cancelling as much LRT as possible whilst pretending that money will fall out of the sky for subways way too many people seem to think we should build absolutely everywhere... yay?
paul / October 16, 2012 at 01:37 am
Hahaha. Best news ever. You won't be missed McGuilty...your HST will never be forgotten....
ashton / October 16, 2012 at 06:43 am
Doug Ford for Premier!
Tuli / October 16, 2012 at 10:58 pm
I loves me a little Justin Trudeau!!
Tucker / October 16, 2012 at 11:07 pm
Are you kidding me?! Our province is drowning in debt, the liberal party is mired in scandal after scandal and people now want McGuinty to become prime minister? I'm glad Dalton's leaving but I'll only be happy if he gives up his fat pension paid for by Ontario taxpayers.
Philip / October 17, 2012 at 12:59 am
Say what you want about him, but the man did a lot of good for this province.I would sooner vote for him again then any other current possibility.
10 more years of Dalton McGuinty would be much better than another 10 days of Rob Ford and Stephen Harper.
Tony Vario / October 18, 2012 at 10:19 pm
I would like to address my concern over all the wrong doings of the Provincial Liberal government. You spoke yesterday that it was wrong what teachers are doing in replying with the one line comments on the children report cards, and you say that it is not the fault of the children nor the parents of these children to be forced into these circumstances. Let’s turn the tables around and look to the right. It is not right for the Teachers to take a pay cut or to suspend their wages where teachers have spent much of their free time exercising their concerns for the well being of children they educate. All of this time has been pro buono on the part of the teachers in this province. Is it right for the Teachers’ unions and the Ontario Government to arrive at a collective bargaining agreement which was signed by the Unions and the Ontario Government only to have this agreement rescinded and torn up – just goes to show what kind of faith this “stepped down government” has in the eyes of the taxpayers. All these illegal cuts have been attributed to the reckless handling of provincial government politics. Case in point - The liberals decide on moving a power generating station with little regard to the tens of millions of dollars they have laid on the backs of tax payers. During the last 9 years, Ontario tax payers have seen their electricity bills climb 300%. Gee if that wasn’t enough – we are still paying for a debt retirement charge on our electricity bill. Approximately 1,900,000 tax bills go out every two months in the province multiplied by approximately $40.00 for each bill that equates to approximately $39,000,000 every month. Would someone have the decency of allowing the taxpayers in Ontario to know how much this debt was, and how much of this debt has been paid off – let’s be accountable for our actions. The liberals then put a gaping hole into the pockets of the taxpayers in this province with the addition of the HST. What pray tell is this government doing with all the cash it collects?? Just last week I received an assessment to my property in which it reads that my property has increased in value by 40% and that I should expect and additional 10% increase in my taxes over the next 4 years to ease the burden. Shame on this government for recklessly managing this province for the past 9 years. When all the doors began to close in on Mr. McGuinty – he decided to prorogue parliament and then step down - a means of saving face. Honestly, I think this decision was too late by 8-1/2 years. He personally destroyed the economy of Ontario. He cannot say – as he always does “this government has added x# of jobs in Ontario” – what a load of BS – it’s the entrepreneurs in Ontario that have added the jobs, and have added to their own risk factor – the Ontario Government has assumed no risk or responsibility whatsoever – even when the scandal that was uncovered regarding the move of the power generating station – again Mr McGuinty's government assumed no risk – the tax payers simply pays for the failure of their government and Premier

Tony Vario
Tony Vario replying to a comment from Jer / January 4, 2013 at 04:23 pm

To The Minister of Education Ms Broten,

I am appalled by the recklessness nature of this government and your ministry. I am particularly targeting Bill 115. The Ontario Liberals again ceases to amaze me on how reckless it is towards the thousands of Ontario Teachers who have earned the right to teach just as you have had the right to be a politician, and who have selected this career because of the benefits forsaking the fact that each and every teacher has at least two undergrad degrees that have cost each and every one of them anywhere between $50,000 to $100,000

The general perception among parents and the media is that teachers want more money. Please be truthful with the media – the Money is absolutely not the issue. The issue is the agreement that your ministry as well as the Ontario Government entered into a collective bargaining agreement in which teachers would enjoy a particular benefit package. Now this Ministry and this Liberal Government has decided to do a 180 degree turn and now tear up a past collective bargaining
agreement without even doing their due diligence to analyze what kind of repercussions this would have on every child and parent within the province of Ontario.

There are many different ways of cutting back on your budgets without crippling the education system as your government has systematically done – but you people are only interested in “hacking and slashing”. Maybe the Tax Payers of Ontario should hack and slash your salaries and benefits – I mean You people do in fact work for us!. Maybe the people of Ontario should refuse to pay taxes, saying that taxpayers never approved a 13% tax system. How far would that go?

Our Premier has openly said a few days ago that “This deal is a fair deal” - fair to who? And who is he to prescribe a fair deal. Let us not forget that he pirogued government (which I didn’t think he was able to do unless he was in a Federal capacity). If her perogued his government, then he should not be able to have any action against any school board or Union as he HAS STEPPED DOWN and his government has been shut down. Mr. McGuinty announced his resignation only after he had publicly said that he would serve another term. This guy has been reckless with Ontario Tax Payer’s money since he was elected Premier of Ontario more than 9 years ago. He has little regard for the people of Ontario and puts his own
agenda first.

Our premier has also in an open letter said that our teachers are handsomely paid - Has our premier looked at his pay scale as well as the benefits and perks he receives along with his members of legislature. I have not seen any action on his part to freeze or "slash" wages and benefits for our provincial government officials. To be quite truthful - our ministers are one of the best paid in the country - and their pensions are second to none. Let our leaders look into their own backyards first before condemning others.

Earlier during this disagreement Mr. McGuinty asked teachers and unions “to set their difference aside for the sake of the children” Wow – why didn’t he put his differences aside given his track record. Why didn’t he make concessions within his own ministry to allow teachers to operate professionally? Instead he is asking teachers to again go beyond and be humiliated again by his government

Ms Broten, I believe that teachers will have to comply RELUCTANTLY, but bear in mind that if I were the head of the union – I would be asking and prescribing teachers to Extra bill on overtime for class preparations, marking tests, filling out report cards, coaching sports activities etc etc etc.

In conclusion, I do not think Mr McGuinty nor you have thought this action through very carefully, and maybe you should take this opportunity to take the same steps that Mr. McGuinty took. Do the credible act and resign your position as Minister of Education. A good Minister finds solutions to situations not problems – you on the other hand have no solutions to any situation except to ride the coat tails of the premier of Ontario. I do hope the next elections will judge you and your party fairly.

Tony Vario
bill / September 25, 2013 at 05:34 pm
any one who votes for liberal in the provincial elections should have thier assests liquidated forced into poverty and banned from election activity for the rest of their lives.
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