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article imageKathleen Wynne stresses centrist stance in Liberal leadership bid Special

By Andrew Moran     Nov 6, 2012 in Politics
Toronto - Speaking from her Don Valley West provincial riding, Liberal Member of Provincial Parliament and former cabinet minister Kathleen Wynne announced her intentions to run for the Liberal leadership after Premier Dalton McGuinty announced his resignation.
One day after former cabinet minister Glenn Murray announced that he would be the first to throw his name into the Liberal leadership race, Kathleen Wynne told a crowd of supporters and reporters Monday evening that she is running to be McGuinty’s successor.
Last week, Wynne stepped down from the cabinet, which fueled the speculation that she would run for the party’s top spot. The premier urged ministers to step down from their posts if they intend to run for the leadership.
Wynne, standing alongside former Liberal Member of Parliament Rob Oliphant, stressed herself as the middle-ground, centrist candidate. She promised to fix the relationship between the Grits and the teachers, tackle the $14.4 billion budget deficit, $258 billion-plus provincial debt and to rebuild Ontario’s economy.
“They tell me that there’s no middle ground left in politics. That people are polarized, divided,” stated the former education and transportation minister. “I’m here because I believe that kind of political discourse underestimates the people of this province. I don’t believe that Ontarians want to talk about the things that divide us, they want to talk about finding solutions.”
The three-term MPP cited the various successes of the McGuinty government. Wynne highlighted the premier’s investment in public education, the drop in healthcare wait times and the increase in opportunities for those wanting to do business in Ontario.
“We’ve responded to real challenges and we’ve had huge success,” said Wynne. “These policies helped to create a more equitable society and I believe we must build on these strengths. And that’s why I say that this leadership conversation is not just a critical for our party. It’s a critical moment for our province.”
Wynne promised to initiate conversations with the Ontario electorate in order “to bring people together to find that common ground.”
“We know there is a strong middle ground – politics is not by definition polarized or vicious,” concluded Wynne. “The Ontario Liberal Party is proud to stake out that middle ground. The party to our right does not have the corner on fiscal responsibility and the part to our left does not have the corner on compassion.”
Aside from Murray and Wynne, Health Minister Deb Matthews is expected to enter the leadership race soon. The Liberal leadership convention will be held on Jan. 25, 2013. For more details on the convention, click here.
Brief background
Aside from education and transportation, Wynne has also served as minister of municipal affairs and housing and aboriginal affairs.
She defeated former Progressive Conservative leader John Tory in her bid for re-election 2007.
In 1994, Wynne ran for school trustee, but lost to Ann Vanstone. Six years later, she ran for Toronto’s ward 8 school trustee and was victorious, but was labelled an “extremist lesbian” by a local ratepayer group.
Wynne is very popular in Don Valley West. In each election since 2003, she has won by a double-digit margin.
More about kathleen wynne, Liberal leadership, Don valley west, Ontario, Dalton McGuinty
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