Fresh off a victory at the Ontario Liberal leadership convention, newly-minted Premier-Designate Kathleen Wynne said in a news conference that she would work with the opposition to avoid an election.
“The best way to build on our tremendous success is to keep governing, because Ontarians don’t want an election. They expect us to lead,” said Wynne.
Wynne also said she will recall the prorogued legislature by Feb. 19, saying Ontarians do not want a general election and don’t like the fact the house has been idle since Premier Dalton McGuinty made his resignation announcement in October.
“This leadership race has been about ideas, renewal, and excitement,” said Wynne. “Now, as a party, we will take that vision, that momentum, and transform it into a brighter future.”
Once she’s sworn in, Wynne will have to mend relations with the powerful teachers’ unions, who are angry at the Liberals for using a controversial law to force contracts on about 126,000 public school teachers.
Traditionally a strong supporter of the Liberals, public sector unions, who protested by the thousands outside the convention hall Saturday, have vowed to use their organizational might to defeat the Liberals in the next election.
Wynne will also have to deal with a trail of controversies McGuinty left behind – from the political decisions to cancel two gas plants in Liberal ridings, to a criminal probe of the Ornge air ambulance service.
Wynne became the first female and openly gay premier of Ontario after defeating rival Sandra Pupatello by a margin of 1,150 votes to 866 votes at Saturday’s Ontario Liberal leadership convention.