TORONTO, Ont. – Ontario’s premier-to-be Kathleen Wynne is already facing demands from the opposition to avoid an election.
The Conservatives and New Democrats said they want to work with the premier-designate but have their own demands.
Conservative Leader Tim Hudak said he wants Wynne to immediately announce spending cuts to help slash the province’s $12-billion deficit.
“I am concerned that the first 48 hours are sounding too much like the last nine years,” he said.
“We need to focus not on more spending and bigger government but on reducing spending and getting our economy going again.”
“I think people are looking for a very different direction in this province so hopefully, I’ll convince her to that.”
Hudak said he is willing to work with Wynne and defended the attack ads his party launched, which called her “another Liberal Ontario can’t afford.”
“I said I’m going to use every channel available to sound the alarm bells that we need to, to reverse this course,” he said.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said she wants Liberal leader Wynne to call a public inquiry into the cancellation of two gas plants in the Greater Toronto Area.
“If this legislature is simply paralyzed once again — by the whole issue of the gas plants — then how far are we going to get?”
“Let’s face it. If there’s one thing about public inquiries — they’re prorogue-proof.”
Horwath said she is giving Wynne an opportunity to address the controversial issue that had dominated the legislature and bogged down other work prior to the prorogation in October.
“I think we can get some results for people. I’m prepared to do that and I hope that Ms. Wynne is prepared to work with me to make that happen,” she said.
But Horwath said she will not force an election if Wynne does not go the inquiry route.
Wynne said Sunday that she hopes the parties can work together to keep the minority government alive and prevent an early election.
Outgoing premier Dalton McGuinty welcomed her for a one-hour meeting in his office, which is soon to be Wynne’s.
“I’m very proud of my new leader,” he said. “Good luck to you”
Wynne won the Liberal leadership race Saturday and is set to become the province’s first female premier.