Kathleen Wynne says she doesn’t know who Ontarians will choose to lead the province in the coming provincial election…but she’s pretty sure it won’t be her.
She made the announcement this morning outside a school in North York.
“I don’t know who voters will choose but I am pretty sure that it won’t be me. After Thursday, I will no longer be Ontario’s Premier…voters are going to pick a new premier but they are generally worried about giving that person — whether it’s Doug Ford or the NDP — too much power. They’re worried about giving them too much of a free hand because they’re concerned about what that might mean for our economy and our future.”
For that reason, Wynne said it’s important to send as many Liberal MPPs to the legislature as possible, “by voting Liberal you can keep the next government, Conservative or NDP, from acting too extreme — one way or the other.”
Asked if she would stay on as party leader after the election, Wynne said she did not know.
read Wynne’s full statement below
Kool Fm’s Political Analyst Michael Johns says it is unprecedented to have a premier seeking re-election announce a few days ahead of the vote that she has no chance of winning. There are two schools of thought on this, he says:
1…Wynne is acknowledging the reality of the polls which put her a distance third; that this is a last-ditch attempt to maintain enough seats for the Liberals to maintain status as an official party (8 seats are needed) and to prepare to fight the next election.
2…a more cynical response with the Liberals making a long-term decision as to who they want to fight in the next election…thinking that increasing the Liberal vote total will impact the NDP vote total.
Simcoe North Liberal hopeful Gerry Marshall says Wynne has looked at a lot of driving factors and decided to focus on the ridings where it’s anticipated Liberal candidates can win…his riding among them.
Barrie-Springwater-Oro Medonte Liberal candidate Jeff Kerk says he has not given up noting he has spoken with thousands of residents and what he has heard is people want a progressive, inclusive, compassionate voice. He believes that voice is his.
Barrie Innisfil incumbent Ann Hoggarth commented on Twitter.
I’m proud of our premier. It’s always been about the people of Ontario and what we can do to make their lives better. This inspires me to keep fighting for the people of #Barrie and #Innisfil. This riding needs a strong voice at Queen’s Park and I will be that voice. #OnElxn https://t.co/RA0ivvUAc5
— Ann Hoggarth (@AnnHoggarth4BI) June 2, 2018
Full Statement Made By Kathleen Wynne
We’re in the homestretch of this election campaign and I just wanted to say a few words about what lies ahead and my perspective on the decision left to voters.
On June 7th voters will elect a new government. I don’t know who voters will choose but I am pretty sure that it won’t be me. After Thursday, I will no longer be Ontario’s Premier. And I’m okay with that. Because, as I’ve said many times before — it’s not about me. It’s about the people of this province. It’s about their well-being. And their futures. It’s about their jobs. Not my job.
As Premier, I’ve tried to dedicate myself to fighting for those people. For the single mother struggling to raise a family while living on the minimum wage. For the student who’s earned the grades to go to university — but whose family hasn’t earned quite enough to cover tuition. For the dad in the 905 who has to drive for an hour stuck in traffic each day, both ways – for whom expanded GO train service makes all the difference. For the adult daughter who does all she can to care for her ageing parents while she also scrambles to find safe, affordable childcare for her own toddler. And for the countless other families working hard, contributing so much to our communities and counting on government to make their lives just a little bit easier, their load just a little bit lighter, their futures just a little bit brighter.
Here in Ontario, we live in the best place in the world. I love this Province. I love its people. And even if I won’t be leading this province as Premier, I care deeply about how it will be led. After a few weeks on the campaign trail, and with just a few days before people cast their votes, here’s my take on where we’re at:
People want change but, by and large, they are confident about where Ontario stands and where Ontario’s headed. For this reason, many voters are worried about handing a blank cheque to either Doug Ford or the NDP.
With a majority government, Doug Ford would have too free a hand for the comfort of most people — they don’t trust his judgment. They don’t trust the choices he would make. This is a man who was only too happy to open up the Greenbelt to condo development until he was caught out. Who mused about selling cannabis in corner stores — where our kids shop. This is a man who has promised to cut $40 billion out of government services and pretends it can be done without costing a single job or harming our hospitals or our schools. This is a man who has defended candidates who speak ill of others – who smear people because of their religion or gender or sexual orientation. I don’t believe this is a man that people want to hand Ontario over to without putting him on the shortest of short leashes.
And the sentiment toward the NDP is much the same. People worry about what will happen to our economy if the NDP take power and form a majority government with nothing to hold them back. People worry that the NDP will raise taxes on small businesses, that they will take unemployment higher and job creation lower. They will permit strikes to carry on — like they have at York University — even after all hope of a negotiated settlement has been exhausted. People worry that the NDP will approach the responsibility of running Ontario’s economy with a plan that is risky and unrealistic.
So, it comes down to this — voters are going to pick a new premier but they are generally worried about giving that person — whether it’s Doug Ford or the NDP — too much power. They’re worried about giving them too much of a free hand because they’re concerned about what that might mean for our economy and our future.
And that’s why a vote for the Liberal Party can mean so much. The more Liberal MPPs we send to Queen’s Park on June 7th, the less likely it becomes that either Doug Ford or the NDP will be able to form a majority government. By voting Liberal you can keep the next government, Conservative or NDP, from acting too extreme — one way or the other. By voting Liberal you can keep the next government, Conservative or NDP, accountable to you. By voting Liberal you can keep Doug Ford — and the NDP, from having a blank cheque.
So, with a few days left, my message is this: a vote for the Liberal Party is a vote to keep the next government in check. A vote for the Liberal Party is your best bet to make sure that the next government is not a majority government. And that the next government is held to account to all voters.
So, for the next few days, I will campaign hard to elect as many Liberals as possible. We will fight for our values – for a practical approach and for a government that will be kept from extremes and forced toward a better balance for the people of this province. We have a terrific team of local candidates, they deserve your support. They will fight for your votes. And I will fight for them.