By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator, Wednesday October 17, 2012
McGuinty surprises with resignation, prorogation
Ontarians got a double-barrelled surprise on Monday evening when longtime Premier Dalton McGuinty announced he was stepping down as Liberal leader and also proroguing the provincial legislature.
Citing a desire to bring new blood to the party leadership, McGuinty said it was time for him to step down.
“After 16 years as leader of the Ontario Liberal Party and after nine years as premier, it’s time for renewal, it’s time for the next Liberal premier,” McGuinty said.
“It’s time for the next set of Liberal ideas to guide our province forward.”
The 57-year-old McGuinty was first elected to the Ontario legislature in 1990 and became Liberal leader six years later.
In 2003, he became premier of Ontario, a job that would see him lead back-to-back majority governments, until the most recent election in which the Liberals came up a seat short of a third-straight majority.
The Liberals hoped to regain majority control in a pair of recent byelections, but managed to win only one of the two seats needed to make that happen.
Although McGuinty had faced a more challenging climate at Queen’s Park at the helm of a minority government, the premier said Monday that he always appreciated the chance to serve.
“It has been an incredible honour and privilege to serve Ontarians as their premier,” McGuinty said during a late news conference that followed his surprise announcement earlier in the evening. (Source: CBC News)