Former Premier Kathleen Wynne not running again in 2022
Published Tuesday, October 20, 2020 5:45AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, October 20, 2020 10:03PM EDT
Liberal Kathleen Wynne, Ontario’s first female and openly gay premier, will not seek relection in October 2022.
The Don Valley West MPP confirmed the news to Newstalk 1010 on Tuesday, which was first reported by the Toronto Star.
Wynne told Newstalk 1010 on Tuesday morning that she has been discussing the decision with her family and felt it was time to give someone else a chance to run in the riding.
“By the time the next election comes around I will have been in office for 22 years,” she said, referring also to three years spent as a school trustee. “I will be 69 and I think that it’s time to pass the torch.”
Wynne secured the leadership in January 2013 after the resignation of Dalton McGuinty, beating out six other candidates including Sandra Pupatello, the perceived front-runner for most of the race.
She led the party to regain its majority in the legislature in the 2014 general election, instituting the province’s first carbon pricing with cap and trade, making significant investments in public transit and extending free drug coverage to all children.
She was criticized for her handling of electricity, specifically her decision to sell a majority stake in Hydro One and her later move to subsidize residential electricity rates through a convoluted scheme involving borrowing.
She cited a move to raise the minimum wage to $14 per hour and pushing the federal government to increase the Canada Pension Plan as personal successes, as well as retaining the Experimental Lakes research site in northern Ontario.
She said there is a “long list” of things she wishes she did differently during her time in charge as Ontario’s 25th premier.
“I wish we had moved faster on some things – and I wish there were some things we got done that we didn’t get done.”
Her party was roundly defeated in June 2018; fifteen years after Liberals first won power in the province, by the Progressive Conservatives led by Doug Ford.
She famously told voters a week before Election Day that her party would not win government again, calling that election and the weeks before it a “brutal” time for her and the party.
“You’re carrying the banner for all of these fantastic people, and if you don’t make it they all go down with you.”
By the time of her exit, Wynne will have represented her riding for 19 years.