News

Dalton McGuinty quitting MPP post

By Antonella Artuso, Toronto Sun

Former Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty. (CRAIG ROBERTSON/QMI Agency)

Former Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty. (CRAIG ROBERTSON/QMI Agency)

TORONTO -- Former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty will resign as MPP Wednesday, triggering the need for a byelection in his Ottawa South seat, sources say.

When he stepped down as premier last fall, McGuinty told reporters he was planning to stay on as MPP for Ottawa South until the next provincial election.

Following the legislature's approval of Premier Kathleen Wynne's first budget Tuesday, she suggested her minority government could go on for another year.

McGuinty has appeared in the Ontario legislature only a few times since he gave up the top job, and he did not show for the latest confidence budget bill vote.

His departure comes as opposition parties demand he appear again before a legislative committee examining the gas plant cancellations and the destruction of e-mails by his senior political staff.

After the Ottawa Sun and other local papers began hunting down McGuinty for comment, he issued a statement that he did not know his staff was deleting records and would not have condoned it.

Ottawa South will be the third vacant provincial Ontario riding.

Previous resignations by former finance minister Dwight Duncan and former energy minister Chris Bentley created openings in Windsor and London.

"I did say that we were going to deal with the issue of the dates of the byelections once we got through the budget," Wynne said Tuesday. "That just happened this afternoon so I'm going to keep you posted on the dates of the byelections."

Duncan tweeted Tuesday night, “Dalton McGuinty served Ontario with integrity throughout his years in public office. He will go down as one of our greatest premiers."

The Ottawa South riding has been continuously held by a McGuinty since 1987 -- first by Dalton McGuinty Sr., and then, after his death in 1990, by his son.

It's expected that the Liberal Party will choose a new candidate later this month.

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