Ontario’s legislature will get back to work on July 2 with plans for a Throne Speech and the re-introduction of the spring Liberal budget, Premier Kathleen Wynne said Friday.
“I’m very eager to be able to move to implement the plan that we brought forward, the plan to invest in this province and build it up, to invest in the talent and skills of our people and the transportation and transit infrastructure that we know we need and to work in partnership with business … to create the jobs that we know we’re capable of in this province,” Wynne said. “And with all of that, to begin to implement the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan.”
Wynne soundly trounced her main competitor, the Ontario PCs, reducing the party’s presence in the legislature by 10 seats and prompting the resignation of Tim Hudak as Tory leader.
She’ll return with a majority government of 59 seats to the Tory’s 27 seats and the NDP’s 21 seats.
Wynne said she would recall the government committee investigating the cancellation of two gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga.
“They would now be able to move to complete their report and advise the government on how to make sure that such a thing never happens again,” she said.
A $2-million libel lawsuit Wynne launched against Hudak and PC MPP Lisa MacLeod continues at this point, she said.
“The only reason that suit is in play is that I’m always happy to debate facts but when there are false allegations, it’s unacceptable,” Wynne said.
Her suit alleges that the PC pair made false accusations that she oversaw and possibly took part in the destruction of public records related to the gas plants.
A new cabinet will be sworn in before the legislature returns with a mandate to invest in the province but also “remain fiscally prudent,” Wynne said.
The Premier reaffirmed her promise to eliminate the provincial deficit by 2017-18.
Wynne and the Ontario Liberal Party picked up seats from both opposition parties, including three of five Toronto NDP ridings.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath’s election strategy to oppose the Liberal budget and run on pocketbook issues did not go over well with all of the party’s usual supporters.
“By triggering this election the NDP placed the Labour Movement in harm’s way. There will be a serious and frank discussion with the party,” Ontario Federation of Labour President Sid Ryan tweeted.
NDP MPP Gilles Bisson said his party increased its share of the popular vote and secured new seats in key communities, such as Oshawa, which will serve as important building blocks for the next election campaign.
Bisson described Horwath’s performance as “amazing” in the campaign, and said the party will not be searching for a new leader.
“We stand proud as New Democrats for what we did, we stand behind our leader,” Bisson said. “The dynamics were what they were.”
The PCs were plunged into a leadership contest after Hudak announced on election night that he would step aside as leader.
Hudak’s office was dark Friday and his team was planning to take the weekend to determine next steps.
A Conservative source said the names being tossed around as possible leadership replacements for Hudak are party president Richard Ciano, former MPP Frank Klees and current MPPs Vic Fedeli and Christine Elliott.
Get the latest from Queen’s Park on Friday: