Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Former Immigration Minister Charles Sousa Wants to Be Ontario "Jobs Premier"

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Former Immigration Minister Charles Sousa Wants to Be Ontario "Jobs Premier"

Article excerpt

Sousa enters Ontario Liberal leadership race


MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - Another former minister threw his hat into the Ontario Liberal leadership race on Saturday, bringing the number of people vying to become the province's next premier to four.

"I want to be your jobs premier," Charles Sousa told a large cheering crowd at his candidacy announcement Saturday at a banquet hall in his Mississauga riding.

Sousa, the province's Citizenship and Immigration minister until he resigned from cabinet Friday, told the crowd that if he becomes premier, he will create more jobs for the province's beleaguered auto and northern mining industries.

"It's now time for renewal," he said with his wife, three children and elderly father by his side. "It's time for a new direction forward."

The 54-year-old, who grew up in the city west of Toronto, said his background as a banker will help him run a government that is fiscally responsible and at the same time, create more jobs.

If chosen Liberal leader, he would make it a priority to "transform" Ontario's rural communities by bringing more high-skilled jobs in areas like information technology.

Doing this will also attract more of these types of workers to the province, said Sousa.

"We need to get things moving so let's get things done," he said.

Sousa also made a number of other promises, including putting in a high-speed rail system that would connect Hamilton to Oshawa and eventually, expand it from Windsor to Quebec City.

Improvements will also be made to transit systems in the northern communities, and with the Toronto Transit Commission, which Sousa says should be overseen by the provincial agency Metrolinx.

Yet when pressed about how he was going to fulfil these lofty priorities with Ontario's current $14.4 billion deficit, he said those details will be released shortly.

Liberal MPPs Lorenzo Berardinetti and Soo Wong and long-time Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion were at the announcement to lend their support.

Sousa joins former cabinet ministers Sandra Pupatello, Glen Murray and Kathleen Wynne in the race to succeed Premier Dalton McGuinty.

On Saturday, John Wilkinson, the former revenue and environment minister who lost his seat in last year's election, circulated a note to supporters indicating he will not be making a leadership bid. …

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