Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Former Ontario Premier McGuinty to Resign Legislature Seat on Wednesday: Sources

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Former Ontario Premier McGuinty to Resign Legislature Seat on Wednesday: Sources

Article excerpt

McGuinty to resign seat Wednesday: sources

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TORONTO - Former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty will resign his seat in the legislature Wednesday, according to government sources, despite saying just last month that he would remain the MPP for Ottawa-South until the next general election.

McGuinty had only shown up in the legislature twice since he was replaced by Kathleen Wynne as premier in February -- both times for confidence votes -- but he did not attend Tuesday's vote on the minority government's budget, which passed with support from the New Democrats.

His last public statement was last Friday, hours after the Ontario Provincial Police announced a criminal probe into Conservative complaints that senior Liberals in McGuinty's office deleted emails on cancelled gas plants, saying say he never instructed his staff to destroy government records.

The scandal over the Liberals' decisions to cancel gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga to save seats in the 2011 election haunted McGuinty from the moment the vote reduced his party to a minority government, and never let up as the opposition parties forced public hearings into the energy projects.

McGuinty suddenly prorogued the legislature and announced his resignation as premier last October, hours before the committee hearings were to start into the gas plants.

He blamed a bitter debate on a rare contempt of parliament motion filed against the Liberals for failing to release documents on the gas plants that ground legislative business to a virtual halt as one of the reasons for quitting.

The former premier testified at the public hearings in May, facing repeated attacks from Progressive Conservative energy critic Vic Fedeli, who compared McGuinty to a criminal who "masterminded the heist, (while) your henchmen committed the crime and drove the getaway car."

McGuinty told the committee it was his decision to cancel the gas plants, saying he took too long to realize the people of Oakville and Mississauga were right to oppose putting the large energy projects so close to homes, schools and hospitals. …

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