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It’s expected McGuinty will officially inform Lieutenant-Governor David Onley of Wynne’s victory Monday, at which time she will be commissioned to form a government and become known as the premier-designate.
Wynne, a former mediator, said she’s arranging sit-down meetings with opposition party leaders Tim Hudak of the Progressive Conservatives and the NDP’s Andrea Horwath to build bridges for finding “common ground.”
She mentioned welfare reform and public-sector wage restraint among her top priorities, along with preparing a throne speech and a March budget that would require some opposition support to avoid an election.
Wynne, who pledged to also serve as agriculture minister to better understand rural Ontario, signalled she would be “happy to serve in cabinet” with her leadership rivals, but would not tip her hand.
Mississauga South MPP Charles Sousa, a former banker, and St. Paul MPP Eric Hoskins — who threw their support to Wynne on Saturday — will likely move to more prominent cabinet posts than they held under McGuinty.
The future of Mississauga-Erindale MPP Harinder Takhar, who joined the Pupatello camp, was less clear. Similarly murky is the future of the 24 MPPs who helped Pupatello, about twice as many as backed Wynne.
Backbenchers expected to be elevated in the massive cabinet shakeup include: MPPs Yasir Naqvi (Ottawa Centre), the neutral Ontario Liberal Party president praised for running a successful convention, and Wynne loyalist David Zimmer (Willowdale).
On a personal level, Hudak likes Wynne, who lives a five-minute drive from him in North Toronto.
On Twitter, former PC leader John Tory, who lost to Wynne in Don Valley West in the 2007 election, advised the party against being “quite combative” with her because “people want you to give her a chance, for a while.”
Asked about being Canada’s first lesbian premier, Wynne said: “I’m not a gay activist. That’s not how I got into politics. I can be an example. . . . If I can help (gay) people be less frightened, that’s a wonderful, wonderful thing.”