TORONTO – Premier-to-be Kathleen Wynne will be meeting with the Liberal caucus today as she gets down to work as the party’s new leader.
Outgoing Premier Dalton McGuinty, who plans to stay on as an MPP until the next election, is expected to sit out the meeting.
It may be an awkward get-together, since only 10 caucus members endorsed Wynne during the three-month leadership campaign.
Most threw their support behind runner-up Sandra Pupatello, who was leading the race until three other leadership candidates went to Wynne’s camp.
Wynne says she plans to talk to the opposition party leaders in an effort to make the minority government work and avoid an election.
She’s also promised to bring back the legislature on Feb. 19, which was prorogued in mid-October when McGuinty announced that he would step down.
The New Democrats and Progressive Conservatives have already laid out some of their demands.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says she wants a public inquiry into the politically motivated cancellation of two gas plants, while Tory Leader Tim Hudak says he wants Wynne to cut government spending immediately to deal with the province’s $12-billion deficit.
Both say they want to work with Wynne, but the NDP’s demand would likely be politically disastrous for the Liberals, and the Tories have already launched attack ads calling Wynne “another Liberal Ontario can’t afford.”
Wynne didn’t have much to say about it Monday, saying she was looking forward to taking to both leaders soon.