Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, left, walks out of the government caucus room with his wife Terri McGuinty, right, after announcing he is stepping down from his post in Toronto on Monday, October 15, 2012.
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Doug West was shocked to hear Premier Dalton McGuinty resigned Monday evening.
The news probably came as a surprise to some in the Liberal party ,the Lakehead University political science professor said. As for motive, West said it’s all speculation right now.
“He’s tired, it could just be that simple, just tired of this stuff,” West said from Lakehead’s Orillia campus Tuesday morning.
There is speculation that the nine-year premier is stepping down in order to take a run at the federal Liberal leadership but West is doubtful McGuinty will go that way.
“I don’t think he has the chops for that,” he said. “I think he’s done.”
Many have called the decision to prorogue the legislature along with resigning the wrong move for McGuinty. But that seems to be the way a lot of provincial leaders are handling their resignations these days.
It gives them and their party time to figure things out. And it gives the former leader a chance to be involved in the process of the party choosing a successor West said.
“Proroguing it means that you just push a button that says pause. You don’t lose anything that’s on the order paper you don’t lose anything that’s on any of the agendas,” West said.
Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce president Harold Wilson said regardless of the prorogation, things still need to get done. He’s heading down to meet with ministers and opposition members in November on a number of issues. No one knows how prorogation will affect the outcome.
“Some we’ve been fighting for a long time such as with the endangered species and the need for economic impact analyses before some of these things get pulled into place,” he said.
It will also mean another election eventually, something that always slows bureaucracy down.
“I would hate to see that happen again,” Wilson said. “The economy isn’t going to sit back and wait.”
Still, Wilson said McGuinty did a lot for Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario though the Liberal’s transit plan that revitalized the local Bombardier plant. He said the news came as a surprise.
The interesting thing West sees now is how the provincial leadership race will play out as there is no apparent front-runner. But with changes in British Columbia and Quebec, he doesn’t think provincial Liberals anywhere are in for easy victories in the next elections.
“I think the Liberal party is in trouble. I think we’re watching a transformation of the electorate into people who are tired of the Liberal party and they’re embracing the NDP in a way that is sustainable,” he said.
Prorogation will probably last until at least after Christmas West said.
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