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Murray drops out

Northern mayors were surprised to hear their candidate of choice Glen Murray dropped out of the race for Ontario’s next premier.
FILE -- Former Liberal Party of Ontario leadership contender Glen Murray. (

Northern mayors were surprised to hear their candidate of choice Glen Murray dropped out of the race for Ontario’s next premier.

Murray, the former Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, announced Thursday he would be dropping out of the race to be the next lead of the Liberal Party of Ontario and threw his support for candidate Kathleen Wynne.

Murray had promised that as leader he would try to give the North a stronger voice. A regional government was most likely the way Murray would deliver that promise.  The pro-North platform earned Murray the support of many mayors in this region.

Atikokan mayor Dennis Brown supported Murray’s desire to give a stronger voice to the North but not necessarily a regional government. With Murray out of the race, Brown said his support would go to Sandra Pupatello, the candidate endorsed by MPP Bill Mauro (Thunder Bay – Atikokan).

“He had some good ideas for Northern Ontario," Brown said from his home in Atikokan. "I liked what he had to say. Hopefully some of the other candidates and whoever wins will incorporate some of those ideas.”

So far, Brown said he hasn’t heard of any of the other candidates talking about placing a mechanism in place to give the North a stronger voice.  But whoever wins, Brown said that the new premier will have to pay attention to what happens in the Northern Ontario.

“This is where a lot of the resources are and it is going to be very important for the economy of Ontario."

Mayor Keith Hobbs was also surprised by the news, but was happy to learn that Murray would be supporting Wynne. Hobbs said he also liked what Murray's pro-north platform,  but realized the candidate seemed to be struggling to get support from within the Liberal party.

Hobbs argues that Wynne, a former education, transportation and Aboriginal affairs minister, has experience in the North.

“She strikes me as a person who is interested in the North and cares about Northern issues,” Hobbs said.

“I know she came out and said she didn’t want to see the North separate, which kind of struck me as funny. That’s not what Murray’s intention was. He wanted to give us more control over our own destiny. But Wynne knows about the Ring of Fire, knows the importance of all the mining and energy needs for the city to progress and I think we would be in good hands with her.”



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