In an emergency caucus meeting on October 15, 2012, Dalton McGuinty told the Ontario Liberal caucus, and the media, that he was resigning as leader of the Ontario Liberal Party and as Premier of Ontario effective as soon as the party executive could hold a leadership convention to replace him. He also said he had asked the Lieutenant Governor to prorogue the legislature. He noted that he would stay on as the MPP for Ottawa South until the next Ontario election.
McGuinty, who has led the Ontario Liberals for 16 years and been Premier of Ontario since 2003, said it was time for renewal and time for "the next set of Liberal ideas." He said that shutting down the legislature would give time to negotiate with labour partners over a public-sector wage freeze, and to get a clearer idea of what it would take for the opposition to support a wage freeze. He didn't mention it, but the prorogation will also cancel, for now, a committee investigation into the multimmillion costs for the cancellation of two gas-fired power plants, as well as the legislative committee looking into the ORNGE air ambulance service scandal.
The legislature will not be called back until there is a new Liberal leader. The party is putting the rules for the leadership race in place quickly, and it will be an old-fashioned delegate convention likely held within three months. It's quite probable an Ontario provincial election will follow in the spring.
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