Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty announced Monday that he will resign as Liberal leader after his replacement has been chosen at a party leadership convention.
He said his daughter’s wedding and the party’s recent annual general meeting influenced his decision to resign but it also comes on the heels of several scandals at Queen’s Park, including the handling of the Ornge air ambulance service and the cancellation of two GTA gas plants.
Below are some key political dates for McGuinty who has been Ontario Liberal leader for 16 years.
1980: marries high-school sweetheart Terri. They have four children, Carleen, Dalton Jr., Liam and Connor.
1990: Dalton McGuinty Sr. dies suddenly while shoveling snow. McGuinty, a lawyer, is recruited to run in his place, and is elected as MPP to the Ontario legislature for Ottawa South. It’s his first-ever election.
1995: re-elected in Ottawa South.
1996: elected leader of Ontario Liberal party, defeating frontrunner Gerard Kennedy.
1999: fails to win his first general election.
Oct. 16, 2001: Progressive Conservative MPP Mike Harris, elected premier in 1995, resigns and is succeeded by his finance minister Ernie Eves.
Sept. 2, 2003: McGuinty takes Liberals to a majority government at Queen’s Park.
May 18, 2004: introduces first budget, which is focused on health care. McGuinty pledged to reduce hospital wait times. In his resignation speech McGuinty said that Ontario had the shortest wait times in all of Canada.
However, he was criticized for introducing a health-care premium of up to $900 per worker, after campaigning on a pledge to not raise taxes.
2005: McGuinty creates “greenbelt” around Toronto.
2005: changes definition of marriage to include same-sex couples.
2005: Greg Sorbara resigns as finance minister as the RCMP investigates a personal stake he had in some land transactions. He later returned to the position.
Sept. 10, 2007: McGuinty wins second majority with 71 of 107 seats in the legislature.
Nov. 7, 2009: auditor general says $1-billion e-Health scandal is directly linked to McGuinty. Health Minister David Caplan resigns.
2009: combines the provincial sales tax with the federal goods and services tax after campaigning against the idea for years.
2010: Ontario government begins phasing in all-day kindergarten.
Oct. 6, 2011: elected to third term but loses majority status, winning only 53 or 107 seats.
March 21, 2012: auditor-general finds Ontario gave Ornge $730 million but didn’t oversee the air ambulance service.
Oct. 2, 2012: Opposition parties pass contempt motion targeting energy minister Chris Bentley. Bentley allegedly withheld documents on the costs of cancelling two GTA power plants.
Oct. 12, 2012: McGuinty announces plans to resign after the Liberal party convenes a leadership convention and elects a new leader, which is expected next year.
With files from The Canadian Press