McGuinty walks with his wife Terri after making an announcement to resign from the leadership of the Ontario provincial Liberal party at Queen's Park in Toronto, Oct. 15, 2012.
Credits: REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Liberal MPPs expressed their surprise after Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty suddenly called it quits Monday night.
"It came out of the blue," Niagara Falls Liberal MPP Kim Craitor said. "He just kind of said it was time. I know how it feels, and I know the wear and pressure it takes on you and your family."
In Niagara Falls, the Liberal government made the unpopular decision to close the Fort Erie Race Track Slots earlier this year.
Peterborough MPP Jeff Leal said he was was “very sad” and surprised by McGuinty’s resignation.
Leal was clearly emotional while talking about the last nine years he has spent working with McGuinty.
“He’s a man of impeccable integrity, a man committed to the success of Ontario and just a pleasure to work with,” he said.
There were no signs that McGuinty would resign, Leal said, adding that the premier’s speech at the party’s annual general meeting gave every indication he was going to stay.
McGuinty also received a leadership approval of 86% by party members in September, Leal added.
The premier announced his resignation Monday night at an emergency caucus meeting.
He said he had visited the lieutenant governor earlier in the day and had asked for the legislature to be prorogued.
He also said he'd also asked Liberal party president Yasir Naqvi to schedule a leadership convention as soon as possible.
-- With files from Jonathan Jenkins, Nicole Riva and Jeff Bolichowski