MPP Greg Sorbara delivers a budget speech alongside ON Premier Dalton McGuinty.
Credits: FILE PHOTO
"This morning, @Greg_Sorbara will announce he's stepping down as MPP but will keep chairing #OLP campaign and Ontario Liberal Fund," Neala Barton, press secretary for Premier Dalton McGuinty, tweeted Wednesday.
Sorbara, 65, a former finance minister, has been in charge of the last three Liberal election campaigns and has been McGuinty's right arm throughout the premier's three terms in office.
Coming from a well-known family of developers, Sorbara was first elected in 1985 in the riding of York North and served as a cabinet minister for then-premier David Peterson.
He went back to the private sector as principal of the Sorbara Group in 1995 but returned to politics in 1999 as president of the Ontario Liberal Party and won a byelection in 2001 in the riding of Vaughan-King-Aurora (now called Vaughan).
Appointed finance minister when McGuinty was first elected premier in 2003, he was forced to step down briefly when he was named in an RCMP search warrant.
However, Sorbara returned to the post after he was cleared of any wrongdoing.
He resigned from cabinet to spend more time with his family in 2007.
Sorbara's retirement means voters in Vaughan will head to the polls for a byelection. A byelection date in Kitchener-Waterloo to replace former Progressive Conservative MPP Elizabeth Witmer is expected soon.
The byelections will be critical for all parties in the legislature: Before Sorbara's departure, the combined opposition parties were deadlocked with the Liberals at 53 seats each.
McGuinty has six months after a seat becomes vacant to call a byelection.