Sandra Pupatello, Doug Ford and other power players on incoming premier Kathleen Wynne

Sandra Pupatello, Doug Ford and other power players on incoming premier Kathleen Wynne

(Image: Facebook)

After a Liberal leadership convention full of the usual back-room alliances and surprise reversals, Kathleen Wynne emerged as Ontario’s first female premier and Canada’s first openly gay premier. Although a few columnists and reporters touched on those firsts, most politicians and pundits are focused on how Wynne will handle the long list of headaches she’s inheriting from Dalton McGuinty: the Liberals are facing a precarious minority government, poor poll results and the province’s $14.4-billion deficit. Below, what Queen’s Park watchers are saying about Wynne’s win, and whether she can handle the challenges ahead.

“We got a good personal relationship.”

–Progressive Conservative Tim Hudak

“As McGuinty’s right hand, Kathleen Wynne has an expensive record of failure…She gave big raises to government workers, lost jobs, reckless overspending, economic failure.”

–A Progressive Conservative attack ad entitled “Kathleen Wynne: Another McGuinty Liberal Ontario Can’t Afford.”

“I felt going in that I was going to win this thing. I had this thing to win…People told me they would support me and they changed their mind.”

–Second-place finisher Sandra Pupatello

“Kathleen and I complement one another.”

–Mississauga South MPP, queen-maker and potential finance minister Charles Sousa

“I’m looking forward to working with Kathleen Wynne—when she’s on the opposition benches.”

–Current city councillor and aspiring Progressive Conservative MPP Doug Ford

What can be said is that by electing Wynne, the party delivered a well-deserved finger in the eye to the party establishment…who had decided that Wynne was unelectable, largely on the basis that she is a lesbian.

National Post columnist Andrew Coyne

For a Liberal party sliding in the polls, Wynne’s triumph could be a game changer….In an era of scripted politicians—McGuinty, Hudak and Horwath being peas in a pod—Wynne is an original.

Toronto Star columnist Martin Regg Cohn

• Kathleen Wynne shrugs off Tory attack ads [Toronto Star]
‘McGuinty’s right hand’: Tories launch Kathleen Wynne attack ads just hours after she pledges new era of cooperation [National Post]
• Kathleen Wynne shrugs off Tory attack ads [Toronto Star]
• Sandra Pupatello leaving politics ‘for sure’ [CBC]
• Mayor Rob Ford wants to talk subways with Ontario’s new premier [Toronto Sun]
• Andrew Coyne: Kathleen Wynne’s sexual orientation will prove the least of her worries when the legislature returns [National Post]
• With Kathleen Wynne’s election as leader, Ontario Liberals make history: Cohn [Toronto Star]

(Images: Tim Hudak, Ontario Chamber of Commerce; Sandra Pupatello, Andrew Coyne, Facebook;  Charles Sousa,; Doug Ford, Skeezix1000; Martin Regg Cohn, Twitter)