UPDATE: Premier Confirms Wynne to Enter Leadership Race
She's ready to make a go at the Ontario Liberals' top job.
Municipal Affairs and Housing and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Kathleen Wynne has resigned from cabinet, clearing the way for her to officially enter the leadership race.
While the Don Valley West MPP's statement was vague, saying only she handed in her resignation to the Premier on Friday morning and will be holding an event on Monday at 5:30pm, Dalton McGuinty confirmed speculation.
At an event in London, McGuinty says Wynne brings a lot to the table, listing her time as Minister of Education, Transportation and her recent posts.
Despite seeing a list of six prominent Liberals declaring they didn't want his job, the Premier didn't seem worried that Wynne was the first out of the gate two and a half weeks after he announced he'll be stepping down.
He points to the 1996 leadership campaign, where he said he was one of the last to enter the race and even have problems raising funds. McGuinty pointed out he was successful.
Later in the day, McGuinty announced a minor cabinet shuffle to fill the holes left by Wynne. Along with being Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Bob Chiarelli will take on the Municipal Affairs and Housing portfolio. Energy Minister Chris Bentley will also be the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs.
Just after he announced his intentions on October 15, McGuinty told cabinet ministers that if they wanted to run they would have to step down from their cabinet posts.
Candidates have until November 23 to enter the race. A new leader and premier will be chosen at the end of January.