Wynne’s in

Don Valley West MPP gets the nod to run for the Liberals in this fall's provincial election

Don Valley West MPP Kathleen Wynne is hoping for a three-peat when she runs in the provincial election this fall.

It may be early in the game, but as of mid-February, her chances looked pretty good: the Progressive Conservatives, Greens and New Democrats have not officially nominated candidates in Don Valley West.

“I don’t know who my competition will be yet,” said Wynne, who is also currently transportation minister. “I never take for granted I will be re-elected.”

Wynne is ahead of the game as the Liberals officially nominated her as their candidate in Don Valley West on Jan. 30. About 200 supporters were in attendance at her nomination party.

Wynne has quite the storied history in the riding. Rising through the political ranks first as a school trustee, Wynne was first elected as an MPP in 2003. In 2007, her immense popularity in the riding was evident when she beat out John Tory, then-leader of the Progressive Conservatives.

Wynne says she has many accomplishments to draw from when speaking with voters this year. She will focus on some of her party’s accomplishments and her achievements as an MPP, former minister of education and her current transportation portfolio.

“We’ve invested in full-day kindergarten,” said Wynne.

She was quick to rhyme off local investments in her riding.

“New infrastructure like the Eglinton light rail which is important for the future of the city and province. They are hard dollars to spend as a government as you don’t see immediate (fanfare),” she said. “It’s easier to invest in something you’ll see in one to two years where you can cut a ribbon or make an announcement.”

That project is likely to move ahead despite the fact new mayor Rob Ford has announced he wants subways not streetcar lines as the approved portion of the Eglinton light rail line is below ground level.

Another riding project she named as a success is the creation of the new Skills for Change employment resource centre in Flemingdon.

She’s pushing for a greening project at Valley Park MS that could include a cricket field.

“It’s in the dreaming stage but fundraising has begun,” she said.

She said she’s also been working on protecting institutional lands in North Leaside, building a new field house in Wanless Park, getting land for a new ice arena in Leaside and obtaining $16 million for an addition to Thorncliffe Park School, the biggest elementary school facility in North America.

While there’s been speculation she’s a prime pick as a future Liberal leader, Wynne wouldn’t officially state her interest in that role.

“I’m interested in being re-elected first,” she said Feb. 14. “I can’t speculate on what will happen down the line. But I’ve learned in my life never say never.

“We have strong premier and leader now and I’m committed to getting him re-elected,” she said.

In fact, she’s the vice-chair of the Liberals provincial re-election campaign and will be helping party candidates throughout Ontario.

In 2007’s provincial election, Wynne got 50.44 percent of the vote. Tory trailed with less than 40 percent. The Green Party, NDP and Family Coalition Party candidates split the remaining 10 percent.

Wynne has lived in North Toronto with her wife Jane Rounthwaite for over 20 years. Wynne has three grown children from a previous marriage: Chris, Jessie and Maggie and one granddaughter, Olivia.

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By: Kris Scheuer
Posted: Feb 17 2011 1:10 pm
Filed in: NEWS