Wynne marks one year in the premier's office
Premier Kathleen Wynne says she has been pleased with Toronto city council’s ability to run the city amid a seemingly never-ending controversy surrounding Mayor Rob Ford.
Wynne made the comment to CP24 during a sit-down interview to mark her one-year anniversary as premier Tuesday morning.
“My position has always been that city council needs to be able to function and I have seen council take hold,” Wynne said. “I think Deputy Mayor Kelly is doing a good job. He has been given the responsibility to really steer the ship and I think that is what is happening.”
After Ford’s surprise admission that he smoked crack cocaine while in office, Wynne faced a barrage of questions over whether she would intervene and provide council with the legislative tools needed to give the mayor the boot.
Though the premier never ruled out taking such a step, she repeatedly told reporters that her preference was for council to handle the crisis on their own, something they ultimately did by stripping Ford of many of his powers and handing them to Kelly during a special meeting in November.
Speaking with CP24 on Tuesday, Wynne said she believes council now has “their house in order,” calling the fresh controversies involving Ford “noise.”
“It may have some impact on a municipal election but in terms of running the city I believe council has their house in order,” she said.
Wynne says she wants to be known for job creation
Wynne rose to the premier’s chair after her predecessor Dalton McGuinty resigned amid a growing controversy over the cancellation of two gas plants at a cost of more than $1 billion.
Reflecting on her first days in office on Tuesday, Wynne said the scandal over the gas plants was definitely something that was “on her plate” at first but she said she believes the issue has now been “aired out” through a provincial inquiry and countless debates on the legislative floor, allowing her party to return to the business of creating jobs and building the economy.
“What we are really focusing on now is what I think is on everybody’s minds and that’s creating jobs,” she said. “We have terrific potential but there is more to do. I am not going to suggest that we have fully recovered from the economic downturn, but last month in Ontario there were 6,000 net new jobs and I want that trend to continue.”
A former minister of municipal affairs and housing and aboriginal affairs before entering her name into the Liberal leadership race, Wynne has presided over a minority government since assuming power and last year needed to make several changes to the budget in order to see it pass.
With a showdown looming over the spring budget, Wynne told CP24 on Tuesday that she wants to make the minority parliament work but won’t be afraid of going to the polls if need be.
“I am not afraid to go into a general election, when it comes it comes,” she said.
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