When Dalton McGuinty shocked the province by announcing his decision to resign as Ontario premier and Liberal leader late last year, Kathleen Wynne, a popular and sure-footed cabinet minister, was instantly considered a leading contender to succeed him. Though not a shoo-in, Wynne trounced perceived front-runner Sandra Pupatello and became Ontario’s first female premier, as well as the first openly gay premier in Canada. If anything, things then got even tougher for the athletic Wynne, a diminutive 59-year-old dynamo. She had to develop an urgent strategy to extend the life of the 16-month-old minority Liberal government. And she needed to let Ontarians put as much distance as possible between her and McGuinty’s final year, with its reek of, among other things, the gas plant relocation scandal and teacher-despised Bill 115.
As Wynne marks her first 100 days as Ontario premier, veteran journalist and political commentator Jim Coyle looks back at her rise to leadership and how she has brought a uniquely consultative style to the top job at the legislature. As well, Coyle dissects her efforts to save the liberal government through budget negotiations with Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath. Madam Premier: Kathleen Wynne’s First 100 Days is an engaging and insightful look at the dynamic new force in Queen’s Park.
Jim Coyle spent 12 years as a reporter for The Canadian Press and was for seven years provincial affairs columnist at the Ontario Legislature for the Ottawa Citizen before joining the Toronto Star in 1997. Over his career, Coyle has had four tours through the Queen’s Park Press Gallery, as well as working as a reporter on Parliament Hill. He has filed from every province and territory in Canada, covered papal and royal tours, judicial inquiries, Grey Cups, the Calgary Olympics and more elections and leadership conventions than he cares to recall. Coyle and his wife, Toronto Star reporter Andrea Gordon, have four sons.
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