Speculation is swirling that Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan will make a major announcement about his future with the province’s Liberal government Wednesday, with a report saying he has chosen not to run for leadership of his party.
On Tuesday night, Duncan’s press secretary announced he would meet with the media Wednesday morning in the Government Caucus room at Queen’s Park.
The Windsor Star reported that Duncan would not run for leadership — and would also not seek re-election.
Earlier Tuesday, the Windsor MPP gave hints to reporters about his announcement and the leadership race.
“You’re looking at probably a five-to-10 year commitment of your life, and that’s the one that’s front and centre for me,” he said. “It’s a big call, and I’ll have it pretty soon.”
He also defended Premier Dalton McGuinty’s decision to prorogue the provincial legislature.
“I completely support the premier’s decision on that,” he said. “I think prorogation is a very ancient tradition of Parliament…particularly in minority houses.”
It was hours after Duncan delivered an update on the province’s economic progress Oct. 15 that McGuinty announced both his resignation and the prorogation.
Since McGuinty’s announcement, a guessing game has ensued about who may run to replace him. A leadership convention has been set for January 25, 2013 and cabinet ministers must resign their posts by Nov. 23 in order to enter the race.
Other high-profile Liberal MPPs who are thought to be considering a run include Municipal Affairs Minister Kathleen Wynn and Health Minister Deb Matthews.
Another Windsorite, former MPP Sandra Pupatello, has also said she’s considering a run. Pupatello served as a Liberal MPP from Windsor for six years. During that time she held various portfolios, including education, women’s issues and community and social services.
She moved to the private sector a year ago and has sighted a lack of opportunities to move up as one of her main reasons for leaving the government.
Duncan, 53, has been finance minister since 2007. He has also held the revenue and energy portfolios. He has represented his Windsor riding since 1995.