Dalton McGuinty

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Dalton McGuinty (2007)

Dalton James Patrick McGuinty Jr. (born July 19, 1955 in Ottawa ) is a Canadian lawyer and politician. From October 23, 2003 to February 11, 2013, he was Prime Minister of the Province of Ontario . After John Sandfield Macdonald , who ruled from 1867 to 1871, he was only the second Catholic in this office. McGuinty was chairman of the Ontario Liberal Party from 1996 to 2013 and has represented the Ottawa-South constituency in the Ontario Legislative Assembly since 1990 . In financial policy he is considered to be moderately conservative, while in social and societal politics he takes liberal positions. Six months after his resignation as prime minister, he also resigned as an MP.

Private life

His parents are politician and professor Dalton McGuinty Sr., who was MP for South Ottawa from 1987 to 1990, and nurse Elizabeth McGuinty. The son of an English-speaking father and a French-speaking mother, McGuinty grew up bilingual. He has nine siblings; his younger brother David McGuinty has represented the constituency of Ottawa South in the Canadian House of Commons since 2003 .

McGuinty studied biology at McMaster University and then earned a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Ottawa before practicing as a lawyer. He has been married to Terri McGuinty, a kindergarten teacher since 1980, whom he met in high school; the couple has four children.

Provincial politics

In the elections to the legislative assembly on September 6, 1990, Dalton McGuinty was elected in the constituency of Ottawa-South to succeed his father, who had died six months earlier. David Peterson's Liberal government suffered a surprising defeat by the Ontario New Democratic Party (NDP), and McGuinty was the only new Liberal MP. McGuinty was opposition spokesman in the fields of energy, environment, colleges and universities. He was re-elected on June 8, 1995 without any problems. His party remained in opposition, as the NDP government was replaced by a government of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario .

On December 1, 1996, McGuinty was elected the new chairman of the Ontario Liberal Party by the Assembly of Delegates in the fifth ballot. His choice came as a surprise, as he was only fourth in the first ballot. During his time as the official leader of the opposition, McGuinty was often described by critics as uncharismatic and inexperienced in dealing with the media. In the elections on June 3, 1999, the Liberals were able to gain a significant share of the vote , but due to the majority voting right , this initially only brought in small gains in seats.

McGuinty was able to consolidate his position as party chairman and succeeded in establishing the party as the main alternative to the Conservatives. The chances of winning the election increased when the ruling Progressive Conservative Party became embroiled in several controversies. Prime Minister Mike Harris resigned in 2002. His successor Ernie Eves failed to regain the favor of the voters.

During the 2003 election campaign, the Liberals led the polls from the start and achieved an overwhelming victory on October 2nd. McGuinty's party garnered 46.4% of the vote and won 72 of 103 seats in the Legislative Assembly, twice as many as four years earlier. McGuinty took office as Prime Minister on October 23, 2003.

prime minister

Shortly after taking office, McGuinty's administration increased public health spending. To finance this, it also increased mandatory health insurance contributions. In doing so, the Liberal Party broke a key election promise right from the start, namely to forego tax increases. This measure led to a short-term decline in popularity.

The second state budget, presented in May 2005, provided for extensive investments in education. This means that the government can fulfill another of its election promise, a balanced budget by the 2007/08 fiscal year, at least one year later than originally planned. The government was able to reach an agreement with the trade unions on important issues, so that the wave of strikes that had rocked the previous conservative government gradually subsided.

McGuinty advocates the possibility of abortion ; his government passed a law in February 2005 allowing same-sex marriage . With that, Ontario paved the way for the other Canadian provinces and territories, which followed suit over the course of six months. In June 2006, the provincial government announced a 20-year plan to renew all power plants with a budget of $ 46 billion. McGuinty's government is the first Ontario since the 1970s to openly support the construction of new nuclear power plants .

In the October 10, 2007 election, the Ontario Liberal Party's share of the vote fell by a little more than four percent, but this resulted in a single lost seat. McGuinty is the first Ontario Liberal Prime Minister since Mitchell Hepburn in the 1930s to be sustained in office. The share of the vote fell again in the elections on October 6, 2011; the Liberals missed an absolute majority for a mandate and McGuinty formed a minority government. The Liberals hoped to still achieve an absolute majority in two by-elections on September 6, 2012, but they did not win the seat. On October 15, 2012, he announced that he would resign as soon as his party elected a successor. On January 26, 2013, the Liberal Party Congress elected Kathleen Wynne as the new party leader. McGuinty remained in office on February 11th and resigned as MP on June 12th.

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