Window on Canada                                                                             October 2003

Ontarians have chosen change

A message from Dalton McGuinty

The Ontario Liberal Plan


Speaking to CBC News, McGuinty made his first comments about national politics: "We should be committed to strong provinces within a stong federation," he said, "I continue to maintain that none of us is as strong as all of us."


"We have been elected to serve. There is no room in government for complacency or arrogance," he said.

Dalton McGuinty


October 2 is the day when Ontarians have voted for a change in the Party and government. and head a majority government as the Liberal Party won 72 of the 103 seats in the province's legislature. McGuinty has watched both the NDP and Tories govern Ontario.

“One was an economic disaster, the other a disaster for the social fabric of our province,” McGuinty says.

“It strengthened my belief in new ideas, instead of old ideologies. I want to move Ontario forward, not to the left or right.”

The win gives Ontario only its second Liberal majority government in 65 years. The PCs under Ernie Eves will form the Official Opposition, with 24 seats.
With seven seats, the New Democratic Party will not achieve official party status. They dropped two seats, but rose in the popular vote.

In the popular vote, the Liberals were up six per cent, the Tories were down nine percent and the NDP were up three percent.

Voter turnout was down one per cent from 1999 to 55 per cent.

A message from Dalton McGuinty

You have chosen a change in government, but have chosen an even more profound change.

You have chosen a message of hope and the politics of inclusion.

You have chosen a plan that’s ambitious for our province, and will deliver real, positive change for Ontarians.

For all of these reasons, I am proud of our campaign, but even proud of Ontarians for the way they have responded to it.

I say to the people of Ontario: thank you for choosing change.

We will work hard to deliver the positive changes you want, in our schools, our hospitals, our communities.

I wish to thank my wife, Terri, my children, Carleen, Dalton Jr. Liam and Connor, and my mother, Elizabeth.

Thanks to Greg Sorbara, our party president, the executive of the Ontario Liberal Party, the members of the Ontario Liberal Party, and our campaign team.

To Ernie Eves, I offer my congratulations his 22 years of public service. Terri and I also extend our warmest wishes to Isabel and Nathalie.

To Howard Hampton, I offer my congratulations, and our best goes to his wife Shelley, and their children Sarah and Johathan.

To candidates of other parties, and independent candidates: congratulations on making our democracy stronger by putting your names forward.

To Ontario Liberals who stood for public office tonight and were not successful this time, I offer our party’s deepest gratitude. You have much to be proud of.

Finally, I wish to congratulate the men and women of all parties who have earned the privilege of serving their communities and their province in the Legislature.

To members of what will soon be an Ontario Liberal government: We have a lot of work to do. Achieving real, positive change won’t be easy. It won’t happen overnight, and it’s going to take time and a lot of hard work.

But we will succeed as long as we remember that our victory belongs to the people. This government belongs to the people, and we have been elected to serve the people.

There is no room in their government for arrogance or complacency.

I am humbled by tonight’s result, but ambitious for our province. The people have chosen change, and we can and will deliver that change.

We can and we will do it, and I promise you this: no one will work harder to build an Ontario that’s the envy of the world, than I will.

The Ontario Liberal Plan

Excellent public education

Clean, safe communities

Our plan for economic growth

The health care we need

Strengthening democracy

Opportunity for Everyone


Dalton McGuinty was born in Ottawa on July 19, 1955 into a family with a long tradition in Ontario Liberal politics. His father, Dalton James McGuinty Sr., held the Ottawa South riding until he passed away in 1990. His mother, Elizabeth McGuinty, currently resides in Ottawa where she worked as a nurse before her retirement.

After graduating from St. Patrick's High School in Ottawa, McGuinty worked as an orderly at Rideau Veterans' Hospital.

McGuinty holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at McMaster University in Hamilton and a law degree from the University of Ottawa. Before entering politics, McGuinty practised law and, with his brother, founded their own law firm. He also taught business law at Carleton University.

In 1990, McGuinty won the Ottawa South seat formerly held by his father. McGuinty has introduced several private member's bills, two of which are now law. One made it tougher for children to buy cigarettes. The other helped boost donations to Ontario food banks. At the local level, McGuinty's successful efforts to bring paramedics to Ottawa-Carleton led to the expansion of paramedic services in many other Ontario communities.

McGuinty was elected Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party on December 1, 1996, and became Leader of the Official Opposition.

McGuinty led his party in his first election as leader in June 1999, capturing 40 per cent of the popular vote, and electing nine new members to the Liberal caucus, which increased the number of seats held by his party from 30 to 35. Since then, his party has won byelections in September 2000 and June 2001, taking seats formerly held by the government.

McGuinty and his wife, Terri (née Taylor), a schoolteacher, were married in 1980 and reside in Ottawa. They have four children: Carleen, Dalton Jr., Liam and Connor




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