June 4, 2018 7:57 pm

Former Peterborough MPPs weigh in on Kathleen Wynne’s move to concede election

Former Peterborough MPPs weigh in on Kathleen Wynne's move to concede the election.

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Kathleen Wynne’s concession that the Liberals won’t win the 2018 provincial election came as a shock to many including those within the party.

Local Liberal incumbents Jeff Leal from the Peterborough-Kawartha riding and Lou Rinaldi from the Northumberland-Peterborough South riding were both surprised by the move, just as a few former Peterborough MPPs were as well.

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READ MORE: Peterborough-Kawartha race is ‘too close to call’: poll

Gary Stewart served as the Progressive Conservative MPP for Peterborough from 1998 to 2003 and was succeeded by current Liberal MPP Jeff Leal, and says the move by Wynne to concede leaves the remaining Liberal candidates hanging in thin air.

“I just think it’s weird and it’s the wrong time to have done it,” said Stewart. “I think it’s very inconsiderate of her to do it the way she has now because, is there even a party anymore or is there a policy? She’s the one that was heading up the policy. How do the people go out and say, ‘We are the Liberal Party and we are going to do this when you don’t have a leader?'”

READ MORE: Riding profile: Peterborough-Kawartha

The last time the NDP held provincial government was back in 1990 under leader Bob Rae, and being a bellwether riding, Peterborough stayed the course and elected NDP candidate Jenny Carter who commends Wynne’s decision.

“In a way, I think she was being very honest,” said Carter. “I don’t think there is much point in pretending you are going to win when the polls are so abysmal and I think she is just afraid and so am I that we might have a [Doug] Ford majority and I think she is just trying to minimize that problem.”

READ MORE: ANALYSIS: Here are the 20 closest riding races that could decide the Ontario election

Wynne made the surprise announcement on Saturday, just five days ahead of the election, where she declared she won’t be the next premier of Ontario and conceded that her party will lose the upcoming election.

It’s being viewed as a last-ditch effort to secure some votes as she’s asking people to continue to vote for Liberals in their home ridings to help prevent an NDP or PC majority.

Longtime Liberal MP and MPP Peter Adams says he hasn’t seen a move like this before so close to the election and was just as surprised by the decision as any other members of the party but upon further reflection, says the move makes sense.

“The more I thought about it, the more I thought there is some logic to it,” said Adams. “Sure, it’s a gamble and it may or may not work but you might as well try it.”

The election goes June 7, and polls are open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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