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McGuinty defends his record

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty

After this weekend, Ontario will have a new Liberal party leader, and a new premier.

Dalton McGuinty had some final words at the Toyota plant in Cambridge earlier this week.

He mostly defended his party’s progress in education.

McGuinty says when the Liberals came to power nine years ago, Ontario’s schools were struggling, and now they are among the best in the English-speaking world.

He says test scores have gone up six points, and graduation rates are up 14 points.

About the battle with the province’s teachers over Bill 115, McGuinty says it shows the health of our province’s democracy.

He says people in other countries give up their lives to be able to express themselves publicly.

McGuinty also defended the deficit, saying the government borrowed money during the recession to keep people working.

He says they’re doing the right things now, during a period of economic growth, to pay down the deficit – adding that sometimes means making hard decisions, like freezing public sector wages.

McGuinty says Friday night will be a chance for the Liberals to celebrate what they’ve accomplished together as a party.

The leadership convention is being held in Toronto this weekend where a new party leader and premier will be chosen.