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McGuinty officially resigns as MPP

OTTAWA – Former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty officially resigned his seat in the legislature Wednesday, calling it quits after 23 years as Ottawa South MPP.

He made the announcement Wednesday morning.

“The end of this session marks an opportune time for me to bring to a close my service to the people of Ottawa South as their member of provincial parliament,” McGuinty said in a written statement.

“To this end, I will today submit my resignation,” he added.

McGuinty went on to say he left politics with his “idealism intact and a deep sense of gratitude for the opportunity to have served in public life.”

McGuinty was absent from the legislature Tuesday when the Liberals’ budget bill passed, averting a summer election.

McGuinty had only shown up in the legislature twice since he was replaced by Kathleen Wynne as premier in February — both times for confidence votes.

When he stepped down as premier Oct. 15, McGuinty said he was planning to stay MPP for Ottawa South until the next provincial election.

Following the approval of the minority Liberals’ budget Tuesday, Wynne suggested the Liberal government could survive for another year.

Political affairs specialist John Stall says the survival of the Liberal government may explain why McGuinty is resigning his seat.

“His intent was to not run in the next election so if that budget was not going to pass and the NDP was going to trigger [an election], he would have made that decision and stepped down rather than go into a campaign,” Stall said.

His resignation comes as opposition parties demand he appear again before a legislative committee probing the gas plant controversy and deleted emails on the cancelled gas plants.

His departure will make the third vacant provincial riding.

Wynne must call by-elections by mid-August in Windsor and London to replace former finance minister Dwight Duncan and former energy minister Chris Bentley.

“Dalton McGuinty served Ontario with integrity throughout his years in public office. He will go down as one of our greatest premiers,” Duncan tweeted Tuesday night.

The former premier served as the MPP for Ottawa-South for 23 years, taking over the seat held by his father, Dalton McGuinty Sr., and held the premier’s job for a decade starting in 2003.

McGuinty was absent from the legislature Tuesday when the Liberals’ budget bill passed, averting a summer election.

McGuinty had only shown up in the legislature twice since he was replaced by Kathleen Wynne as premier in February — both times for confidence votes.

When he stepped down as premier Oct. 15, McGuinty said he was planning to stay MPP for Ottawa South until the next provincial election.

Following the approval of the minority Liberals’ budget Tuesday, Wynne suggested the Liberal government could survive for another year.

Political affairs specialist John Stall says the survival of the Liberal government may explain why McGuinty is resigning his seat.

“His intent was to not run in the next election so if that budget was not going to pass and the NDP was going to trigger [an election], he would have made that decision and stepped down rather than go into a campaign,” Stall said.

His resignation comes as opposition parties demand he appear again before a legislative committee probing the gas plant controversy and deleted emails on the cancelled gas plants.

His departure will make the third vacant provincial riding.

Wynne must call by-elections by mid-August in Windsor and London to replace former finance minister Dwight Duncan and former energy minister Chris Bentley.

“Dalton McGuinty served Ontario with integrity throughout his years in public office. He will go down as one of our greatest premiers,” Duncan tweeted Tuesday night.