Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne is leaving the door open to a coalition government.
“I am not ruling out anything . . . I have demonstrated how I can work in a minority parliament,” Wynne told reporters Wednesday after visiting a full-day kindergarten class at St. Julia Billiart Catholic Elementary School in Markham.
“That’s how I would continue to work in a minority parliament if that is what the people of Ontario decide,” Wynne said referring to the June 12 provincial election.
The Liberals have been governing in a minority situation since the 2011 election and polls suggest a minority legislature could happen again.
Some Conservatives are worried that even if Hudak wins the most seats in the 107-member legislature — but falls short of a 54-MPP majority — Wynne and Horwath would combine forces to keep him out of the premier’s office.
That happened in 1985 when then Liberal leader David Peterson and then NDP leader Bob Rae toppled Tory premier Frank Miller, who won more seats in that election than his rivals though the Grits took a higher percentage of the popular vote.
The Tories issued a statement Wednesday saying voters have a right to know what Wynne would do.
“What is clear is that Kathleen Wynne is so desperate to cling to power that she will do absolutely anything to keep her job . . . the voters of Ontario deserve to know if Kathleen Wynne intends to form a coalition government if she loses the election on June 12th.”
There are various scenarios that could occur: the Hudak Tories could form a minority government but the Liberals and New Democrats could team up to form the most number of seats; or if the Liberals form a very slim minority they may still want to let the NDP into the tent just to keep the Tories at bay.
Of course, all three parties say they are in the race to win a majority and are loathe to discuss what they may or may not do in the event of a minority parliament.
“I am not going to pre-empt the decision of the people of Ontario. They will make their decision on June 12 and we will work within those parameters,” Wynne said.
“I am not ruling out working within a minority parliament. I have worked to make a minority parliament function for the last year and a bit. And I will continue to work with the numbers that the people of Ontario present us with,” she said.
“When we get there we will make that determination.”
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is being coy about her plans.
Horwath, whose third-place party propped up the minority Liberals in the 2012 and 2013 budgets, won’t say if she would back Wynne or Hudak.
She dodged the question when asked Wednesday if the party leader who wins the most seats in the election should automatically be premier.
“Well, you know, I’m going to wait until June 12 — until the people of this province make a decision about what kind of government they want and regardless of what decision they make it’ll be the right decision,” the NDP leader said.
“We’ll deal with that outcome when it’s upon it. We can’t presuppose or prejudge what the electorate is going to do. I’m going to hold my powder,” she said at the International Bakery in the Liberal-held riding of York West.