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Wilson to lead PC Party until new leader selected

Posted July 2, 2014

Touted at one time in the early 1990s as a potential leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, Simcoe Grey MPP Jim Wilson fulfilled that prediction this morning, albeit in an interim capacity, after he was selected to bridge the gap between Tim Hudak's resignation which took effect today, and the election of a new leader.

Mr. Wilson was chosen by the 28-member caucus over Eastern Ontario MPPs, John Yakabuski and Randy Hillier, less than a month after the party lost nine seats in the June 12 provincial elections that returned a Liberal government majority.

"We need to make changes in our caucus," Mr. Wilson, 51, told Queen's Park reporters this morning. "Clearly caucus members want to be included in all major decision-making. It was that way many years ago when I started and we need to get back to that. In running for the interim leadership it was crystal clear from every single member of caucus that they felt disenfranchised."

The Simcoe Grey MPP, first elected in 1990, served in several cabinet portfolios including Minister of Health, Minister of Energy, Science and Technology, Minister of Northern Development and Mines and Minister of the Environment. Prior to the election he was House Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. He also served as a Deputy Speaker of the House.

Mr. Wilson is not seeking the party's leadership. Oshawa MPP Christine Elliott, the widow of former federal finance minister Jim Flaherty, is the first to announce her intention to run for the job.

Mr. Wilson and the rest of the legislature resumes sitting this morning as Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Liberal government intend to table the 2014 budget which sparked the election last month when the NDP pulled its support of her minority government.

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