Statement By Premier McGuinty Regarding George Smitherman
"Today my colleague George Smitherman informed me he would be resigning his posts as Deputy Premier and Minister for Energy and Infrastructure in order to run for the Mayoralty of Toronto. He will be staying on as the MPP for Toronto Centre for a short time while he finishes several projects in his community.
I want to thank George for his tireless efforts on behalf of Ontarians, his constituents and our government. Since he was first elected to the Provincial Legislature in 1999, George has helped make Ontario a better and stronger place.
As Health Minister, he helped reduce wait times and hire more doctors and nurses. Hospitals, emergency rooms and long-term care around the province saw tremendous progress under his leadership. The Fraser Institute recently reported that Ontario now has the shortest wait times for surgery in Canada.
As Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, George spearheaded Ontario's Green Energy Act, which will help to create 50,000 Ontario jobs while fighting the effects of climate change. And he has worked tirelessly to turn our economic stimulus plan into construction jobs for Ontario workers in every part of our province.
And as an MPP, George has consistently stood up for the underdog, championed the rights and the needs of his constituents and used his considerable gifts and talents serving the people of his community.
That's the key to George. For him, public service is never about him -- it's always been about the people he serves. It's all about their health care, their energy, their jobs and their futures.
I'm proud to have served with George, and prouder still to call him my good friend.
I wish George and Christopher all the best as they start this latest chapter in their lives, together -- and thank each of them for all they've done to make Ontario the greatest province in the best country in the world."