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The Way Forward

Archived Speech

The Way Forward

Notes for Swearing-in - Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario

Office of the Premier

Check against delivery

Your Honour, my Lord Chief Justice.

We are here on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit.

And we are joined here today by my family, my friends, my colleagues and distinguished guests, my darling granddaughters, Claire and Olivia.

I am here to accept the profound honour of this office, but I am really here for all of you.

I am here for those who have invested in me their trust and this responsibility and for all the people across this great province to whom I dedicate my efforts.

To me, leadership is not about one person.

It's about assembling the right team, taking the best ideas, the noblest of ideals and finding a practical course to put them into action.

It's about using the momentum of a moment as the catalyst for real change.

I could not be prouder of this new cabinet or more confident in what they will achieve for the people of Ontario.

Putting together a cabinet is one of the most personally difficult tasks required of a Premier, and my selections were drawn from a deep roster of talent and intelligence that extends to every seat and each member of our caucus.

My cabinet is slightly larger than the last because of the serious work that must now be done, and because the issues faced by the people of Ontario require the appropriate resources and the dedicated focus of this new government.

This group, and all elected members of the legislature, are conduits for their constituents.

But more than that, they are here, and I am here, to ensure that the hopes, dreams and needs of Ontario are heard and reflected in all that we do.

We are here to serve, to listen, then to lead and to act in the best interest of our province, our hard working men and women, our proud industries, our strong culture and beautiful landscape, our children and our grandchildren.

Although this new cabinet is assembled from the ranks of one party, my focus and my goals transcend those political divides.

Complex times require thoughtful, collaborative solutions.

And I look forward to working with the members of the opposition, just as I look forward to working with members of my own cabinet and my own caucus.

There is much that can be done if we set the interests of this province at the heart of our work, if we pursue progress and attempt to rid ourselves of rancour.

There is common ground to be found in the desire to make our economy stronger, to improve our transportation networks and to build a fair society, by giving all the people of this province the same opportunities, the same sense of purpose and pride.

We must ensure that our new government works for all, excludes no one, and holds itself to the highest standards of performance and integrity.

We must acknowledge our mistakes, take responsibility for them and work together to guarantee that they are not repeated.

But we must also celebrate our success, because our accomplishments will be the springboard for our future endeavours.

Today, as we participate in this ritual of the highest honour, I call upon us all to honour this place, to work together for the people of Ontario and to find common purpose in the betterment of their lives.

Because it is what the people of this province expect and it is what they deserve.

Our economy demands not just a steady hand, but bold vision.

We must reclaim our place at the forefront of the global marketplace and realize our true potential as a hub of innovation and industry and investment.

We must create a fair society by offering the best jobs, the right opportunities, the most secure footing for the men and women who work so hard for their families, their communities.

And we must recognize the needs of those communities, be they demographic or geographic, and how we can better serve them to the benefit of us all.

We must understand the interlocking nature of our challenges and not speak of issues in isolation from each other.

How our infrastructure underlies our economy.

How education feeds into productivity.

How our health and security and confidence enable us all to contribute and flourish.

How the different parts of this province relate to one another.

And what we can learn if we listen to various perspectives -- be they urban or suburban, rural or northern, be they the perspectives of a tenth or a first generation Canadian, a person with a disability, an 18-year-old or an 85-year-old -- and allow them to inform our every action.

Because our individual dreams may be articulated in English or French or Mohawk, but they speak to a collective vision that must be celebrated and pursued.

We are not removed from one another.

We are bound together by our desire for a bright future, a good job, a healthy community, a happy family.

Within the borders of this province we must draw no lines of division.

We must fill our vision and our days by drawing on a palette of possibility.

We must all join together because that is the way forward.

It is not lost on me that I am the first woman to be sworn into this office.

And that I am doing so with the support of the woman I love.

Seventy years ago, Agnes Macphail was one of the first two women sworn in as members of this Provincial Parliament, after having served as the first female Member of Parliament in Ottawa.

She represented the riding of York East then - the boundaries of which overlap my riding now - but more than that she represented the accomplishments that are possible when the imposed limitations of our time are ignored.

I thank all of those who have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of equality, and everyone who has contributed to this moment and others like it, by refusing to be guided by prejudice or doubt.

But if we are to speak of firsts, then let us cast that conversation forward.

Let us talk of the potential for Ontario to be ranked first when it comes to economic growth, productivity, standards of living, among world class places to live and love and create.

We want our young people to find their first jobs.

We want our children to take their first steps with confidence and support and purpose.

We want our health care and education systems to be first class.

We want a fair society that puts people first.

We want our first priority today to be getting work done for the people of Ontario.

Thank you.





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