Ontario’s new minority government will try to work with the opposition Progressive Conservatives and New Democrats but won’t make any special deals with them, Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty said Friday in shooting down any talk of a coalition.
The Tories warned they would keep the governing Liberals “on a very short leash,” while the NDP said McGuinty would need to show some humility in light of Thursday’s election result.
Still, McGuinty was basking in his historic third straight victory, saying voters had handed him a “strong” mandate.
“I’m honoured and thrilled to receive the mandate that we have in fact received,” McGuinty told reporters at an Ottawa hotel.
“I’ve been blessed with 53, 52 not counting myself, fabulous MPPs who are full of excitement and determination and eager to get on with the job.”
The Liberals won 53 seats, just one short of a majority, but McGuinty said he would work with the other parties rather than negotiate a coalition with the Tories or NDP.
The premier also dismissed any hopes of getting a Liberal majority through recounts in ridings where the vote was close.
“I’m not sure where we’re at on that, I’m not putting a lot of faith in that end of it,” he said. “I think most of them were pretty decisive, so I’m going to proceed on the assumption that we are where we are, which is what I like to call a major minority.”
The Tories won 37 seats, gaining 12, while the NDP took 17, up seven.