McGuinty at Sorbara’s party: recalls his prediction of their positions 17 years ago
The same day that the Liberal Party of Ontario unveiled its campaign platform, the party’s Vaughan riding association nominated its candidate.
Greg Sorbara, incumbent MPP and finance minister under Premier Dalton McGuinty, accepted his nomination on Sept. 6 at a packed Montecassino Place Banquet Hall in Woodbridge. The nomination was uncontested, and the room full of Sorbara supporters liked it just fine that way.
“Over the course of the next five weeks, we’re going to have a marvellous campaign in Vaughan,” Sorbara told the cheering crowd. “I want to tell you how much I appreciate the work that you’re going to take on as we sweep Vaughan from every corner of the riding.”
First elected to Queen’s Park in 1985, Sorbara is now an elder statesman in the provincial Liberal party and will lead it, along with McGuinty, into the Oct. 10 election as its campaign chair.
The event had the feel of a campaign rally for a provincial audience, not of a mundane nomination meeting. Toronto-area Liberal candidates crowded the stage and the packed room was a sea of waving campaign signs. The premier couldn’t have asked for a better photo op as he took the podium and congratulated Sorbara.
McGuinty described his first meeting with Sorbara, “17 or 18 years ago,” in a deadpan voice why he was “impressed by this guy’s energy and idealism and ability”.
“I said, ‘Greg, one of these days I’m going to be premier and you’re going to be minister of finance.’ He paused for a moment and said, ‘I can believe the second.’ ”
The current campaign got underway with Sorbara reminding attendees what he has championed for Vaughan.
“Over the course of the past four years, we’ve transformed our city,” Sorbara said. “We’ve already put the money in the bank so we can build a new subway and the public transportation that we deserve in this riding.
“Pretty soon, together, we’re going to be building a new hospital in this community. Very soon, we’re going to be opening up our first community health centre.”
McGuinty stressed Sorbara’s local credentials, adding that his success at the provincial level isn’t what will win him another election.
“He’s going to win because he’s absolutely dedicated to the people who elected him in the first place,” McGuinty said. “I may be Greg’s premier, but the people of Vaughan are his boss.”
Vaughan Today Friday, September 14, 2007 Page: 4 Byline: Philip Alves