TORONTO - Working with the opposition parties, repairing relations with teachers and dealing with the Liberal government's past mistakes are some of the top priorities for the woman who will become Ontario's first female premier.

Kathleen Wynne, 59, won the Liberal leadership Saturday, while thousands of union activists and teachers angry over having contracts imposed on them protested outside the party's convention at the old Maple Leaf Gardens.

But while she wants to repair relations with teachers, who are angry at the Liberals for imposing contracts on them, the incoming premier made it clear she won't cave to their demands, and wants them to return to supervising after-class clubs and sports.

"I'm not going to rip up those contracts, but I've also been very clear that we have to engage in a conversation about extracurriculars," she told reporters Sunday.

Wynne, who will also be Canada's first openly gay premier, said she hopes her historic victory will give a message of hope to young gay people, but added she's not a gay activist and that's not why she entered politics.

Wynne said she wants to try to keep the minority government alive by working with the Progressive Conservatives and New Democrats rather than have a general election, and had a "very good" initial conversation with Opposition Leader Tim Hudak late Saturday night.

"Tim and I have always had a pretty collegial interaction with each other, I'm sure that will get more formal, but it was a good opening conversation and I'm going to take that at face value," she said.

"I will sit down with him and hope that we can find a way to have a conversation on the things that we can agree on."

The Conservatives opposed every initiative by the minority Liberal government except for Bill 115, which imposed contracts on teachers, and indicated Sunday they're not going to change tactics, launching attack ads calling Wynne "another Liberal Ontario can't afford."

The Tories said Wynne doesn't seem concerned about Ontario's huge deficit and jobs shortage, and warned she won't be able to escape the problems that plagued the government since it was reduced to a minority in Oct. 2011.

"I think the past is not going to go away," said PC critic Vic Fedelli.

"The auditor general will be bringing the gas plants scandal, the Mississauga portion of it, to the legislature very soon, and the criminal investigation into Ornge is being done by the OPP ,and that will come to the legislature."

The New Democrats also warned Wynne would have to deal with the problems McGuinty left behind.

"They have a nine-year record that's hard to run away from," said NDP house leader Gilles Bisson.

"How is everything that people felt about the Liberal party different this morning than it was last night when Mr. McGuinty was still their premier?

Ontarians don't want a general election, they want their politicians to work together on issues, said Wynne.

"The rancour and the viciousness of the legislature can't continue. We absolutely have to continue to work out our disagreements," she said.

"What I'm hoping is that, if we can build a relationship among the three party leaders and among the three caucuses, we'll be able to have that debate without the poison of that real viciousness."

Wynne, who will hold her first caucus meeting Tuesday, said she hasn't had time to start talking to people about building her cabinet, nor arrange a time for the transition in power, but she will recall the prorogued legislature by Feb. 19.

She insisted the cash-strapped government, facing an $11.9-billion deficit, can balance its books and make sure no one falls through the cracks, and promised more help for the poor.

"They are both priorities, that's the reality, and that's what being a Liberal is about," said Wynne.

"We have a social assistance system in this province that penalizes people, that does not support people getting into jobs and keeping them there, so I'm going to be looking for ways to do that because ultimately, it's in the best interests of the economy."

As for the problems left behind by McGuinty _ the politically motivated and expensive cancellation of gas plants, the spread of industrial wind turbines in rural areas, a police probe of the province's Ornge air ambulance service — Wynne said she was ready to deal with them all.

But she wouldn't admit they had hurt the Liberal brand.

"We are going to be very clear with the people of Ontario that we understand where there were mis-steps and where we need to go forward," she said.

"That will, I think, build on the brand," she said.

Wynne said she was looking forward to working with other premiers across the country.

The next meeting of Canada's provincial and territorial leaders is going to look, and perhaps act differently than previous male-dominated meetings, added Wynne, who will be the sixth female premier in the meeting.

"(Quebec Premier) Pauline Marios has already reached out to me," she said.

"I'm looking forward to talking with all of them, and I think the conversation at that table of premiers will be very interesting, and I look forward to chairing that meeting."

The Council of the Federation, the annual meeting of premiers, will be held in Niagara-on-the-Lake July 24-26.

Related on HuffPost:

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  • Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, right, congratulates incoming premier Kathleen Wynne at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Saturday, January 26, 2013.

  • Kathleen Wynne reacts after becoming the new leader of the Ontario Liberal party at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Saturday, January 26, 2013. The 59-year-old Toronto politician will be the province's first female and openly gay premier.

  • Sandra Pupatello, right, congratulates Kathleen Wynne after Wynne becomes the new leader of the Ontario Liberal party at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Saturday, January 26, 2013.

  • Kathleen Wynne, left, and her spouse Jane Rounthwaite stand together on stage at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Saturday, January 26, 2013.

  • Ontario Liberal Party leadership candidate Kathleen Wynne celebrates with fellow candidates Eric Hoskins (left), Gerard Kennedy (right) and Charles Sousa after they gave her their support at the convention in Toronto on Saturday January 26, 2013.

  • Ontario Liberal Party leadership candidate Kathleen Wynne reacts to the results of the second ballot at the convention in Toronto on Saturday January 26, 2013.

  • Sandra Pupatello, right, talks on her phone next to Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan, left, at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Saturday, January 26, 2013.

  • Before and After

    What the street outside the convention usually looks like and what it looked like during a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/01/26/ontario-liberal-convention-protest_n_2556296.html?utm_hp_ref=canada-politics">protest held by Ontario teachers and unions</a> on Saturday afternoon.

  • An Ontario Liberal Party delegate is heckled as protesters gather outside Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens on Saturday, January 26, 2013 while the party gathers to vote for a new provincial Leader and in turn a new premier of Ontario.

  • Supporters of Sandra Pupatello look on as Kathleen Wynne gains momentum at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Saturday, January 26, 2013.

  • A look at the size of the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/01/26/ontario-liberal-convention-protest_n_2556296.html?utm_hp_ref=canada-politics">protest outside the Ontario Liberal Convention</a> in Toronto on Jan. 26, 2013.

  • Sandra Pupatello, left, gets endorsed by Harinder Takhar, right, at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Saturday, January 26, 2013.

  • Ontario Liberal Party leadership candidate Sandra Putatello celebrates with former prime minister John Turner at the convention in Toronto on Saturday January 26, 2013.

  • Ontario Liberal Party leadership candidate Kathleen Wynne speaks at the convention in Toronto on Saturday January 26, 2013.

  • Ontario Liberal Party leadership candidate Kathleen Wynne waves with fellow candidate Eric Hoskins (right) and his wife Samantha Nutt (front left) after he arrived to give her his support after the first ballot at the convention in Toronto on Saturday January 26, 2013.

  • Ontario Liberal Party leadership candidate Sandra Putatello celebrates with fellow candidate Harinder Takhar after he gave her his support at the convention in Toronto on Saturday January 26, 2013.

  • Ontario Liberal Party leadership candidate Sandra Putatello speaks at the convention in Toronto on Saturday January 26, 2013.

  • Kathleen Wynne dances on stage at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Saturday, January 26, 2013.

  • Ontario Liberal Party leadership convention delegates are greeted by hundreds of protesters as they arrive at convention in Toronto on Saturday January 26, 2013.

  • Gerard Kennedy waves on stage at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Saturday, January 26, 2013.

  • Harinder Takhar waves on stage at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Saturday, January 26, 2013.

  • Charles Sousa waves to supporters while on stage at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Saturday, January 26, 2013.

  • Eric Hoskins waves to supporters on stage at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Saturday, January 26, 2013.

  • Outgoing Premier Dalton McGuinty waves from the stage with his family after speaking at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Friday, January 25, 2013.

  • Outgoing Premier Dalton McGuinty speaks at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Friday, January 25, 2013.

  • Outgoing Premier Dalton McGuinty speaks at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Friday, January 25, 2013.

  • Premier Dalton McGuinty and his wife Terri McGuinty take their seats at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Friday, January 25, 2013.

  • Interim federal Liberal Leader Bob Rae greets Premier Dalton McGuinty at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Friday, January 25, 2013.

  • Ontario Liberal Party leadership candidate Sandra Pupatello departs after voting at the convention in Toronto on Friday January 25, 2013.

  • Ontario Liberal Party leadership candidate Kathleen Wynne talks with a delegate as she registers to vote at the leadership convention in Toronto on Friday, January 25, 2013.

  • Ontario Liberal Party leadership candidate Gerard Kennedy talks on his phone at the leadership convention in Toronto on Friday, January 25, 2013.

  • A cameraman is silhouetted against a projection screen at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Friday, January 25, 2013.

  • Ontario Liberal Party leadership candidate Charles Sousa and his wife Zenaida arrive to vote at the leadership convention in Toronto on Friday, January 25, 2013.

  • Ontario Liberal Party leadership candidate supporters hang banners at the site of the convention in Toronto on Thursday January 24, 2013.


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So long and thanks for reading! If want to keep up to date on where Kathleen Wynne goes from here, follow HuffPost Canada on Twitter and like HuffPost Canada Politics on Facebook.

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kathleen wynne dalton mcguinty

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Kathleen Wynne in Ontario, Pauline Marois in Quebec, Christy Clark in B.C., Alison Redford in Alberta. There is also Kathy Dunderdale in Newfoundland and Labrador and Eva Aariak in Nunavut

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On the third ballot
1. Kathleen Wynne - 57.04 per cent

2. Sandra Pupatello - 42.96 per cent

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@ scott_stinson : The thronged masses await. #olpldr http://t.co/XjScLd6K

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The results of the final ballot, and a winner, are coming soon.

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@ Kris680News : All that's left of the protest at Church & Carlton, demo held outside the Liberal leadership convention #olpldr http://t.co/7p2Ks08h

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@ robferguson1 : The @Kathleen_Wynne #olpldr campaign is handing out smoked meat sandwiches from@Caplansky. Wish I hadn't eaten already! #onpoli

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@ genevievetomney : We're being told that both @Kathleen_Wynne and @SandraPupatello will appear onstage together as Yasir Naqvi reads results-Stay tuned #olpldr

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@ suntooz : New premier will be "incoming premier." Once she and @Dalton_McGuinty meet with LG, she's the premier-designate #onpoli #olpldr

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@ DanielKitts : Kennedy tells Steve Paikin that despite being through this before he is immensely disappointed to lose. #onpoli #OLPldr

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As we wait for the results of the third and final ballot, did you know that teens as young as 14 years old voted today at the convention?

(h/t to CBC News)

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Story here http://huff.to/XCR8LC

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Many are saying Kathleen Wynne's convention speech has won her the job of premier. You can watch it, and read responses, here http://huff.to/XDqO44

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@ so_bell : Flood was quickly cleared up - cheer from the delegates as they resume entering the ballot box area. #olpldr

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@ CBCQueensPark : Unless there's a concession, we'll be here a while. Huge voting lineup snakes past CBC TV. #olpldr http://t.co/KyIz4lFM

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@ SusanDelacourt : Richard Nixon's plumbers never retired, apparently. #Olpldr delayed because of flooding problem.

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That according to a police estimate reported by CBC News. You can read about the protest and see photos here.

http://huff.to/V9rT67

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@ lrobertsglobal : Likely looking at next lib cabinet led by Kathleen Wynne. Awaiting 3rd ballot results liberal convention #onpoli http://t.co/ApTmeFvM

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Sandra Pupatello will now have a tough time winning the leadership.

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Who he's throwing his support behind remains a mystery. Looks like he'll play kingmaker (or queen maker in this case) once again.

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Big blow for Pupatello

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@ Justin_Ling : Oh, apparently Sousa and Kennedy are moving together. So this is about to be decided. Weee! #olpldr

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1. Sandra Pupatello - 39.41 per cent
2. Kathleen Wynne - 36.18 per cent
3. Gerard Kennedy - 13.75 per cent
4. Charles Sousa - 9.79 per cent

5. Harinder Takhar - 0.87 per cent

Takhar, who has already pledged his support to Pupatello, is automatically eliminated. Look to see what Sousa and Kennedy will do now.

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The results of the second ballot are now way overdue. Luckily, it seems we'll be getting answers shortly.

@ spaikin : The floor awaits the 2nd ballot results which are allegedly less than 10 mins away. #onpoli #olpldr http://t.co/fsnF2bw9

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What the street outside the convention usually looks like and what it looked like during a protest held by Ontario teachers and unions on Saturday.

liberal leadership convention protest

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@ CBCQueensPark : @GKennedyOLP source tells me he needs to grow by gainin at least 75 @harindertakhar delegates. If he doesn't, it's over for him. #olpldr

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Rick Mercer is among the many observers cracking jokes http://huff.to/XIa3FL

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@ devyn_noonan : Wait, did Sousa actually go to Pupatello? #olpldr #onpoli

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@ OPSEUSisters : 'Make the BOSSES take the LOSSES!' Another awesome sign at the #J26rally today! #olpldr http://t.co/V54n61Sh

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