TORONTO - Ontario's premier-to-be has yet to be sworn in, but newly minted Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne is already facing demands from opposition party leaders as she embarks on her quest to keep the minority government alive.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said Monday she wants a public inquiry into the politically motivated cancellation of two gas plants that cost taxpayers at least $230 million.

The move would likely be disastrous for the governing Liberals, who are already under fire for the spending scandal at Ontario's Ornge air ambulance service, a $12-billion deficit and a labour battle with teachers that's cost many students their extracurricular activities.

Asked whether the New Democrats would support another contempt motion against the Liberals if Wynne didn't agree to a public inquiry into the gas plants, Horwath left little room for doubt.

"She has a pretty basic choice," she said.

"We can either take it out of the legislature and find a place for the people to get their answers, or we can go through the process inside the legislature. That will be her decision to make."

Energy Minister Chris Bentley was brought up on charges of contempt in the fall, triggered by the government’s refusal to release documents on the cost of cancelling the two plants in Oakville and Mississauga. But Premier Dalton McGuinty wiped out the contempt motion by proroguing the legislature on Oct. 15.

Horwath insisted she's not trying to burn any bridges that Wynne's trying to build with the NDP before she brings back the legislature on Feb. 19.

She's just giving the incoming premier an "out," so they can take the issue out of the legislature and get down to business.

"The bottom line is, if this legislature is simply seized once again, paralyzed once again by the whole issue of the gas plants, then how far are we going to get?" asked Horwath, who spoke briefly with Wynne later in the day.

"I'm not drawing a line in the sand, I'm not saying she has to do it my way or the highway. I don't do that. But what I am saying is, this is a real option for the premier to consider."

Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak said he wants Wynne to cut government spending immediately to reduce the deficit.

He said he's willing to work with the incoming premier, yet his party has already launched attack ads calling Wynne "another McGuinty Liberal Ontario can't afford."

Branding your opponents early, before the public has a chance to know them, has worked effectively for Hudak's federal cousins.

The federal Tories' sustained attack ads against former Liberal leaders Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff — painting them respectively as "not a leader" and "just visiting" Canada — gave voters a bad impression of the two before they had a chance to introduce themselves.

Hudak defended his party's attack ads against Wynne — which aired within hours of her winning the leadership contest on Saturday — saying he'll use any opportunity he has to draw attention to what he calls a "debt and jobs crisis" in the province.

"I'm going to use every channel I have to sound the warning bells that we can't keep going in the direction we're going," he said Monday.

"And I think I have a right to be concerned early on when the indication from the incoming premier is she wants to continue the Dalton McGuinty agenda."

Hudak said he's optimistic that Wynne will change course and he's willing to help her, but he doesn't want a repeat of the past nine years under McGuinty's leadership.

Wynne had little to say about the demands from the opposition party leaders Monday, after emerging from a nearly hour-long meeting with McGuinty in his office.

"I'm looking forward to meeting with Andrea and Tim," she said. "We'll be having good conversations."

Speaking to reporters as Wynne left his office, McGuinty said he didn't need to pass on any advice.

"She has all the wisdom that she needs," he said. "I have every confidence in her. I'm very proud of my leader."

It's not yet clear when McGuinty will officially step down and Wynne will be sworn in. But she plans to meet with the Liberal caucus on Tuesday. McGuinty is not expected to attend.

Related on HuffPost:

See all the photos and updates from the Ontario Liberal leadership convention


Loading Slideshow...
  • 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.


live blog

Oldest Newest

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.

Share this:

kathleen wynne dalton mcguinty

Share this:

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

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

2. Sandra Pupatello - 42.96 per cent

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

Share this:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Share this:

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)

Share this:

Story here http://huff.to/XCR8LC

Share this:

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

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

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

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

Share this:

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

http://huff.to/V9rT67

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

Share this:

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

Share this:

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

Share this:

Big blow for Pupatello

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

Share this:
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.

Share this:

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

Share this:

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

Share this:
@ 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

Share this:

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

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

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

Share this: