Sorbara, who helped lead Dalton McGuinty to election wins in 2003, 2007 and 2011, made the announcement Tuesday and appeared on CBC’s Metro Morning on Wednesday. Sorbara told host Matt Galloway it’s time to pass the torch to someone else.
“There comes a time when you hear the clock ticking," he said. "After McGuinty decided to step down I thought 'You know what, I’ve been part of that team for 14 years and maybe I too ought to get on with some other undertakings in my life.'”
Sorbara leaves the Liberals, now led by Premier Kathleen Wynne, at a precarious time. Their minority government could fall if they can’t convince opposition members to support their budget, which is expected in April. Meanwhile, the ongoing scandal surrounding the Liberals' decision to cancel gas plants ahead of the 2011 election continues to make headlines.
Sorbara, who has also served as a Liberal MPP and finance minister, denies he's leaving the party in rough shape.
“I think Kathleen Wynne is doing a fabulous job,” he said. “I’ve never seen a premier fit into the job so quickly and so well. She knows where she wants to go. She brings her own unique style. I’m very supportive of where they’re going and what they’re doing.
“My sense is that this government is going to continue to govern for some time, and maybe even the full term.”
Taking over as campaign chair will be Health Minister Deb Mathews and lawyer Tim Murphy, a former MPP.
Galloway asked Sorbara why he decided to resign now, with byelections looming in London West and Windsor-Tecumseh.
“I’m looking at the possibility of involving myself in some work that would require me not to have an overt political affiliation,” he said.