10/30/2014 10:52 EDT | Updated 12/30/2014 05:59 EST

Doug Ford Says He Has His Eye On Becoming Ontario's Premier


BEIJING, China - While Premier Kathleen Wynne says she doesn't want to get involved in the Progressive Conservative leadership tilt in Ontario, she acknowledges that a Doug Ford victory would present "an exercise in contrast."

"I think it's important that we let the leadership race play out," she said Thursday. "I have no idea what decision Doug Ford will or will not make. But we are very different people. I will just say that."

After losing the mayor's race to former PC leader John Tory on Monday, Ford told radio station NewsTalk 1010 he was considering a run to succeed Tim Hudak as party leader.

The mayoral election and Ford's musings followed Wynne to China where she and two of her fellow premiers — Quebec's Philippe Couillard and Prince Edward Island's Robert Ghiz — took part in a trade mission this week.

"I was happy that John won," she told reporters in Beijing. "He's somebody I know I can work with."

As for the Conservative leadership race, she said she wouldn't wade into it.

Then she added: "I will say it would be certainly an exercise in contrast if Doug Ford were to be the leader but they will go through their process."

When a reporter told Wynne she would have an easier time defeating Ford than Conservative health critic Christine Elliott, she laughed and said: "Never, never, never make those kinds of predictions."

Elliott is one of five declared candidates. The others are fellow caucus members Lisa MacLeod, Vic Fedeli and Monte McNaughton and Conservative MP Patrick Brown.

The new leader will be announced in early May.

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