Kathleen Wynne ready to enter Ontario Liberal leadership race

Ontario Municipal Affairs Minister Kathleen Wynne is ready to announce her run for leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party after Premier Dalton McGuinty’s surprise resignation, say reports Thursday morning.

Wynne’s coming annoucement, which CBC News reports will be “any day now” will make her the first leadership contender after many potential candidates have already bowed out.

The lack of candidates a full two weeks after McGuinty’s Oct. 15 announcement has lead to speculation that no one wants to be the sacrificial lamb for a party that is dealing with record debt, labour unrest with teachers, and a number of scandals, including costly gas plant cancellations and problems at the province’s Ornge air ambulance.

Some of the potential candidates who have already given firm nos include Finance Minister Dwight Duncan, former cabinet minister George Smitherman, Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid, Energy Minister Chris Bentley and party president Yasir Naqvi.

In the past, Wynne has held the posts of minister of education, transportation and aboriginal affairs during her nine years at Queen’s Park. She is seen as a more leftist candidate within the party.

Former Liberal MPP Sandra Pupatello is also seen as a likely contender for Liberal leadership.