BARRY’S BAY – Following the provincial election on June 12, Tim Hudak, then-leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party, announced he would be stepping down as leader.
In the time since that announcement, another election has been held, this time to determine whom the interim leader of the Ontario PCs would be. On the morning of July 2, it was announced that Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson had been elected by members of the Ontario PC caucus to the position of interim leader, beating out Lanark-Frotenac-Lennox and Addington MPP Randy Hillier and Pembroke-Nipissing-Renfrew MPP John Yakabuski.
“I’m quite comfortable in the choice of Jim Wilson as interim leader,” said Yakabuski in conversation with The Valley Gazette. “I’m confident he’ll be able to lead us through this interim period. I’m glad I ran, but I’m not devastated by the outcome.”
Yakabuski added that Wilson had retained him as whip, but had also requested he take on a new role throughout this interim period as the caucus representative for the party executive.
“It’s not my intent to stay on as the caucus rep beyond the interim,” added Yakabuski.
Yakabuski was re-elected to his post as MPP on June 12 with 61 per cent of the vote. The runner–up, Rod Boileau, had 19 per cent.
When asked about the future of the riding and what the plan was moving forward, Yakabuski was optimistic.
“We take it one issue, one day at a time,” he said. “I’ll continue to represent my constituents with strong representation, and that representation will need to be strong, given the even greater Toronto-centric base [in Queen’s Park.]”
Get your July 9, 2014 edition of The Valley Gazette to read more of this story.