Skip to main content
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Premier Dalton McGuinty paused briefly outside of his office after arriving for a Liberal Cabinet meeting in Toronto on Jan. 23, 2013.

The Globe and Mail

Dalton McGuinty is basking in the spotlight a little too long for the taste of the people vying to replace him.

Officials and volunteers in several of the Ontario Liberal leadership camps are complaining that the outgoing Premier will compete with their candidates for much-needed attention on the opening night of their convention this weekend.

A tribute to Mr. McGuinty will chew up most of the convention program on Friday evening, relegating the six candidates' speeches to Saturday morning, once most first-ballot votes have already been cast. But the main source of friction is that Liberals are also being invited to a party in Mr. McGuinty's honour after the tribute, just as the candidates are hoping to draw delegates to their own hospitality suites.

Story continues below advertisement

While all of the candidates' events will be held in hotels or bars in close proximity to the convention's venue, the revamped Maple Leaf Gardens, the rival party will be some distance away in Toronto's entertainment district – leaving campaign organizers worried that out-of-town delegates in particular could be lost for the night.

As a result, some of the campaigns are planning to discourage their backers from attending Mr. McGuinty's event. While others say they'll send some delegates, to ensure the Premier isn't embarrassed, none of them seem happy about it.

Hospitality suites are considered important opportunities for campaigns to reach out to one another's supporters and energize their own. And they may have extra value in this case, because a truncated race after Mr. McGuinty's surprise resignation announcement has limited candidates' opportunities to interact with fellow Liberals.

Although it hardly ranks in the annals of intraparty feuds, the social-planning contretemps is indicative of tensions that have bubbled to the surface since Mr. McGuinty signalled his departure in October. An official for one of the leadership candidates described it as "typical" of the tendency of the people around the Premier to give his interests too much priority relative to those of his party.

A spokesperson for a second candidate suggested, more mildly that the unrest "underscores how important the candidates feel talking directly with delegates and party members is," while a representative of a third merely said that it "could have been handled better."

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies