Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

By-election looms as Margarett Best resigns

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty enters the East Scarborough Boys and Girls Club on Friday July 20, 2012 to speak to media alongside MPP Michael Coteau, second right, Minister of Children and Youth Services Eric Hoskins, left, and Minister of Consumer Services Margarett Best, right, in Toronto after meeting with community leaders in the neighbourhood where a shooting rampage took place earlier that week.

Aaron Vincent Elkaim/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Former Ontario cabinet minister Margarett Best will resign her seat in the legislature, triggering a fifth by-election in another test of support for Premier Kathleen Wynne's Liberals.

Ms. Best has been on medical leave since February, when Ms. Wynne demoted her from cabinet. She has since been absent from the legislature.

A Jamaican-born lawyer, Ms. Best was first elected in 2007 to represent Scarborough Guildwood, a largely blue-collar riding in suburban Toronto. She served first as minister of Health Promotion and Sport before she was shuffled to the Consumer Services portfolio after the 2011 election.

Story continues below advertisement

In a statement, Ms. Best listed her achievements, including banning smoking in cars with children, leading a successful bid for the Pan American Games and reforming the Condominium Act. She was also known for her concern about social issues.

"I want to thank all of my constituents for their support and friendship," she said. "It was an honour to serve each and every one of you as your member of provincial parliament and to represent such a diverse community. I take with me the satisfaction of being greatly enriched to have shared in your history, your culture, your ways of life and our common humanity."

Ms. Best did not return a phone call seeking comment Thursday afternoon.

Ms. Wynne praised Ms. Best as a "strong voice for Ontario's underrepresented communities."

"Since her election in 2007, Margarett has been a passionate advocate for social equality and has made a real difference in people's lives. She held several cabinet portfolios, served on many vital committees dedicated to poverty reduction and social health and introduced important legislative change," the Premier said in a statement.

The Liberals already face by-elections in Windsor, London, Ottawa and the Toronto suburb of Etobicoke.

Like the Etobicoke seat, Ms. Best's riding is in the Liberal heartland, the seat-rich suburbs ringing Toronto, where the party has built its support base. It is an area the Liberals must control to remain in power.

Story continues below advertisement

Ms. Best won her seat by comfortable margins. In the 2011 election, she was even able to grow her plurality despite a drop in support for the party provincewide.

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
Washington correspondent

Adrian Morrow covers U.S. politics from Washington, D.C. Previously he was The Globe's Ontario politics reporter. He's covered news, crime and sports for The Globe since 2010. He won the National Newspaper Award for politics reporting in 2016. More


The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨