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By Jim Coyle
When Dalton McGuinty shocked the province by announcing his decision to resign as Ontario premier and Liberal leader late last year, Kathleen Wynne, a popular and sure-footed cabinet minister, was instantly considered a leading contender to succeed him. Though not a shoo-in, Wynne trounced perceived front-runner Sandra Pupatello and became Ontario’s first female premier, as well as the first openly gay premier in Canada. If anything, things then got even tougher for the athletic Wynne, a diminutive 59-year-old dynamo. She had to develop an urgent strategy to extend the life of the 16-month-old minority Liberal government. And she needed to let Ontarians put as much distance as possible between her and McGuinty’s final year, with its reek of, among other things, the gas plant relocation scandal and teacher-despised Bill 115.

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