Liberal leadership race candidate briefing: Sandra Pupatello

Credentials:

• MPP for the riding of Windsor West from 1995 – 2011
• Member of cabinet from 2003 – 2011 (Minister of Community and Social Services, Minister of Education, Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues, Minister of International Trade and Investment)
• Bay Street cred: Rather than running in the 2011 general election, Pupatello took a position as director of business and global markets at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

If elected, Pupatello would:

• Create jobs, jobs, jobs!
• If elected leader, Pupatello said her main task will be to foster the creation and maintenance of well-paying jobs, which she believes is the key to flourishing the economy and balancing the budget.
• Pupatello has painted herself as a job-creation specialist and has yet to comment on any other specific issues during her campaign.

Supporters:

• Finance Minister Dwight Duncan (Windsor—Tecumseh)
• Government House Leader John Milloy (Kitchener Centre)
• Transportation Minister Bob Chiarelli (Ottawa West—Nepean)
• Tourism, Culture and Sport Minister Michael Chan (Markham—Unionville)
• MPP Teresa Piruzza (Windsor West)
• MPP Phil McNeely (Ottawa—Orleans)
• MPP Bill Mauro (Thunder Bay—Atikokan)
• MPP Helena Jaczek (Oak Ridges—Markham)
• MPP Joe Dickson (Ajax—Pickering)

Odds of victory:

• Very good. So far Pupatello is the favourite in the race. Her (albeit, short-lived) Bay Street career gives her the goods on the economic policy front and her public service experience is expansive.
• By declining to run for reelection in 2011, Pupatello dodged the scrutiny surrounding eHealth, ORNGE and the gas-plant scandal that has harrowed the remainder of McGuinty’s cabinet over the past year.
• Pupatello is the only candidate from outside the Greater Toronto Area, which could help her gain delegate support in a larger number of regions.

Etcetera:

• In her leadership announcement, Pupatello said she will hold a byelection to secure herself a seat before she recalls the legislature, possibly postponing the winter session until March. This sentiment proved unpopular and other candidates have since vocalized their plans to put MPPs back to work by mid-February.

Photo sourced from Pupatello’s campaign website: http://signup4sandra.ca/

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