Garfield Dunlop's Open Letter to Premier Wynne

Published on July 28, 2015

Dear Premier Wynne:

When you became Premier, you promised you would be different.  You promised a government that valued integrity, openness and transparency.  As a result, your decision to delay the Simcoe North by-election until after the October 19th federal election surprised me.

I urge you to do the right thing and keep the commitment you made on May 11th, 2015, to call a by-election as soon as a riding became available for PC Leader Patrick Brown to run in.  If called this week, a by-election could be held on September 3rd or 10th – well before the federal election is significantly underway.  I am willing to expedite my resignation if this will help you to reconsider this unnecessary delay.

The PC Leader and PC Caucus aren’t alone in their belief that a by-election should be called immediately.  Both the Toronto Star, and Toronto Sun columnist Christina Blizzard have expressed their support for an immediate by-election, the Toronto Star asserting that the “government should let the democratic process unfold and call a by-election as quickly as possible” (Toronto Star, July 24, 2015).

Your choice to delay until after the federal election will leave the residents of Simcoe North without a voice at Queen’s Park until the end of November at the earliest.  This is not acceptable. My constituents demand better and as Premier you owe them this democratic right.   

Making the decision to resign as MPP of Simcoe North was not an easy one to come to.  For 35 years, I have had the great honour of serving the people of Simcoe County.          

I love this region, and I love what I do.  Such a personal and professional decision cannot be made lightly, or in haste.

However, having watched Patrick Brown in recent months, I know that he has the drive and determination to reinvigorate the PC Party of Ontario and provide Ontarians a strong alternative to the Liberals and the NDP in 2018. It appears you may have come to the same conclusion as well.

I am resigning to provide an opportunity for Brown to seek the seat in a by-election because I think this is the right decision for me, for the riding of Simcoe North, for the County of Simcoe, and for the people of Ontario.

The democratic process would be best served by having the Leader of the Official Opposition in the Legislature, holding your government accountable for its actions.  The legislative process is weakened if the leaders of political parties are not represented and afforded the opportunity to debate the government’s policies.

I was under the impression that you felt the same way.

It’s time to stop playing partisan games.  It’s unfortunate that you and the Deputy Premier feel that a delayed democratic process is what Ontarians want and deserve.  I urge you to call a by-election this week to permit the people of Simcoe North democratic representation at Queen’s Park come September.

Simcoe North and the County of Simcoe look forward to having the Leader of the PC Party in the Legislature, representing the best interests of all Ontarians.


Garfield Dunlop

Member of Provincial Parliament for Simcoe North