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Joined: 02 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 3:38 pm    Post subject: Bryant quitting Ontario politics to head Invest Toronto Reply with quote

Bryant quitting Ontario politics to head Invest Toronto

Ontario's Premier Dalton McGuinty, back, smiles as he listens to Michael Bryant, front, who became the new minister of cconomic development, during a press conference after being sworn into the cabinet by Premier McGuinty on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2008 in Toronto.
Economic Development Minister will leave his post to become CEO of corporation chaired by David Miller

Article Comments (14) Maria Babbage

TORONTO — The Canadian Press, Saturday, May. 23, 2009 04:26PM EDT

Premier Dalton McGuinty will be more involved in the ongoing talks to save Ontario's ailing auto industry as one of his key ministers, Michael Bryant, departs for a plum job at a new corporation tasked with attracting investment to Toronto.

Mr. Bryant, who will step down as economic development minister on Monday, is leaving politics to take on a similar role as president and CEO of Invest Toronto, Mr. McGuinty announced Saturday.

“Michael has always tackled each new role with his trademark enthusiasm, intelligence and energy,” he said in a statement.

“I know Michael will bring the same level of passion, insight and commitment to his new role with Invest Toronto that he has brought to the provincial government.”

Mr. Bryant, 43, has been Ontario's point man in the auto talks, and news of his departure comes as General Motors heads into a crucial week of last-minute dealmaking to qualify for billions of dollars in government loans.

The company has until June 1 to present its restructuring plans to stave off financial collapse.

Mr. McGuinty, who has also been involved in the auto talks, will be taking over Mr. Bryant's portfolio temporarily.

Sources say Mr. McGuinty wants to ensure that negotiations between the U.S. and Canadian governments over GM proceed smoothly, and will be leading provincial efforts to restructure the troubled auto maker with the help of Finance Minister Dwight Duncan.

However, observers predict Mr. McGuinty will find someone else to replace Mr. Bryant and shuffle his cabinet sometime this summer, likely after the legislature rises on June 4.

The colourful and outspoken minister, who plans to give up his Toronto seat, told Mr. McGuinty on Friday that he'd found a new job.

“I'm excited to begin new duties with Invest Toronto after resigning as MPP for St. Paul's in the coming weeks,” Mr. Bryant said in a statement Saturday.

“I'm honoured to have served the people of St. Paul's under the incredible leadership of the premier, for the past 10 years. I look forward to an announcement with Mayor David Miller about my future plans with Invest Toronto on Monday.”

Mr. Bryant had long been considered a top contender to succeed Mr. McGuinty, despite his sometimes frosty relations with the premier.

His brash, attention-getting style didn't always go over well with his boss, and news of his hasty departure from cabinet immediately raised questions about whether the relationship had permanently soured.

Mr. Bryant raised eyebrows earlier this month when he trumpeted his vision for a stronger government role in business, a so-called “reverse Reaganism” plan that would have Ontario picking “winners and losers” on a case-by-case basis.

The speech, delivered to a business audience, was laden with new buzzwords like “econofix,” “Obamanomics,” “supra-ideological,” and “uber-entrepreneurs” — perplexing some observers and economists.

A few days later, Mr. McGuinty tried to temper those remarks, saying he was leery of picking specific companies to support.

Mr. Bryant always had an innovative, media-savvy style, and will likely return to politics once he's made a name for himself in business circles, said politics professor Henry Jacek of Hamilton's McMaster University.

“He's not an ordinary type of politician and never has been,” he said.

“Ministers are sort of conventional team players — they're competent, some of them have their quirks, but for the most part, they go along and they basically are good team players. Not that Bryant wasn't, but he always liked to try unconventional things.”

As the province's youngest attorney general in 2004, Mr. Bryant grabbed headlines by launching a public crusade to ban pit bulls.

When he was shuffled to aboriginal affairs after the 2007 provincial election, he took on the job with gusto, tackling the recommendations of the Ipperwash inquiry and brokering a $2-billion agreement with First Nations over gaming revenues.

Last year, he went to Caledonia to plead for patience and understanding in a series of YouTube videos aimed at defusing simmering tensions over a two-year aboriginal occupation of a disputed piece of land.

The premier has repeated his intention to stay on for the 2011 provincial election, which may have thwarted Mr. Bryant's ambitions, Mr. Jacek said.

“I could see how maybe he was getting a little antsy and maybe seeing that he'd rather be running his own show somewhere,” he said.

There are fears that Mr. McGuinty may lose more cabinet stars, such as Energy and Infrastructure Minister George Smitherman. Many expect Mr. Smitherman to contest David Miller in the next mayoral election, even though he has repeatedly denied that he wants the mayor's job.

“If you are a political leader and you are popular and can win election after election, what it means is that the brightest people underneath you are going to look for some other place where they can make their mark,” Mr. Jacek said.

“They don't want to spend a long period of time, when they are very talented, in the shadow of somebody else.”

Mr. Bryant's departure likely won't hurt Mr. McGuinty, who has attracted strong backbenchers who could be elevated to cabinet, he added.

Mr. Bryant will be replacing John Macintyre at Invest Toronto, a new economic development corporation that's tasked with developing the city's extensive real estate holdings and promoting investment through marketing and trade missions.

Born and raised in Victoria, B.C., Mr. Bryant was educated at the University of British Columbia, Osgoode Hall Law School and Harvard University. He practised law in Toronto, clerked at the Supreme Court of Canada, and taught law and politics at the University of Toronto, Osgoode Hall, and King's College in London, England.

He and his wife, entertainment lawyer Susan Abramovitch, have two young children, Sadie and Louis.


( when i heard he was quitting on the radio i just about wanted to jump out of my car and do cart wheels , this news totally made my day . Bryant will not be missed , good bye and good riddens )

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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose he would not be able to rise in the ranks.

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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SFrank85 wrote:
I suppose he would not be able to rise in the ranks.

His leaving should make 'pit-bulls' happy :lol: '

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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL, Yep, and I'm one of them. The senseless slaughter of 4K dogs is on his and Longnose McGuinty's shoulders.
Wouldn't be suprised if a full page ad runs in the papers prior to the election with a pic of each and every one of them.
I always had the sense that this doofus was braindead, even his babbling on the tely was almost incoherent.
Now he's going to work with Miller and his cronies? Ouch, from one group of losers to another.
Happy he's gone :P

Joined: 02 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Notorious speech cited in reasons Bryant quitting

Michael Bryant will become president and CEO of Invest Toronto
'Reverse Reaganomics' presentation may have led to political demise of Ontario economic development minister

Robert Silver: Bryant quits, life goes on
Article Comments By Jeff Gray

From Monday's Globe and Mail, Monday, May. 25, 2009 08:43AM EDT

As his government grapples with the ailing economy, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has lost his economic development minister, Michael Bryant, in a move blamed both on a notorious speech Mr. Bryant gave espousing “reverse Reaganomics” and on his leadership ambitions.

The outspoken and witty Mr. Bryant confirmed over the weekend that he was leaving cabinet, resigning his seat as an MPP for the Toronto riding of St. Paul's to become president and CEO of Toronto Mayor David Miller's new economic development corporation, Invest Toronto.

Mr. Bryant – who said in a statement that his last day in cabinet was Monday – and the mayor have scheduled a news conference for Monday afternoon to discuss Mr. Bryant's new job.

A source close to the Premier's Office said that Mr. Bryant's wave-making speech given to at least two audiences earlier this month played a major role in his departure, clearly upsetting a Premier who prefers his ministers take a more subdued role.

In a PowerPoint presentation laden with catchphrases and a liberal dose of humour, Mr. Bryant said

Ontario needs to step up with incentives and cash for private companies as it faces massive competition from the billions in handouts from both Washington and the governments of U.S. states, reversing the generation-long withdrawal of governments from the marketplace started by President Ronald Reagan.

Mr. Bryant, who has served as attorney-general – where he brought in a crackdown on pit bulls – and minister of aboriginal affairs, is said to crave the spotlight. First elected to the provincial legislature in 1999, the 43-year-old father of two has long been touted as a Liberal leadership contender and a possible rival to Mr. McGuinty.

His move to head Invest Toronto, a new corporation meant to market Toronto to investors worldwide, will be seen as a major coup for the mayor, who has had his own tensions with the McGuinty government, most recently over money to replace the city's aging streetcars.

Invest Toronto, with a board chaired by Mr. Miller and consisting of business and labour representatives, is meant to market Toronto to potential investors, especially internationally, where many believe the city needs to boost its reputation as a financial centre.

It was launched by Mr. Miller earlier this year along with a separate corporation called Build Toronto, meant to sell off or better exploit underused parts of the city's massive real estate portfolio. Both moves were meant to fulfill recommendations of a blue-ribbon panel of business and labour figures that examined the city's finances and reported last year.

Mr. Bryant said in a statement over the weekend that he told the Premier on Friday of his plan to leave: “I'm honoured to have served the people of St. Paul's under the incredible leadership of the Premier, for the past 10 years.”

Mr. Bryant's important economic-development portfolio – he had been a key player in talks on rescuing Chrysler and GM – is to be taken over by the Premier himself, Mr. McGuinty said in a statement.

“I want to thank Michael Bryant for his years of dedicated public service, for his great passion for our democratic traditions, and for working hard to create opportunity and build a better quality of life for Ontario families,” the Premier said.

Finance Minister Dwight Duncan said in an e-mailed statement that he was happy the Premier was taking over the economic file:

“The Premier has been very engaged with the auto negotiations, and I'll continue to work closely with him on this file and other economic issues during these challenging times.”


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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now he'll get to practice "reverse Reaganism" in the only place in Canada where it will be appreciated...


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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mac wrote:
Now he'll get to practice "reverse Reaganism" in the only place in Canada where it will be appreciated...


toronto can have him , i'm so glad he is leaving politics . as he was seriously pushing some bizare policies and wanted to ban just about everything . as a possible premier i would ofactually been scared of him in such a job and what he might of done .
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Bryant quitting Ontario politics to head Invest Toronto

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