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Our Meeting with Former Premier Dalton McGuinty

We recently met with Former Premier Dalton McGuinty. Mr. McGuinty was first elected as MPP for Ottawa South in 1990, became Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party in 1996, and served as 24th Premier of Ontario from 2003 to 2013. One of the first things Mr. McGuinty told us was to never underestimate the power of a story, and we were happy to hear stories from Mr. McGuinty’s 10 years as Premier.

Mr. McGuinty told us that if you are in politics, you are in the business of providing hope. This was what he said guided him as Premier during the Great Recession from 2007 to 2009. Although there was a lot of anxiety in the population, he saw his role as that of giving people reasons to maintain hope through the economic downturn. He says he did so by collaborating and calling upon help from others. Mr. McGuinty still believes that we can overcome the biggest problems facing us, and that the solutions lie in our ability to harness science and imagination for good.

We were also interested to know what Mr. McGuinty thought about the battle between idealism and cynicism. He believes the best leaders find a way to spark idealism in others, and he encouraged us to never lose our ability to see beyond the here and now to imagine possibilities for the future.

The meeting was a powerful discussion about the nature of leadership and a crash-course in the importance of listening to others.

Thank you, Mr. McGuinty, for meeting with us and sharing some of your stories!

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