Kitchener Centre Liberal MPP and government House Leader John Milloy has announced he will not be running for office in the next provincial election, saying it is time for him "to pursue new opportunities outside of elected life."
Milloy, who is also minister for government services, was first elected to provincial office in the 2003 election.
"This has not been an easy decision and has been the subject of considerable reflection for more than a year. After over ten years in office, however, I feel that it is time to pursue new opportunities outside of elected life," Millor said in a Friday morning release.
"Most importantly, I look forward to spending more time with my wife and two young sons, aged eight and three, who have made considerable sacrifices to allow me to pursue a career in politics."
He thanked both Premier Kathleen Wynne and her predecessor, Dalton McGuinty, "for the confidence that they have shown in me."
He added that it is a "pleasure" to work with Wynne, saying "her strong leadership and vision are serving this province well and I am proud to express my full support for her and our government."
The move comes just as the governing minority Liberals prepare a new budget that will be tabled in late March or early April. Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak has already said his party will vote against the budget.
If the NDP decides to vote against the budget, the minority government would fall and an election would have to be called. There is a showdown looming between the two parties over transit funding as NDP Leader Andrea Horwath has warned she "will not support any new taxes, tolls or fees that hit middle-class families."
But Wynne said the Liberals are "committed" to finding a way to fund transit expansion in the congested Toronto-to-Hamilton corridor, and will decide by budget time whether that will be an increased tax on gasoline, road tolls or some other levy.