Wynne downplays effect of senior Liberals not seeking re-election

Premier Kathleen Wynne is downplaying the impact two senior cabinet ministers deciding not to run again will have on her chances in the 2018 election.

Wynne was reacting today to a Friday announcement that neither deputy premier Deb Matthews or Treasury Board President Liz Sandals will seek re-election.

Wynne thanked both women for their commitment to public service, adding that people sacrifice a lot to enter politics.

She says she has not given her cabinet a deadline to decide whether to stay or go in advance of the next election, and notes that the Liberals will have a number of strong candidates running next year.

Wynne is also dismissing the party's standing in various recent polls - most put the Liberals behind the Progressive Conservatives - saying it's her job to focus on improving life in the province.

The latest departures follow an announcement last month that Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid will not run in next year's provincial election.

Former environment minister Glen Murray recently left government for the private sector, and Speaker Dave Levac, the Liberal representative for Brant, and Monte Kwinter, Ontario's oldest MPP, have also announced they won't seek re-election.