Local Press Releases

Elizabeth Witmer Served With Grace, Integrity and Distinction

May 2, 2012

KITCHENER — Today, Michael Harris, MPP for Kitchener-Conestoga recognized former Kitchener-Waterloo MPP Elizabeth Witmer at a local event with PC Leader Tim Hudak.

“Elizabeth Witmer has made political history in Ontario,” said Harris. “I’m pleased to honour and celebrate Elizabeth’s many accomplishments for our community and our province.”

  • During her 22 years at Queen’s Park, Elizabeth:
  • Became the first woman to be named Deputy Premier
  • Held high-profile cabinet posts including: Minister of Labour, Health, Environment and Education
  • Was the first Environment Minister to close a coal-fired power plant (Lakeview)
  • Now holds the record as the longest serving female MPP
  • Created over 22,000 new long-term care beds as Minister of Health
  • Awarded the Dr. Harry Paikin Award of Merit for her exceptional contribution in the field of education by the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association.
  • Helped create a centre of excellence for cardiac care at St. Mary’s General Hospital and cancer care at Grand River Hospital.
  • Rewrote the original Workmen’s Compensation Board Act and renamed it the Workplace Safety Insurance Board to reflect that safety came first.

“Elizabeth has been a mentor and friend for many years,” said Harris “Her strong work ethic, unwavering principles and disciplined approach have provided residents of Kitchener-Waterloo with the very best representation for over 22 years.”

Witmer was named head of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board last week. One of her first responsibilities will be dealing with the unfunded liability of the WSIB.

“Since being elected MPP for Kitchener-Conestoga, the most common complaint we’ve dealt with relates to WSIB,” said Harris. “It says a lot about the managerial incompetence of the McGuinty Liberals when they appoint a senior member of the Ontario PC Party to fix their mess at the WSIB.”

“Although I’m sorry to see Elizabeth leave our Caucus, I’m confident in her ability to help both injured workers and employers by fixing the ongoing problems at WSIB,” said Harris.

“Although I’ll miss her support and wisdom in the Legislature, Elizabeth will always be an elder stateswoman of the PC Party and a good friend to me.”