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Ontario gets first female and openly gay premier

TORONTO – Canada’s most populous province is getting its first female premier and the country’s first openly gay premier after the provincial Liberals chose a new leader.

Former education minister Kathleen Wynne won the party’s leadership race Saturday.

Wynne is making history as Canada’s first openly gay premier, a subject she confronted head-on in a speech Saturday morning. Wynne says Ontario is ready for a gay woman as premier and says she does not believe Ontarians hold prejudice in their hearts.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper congratulated Wynne, and thanked outgoing Premier Dalton McGuinty who is stepping down after nine years in office. He won a third term last year, but his party was reduced to a minority of the seats in the legislature and must rely on the opposition to pass legislation.

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