Canada: Kathleen Wynne becomes first lesbian province leader

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A former cabinet minister has been appointed as Canada’s first openly-gay provincial premier, who is also the first female leader of the most populous Canadian province.

Openly gay former education minister, Kathleen Wynne, 59, was appointed by Ontario’s Liberals to be the province’s premier.

During her acceptance speech for her new position, Ms Wynne, former Ontario education minister, thanked her partner, Jane, for her support during her campaign.

As well as being the first openly gay premier, Ms Wynne is also the first woman to be selected for the position.

This appointment is significant because it means that Canada’a four most powerful provinces, British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, are now led by women.

Addressing party followers, Ms Wynne urged leaders from both opposition parties to all work together, with her, to work for the interests of Ontario communities.

She went on to say: “But make no mistake. If that stops working, I will fight them for every seat, for every poll, for every vote in the next election.”

The Liberals had been in power for nine years in Ontario, which has the highest population of any Canadian province,

Ontario was one of Canada’s first provinces to allow equal marriage, the Guardian reports. It represents around 40% of Canada’s gross domestic product.

Other provinces which have female premiers are Newfoundland and Labrador.

Last week, students at a university in Canada set up a “Free Speech Wall”, only for it to be torn down the next day by a student claiming to be a gay rights activist defending against an “act of violence”.

In December, Ontario became the first province to allow trans people to amend the ‘gender’ section of their birth certificates without having to undergo gender confirmation surgery.